Reset Challenge: Gut Health
No matter how many Pure Barre classes you’ve taken, be it one or 1,000 (seriously, we have FOUR 1,000 Tuck Club members), you can count on one thing — core work will always kick your abs.
We’re confident that we know how to sculpt your core, but we were surprised to learn all that goes on underneath that muscle group. We’re talking guts on guts on guts, people.
To learn more, we sat down with PBA client and holistic health coach Lisa Swift. Lisa saidscientists often refer to the gut as the “second brain,” which also houses about 70 percent of our immune system. It will tell us when it’s out of wack, she added. Bloating, food sensitivities, headaches, skin and mental health issues, weight gain and digestive problems can all be indicators that something isn’t right with your gut.
To keep it happy and healthy, she suggests taking advantage of fruits and veggies, which have digestive enzymes of their own, as well as limiting or avoiding dairy and wheat, which can harm the enzymes already in your gut.
An easy way to grocery shop for your gut? Stick to the perimeter of the store. Fresh foods live in the perimeter of most grocery stores, while processed foods fill the inner aisles.
Another tip — avoid GMOs. Lisa estimates we come into contact with about 80,000 chemicals a year and advocates for organic eating to avoid chemicals in food.
To maintain gut health or get your gut back in shape, Lisa suggests adding in fermented foods. Kombutcha, bone broth, miso and even sauerkraut can help heal the lining of the gut and make foods easier to digest. Another diet add-in? Probiotics, chia and flaxseeds to help maintain good bacteria.
So go ahead — give your gut some love! The rest of your body will thank you.
Reset Challenge: Healthy Snacking
If you’ve been rocking the Reset Challenge, chances are you’re already looking and feeling like a tasty snack (just take it from that skeevy Tinder dude you accidentally swiped right on). It’s a good thing, we promise. Or at least it’s what the youth say.
But we digress.
Anyway, you’re feeling and looking strong, and pushing through the 20-in-30 Challenge. Maybe you’ve even made some changes to your diet. You. Are. Crushing. It.
Thus far, we’ve focused primarily on omitting certain things from your diet. This week is different. This is the party week. This week, we’re talking snacks, y’all. Tasty, healthy, clean snacks.
*Dabs on the snacks*
Research shows that snacking is actually a really good thing for weight loss. Clean snacks are a great way to get in additional nutrients, and they help manage appetite to prevent overeating at mealtime. They also boost energy (PTL) and increase concentration. That’s a lot of benefit from a little snack.
It’s important, of course, to be mindful of what you’re choosing to snack on. Experts suggest keeping each snack under 200 calories — you don’t want to be too full for your next meal, but nobody wants to be hangry, either. It’s a balancing act to find the right combination to keep you satisfied.
Still hungry after lunch? Sprinkle olive oil and feta onto a few tomato slices for just 110 calories. Need an afternoon pick-me-up? Stop by Starbucks for a tall skinny latte to get your caffeine fix and about a third of your daily calcium needs for 100 calories. Want to turn your brain off and The Batchelor on? Go ahead, grab three cups of air-popped popcorn for just 93 calories and nosh away. (For more tasty ideas, check out this Women’s Health article).
The possibilities are endless (and delicious).
So go ahead, grab some clean goodies and get snacking! Don’t forget to post your fave ideas on the PBA Reset Challenge Facebook group.
Reset Challenge: Reading Labels
Get your readers ready, this week we’re diving into the exciting world of nutrition labels. WAHOO!
OK, admittedly not the sexiest part of clean eating… But reading the labels on the back of food products is super important. And, way to go America, surveys show most people are actually reading them (or at least saying they are; we’ll take it).
Just in case you’ve been living in a nutrition label-less rock for the past few decades, the FDA mandates that food products list nutritional information on the back of their packaging. The serving size is listed on the top left corner, and all of the subsequent nutritional info corresponds to that number. Blah blah blah.
But labels can also be kind of sneaky. The Huffington Post published a pretty enlightening piece last year on what food labels REALLY mean (you can read it here). HuffPo cites nutritionist Alison McAleese, who says “toasted,” “crunch” and “clusters” often mean there is added fat or oil in the product. “High energy” often means high in sugar, and “light” or “lite” can refer to anything from color and taste to fat.
We. Are. Annoyed.
OK, so how do we know what we’re really eating?
Here’s the kind of cool part — the labels also list the percent of nutrients in one serving to the your total daily value. As a general guideline, the FDA notes that 5 percent or less of the daily value per serving is low in that nutrient, while 20 percent or more is high. It’s an easy way to know how well you’re doing with your day’s nutritional intake (for example, a higher percent is great for things like fiber, while a lower number is better for things like saturated fat). Easy peasy.
What’s even easier? Nutrition labels also list out ingredients. Clean eating gurus advocate for as few ingredients as possible, and that consumers stick to products whose ingredients they can pronounce. The reason is simple — the shorter and less complex the ingredient list, the closer the food is to its clean, natural form.
Not only is it great to check the label to keep track of caloric intake, it also offers a lot of other information that can guide you to better eating. Challenge yourself to spend time with the nutritional info on the back of food products this week. You might be surprised at what you find!
Reset Challenge: Exercise & Nutrition
We’ve all had that friend (you know, THAT friend) who takes note of our post-workout glow, then side-eyes our plate and says something along the lines of, “abs are made in the kitchen.”
First off: Rude.
Second: They’re kind of right.
Here’s the skinny — being healthy isn’t just about working out or watching what you eat. It’s a nice (dare we say doable) mix of both.
As a general rule, nutrition experts suggest weight loss is 25 percent exercise and 75 percent diet. To keep healthy, the Department of Health and Human Services recommends that adults get 150 minutes of moderate or 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity, along with two sessions of strength training for each muscle group, per week.
Enter PBA’s Reset Challenge.
Between February 7th and March 9th, we’re challenging our PBA Fam to complete 20 classes in 30 days. That’s about five classes a week. Pro tip — mixing up Pure Barre Classic and Pure Empower will help hit all of your prescribed strength training and aerobic goals.
We’re checking off all kinds of health boxes, y’all.
But what about the nutritional aspect? No worries. Your PB gals are here to help (cue our theme music, which is obviously Pitbull).
Every Wednesday of the Challenge, we’ll focus on a different aspect of nutritional health right here on our blog. And don’t forget to join our PBA Reset Challenge group on Facebook where you can search and share healthy recipes and motivation.
If we can make working out fun, we can make eating clean fun, too.
Let’s start with the basics — what to eat.
- Organic, pasture-raised, grass-fed and wild-caught foods are ideal, as they don’t have hormones and other additives. If you can’t go organic, that’s totally cool. Just aim for lean meats and limit your red meat intake.
- Double down on fruits and veggies, and think about consuming lots of colors. Different fruits and veggies are packed with different nutrients, giving them each a unique color.
- Focus on intact grains (like steel-cut oats, wild or brown rice, quinoa, buckwheat and wheat berries) rather than those that have been processed into pasta, crackers or bread.
- Keep your foods to as few ingredients as possible. Getting back to the basics of food will also help you get the most out of every bite you eat.
Now the not-so-fun part — what to avoid.
- Watch out for processed foods and anything with a super long list of ingredients.
- Limit sugar. The American Heart Association recommends no more than six teaspoons a day for women (y’all, a single tablespoon of ketchup has one teaspoon of sugar, and most breakfast bars include an entire day’s worth of sugar), so make sure to read your labels.
- Say “so long” to most beverages (think sodas and juices), and drink plenty of water.
- Pass on processed cheeses and dairy with hormones. While you want to avoid coating all that color on your plate in cheese, feta and goat cheese are great ways to keep your food exciting and flavorful.
And the biggest rule — don’t kick yourself for eating “that.” The point of clean eating as opposed to dieting is that it’s sustainable; we’re in this for the long haul. If you slip up and overindulge, don’t fret! Just use it as motivation to stay on track.
OK, so that might sound like a lot. BUT the benefits of clean eating are HUGE! Besides weight loss, clean eating has been shown to improve gum and teeth health, up the wattage and shine of hair and strengthen nails, boost your energy and immune system, help you stay more focused, and improve your sleep and mental health. Cool, right?
So what are you waiting for? Grab this Clean Eating Grocery List and get to shopping!
Client Spotlight: Meet Delaney
At PBA, we love the Insta. We we’re all about a good Boomerang or a slew of puppy pics. And we’re not ashamed of spending way too much time crafting the perfect post.
But while we were preoccupied with picking the perfect filter to capture the mood of a chicly plated Kroger cannoli, our girl Delaney was building an Insta-empire centered on gorgeous, gluten-free dishes that, tbh, photograph better than we do.
Delaney is an Auburn University senior majoring in marketing. She lives with seven girls (a few of whom are PBA regulars) who she says encourage her in every aspect of life, school and cooking.
“The Instagram itself was created on a chilly day in Auburn in the fall of my sophomore year,” Delaney, a New Orleans native, explained. “I decided to call my dad and ask him how to make gumbo because I was seriously craving some home cooking. He talked me through the extensive process, and I started it in a huge stock pot (homemade chicken stock and all).
“I just remember my roommates coming in and being like, ‘This is so not normal for a college student,’ and started taking pictures. And then the Instagram idea started. I asked a big group of all my friends what the name of it should be, and we all voted on DankDishesByD! The rest is history.”
Delaney has always loved helping her parents and grandparents in the kitchen, but it wasn’t until she had a kitchen of her own her second year at Auburn that she discovered an interest in creating her own dishes.
“I went to boarding school for the last two years of high school and lived on campus freshman year, so I had always been stuck with a mini fridge and didn’t have a lot of room for adventure,” she said. “As soon as I got my own apartment sophomore year, I realized I couldn’t stay out of the kitchen.”
