Where: Pure Barre, 78 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY
At Least I Am Starting to Get What 'Tuck' Means
I kind of feel like a high school bully beating up on a smaller kid, as I keep posting mediocre reviews of the Pure Barre space and instructor roster, but deep in my heart I think I keep hoping that I will discover someone wonderful there that will redeem my experience (and make the five-pack I bought worth it). Meaghan, though sweet, wasn’t that gal.
[Review Meaghan's class yourself, or check out her RateYourBurn profile.]
- Seemed like a super nice person. I feel like an a-hole giving Meghan a crummy review because she was so nice, but the class was just so eh, I would have been pissed if I’d paid full price for it.
- Delivered a standard Pure Barre start. None of the instructors I have taken at Pure Barre thus far has introduced themselves around the room, asked about injuries, or given any kind of personal touch to the start of her class. It's just ready, set, go, and class begins. The classes are large, but so are some of the classes at the other barre studios, and I have managed to chat with dozens of their instructors before class, even if it was only a few words. That wasn't the case here.
- Had the voice. I feel like Pure Barre has been recruiting their instructors from a school for newscasters because all of them do this odd announcer-y voice thing when they teach. Meghan didn’t morph into a phone sex operator like Alyssa Bothman did, but she definitely sounded like she was announcing the winning lotto numbers to us instead of instructing us to “tuck.”
- On the personal corrections. Meghan did come around and do some correcting, but this consisted of touching me on some part of my body without saying what exactly she wanted me to do. So she would touch my back, and I wouldn’t know if I was supposed to be standing up straighter or leaning more forward because there was no accompanying vocal direction.
On the class
- The easiest barre class I have ever taken. And this is saying a lot because normally I find barre to be challenging no matter what (the fact that a lot of the practice has to do with lifting and supporting your own body weight makes it a challenge for me, as I’m pretty tall and proportioned appropriately). This class was so unchallenging that I was able to re-wear my entire workout outfit to Pilates the next day. I had sweat on it so little I couldn’t justify putting it in the wash (and I was wearing a pair of light-colored pants that normally show every single drop of moisture to the point of grossness).
- Started off on the right foot (figuratively speaking). Pure Barre has a standard warmup routine that all the instructors seem to use, and it involves planks, so it was challenging enough. I was hopeful that this would be the first Pure Barre class that I would really like.
- Props. We did a lot of work with double loop resistance bands, and I have used a similar prop in Michelle Mason’s Uplift class and in some classes at Exceed Fitness, so I know how hard it can be to pulse your legs when you have a band around them pushing them together, but either the resistance was too low or the motions just weren’t stretching them enough because this just didn’t make a single one of my muscles burn.
- Floor work.
• Dragging our feet (this time, sorta literally). At one point, we were sitting on the floor with the mats ¾ of the way up the wall, and I thought, “Oh I know what's coming, it's that tough exercise where you lift your legs up off the floor and drag them back and forth on the carpet.” Um, kiiiiinda. Except we lifted only one foot at a time for roughly 2 seconds, and the dragging of the feet was so minute I barely felt it.
• Tensing our stomachs. At another point while sitting on the floor, I felt like I was doing Kegel exercises. I’m pretty sure I could have just gone home after work, put on my spandex, sat on the floor, and tensed my vadge for 6 minutes, and I would have accomplished the same thing (and been able to watch TV at the same time).
I think I have kind of figured out what the “tuck” is that the Pure Barre instructors keep referring to. It's basically a tiny pelvic thrust, or tensing of the butt, waist, and abdomen—which took me only three classes to figure out because no one ever explains a thing at this place.
I don’t mean to be a jerk, but there are so many fitness classes to take in NYC I just can’t see my way clear to wasting an hour sitting on the floor and not sweating a drop.
Read more about Pure Barre at www.purebarre.com.