I was super pumped with Pure Barre Old Town opening in November, not only was I trying to incorporate more strength in my workout regime but the studio is less then a block away from my house. No excuses for me to skip out on a lift, tone and burn workout! Not sure what the barre workout is all about? I snagged an interview with Pure Barre Old Town Owner Rachel True - she'll tell you a little more about the technique!

Pure Barre Old Town Rachel True . Photo by Kate Frankenberg. OFF THE GRID ChicagoTell me a little bit about what inspired you to open Pure Barre Old Town.

 I used to work in finance, and while I always found it interesting and challenging, there was something missing for me - I didn't love it.  What I truly loved (and still do) is sports, nutrition and fitness, a theme that has stuck with me for my entire life.  When you love something for that long, it starts to become harder and harder to ignore.  Eventually, I decided I wanted to spend more time doing what I love, and to share that love with others. I found Pure Barre in 2010 while temporarily living in Ann Arbor while my husband pursued his MBA at Michigan, and I almost immediately knew that bringing Pure Barre to my neighborhood of Old Town was what I had to do.

Aside from being incredibly effective incredibly quickly, it was the inclusive and motivating nature of Pure Barre that truly hit home for  me. I love the atmosphere of a Pure Barre studio - it is warm and welcoming, a place where one can truly escape from their outside world for an hour and get not only an amazing workout, but some mental clarity as well.

Pure Barre Mats Lowres. Photo by Kate Frankenberg. The classes are so challenging you really can't help but melt your day away as you take class, and focus only on yourself, which I think is very important. At the same time, though the classes are extremely challenging, because they are non-impact and because we can modify most positions, I love that anyone can take a Pure Barre class - no matter age, shape, size, or injuries.  It's all about you, and pushing yourself, and leaving everything else outside. Ultimately, I wanted to share this with others and to help make a healthy impact on the lives of our clients.  My goal is to help our clients look, feel, and be their best.

What should a new student expect from their first class?

Pure Barre Old Town Sign Outside lowres. Photo by Kate Frankenberg.Pure Barre is a very challenging and effective technique.  New clients should expect a warm and welcoming, yet motivating atmosphere.  During the class, you work different muscle groups to fatigue using the body's own resistance, and then you stretch everything out immediately afterwards.  The impact of this is to help reshape the muscles to be long and lean, and to increase flexibility.  Clients who come at least 3 times a week can expect to see a difference in their bodies in just 10 classes.  However, I do also like to point out that the Pure Barre technique is just that - a technique.  There is certainly a learning curve, and as such new clients should also plan to do the best they can in the first class and not do every single thing perfectly, or be able to stay in position the entire time.  Our teachers are always walking around the room helping with form, but it does take a few classes to get the swing of things.  That's one of the reasons we have the new client special ($99 for a month of unlimited classes)  - it's to help new clients really be able to give Pure Barre a try, as it is hard to get a full appreciation for Pure Barre from trying just one class.

What are some of the benefits of the Pure Barre work out over another form?

Pure Barre Store lowres. Photo by Kate Frankenberg. Pure Barre helps reshape the muscles to be long and lean, and increase flexibility.  It does all of this in a non-impact form of exercise, so there is no stress at all on your joints.  Because of this, it is safe and effective to do Pure Barre as often as you want to, and even if you have some injuries it enables you to still be able to exercise.  In addition, it is an absolutely great complimentary exercise for all different kind of athletes, especially runners and triathletes, as it allows one to build strength without putting pressure on the knees and ankles.  It also really helps with flexibility, which can help with a person's overall healthiness.  While I won't promise this for everyone, I can tell you that never in my life had I been able to do a split before doing Pure Barre.  After a few months of classes, I was able to do one - for the first time - at the age of 30.

I hear you have a new addition to the Pure Barre family! When was the little one born?

Thanks for asking!  Alexandra (Lexa) Charlotte True was born on Valentine's Day!  So, I guess she gets to be our little "True love."  We feel so blessed. She is happy and healthy and so much fun.  While I will admit at times being a mommy can be really hard, it has also been the most amazing experience.  I am so in love and so happy!

There you have it! I highly encourage you to stop in Pure Barre Old Town and give it a try!


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