Delaney was challenged to get even more creative with her dishes last November when she was diagnosed with celiac. Now, all of her creations are gluten free.
“I make pretty much any dish I’m in the mood for! I’m a huge seafood person, and since my dad fishes, I always have fresh fish in my freezer,” she said. “Pasta and tacos are some of my weeknight favorite though because you can make them any king of thing you want…all veggies, seafood, cheesy/not cheesy, healthy/not healthy, etc. I also find them both a good excuse to get rid of any leftovers since you can just throw whatever’s in your fridge in them!
“My favorite thing in the world is to come up with what I’m going to make next,” she continued. “I pretty much think about food/my fridge/what I need at the store 24/7. I really focus on what’s fresh or in season or what ingredients look the best and get creative from there. Sometimes I’ll see some amazing looking vegetable or meat at the store and stand in the aisle googling recipes for inspiration for 10 minutes.”
Delaney is a “huge farmers market/support the local farmers girl” and takes an interest in knowing where her food comes from, as well as pride in helping to support someone’s livelihood. During her stay in NYC this summer, she would wake up two hours early on farmers market days so she could be the first one at the
stand to see what the vendors brought before heading to work.
As for her social media following, Delaney said she is encouraged by all the support.
“Even without the Instagram, I could still be cooking for myself…but having people out there seeing them makes me want to continually improve,” she said.
“My friends and people I’ve never even met get so excited about a dish, which, in turn, make me that much more excited to keep creating.”
She also hosted a mini cooking series with the Auburn Plainsman.
“[It] did really well because it allowed people to see that cooling really isn’t that hard! Yea, the dishes can be annoying and it seems like it takes so long. But if you prep all of your stuff before and clean as you go, it makes it really simple.
“I just honestly love teaching people about ingredients and cool cooking trends. Cooking is my favorite part of the day, and I hope m
y Instagram, somewhat inspires someone to get out there and make a delicious dinner with their friends.”
Check out Delaney’s Insta here and her website here. Click here to check out her mini series with the Auburn Plainsman.
Why it works Wednesday: Get moving for a stronger, smarter semester
While fall isn’t here quite yet, the 2017-2018 school year is revving up. That means more time listening to lectures, cramming for tests and pulling all-nighters, — or maybe longer days behind a desk at the office — and less time for self-care.
Whatever your 9 to 5 looks like this fall, it’s important to squeeze a little exercise into your daily routine. And while physical fitness is an obvious benefit to taking classes like Pure Barre Classic and Pure Empower, you might be surprised to learn how they can strengthen your brain, too.
The great philosopher Elle Woods famously said, “Exercise gives you endorphins. Endorphins make people happy. Happy people don’t kill their husbands. They just don’t.” And she’s right. Studies have shown consistently that exercise positively impacts psychological health.
In the short term, study participants have reported a mood-enhancement within five minutes of moderate exercise. When it comes to long-term mental benefits, psychologists at Duke University report that active people are less depressed than inactive people, especially those who initiate and maintain a fitness routine.
Researchers have also found that exercise can help treat or even prevent anxiety. The thinking is regular workouts might help people prone to anxiety become less panicked when they experience sensations linked to our fight-or-flight response — elevated heart rate, sweating, etc. — because they’re often the same sensations as those produced during exercise. In time, those symptoms become associated with safety, rather than fear.
When it comes to the brain, exercise doesn’t stop at mood enhancement. New studies are finding that regular exercise also improves cognition. The American College of Sports Medicine reports that students who exercise vigorously seven days a week (think alternating Classic and Empower classes) have G.P.A.s that, on average, are 0.4 points higher than those who don’t exercise.
Why? Because exercise helps memory and thinking both directly and indirectly. Exercise before an exam can also jog the memory, in addition to reducing anxiety.
“The benefits of exercise come directly from its ability to reduce insulin resistance, reduce inflammation, and stimulate the release of growth factors—chemicals in the brain that affect the health of brain cells, the growth of new blood vessels in the brain, and even the abundance and survival of new brain cells,” according to Harvard’s Medical School.
So, exercising regularly up until, including the day of, a test can help boost your scores by strengthening your brain! Those 6 a.m. classes aren’t looking so bad after all.
Teacher Thursday: Get to know Claire
You know her. You love her.
And now sweet Claire Bear has moved from behind the front desk to on the mic as our newest Pure Barre teacher! Keep reading to learn more about her in her own words because, let’s be honest, our words just aren’t nearly as cute.
Get ready for lots of warm fuzzies, PBA fam.
PBA: Where’s home for you?
CN: I grew up about a mile from PBA. #OFA #Ahightilidie. I’m one of four crazy kids with bold personalities. When we were younger we were referred to as the “naked Normans” because as the name states none of us could keep our clothes on. As I’ve grown, I have learned to be more tame in public – eventually developing into the sibling that people referred to as “wait, there’s another sister???” My family is everything to me and I hope to always stay close to them.
CN: I’m an upcoming P2 student at Auburn’s pharmacy school. Some of my favorite things are pretending I’m a real estate agent, going to the lake, and dabbling in some amateur calligraphy.
PBA: What are you binge watching?
CN: Reign (if you haven’t seen it start now – come to the front desk when you’re mid season 1)
PBA: Favorite famous person?
CN: Ellen Degeneres – who doesn’t love Ellen?
PBA: Guilty pleasure?
CN: ICE CREAM all my Ben and Jerrys lovers where you at! If you need my speech of Ben and Jerrys v. Blue Bell, just let me know
PBA: How long have you been lifting, toning and burning at Pure Barre Auburn?
CN: I have been at PBA since October 2015, and I’ve never been the same since ~~ however cheesy it sounds, I can never thank God enough for each of you he has placed in my life.
I am so thankful to be surrounded by such an encouraging group of people. If it weren’t for the people at PBA I would have never been pushed out of my comfort zone to try so many new things. I would have never picked up calligraphy and would never in a million years been able to picture myself teaching a class to 20 beautiful people that once would have intimidated me. So let me take time to thank each of you for pouring into me the past year and a half.
PBA: What encouraged you to take your first class? What kept you coming back?
CN: Ashley talked me into it – we all know how persuasive she can be (especially now that she’s a new mom).
What kept me coming back is that I honestly didn’t think I was good- AT ALL. If you know me, you know that I do not like setting something down if I’m not good at it. Even though I looked clueless and felt like the instructor corrected me in every part of class, I kept coming. I loved the challenge.
PBA: What’s your favorite part of class?
CN: Probably seat because lemme tell you – before Pure Barre I had NON
E. I will never forget someone saying “you have the body of a 10 year old from waist down.” You know those things people said to you years ago that stick with you and you can still hear it today?!?!!
Well that’s why I like that section – because I’ve shut that little tiny annoying voice up!! And hey, you can shut up your tiny annoying voices. You’re all beautiful – but Pure Barre will give you confidence that you didn’t even know you were missing.
PBA: Any words of Pure Barre wisdom?
CN: If you feel lost and embarrassed keep coming! I promise you’re the only one who notices if you “mess up” or feel silly. Give it time and I promise you won’t regret it!
PBA: When you’re not at the studio, what else do you enjoy doing?
CN: Reading a good book – suggestions are always welcome
Playing with some arts and crafts – Pinterest DIY – you know the ones you waste money on at Hobby Lobby and it looks nothing the same
Looking on Zillow at houses I cannot afford
Spending time with family and friends
Going to Lake Martin
Getting a wild game of Catan going – if you know what this is please visit the front desk
PBA: What are you most excited about with your new role as teacher?
CN: Honestly being able to challenge each of you like you have done to me.
I am SO excited to be able to watch you not only challenge yourselves but gain confidence as you watch the changes I know you will see with Pure Barre.
So with that being said – no matter where you are right now with “being in shape” – come see me at the barre. I promise you won’t regret it and you will leave better than you came in so many different ways – I know I will!
Yeah, we see those happy tears. All the feels, PBA fam.
Feature Friday: Pure Barre & Pregnancy
Our PBA Fam is growing this year, and we are so excited to welcome our newest andtiniest members throughout 2017!
One of the benefits of Pure Barres low-impact workout is that you can continue to safely and comfortably take class throughout your pregnancy. We asked our very own momma-to-be how a regular Pure Barre has impacted her pregnancy, both mentally and physically. Read on to see what Ashley has to say!
PBA: Has taking class regularly helped you maintain a healthy pregnancy weight through each trimester?
AC: Absolutely! Taking class regularly has kept me sane mentally and physically through each trimester.
PBA: When in your pregnancy did you start to employ modifications? Do you still feel like you get an effective workout even while modifying certain positions?
AC: Somewhere in my second trimester. I also had to accept that each day working out was going to be different, meaning somedays I would feel great and somedays I would feel like I couldn’t get through anything.
I think also giving myself grace to accept that my capabilities in class would change, but that I could still find a challenge for myself mentally and physically and get something out of each class was hard at first. I would get discouraged because one day I couldn’t do what I did the day before.
PBA: Do you think it’s given you more energy than you would’ve otherwise had?
AC: YES! Of course there are some days (especially in the first trimester) where you feel wiped of energy, but through the second and third I find the endorphins from working out have been so key to helping me feel as normal as you can feel pregnant.
PBA: How long can you safely take PB while you’re pregnant?
AC: Obviously check with your OBGYN, as every pregnancy is different. Right now I am at 39 weeks and still taking! Shout out to Kerri Hensarling for being an awesome doctor and helping me throughout this process. Obviously there is a lot I can no longer do in class, but I am still getting everything I can out of it.
PBA: Why is PB safe to take regularly, even in your third trimester?
AC: Because PB is low impact and has modifications for everything. If you can allow yourself to listen to your body and choose what is best for you and baby, it is safe to continue throughout your entire pregnancy. We have a proven process and technique that pregnant women all across the nation have enjoyed throughout their pregnancy.
PBA: Any other advice for PBA moms-to-be?
AC: The MOST important thing you can do during pregnancy is listen to your body. Be mindful of any uncomfortable feeling… not meaning the wonderful burning sensation you are supposed to feel during PB. What I’m talking about is more of a singe of pain — any type of strain you feel in your lower abdomen or lower back.
Remember to breathe in class to give your body and, most importantly, your baby the oxygen they need. AND, it is SO important to stay hydrated during pregnancy. I used to try to drink one 16 oz bottle of water during class but during pregnancy my goal is 1.5 to two bottles.
Cheers to all of our 2017 Pure Babies! Happy tucking!
Why it Works Wednesday: Stretching
It’s no secret that Pure Barre creates a long, lean physique championed by the likes of Zooey Deschanel, Alessandra Ambrosio and Queen Misty Copeland, thanks in large part to a good, long stretch.
If you’ve taken a class or two, you’ve probably noticed that every muscle group gets its own stretch during your 55 minutes. And while stretching is a important part of lengthening your muscles and helping combat soreness, there are even more benefits you may not have considered.
Punctuating each section of class with a thorough stretch allows time for your heart rate to lower and blood pressure to recover, and while the American Heart Association recommends at least 30 minutes of exercise three or four times a week to help control blood pressure, the AHA also advocates for a thorough cool down. A cool down period after exercise allows the heart rate and breathing to return to normal levels gradually, thus preventing dizziness and other dangerous effects of an elevated heart rate.
Flexibility training is also a vital component of a well-rounded exercise routine. The long stretch at the end of class is designed to allow your heart rate and blood pressure to recover before you hit the road, but it’s also key in injury prevention. Lack of stretching at least three times per week can lead to a greater likelihood of injury and decreased range of motion.
Challenge yourself during your next Pure Barre class to focus on your stretching series just as much as the active exercises. Aim to hold each position for two big inhales and exhales, and allow your body to sink a little lower every day.
Don’t be scared to walk yourself through some of your Pure Barre stretches at home, too! With benefits from lengthening and toning to improving cardiovascular health and preventing injury, a daily stretch is one routine you won’t want to skip.
PBA Nurses: Pure passion, pure strength
Saturday is National Nurses Day, but our PBA fam is fortunate to welcome some seriously amazing nurses through our doors every day! These ladies make an impact throughout our community, and somehow still have the energy to l.t.b. with us on the daily (not to mention lovingly answer our “Is this normal???” medical questions).
We asked four nurses in our PBA fam for some insight into how they do it all beautifully.
Peggy has been at PBA since August 2015, served as a critical care RN and radiology nurse before becoming an RN clinical educator. Amy started lifting, toning and burning to prep for her April 2014 wedding. She works three 12-hour shifts in the OR (and still manages to make it to the 8:15). Allison has been at PBA for a little more than a year and just finished nursing school (with honors!). Nurse practitioner Candace started at PBA in the fall of 2013 and splits her time seeing patients at two clinics.
Here’s what they had to say:
What does your work schedule typically look like?
Peggy: My work schedule changes weekly because I am now a RN clinical educator and not at the bedside anymore. I teach all the critical care classes and all of them usually run for 4 hours. I also teach some two hour courses. That is a long time to stand and talk.
Some weeks I work two to three days others are four or more depending on the teaching schedule. I also follow new RN orientees and keep up with their orientation progress in addition to the many other duties that an educator has. This includes developing new classes, teaching staff updates every other month and contributing to the News in Nursing monthly newsletter. This requires sitting behind the computer which I do not like very much.
Amy: I work in the operating room and I do three 12-hour shifts each week, and also take call from time to time (which is why I sometimes have my phone on me i n class and I try to tell the teacher that I’m on call in case I have to run out.) However if the cases are done early, like today for instance, we get to leave, which means I get to do barre in the afternoons after work!
Allison: Nursing school has been a roller coaster! But roller coasters are fun right? It has been busy trying to balance class, clinicals, reading and studying, work, and maybe a social life.
My third and fifth semester I had to precept with a nurse and work her shift. Both of those semesters I had to do night shift clinicals, which turned out not to be so bad, I actually enjoyed it. Each semester we would have class two days a week for 4 hours, then clincals the other two to three days. During school I also worked as a nursing assistant at a hospital. I would work every other weekend and during breaks. Work was great experience during school, I would highly recommend future or current nursing students to get a job as a nursing assistant. It helps you to become familiar with the environment and helps put the classroom into real life experience.
I’ve really learned how to manage my time and only delegate a certain amount of time each day to studying or doing practice NCLEX questions. I’ve also realized through this journey that every minute or every day cannot be focused on nursing school. I always took one day each week to do nothing related to school. You have to give yourself a mental break or you’ll get too anxious and exhaust your brain.
Candace: I work at two different clinics, so my time is split between both clinics. Three days a week, I split my time at 1 clinic in the am and the other in the pm. On those days, I never know what time I might get done; especially if I get behind schedule.
How have you made time for Pure Barre with all that you have going on? Why do you make Pure Barre a priority with such a busy schedule?
Peggy: I make time for Pure Barre because it makes me feel so good! Before I started, I was tired and did not have any energy. This is especially true right before class! Some days I have to make myself go and I really have to make myself not cancel class. After class, I feel invigorated and I am ready for the rest of the day or evening depending on what time I make it to class. I am always glad I made it to class!
PB is a priority because I feel so much better working out 4 or more times a week! I am stronger, have much more energy and feel good about myself.
Amy: I have to make time for myself, and Pure Barre is by far the only exercise that I’ve ever done consistently (and for this long), I come usually four times a week. All through college I did the step classes and body pump, and then after college when I traveled I got into hot yoga and cycle classes- and barre has been the only exercise that I’ve kept up with and keep coming back for more. I love that I can sign up on the app for classes on my off days and weekends and it keeps me accountable. Also the friends that I’ve made there make me want to come back each day and week. The teachers are awesome and make each class fun and entertaining!
On days I’m not working, I love starting my day with barre. I get in early and sweat it out then I can move on to errands or whatever needs done. I love that it’s always challenging and that each class is different. I have a love/hate relationship with the fact that it’s never easy! I like having that time to come and burn some calories, and feel better and stronger about myself.
Allison: I always try to make time for Pure Barre! On days where I had day clinicals I would sign up for the first class after clinicals. I gave myself enough time to go home, change, and head to the studio. I knew if I didn’t I would sit down and have hard time getting back up 🙂
There were a few mornings that I would finish night clinicals and come to a morning class. I realized on those mornings how hard I could push myself, it didn’t take long to shake on those days!
On my days off I always scheduled a class. I enjoy coming to a morning class and setting a good tone for the rest of my day. I always feel more energized and productive when I start my day off with Pure Barre.
Pure Barre is 55 minutes a day where I can focus on myself, physically and mentally. I try to come at least 3 times a week if I can.
I was hooked after my first class, I knew this was something I would enjoy and wanted to continue doing. At first I thought it would be a great way to see some physical changes, build some muscle. I quickly realized that not only would it be a physical challenge but a mental one as well. Each class I push myself to do more, not to tap out, and reassure myself that my thighs are not going to shake loose from my body. Over the past year I have noticed a change in my body and mind. I find myself looking through my calendar each day and comparing it to the PB schedule to try and squeeze a class in. One of the main things I have found is that it’s not about getting the muscle tone that I wanted, although that is a good thing to see, but it’s also about the way that class makes you feel. I leave each class feeling accomplished and stronger. I believe it has helped me to be more successful in school as well. I feel more confident with my stronger mind and body that I get from PB.
It’s also nice to be greeted each class by everyone up front. It makes you feel so welcomed. Everybody is genuinely happy to see you and get to know you.
Candace: Pure Barre is my outlet. I try to go as soon as I get off work. I use that 55 mins of the day for just me. I can put all my other concerns at the door. Sometimes in this profession, you carry a lot of burden on your shoulders. Working full time as a Nurse Practitioner and being a mom to two active boys, pure barre is my stress relief.
In a environment that requires you to be on your feet quite a bit, how has Pure Barre helped?
Peggy: I believe PB has helped me tolerate standing for long periods of time without becoming fatigued, improved by balance (I am a bit klutzy!) and has increased by stamina. I love Pure Barre and all the friends I have made at the studio. It is the perfect exercise for me since I have a bad knee and I get a killer workout.
Amy: Working 12 hour days are rough, and many times the shifts don’t end at 12 hours, they can go over by many, many hours! During those days I have to try to be mentally and physically tough. I try to set my mind around the fact that I’m going to be there until the cows come home, ha, and the work is done. At PB y’all are always telling us it’s “mind over matter” and the “body can do anything the mind tells it to” which during some awfully hard position I sometimes am thinking “yeah, right!” But I understand the theory behind it. Sometimes at work it’s mental, just knowing that you have to be there in sometimes a very tense, high stress enviroment, and you have to push through and work as a team to get through it. The physicality of it is another subject, there’s been days I’ve walked almost 10 miles and when I get home my whole body is just aching! In the OR there’s a ton of pushing and pulling equipment, and patients too, getting them positioned for their certain surgery and such. It’s definitely not for little weak people! Some days are workouts in themselves! Barre helps me stay physically strong so I can handle those rough days and not hurt myself doing the hard labor
Candace: Being on my feet all day, pure barre has helped with my energy levels. I just overall feel better when I go to class.
I feel like Pure Barre helps me to be a better person, better wife and better mom.
What do you hope to do after graduation?
Allison: I hope to relocate to the Atlanta area. I have an interview lined up mid May for a job a local hospital in their Med-Surg RN Residency program. It’s a job I’m really excited about and hope to receive an offer from. So, lots of positive thoughts are appreciated! I plan to take a few months off from school and start back in January to pursue my BSN, then eventually my MSN. I would like to become a clinical instructor and teach students during their clinical rotations. Clinicals had the greatest impact on me and it’s where I learned the most. So I hope to someday be able to contribute to other students education and future.
And of course find a PB studio, but obviously it won’t have anything on my PB Auburn family!
Feature Friday: Caitlin
As a member of one of the hardest-working teams on Auburn University’s campus, AU junior Caitlin balances her role on the Tigers’ equestrian team (the winner of Auburn’s three most recent national championships) with a major in entrepreneurship and family business.
“I have the blessing of being a part of Auburn’s Equestrian Team!” Caitlin said. “Being an equestrian since the age of 8, I had my sights set on Auburn at a very young age and it is such an honor to get to be a part of it now!
“The team is incredible and the girls are all in it together to work hard not for individual success but for the other girls around you, as well as the Auburn community! It truly is special getting to experience Auburn from the collegiate athlete perspective! The support of the Auburn community is really the most rewarding part of it all!”
But each Pure Barre class is 55 minutes just for her.
“What keeps me coming back is that it’s an hour to totally separate from life’s crazy stresses and just focus on something that I enjoy!” Caitlin said. “It’s meditative for me to go to class in such a positive environment and work on bettering myself!”
The Chicago native started lifting, toning and burning at PBA in January and proudly jokes it was then that she “got the Pure Barre bug.” Caitlin’s favorite time spent is class is sculpting her abs and lifting her Pure Barre ledge.
Meet Alexis, our newest PBA instructor
We are thrilled to welcome Alexis to our Pure Barre Auburn family! Though she’s new to our studio, the Fort Walton Beach, Florida, native has been teaching for nearly two years.
“I moved to Hattiesburg, Mississippi, to attend the University of Southern Mississippi where I received my BFA in Dance Performance and Choreography,” Alexis said. “After graduating, I became an NFL Cheerleader for the New Orleans Saints, taught at a local dance studio and taught Pure Barre. Last June, I married my college sweetheart and best friend Cole Weeks. The majority of my family and his still live in the Florida Panhandle area, where we are both from.”
The couple moved to the Plains when Cole received a job as the Tigers’ offensive graduate assistant coach.
“It was an opportunity we couldn’t resist, so here we are ready for this new chapter,” Alexis said.
Alexis started her Pure Barre journey just a few months before she became a teacher.
“I had a friend who raved about Pure Barre all the time,” so I finally realized it had to be worth trying,” she remembered. “Upon taking my first class, I realized I had used muscles I didn’t even know I had. I was very sore, but it was something that felt different in my body and I wanted to come back for more and figure it out.
After taking classes for a week or two straight, I already felt different and saw changes in my body. I felt skinnier and more toned. It was an amazing feeling and I’ve been addicted ever since.”
Her favorite parts of class are any time we work the abs or arms (“which can sometimes be the whole class,”) especially weight work at the beginning of class and the final seven minutes of core work toward the end.
When she’s not teaching class, you can find Alexis teaching dance or choreographing dances.
“I’m very passionate about dance and I travel all over for choreography,” she said.
She’s also an avid runner and a fan of sunny days outside.
“I also love to run. I have a goal to run a 5k or half marathon in every state. It’s something my mom and I love to do. I also love going to the beach or pool… I’m a Florida girl!”
But her absolute favorite pastime…
“My absolute favorite thing to do is support my husband at his football games and events. :)”
Thoughtful Thursday: Show your mind some love
We all know there’s nothing routine about a Pure Barre routine, but did you know locking in to your favorite workout can benefit your mind as well as your body?
In recent years, studies have found correlations between mindfulness (think meditation and controlled attentiveness) and physical health, specifically when it comes to weight control. Scientists found that people who are mindful during meals are less likely to overeat.
A 2015 study delved deeper into how mindfulness impacts exercise. Researchers found that people who exercised more frequently found more enjoyment in exercise, and vise versa. Data showed mindfulness played a large role in overall exercise satisfaction.
According to the New York Times:
“The message is that mindfulness may amplify satisfaction, because one is satisfied when positive experiences with physical activity become prominent,”says Kalliopi-Eleni Tsafou, a Marie Curie Research Fellow at Utrecht University who led the study. “For those experiences to be noticed,” she continued, “one must become aware of them. We would argue that this can be achieved by being mindful.”
Next class, give mindfulness a go. You may be surprised at how good you feel!
Challenge yourself to love your body, heart and mind during those 55 minutes just for you.
Challenge yourself to love your heart this February!
Thanks to Valentine’s Day, February has long been associated with candy hearts and Cupid, paper cards and roses. But did you know February is also American Heart Month?
From now until Spring Break, Pure Barre Auburn is challenging you to wear your heart on your sleeve (er, wrist) by getting to know your body’s most vital organ.
Between February 9th and March 10th, we’re pushing you to set a target heart rate and hit it in 10 classes as part of our 20-in-30 Challenge. Besides upping your cardio game, you’ll also earn 25% off your entire retail purchase by hitting your target!
First, check out the chart below to find a target heart rate based on your age:
|Age||Target HR Zone 50-85%||Average Maximum Heart Rate, 100%|
|20 years||100-170 beats per minute||200 beats per minute|
|30 years||95-162 beats per minute||190 beats per minute|
|35 years||93-157 beats per minute||185 beats per minute|
|40 years||90-153 beats per minute||180 beats per minute|
|45 years||88-149 beats per minute||175 beats per minute|
|50 years||85-145 beats per minute||170 beats per minute|
|55 years||83-140 beats per minute||165 beats per minute|
|60 years||80-136 beats per minute||160 beats per minute|
|65 years||78-132 beats per minute||155 beats per minute|
|70 years||75-128 beats per minute||150 beats per minute|
Got it? Great!
Heart rate monitors included in devices like Apple Watches and FitBits are fun to watch during class and can be a great motivator to push yourself, but you don’t need one to participate in our challenge. Instead, hold your first two fingers (not your thumb) to your wrist and find your pulse. Count your pulse for 10 seconds, then multiply it by six to get your beats per minute!
One of the great things about Pure Barre is that it allows your heart rate to go up and down, helping to build endurance and burn calories (sometimes you may even hear us remind you to allow your heart rate to lower or force it to lift). We’ve found that we often hit our highest heart rates after the final thigh exercise in Pure Barre and after the final seat sprint in Platform. If you’re checking your heart rate manually, the transition to thigh stretch in Pure Barre and seat stretch in Platform is the perfect place to count those pulses.
Cool! So why does it matter?
In addition to saving 25% on an ENTIRE retail purchase (pretty solid motivation, if you ask us), monitoring your heart rate is a great way to gauge the effectiveness of your workout.
Because your heart is a muscle, it becomes stronger as your exercise it. Your heart works faster during a workout to pump oxygen to your muscles from the lungs via the bloodstream.
As your heart gets stronger, you’ll start to see a decrease in your resting heart rate. Regular aerobic exercise strengthens the heart and makes it more efficient, so your heart pumps more blood each time it contracts, needing fewer beats to do its job.
So get to know your heart this month, and show it some love! Your mind and body will thank you.
Can Pure Barre up your running game?
We all know that running is good for you. Decades-old studies have shown that running just three times per week can improve everything from bone strength to cognitive function, and we can’t forget how great cardio is for maintaining a healthy weight. Running has even been proven to prevent disease, reduce stress and elimiate depression.
But it’s just so hard.
Not shaking legs in chair hard, or 3-pound weights hard, or even “double up the tube, take it around your thighs” hard. It’s just. plain. hard.
But if you’ve been barreing for a while, running might not be as hard as you think. Turns out, the benefits of Pure Barre and Platform extend beyond the studio.
Take it from some of are favorite runner barre babes, a little l.t.b. can make your next run much more enoyable.
Q&A with runners Melanie Duffey and Katie Bevard
PBA: How long have you been running?
MD: On and off since college, but when I hit 30 years old – I decided that I would run a half-marathon every year of my 30s! So, I am consistently training for a race once a year.
KB: I started running in 7th grade. I ran cross country in school and started running longer distances about 6 years ago. I do 1 to 2 half marathons a year.
PBA: How long have you been doing Pure Barre?
MD: I started Pure Barre in 2014 and likely started to think about running a half marathon about 6 months after PB workouts.
KB: I’ve been doing PB for a little over a year.
PBA: How often do you do each?
MD: When I am not training for a race, I do more Pure Barre and averate four to five times a week. When I am training for a race, I typically replace my Saturday Pure Barre with a long run instead. Lately, I have enjoyed Platform on Saturdays to change it up and keep up with cardio.
KB: I like to do PB 4-5 times per week and run 3-4 times a week.
PBA: How do the two complement each other in terms of your health and fitness?
MD: PB and running are very complementary.
- Flexibility/stretching: While running, you end up with tight muscles. So I really enjoy the stretching aspect of PB.
- Core strength, I found that I am an uphill runner and acutally gain speed in hills. It turns out that ab/core strength actually make hills easier in running, and I know that is only because of Pure Barre.
- Pace time and sprints: With PB, we work on our sprint or fast-tiwtch muscles, and I have found that developing these muscles will help you turn your legs over faster in running, as well as help develop a quicker pace/time in a race. My first half marathon, I finished with a time of 2:09, and my most recent half marathon I finished in 1:50. And I feel like my time continues to improve.
KB: I feel like PB has made me a stronger runner. My legs don’t get as tired on long runs, and I feel like I recover a lot faster. I hate lifting weights, so PB is the perfect answer for strength training. My last 1/2 marathon I didn’t train at all, and I really feel like PB carried me thru the race. I was only 2 minutes slower than my normal pace. Which is pretty good for not training. 🙂
There you have it! Why not mix up your fitness routine and add in a little running this year? Whatever your goals are in 2017, PBA’s got your back.
You’re Invited! Join us for a Holiday Party
Tis the season to celebrate, and we never miss an excuse to party (or shop)!
Friday and Saturday, we’re stocking the studio with goodies from some of our favorite vendors to make finishing your holiday shopping a breeze. We’ll have tables set up before Friday’s 8:15 class and through noon on Saturday with the perfect gifts for everyone on your list!
For the girl who has everything: A phone case, t-shirt or tank from Scarlet & Gold
Our friends from S&G will be here with unique phone cases, inspirational jewelry, and tees and tanks exclaiming everything from “War Eagle” to quotes from F. Scott Fitzgerald. Check out all of their wares at scarletandgoldshop.com.
For a little something pretty: Jewels, purses and scarves from ash etc.
It’s no secret the best gifts come in small packages. Treat yourself or someone special to handcrafted necklaces and bracelets made right here in Auburn. From dainty beads to statement charms, clutches to blanket scarves, the ladies at ash etc. have the perfect gift for everyone on your list! Check out ashetc.com to get a head start.
For the perfect hostess gift: Florals from Tori Brinson Design
Spruce up your home for the holidays or take some festive florals to the Christmas party with fresh flowers from Tori Brinson Design. She’ll have arrangements to take, and kits to build your own for the season! Check out some of her work at toribrinsondesign.com.
For a bit of post-holiday relaxation: Gift cards from Spa180
This is one gift you might want to keep for yourself… Relax after the stress of the holidays with luxury services from Spa180. With locations in Auburn and Downtown Opelika offering everything from massages to facials to waxing, these gift cards will spread cheer well into the New Year. Read about Spa180’s services at 180spa.com.
We’re coming up on the Christmas Final 10! Don’t miss your chance to finish your shopping with us!
Feature Friday: What We’re Wishing For
Ready or not, the holidays are here! In just 18 short days, we’ll be opening gifts with friends and family around the tree… And sometimes even Santa’s running behind.
We’re here to help! Here’s a list of some of our favorite PBA products for even the hardest-to-please yogi, runner or barre babe. See something you love in our staff picks? Make sure to fill out your own Wish List at the front desk. We promise it’ll make it to the North Pole!
A good pair of leggings are truly a girl’s best friend. Here are some of our faves:
- High-wasited Beyond Yoga Spacedye — Yummy, soft fabric in tons of colors and with a high waistband? We’re all about it.
- Splits59 Raquels — The “magic pants” create a sleek look through the thighs and calves, ending with a bit of flare at the ankle.
- Alo Airbrush Legging — These are a must-have. Smooth lines with no seams are flattering for every shape.
- Lucy Power Train Pocket Legging — You guessed it, these guys have a handy pocket, perfectly-sized for a phone or keys. What more could you ask for?
From barre to bar, we’ve got you covered with these chic tops:
- Beyond Convertible Cardigan and Asymmetrical Cardigan — Two different styles in two colors that can be worn two ways. Through these soft cover-ups on over your tank, and you’ll be cute and cozy, even after Platform.
- Beyond Yoga Slinky Twist-Back Pullover — Wear the twist in the front or back, with leggings or jeans, and you’ll easily transition from day to night.
- Beyond Yoga Sleek Stripe Waterfall Tank — This tank boasts an open back and the softest fabric you can imagine, all in a sweet shade of red perfect for the holidays.
- Vimmia Serenity Split Back Top — Now in three colors, this top is a great coverup with leggings or jeans. Short sleeved with a slit back, this top is the perfect weight and softness for the season.
Every barre babe needs a good pair of sticky socks, and we’ve got plenty of choices:
- Classic low-rise — In tons of styles of colors, our new socks have stickies to keep your feet in place, no matter what.
- Holiday rhinestone — Add some sparkle to your winter wardrobe. Gold and black rhinestones are the perfect way to add a little shine to your day.
- Five-toe — Get an extra grip with a pair of five-toe socks and a cute ballet flat cut.
Because everyone loves a good candle.
- Nest Luxury Votive Set — Six votive candles in a variety of clean fragrances – Bamboo, Grapefruit, Moroccan Amber, Sicilian Tangerine, Ocean Mist & Sea Salt and Cedar Leaf & Lavender – are perfect year-round.
- Capri Blue Jar Candles — Huge candles in colorful jars burn for hours in tons of fruity and clean fragrances.
This is one gift that will keep on giving.
- Class packs — Available in 5, 10, 15 or 20, class packs are good for an entire year.
- Monthly packages — Available at student, teacher and military rates.
- Contracts — Available in student, 6 and 12-month options, contracts offer exclusive perks at our best prices.
What are you wishing for this holiday? Make sure you get everything on your list with PBA!
What We’re Thankful For: Good Food & Tasty Traditions
With two good reasons took cook and eat (LOTS) this week — Thanksgiving, and, of course, the Iron Bowl — we wanted to share some of our favorite recipes with our Pure Barre Auburn family. Some of us are magicians in the kitchen, while others have still yet to master Ramen (ahem, Sara).
From pumpkin muffins to dressing (don’t call it stuffing unless you’re a Yankee), here are a few of our yummiest holiday recipes.
So take a look at our family traditions, and share yours with us on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter using #PBAThankful!
Ashley C – Thanksgiving Tacos
- 6-8 flour tortillas
- Leftover turkey shredded or chopped into pieces
- Leftover cranberry sauce
- Leftover stuffing/dressing
- Leftover sweet potatoes or mashed potatoes
- Any other leftovers you have
If you have a gas stove, carefully turn the burner on medium-high then place tortilla shell directly onto the burner. Flip after 10-12 seconds with metal tongs and toast the other side. If you don’t have a gas stove, you can try this under a boiler but keep an eye out!
Once tortillas are all toasted, start layering your taco however you want!
Kelly & Katie – Sweet Potato Casserole
- 2 pounds sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1/4 cup evaporated low-fat milk
- 3 tablespoons butter, melted
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 large eggs
- Cooking spray
- 1.5 ounces all-purpose flour (about 1/3 cup)
- 2/3 cup packed brown sugar
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons melted butter
- 1/2 cup chopped pecans
- Preheat oven to 350°.
- To prepare potatoes, place potatoes in a Dutch oven; cover with water. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer 20 minutes or until tender; drain. Cool 5 minutes.
- Place potatoes in a large bowl; add granulated sugar, evaporated milk, 3 tablespoons melted butter, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and vanilla. Beat with a mixer at medium speed until smooth. Add eggs; beat well. Pour potato mixture into a 13 x 9–inch baking pan coated with cooking spray.
- To prepare topping, weigh or lightly spoon flour into a dry measuring cup; level with a knife. Combine flour, brown sugar, and 1/8 teaspoon salt; stir with a whisk. Stir in 2 tablespoons melted butter. Sprinkle flour mixture evenly over potato mixture; arrange pecans evenly over top. Bake at 350° for 25 minutes or just until golden.
- Preheat broiler (remove casserole from oven).
- Broil casserole 45 seconds or until topping is bubbly. Let stand 10 minutes before serving.
Ashley S. – Green Bean Bundles
- 1 pound green beans
- Thick cut bacon
- 2 tbs butter
- 1 tbs brown sugar
- 2 chopped garlic cloves
- Wash green beans
- Season with salt and pepper
- Wrap one piece of bacon around 4-8 beans. Lay onto a sprayed baking sheet.
- Melt butter on stovetop. Add brown sugar & garlic and stir until combined
- Brush mixture over green beans and bacon
- Bake 400 degrees 30ish minutes covered in foil and another 10-15 uncovered. Enjoy!! 🙂
Sara – Nana’s dressing
- Chicken broth
- Poultry seasoning
- Bake cornbread
- Saute celery and onions, then add chicken broth to the veggie mixture
- Cool cornbread, then break it up in a big bowl
- Add the veggie and broth mixture; keep adding broth
until desired consistency is reached
- Add poultry seasoning (’til it tastes right)
- Bake until set and golden on top
Joy – Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Muffins
- 3 cups flour
- 2 1/3 cups sugar
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
- 3 eggs
- 1 cup oil (or apple sauce)
- 1 can pumpkin
- chocolate chips
- Mix ingredients
- Bake at 350 for 25 minutes (regular), 15 minutes (mini); 325 for 50-55 minutes (loaf pan)
KP – Bean Dip
1 package of cream cheese
1 cup of sour cream
2 cans of refried beans
1 package of taco seasoning
2 cups of cheddar cheese
2 cups of monterary jack
- Combine all ingredients except for the cheese and put in a 9×13 pan and spread even.
- Top with the cheese and cook for 25-30 minutes at 350.
- Scoop with Tostitos 🙂
Happy Thanksgiving! We are so thankful for our PBA Family!
Q&A with Kate Hardman, AU’s Miss Homecoming 2016
Did you know that a member of our PBA fam, Kate Hardman, was named Auburn University’s Miss Homecoming earlier this fall? In her new role, Kate will
represent the University as well as raise awareness for an organization close to her heart – Make A Wish Alabama.
Read on to learn more!
PBA: Can you tell us a little about yourself?
Kate: I am from Birmingham. I have two older brothers; one who is currently working in Birmingham, and the other who is married and in dental school in Jackson, Mississippi. Both of my parents now live in Houston, Texas, where my mom also loves to LTB at Pure Barre Houston!
I am a nursing major at Auburn with the dream of being a pediatric oncology or ICU nurse (mainly because I am a child at heart).
PBA: How long have you been lifting, toning and burning at Pure Barre Auburn?
Kate: I began coming to Pure Barre Auburn, I think, in November of last year. So I have almost been coming a full year now!
PBA: What encouraged you to take your first class? What kept you coming back?
Kate: I have tried everything from running to crossfit to yoga, and I had a friend who encouraged me to come to Pure Barre with her and loved it. I grew up doing studio dance, so I enjoyed to familiarity of feeling like I was in a dance class again.
Honestly, how sore I was is what made me come back. I was so sore after the first class that I knew it had to be a good work out. After that I signed up for a month, and after about 5-10 classes I saw the transformation in my body and just felt better.
I love the atmosphere of Pure Barre Auburn also, the people always made it so fun to come to class, and I love the idea of escaping for 55 minutes, listening to music and focusing on bettering yourself. Having such a busy lifestyle, the days I make it the barre those 55 minutes are definitely a highlight of my day.
PBA: What is your favorite part of class?
Kate: Oh I looooooove thighs. I wish I loved abs, because that’s the section I need the most help in. But I love the moves in thighs and the burn/shake that it gives you. But to be honest, I really love any point of class as long as it’s got some good tunes behind it.
PBA: When you’re not taking class, what other things do you enjoy doing?
Kate: Mostly studying or at clinical, but when I am not doing those two things I love spending time with my pals. I live in a house of six girls with an open door policy, so there is always something going on at the house.
I am also involved in my sorority, Chi Omega, and Campus Crusades, so I spend time doing both of those things. Other than those I love to go on runs, drink coffee, bake, cook, and adventure with just about anyone!
PBA: Can you tell us a little bit about your platform and duties as Auburn’s Miss Homecoming?
Kate: My platform for Miss Homecoming is Make A Wish Alabama. Make A Wish is an organization that grants wishes to children with life threatening illnesses. Currently, there are 256 children in Alabama waiting to have their wish granted. My goal for Homecoming Week was to raise funds to lower that number.
Wishes provide hope and strength to children battling an illness. Through raising money for these children we get to give them a reason to fight harder, find hope, and regain their childhood.
My dream is to be a pediatric oncology or ICU nurse, so working with Make A Wish allows me to impact the children now that I hope to work with in the future. Now as Miss Auburn I get the opportunity to represent Make A Wish and Auburn as a whole during my time.
As Miss Homecoming I hope to continue raising awareness and funds for Make A Wish while also attending different events to represent the University.
Top 5: Ways to Rock the See Your Strong Challenge
The See Your Strong Challenge is finally here, and we can’t wait to start scanning QR codes in the new app!
Here’s the skinny: Complete 20 classes in 30 days (through November 16th), and you’ll earn your next month for $100! Make 10 of those Platform classes, and you’ll also earn 20% off your entire retail purchase. Keep an eye on PBA’s social media, too, where we’ll announce ways to earn bonus points. Collect five
bonus points, and you’ll win an exclusive Pure Barre trucker hat!
Are you ready to start the challenge strong?
Here are our top five ways to rock the See Your Strong Challenge:
- Download the app — you’ll find it in the App Store or on Google Play by searching “PB Strong.” Then, create a new login and start signing up for classes! Don’t forget to scan the QR code each time you’re in the studio to get a point for class.
- Schedule your 20 classes in advance, with a few extras just in case. Scheduling your classes early helps you carve out 55 minutes just for you before your day gets too busy. It’ll also help you commit to coming to class regularly!
- Find a barre buddy to keep you accountable! Team up with a friend (or PBA staffer) who comes to similar class times. It’ll make class much more fun, as well as help combat the urge to cancel.
- Fuel your body. Fruits, veggies, water and plenty of protein will ensure you see and feel a difference in your body during the challenge. And don’t forget to get lots of sleep. The better you fuel your body, the harder you’ll be able to work during each class.
- Have fun, and challenge yourself! The challenge is designed to push you mentally and physically. Commit to it, and get excited to see your results in 30 days!
Ready… Set… Go!
Platform like a pro: Get the most out of Pure Barre Platform
We’ll be the first to admit it – Pure Barre Platform can be intimidating.
Not like the shove-rocks-down-your-shirt third grade bully intimidating, but the she’s-so-nice-and-pretty-and-cool intimidating. You know you’ll like it if you give it a try. But convincing yourself to sign up for that Platform class is tough.
Bringing a towel to class? Making sure your weights are between the platform and the baseboard so you don’t trip? Coordination?
We’ve got to geek ourselves up for it every time.
So, we were understandably thrilled when Breaking Down the Platform hit Pure Barre Auburn. Deepening your understanding of the technique is never a bad idea, especially for a class as fresh as Platform.
It turns the she’s-so-nice-and-pretty-and-cool intimidating girl into your new best friend.
Whether you’ve yet to try Platform, or have been double-timing since March, here are a few of our favorite tips to get the most benefit and enjoyment out of a Platform class:
Platform is a class designed to get your body moving and burn calories. While there is more movement in the class’ cardio intervals to rev up your heart rate in every section, your movements should still be controlled. Throughout class, your range of motion is bigger than in traditional Pure Barre, but each move should be executed with muscle rather than momentum.
- During cardio sprints, shift weight working side, keeping movement sharp but smooth. The goal here isn’t to bounce; it’s to keep an isometric hold in the working muscle group while adding interval cardio work.
- Your platform can and should be moved during class to maximize work and safety for your body type. Don’t be scared to hop off, adjust, and get right back into the work.
- Just like in Pure Barre, your core should be engaged to protect your back. But in Platform, your tight core provides more control than resistance, which is why you don’t tuck your hips under in thighs or seat.
- Double-time = 2 movements per beat to elevate heart rate, rather than moving as quickly as you can and losing control.
- Here’s a fun fact: A step has weight, while a tap does not. Both should have energy and intent.
- Two count roll-ups are hard! Build to this tempo, rather than using momentum over muscle (aka swinging your arms).
- Just like a double or Velcro tube, the platform is only an option. Feel free to modify by working without it!
- During thigh cardio sprints, keep your lower back rounded, arms straight, upper back engaged, shoulders down, core in tight and hips low. This is tough; work your way up!
- Throughout class, challenge yourself to think about squeezing the same muscles as Pure Barre, with the same level of control but bigger range.
- In seat, double-time is a quick contraction of the working seat muscle, rather than a pulse through the standing thigh.
- Form during cardio-step kicks is so important! Work to press up from the barre, lift through the core, press through the ball of the foot and keep energy through both (straight) legs. If your hips or back start to hurt, decrease your range and lower your kicks, while still keeping a squeeze through the seat.
- In abs, foot and heel placement are key! Your knees should be more bent than straight, with your calves lifted off the top of the platform. Really listen to your body during this section! Release tension in hip flexors by moving your seat closer to or farther away from platform.
Platform’s quick pace is so effective at challenging your body and your mind. Really focus on connecting with each muscle group to tone your body, as well finding your range to lift your heart rate. We promise you’ll notice the difference!
Have you spotted a new name on the schedule or a new face in the studio? We are so happy to welcome Sara-Elizabeth Cardin to The Plains this week! Sara-Elizabeth has been a teacher at the Mobile and Daphne Pure Barre studios for more than a year, where she worked with the lovely Taylor Hayes, and we are pleased to have her as a part of the Pure Barre Auburn team.
Get to know Sara-Elizabeth here, and get excited to take her class; it’s killer!
Hometown: Pulaski, Tennessee
Alma mater: The University of Alabama, University of South Alabama
Studying: Rural medicine, and will start medical school at UAB next fall
First Pure Barre class: Pure Barre TTown 2012
Teaching since: 2015
Favorite part of class: The beginning of abs “since you get to slow down and get to focus entirely on the core. It really forces me to make the mental connection to each muscle group in order to perform the various movements.”
Fun fact: Sara-Elizabeth recently donated 10 inches of hair to Wigs for Kids!
Feature Friday: Amy
If you’ve ever stopped by the 8:15 class, you know Amy. You’ll find the mother of two with a big smile and nonstop motivation at the front barre, just slightly off center, every day of the week.
A proud graduate of everything Auburn (from Wrights Mill Road Elementary through Auburn University), Amy has been married to Shawn, her high school sweetheart, for 15 years.
“After several years living in Atlanta to pursue jobs, we were able to move ‘home’ to Auburn almost seven years ago,” Amy wrote. “It’s the best decision we ever made! I work for a global professional services company and am based out of our Atlanta office, but primarily work from my home office. Most importantly, we have two amazing kids—our son Harrison (9) and daughter Madden (3).”
The inspirational Amy took her first class at PBA on January 11, 2016 (yes, she remembers the date), and has taken photos to track her progress.
“I was so excited to reach the 100-class milestone in May—and
can’t wait to hit 250!” Amy wrote. “It’s been such a positive life change for me and I love feeling stronger. I look back at pictures from the first class in January and am so thankful to see how far I’ve come with the guidance and support from Pure Barre!
“I know I’m so much healthier and I definitely feel that leads to being happier. I’m happy to be working toward my ‘after,’ but in the meantime, I’m enjoying the journey and seeing the encouraging changes.”
As a busy working mom, Amy noticed her health and fitness had taken a back seat. She had convinced herself that she just didn’t have the tim
e for a structured fitness class with a “list of excuses a mile long.”
Some of her work colleagues convinced her otherwise.
“After traveling for a work trip in January, I spent time talking with colleagues about fitness and how to squeeze it all in,” she wrote. “Many of us wanted to work on health and fitness in the coming year, and I knew it would be great timing to tackle that with their encouragement (and support from family and friends!). I somehow got the idea of Pure Barre in my head.
“I remember getting an email from a friend years ago when they opened, but thought I could never make it work. I started reading about Pure Barre, became really intrigued, and wondered if it could be something I’d enjoy—and see results.”
Amy’s favorite parts of class are weight work (“Who knew those small weights could feel so heavy at the end?”) and seat work.
“It’s always very satisfying when I can make those seat muscles shake!” she wrote. “I’m definitely a perfectionist/overachiever, so I love being up front where I can really see the instructors and listen to the cues (#purebarrenerd)! They do such a great job demonstrating and giving you tips on what you should be feeling, how to make adjustments, and how to make it more challenging.”
When she’s not kicking seat, Amy enjoys baking, photography, making over furniture and, of course, Auburn football.
“I still can’t believe I signed up for a class and marched right in that day on January 11, but for whatever reason, I did,” she wrote. “Once I got into class, I was terrified and wondered what I’d gotten myself into (telling myself that after I was done, I could just slip out and they’d never really notice if I came back again or not!). Everyone was so incredibly welcoming and encouraging, and definitely helped ease the jitters. I kept up as best as I could and the time went by faster than I thought it would! It was so challenging (especially ab work, thanks to the ‘mommy tummy’), but exhilarating at the same time. After class, I remember Sara and several others telling me how it would become addicting before long. I didn’t know if that would be the case for me, but after a few classes and feeling that good soreness of worked muscles, I was hooked!
“Six months later, I continue to be challenged and love doing something entirely different each day,” Amy continued. “Even though I can do so much more than I could on that first day, there are always ways to increase the challenge. I love that! Not to mention, the class takes so much more mental energy than I thought. I’m so busy listening for set ups, changes, and tips. There’s no time for my mind to wander and start stressing about work, my to-do list, or the ever-present question, ‘what in the world am I making for dinner?’ I love the cleared mind you have after class and feel it makes me so much more productive in my day. I also swear by the app and the accountability I feel when signing up for classes! That has been a huge game changer for me and has forced me
to schedule in time to improve my health (and commit to it!).”
For Amy, Pure Barre has become more than a 55-minute workout.
“I started Pure Barre with an intention just to get in and out of class,” she said. “I never expected to love not only the workout itself, but meeting and talking with the fabulous people there! The amazing community is such an unexpected bonus.”
Studio Style: Vimmia
For us at PBA, there are a few simple pleasures in life. Half-price margaritas; finding two sticky socks that match on the first try; an entire room full of puppies.
The pinnacle of simple pleasures? Leggings that fit like a glove without hugging at the hips or, the literal worst, magically disappearing in the rear with a bend of the waist.
Make those leggings reversible, and we’ll love you forever.
Enter Vimmia, a brand-new line at PBA. The California-based (apparel designed and made in lovely L.A.) company has just landed in Auburn, and we are loving their bright colors and soft fabrics. With a flattering fit and durable build, these pieces are made for even the sweatiest of Pure Barre Platform classes.
Even better, Vimmia donates $1 from the proceeds of each legging to Maria Shriver’s The Women’s Alzheimer’s Challenge. The nonprofit benefits organizations whose research specifically targets Alzheimer’s in women, and 100 percent of the money raised funds research initiatives focused on gender and Alzheimer’s.
Look good. Feel good. Do good.
And with leggings that are truly reversible (check out those yellow and green beauties by the front door) you’ll even get away with wearing the same pair twice. Let’s not forget the brand is leading the way in some serious legging science – their Vimmia X style promotes better thermoregulation, which increases comfort and has even been shown to reduce the appearance of cellulite. Need we say more?
Moving on from leggings (although how could we ever? #Leggings2016), Vimmia’s tops are perfect for the studio and beyond. Fun, bright tanks will add a pop of color to your daily l.t.b., and the line’s super-soft tees and thick-strapped tanks make transitioning from barre to (dare we say it?) bar a breeze.
It’s no secret we’re obsessed with style but too stubborn to sacrifice comfort for the sake of a killer outfit. Thank goodness we don’t have to at PBA. Sure, we’ll pulse until our legs shake or double-time until we can’t feel our seats. But we’ll look darn good doing it.
Nancy’s no-bake chocolate peanut butter flaxseed bites
From the kitchen of Ashley Caldwell
It’s a struggle as old as time. Since the fall of Adam and Eve, man has had to choose between sweet (and, let’s be real, delicious) and good for you.
There have been times where we’ve all daydreamed of donuts during step-kicks or used the promise of chocolate cake to power through plank. It’s called balance.
But there are also times, more often than not, when we don’t want to undo 55 minutes of seat-kicking for a single bite of bread pudding.
Good thing for us, the infallible Nancy Bynon passed along her recipe for a sweet and healthy protein treat to our fearless leader, Ashley. Chocolate peanut butter flaxseed bites — no baking (or compromise) required.
Start with a 1/2 cup of crunchy peanut butter and 1/4 cup of honey. Mix with one teaspoon of vanilla extract and a cup of old-fashioned oats, like Bob’s Red Mill extra-thick oats. Add in three tablespoons of flaxseed and a 1/2 cup of 60% cacao Ghiradelli chocolate chips, plus a 1/2 cup of coconut if desired. Combine all ingredients in a bowl, and mix well. Press the mixture into a lightly greased and foil-lined 8×8 pan. Refrigerate for at least four hours, then enjoy!
Ash’s tip — make small bites, portion out and keep in the fridge for a grab-and-go protein boost!
What’s your favorite healthy treat? Share the recipe with us on Facebook or Instagram!
Feature Friday: Katie
Get excited for a new name on the PBA July class schedule! We are so proud to welcome Katie to the Pure Barre Auburn team as our newest instructor.
An 8:15 regular, Katie has been l.t.b.-ing since she moved to the Plains from Colorado last August. She was born and raised in Loveland, Colorado (not the ski resort, the town, she clarified) and graduated from Colorado State University with a B.S. in Biological Sciences.
“I am currently consulting for a biotech company working from home. And a Pure Barre instructor!!!!” Katie wrote. “I am the very proud mother of two. Maggie is 12 and Henry is 7. They are AMAZING!!!! And I have a pretty great husband. Aaron spent 13 years living in Colorado with me and my crazy family. So now it’s my turn to live here in the wonderful state of Alabama with his.”
After moving to Auburn, the former dancer was debating looking into adult ballet classes when she discovered Pure Barre.
“I Googled ‘Pure Barre,’ and was simultaneously drawn to and terrified of this new workout,” Katie remembered. “The first class was interesting and I’m pretty sure I didn’t do a single move correctly, but I was hooked. The high energy of class, the great attitude of the clients and instructors and the results I was getting kept me coming back for more.”
Her favorite part of class? The push-up section of warm-up.
“Once I get to push-ups, the planks are over and I figure if I can get through 90 seconds of planks then I can get through everything else,” she wrote.
“I LOVE Pure Barre, so for some reason being a PB teacher seemed like the next step in my PB journey,” Katie continued. “I’m the most excited to get to know all of PBA’s great clients and helping thing pretty much anything on Bravo.em get the most out of their workouts. I know how hard it is to carve out 55 minutes for yourself, but I also know how important it is. I’m honored to be a part of that.”
When she’s not at the barre, Katie enjoys running, hanging with her family, serving at church and watch
I also enjoy dancing in public just to embarrass my 12 year old,” Katie added. “She hates it.”
Feature Friday: Emma Jane
The mother of two with one on the way, Emma Jane is a 6 a.m. superstar. She’s also the very proud owner of a pair of yellow “Baby on Board” sticky socks, although mum’s the word on what baby number three will be when he or she makes an appearance in early October.
Emma and husband Jim grew up in Auburn but moved away for a stint overseas living in Rome, Italy.
“After two years away we moved back to the Loveliest Village, and now we couldn’t imagine raising our kids anywhere else,” Emma wrote.
Now, Emma travels locally and regionally for Emma Jane Designs, a handmade jewelry line that features colorful stones and sweet designs sold across the U.S. and online (check out her website here, or stop by the boutiques in Downtown Auburn to see her work in person).
After more than a year and nearly 200 classes lifting, toning and burning at PBA, usually at 6 a.m., Emma says she can’t imagine starting her day any other way.
“I wanted to try Pure Barre because I was desperately looking for some ‘me’ time and wanted to tone up and gain strength after having two kids,” she wrote.
“After my first class I was seriously hooked. Not only was I getting some time just for me, I was getting amazing results. After about a month of consistently taking classes I could not only feel a difference, but I could see it too! I wasn’t bulking up like I had with other classes I had tried, but I was building lean muscles and strength. I also had more energy and more patience with my sweet kids.”
She added her favorite parts of class are warmup, arms and ab work. Her favorite spot? Right at the front barre.
When she’s not kicking seat or making jewelry, Emma can be found in the kitchen.
“I love to cook healthy recipes for my family,” with the occasional sweet treat mixed in,” she wrote. “And, while the weather is nice, you can find us playing outside or hanging out at the pool!”
We love starting our day with your smile, Emma, and just can’t wait to meet your newest addition!
Client spotlight: Catherine
If you’ve ever been daring enough to try your hand at a 6 a.m. Pure Barre class, you’ve probably spotted Catherine toward the center of the front barre. Petite and never without a warm smile, Catherine is a Pure Barre (and Platform) powerhouse. She’s also the first and only member of Pure Barre Auburn’s 1,000 Tuck Club!
Though she settled here in 2008, the Troutman, North Carolina, native attended Auburn University for her undergraduate studies after just one visit to the Plains.
“Although I did not know a soul when I moved to Auburn, I instantly knew this place was special as I quickly made some of my best friends for life and could not get enough of the Auburn pride and culture,” Catherine wrote. “After two years at Auburn, I made the heart-wrenching decision to leave Auburn (and all of my social comforts) to pursue a career in Pharmacy at The University of North Carolina (Go Heels!).”
After graduating, Catherine moved to Charlotte, North Carolina, to start her career. She regularly returned to Auburn for football games at Jordan-Hare Stadium to cheer on the Tigers with friends.
“In Fall 2007, I was set up on a blind date with my future husband, Bill, to go to an AU football game, had a whirlwind romance and engagement, and ended up settling down in the area in Fall 2008,” Catherine said. “Life definitely felt like it had come full-circle after making the difficult decision to leave Auburn six years earlier.”
She has been teaching at Auburn University’s Harrison School of Pharmacy since 2009 “and feel like I am living the dream,” Catherine wrote.
Catherine and Bill are parents to 4-year-old Charlotte, who l.t.b.’d with Catherine for more than two trimesters.
“I took my first class when I was 6 weeks pregnant with my sweet, passionate and spunky daughter, Charlotte,” Catherine wrote. “I am convinced that PB must be ingrained into her DNA in some capacity as she loves to dance and listen to high energy music. Also, she would naturally settle in ‘pretzel position’ soon after learning to sit upright, and some of her favorite toys to play with as an infant were my red PB ball and double tubes.”
Bill has also joined in on the fun, even donning Catherine’s Beyond Yoga leggings from her pregnancy (“with shorts over-top, mind you!”)
“He had the utmost respect for my workout after our ‘Bring on the Men’ date; I can’t wait to bring him to a platform class…hehe ;),” Catherine wrote.
She took class up until the day before Charlotte was born in May 2012.
“I was so intimidated to try my first class, but was craving an exercise routine that was fun, condensing and comparable to all the different forms of exercise I enjoyed (yoga, pilates, weight-lifting, cardio, etc.), and most importantly at the time, modifiable,” Catherine remembered. “I was amazed at the confidence, strength and passion for fitness that I developed over the course of my pregnancy.”
She even signed up for Kelly’s class on her delivery date.
“(Kelly) knew I must have gone into labor because I cancelled out of her class in the wee hours of the morning,” Catherine quipped. “I remember thinking that labor was not nearly as challenging as the ‘final 10’ of any variation of lunge and attribute my ease of delivery and ‘bounce-back,’ to PB during pregnancy.”
Outside of the studio, Catherine is passing on her love of fitness to her ballerina daughter. Charlotte’s name is even on one of the studio’s Tuck Club barres.
“I continued to be amazed at the results and strength I gained post pregnancy and knew that I needed as an outlet while acclimating to motherhood,” she wrote. “I continue to be challenged and encouraged with each class after 4.5 years and love the way my daughter views exercise as mommy’s ‘treat.’ It is important to me that she sees exercise as a way to nourish and care for her body, while also having a ton of fun! Oh and last but certainly not least, I cannot say enough about the amazing staff, friendships developed, and encouragement received from my PB Family. I feel so blessed to have such a healthy addiction.”
Though Catherine raises the barre in every section of class, her favorite part is seat, which she said is also the most challenging.
“I love the way you have dig deep both mentally and physically to really work the largest muscles of your body,” she wrote. “Lunge, however is a position that I love/hate in a way that I can’t quite articulate into words (maybe best achieved by envisioning a red, scrunch-faced emoji cou
pled with a sheer excitement and praise-themed emoji, after both seats have been conquered!)”
In between kicking seat at PBA and sharing her passion and knowledge with future pharmacists, Catherine enjoys traveling, visiting family in North Carolina, reading, learning, and music and art of all flavors, “especially through the eyes of my daughter.”
Thank you for pushing us to be our best each class, Catherine! You are an inspiration in and out of the studio, and we are so thankful to have spent more than 1,000 classes tucking with you!
Client (turned teacher) spotlight: Maddox
This week, we’re excited to announce that one of our favorite clients, Maddox, has officially joined the Pure Barre Auburn team!
A recent graduate of Auburn High School, Maddox seriously cranked things up a notch to train to become a PBA teacher before heading to California for a summer adventure. She’ll be joining her sister, McKenzie, at Auburn University in the fall to study business, where she’ll learn the skills to help her reach her dream of being a Pure Barre owner.
Maddox was born in Nashville to two Auburn graduates and grew up in Northeast Alabama. She started l.t.bing at PBA with sister McKenzie and mom Rhonda 18 months ago.
“My initial membership was a Christmas gift from my dad, and I could see the results almost immediately,” Maddox wrote. “I enjoy the structure of the class and the instruction provided by the team at Pure Barre Auburn. It has reshaped my body, but it is also a major stress reliever…and good for the mind as well!”
Her favorite part of class is thighs, where she can set the standard for the rest of her 55 minutes.
“I love to push myself to really shake by setting goals and trying new challenges each class!” she wrote.
Outside of the studio, Maddox enjoys cooking. Great food is a passion of hers, “so it’s a good thing I love to work out at Pure Barre.”
Maddox will be back at PBA in August. Until then, she is serving at JH Ranch, a Christian camp in California where she has been a camper for the past few years. Now a member of the staff, Maddox is working in the kitchen and practicing her culinary skills on the campers.
“This is a great opportunity to serve, but I am also looking forward to returning to Pure Barre,” she wrote.
“In my new role as a teacher, I am most excited about delivering to others what the teachers have given me over the past 18 months…energy, instruction and encouragement. I want to help others gain confidence and push them to be the best they can be.”
Welcome to the PBA team, Maddox! We are so proud of your hard work, and we just can’t wait to tuck with you in August.
Client spotlight: Jackie
A 9:30 regular and fan of the back barre (center, to be precise), Jackie is approaching her two-year anniversary at Pure Barre Auburn. Just about anyone in the PBA morning crew can tell you about Jackie’s big smile, spot-on Facebook dog videos, and the lovely daughters she brings to the barre when they visit from out of town.
But did you know Jackie, with the help of Doc (a cat who exclusively drinks water from a glass on the coffee table), is an avid painter, as well as a retired teacher who also taught philosophy and theology at Xav
ier University and Wilmington College?
And don’t even get us started on her jalapeño quiche.
The (very) proud mother of three and grandmother of two, Jackie was born in Ohio and grew up in Greensboro, North Carolina. She lived all over the U.S. – including California, Iowa, Illinois and Georgia – before settling most recently in Sweet Home Alabama.
A lifelong fitness junkie, Jackie started running with her dad when she was 15 and has been devotedly exercising in some capacity ever since. When she moved to Auburn, a friend encouraged her to try a class at PBA.
Jackie will be the first to admit she was more than a little skeptical.
“I was most reluctant to try as I saw it as not at the level of workouts that I was doing five or six times a week with a trainer,” she wrote. “When I signed up and went to my first class, I seriously considered just leaving. Two and three-pound weights!!!! A bar, bands………this was definitely not going to be challenging. I was completely shocked by the end of class at just how it had challenged me in ways I had never before been challenged. I had found my workout place in Auburn!”
Nearly two years later, Jackie has taken more than 300 classes
at Pure Barre Auburn.
“I don’t really have a favorite (part of class). My least favorite is warm up. But my love of pb comes from the people,” she wrote. “The staff is truly amazing. My fellow pb’ers are all so special. I love going. I love the workout. I love the camaraderie.”
In her own all-caps, Jackie added:
“AND I LOVE THE FACT THAT EVERYONE IS YOUNGER THAN ME WHICH IS JUST FURTHER MOTIVATION. DON’T MIND BEING THE MOST SENIOR AT ALL!!!”
We absolutely adore you, Jackie.
Ever wonder what Pure Barre Auburn instructor you are? Take the quiz to find out!
A Man and His Platform
Had Pitbull been unfortunate enough to bear witness to my 55-minute session of squats, leg lifts and butt (ahem, seat) gyrations, fueled of course by one of his never-ending songs on a Pure Barre playlist, he would’ve quit the music business and stuck to selling Diet Dr. Pepper full-time. To say the Platform class was difficult is to say that the 2016 presidential candidates can be a tad bit controversial at times.
Sweat pouring down my face and in my eyes, with hip flexors feeling tighter than Splits 59 leggings, I shakily bowed my head as the class drew to a close. “Thank God,” I said silently to myself. I could not have lasted another minute.
Then, in just one soul-cleaving second, Ashley stated that we had finished the warm-up routine and needed to get ready for not one, not two, but three thigh sprints. On the right side.
“Hold on top of your platform. Grab towel, water, if you need.” Yeah, I’m going to need more than that. Anybody got an extra Rascal scooter? Shaq, where you at with that Icy-Hot?
That was the first of several gut-wrenching Platform moments in which I was sure that we were done, sure that we could not possibly lift our butts or pulse-pulse squeeze (double time of course) any more. Even when class was over (this time for real) and I was getting my picture with the group, I still found myself looking around and eyeing Ashley suspiciously. At any second, was I going to hear Lil Jon yell out in the affirmative and be thrust back into a triple-time series of tuck-lift, tuck-hold, tuck-freeze, PULSE PULSE PULSE PULSE PULSE?
Fortunately, no. I gingerly put my shoes back on and walked crookedly to my truck. I was a sidewinder, anthropomorphized. Of course, snakes don’t have hips that can cramp up during Pure Barre, so I would have gladly exchanged places with an actual sidewinder. I was so tired and crampy by the end of class, my legs and appendages that weren’t even involved in the movements and exercises were hurting.
Let me, for the sake of clarity, reiterate my thesis: that Platform class kicked my seat. In places of my seat I didn’t know existed until Saturday morning when I got out of bed. All day I’ve been like “why are my scapulae on fire?” “Why are my abdominals so stiff?” “Why is there blood coming out of my eyes?” The answer to all of the above, of course, is Platform. Forget Crossfit. Forget kickboxing. Forget going to Moe’s BBQ and doing 12-oz curls on 25-cent Natty night. If I could make some kind of Faustian bargain, and be good at platform while keeping it high and tight for days, I totally would. Alas, I’m fairly certain even Lucifer himself couldn’t make me any good at platform, although he does know a thing or two about turning someone into a snake.
Guest blogger John Michael Falligant, Auburn Ph.D. student
Pure Barre Family
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From Pure Barre Olive Branch, MS