Best Views in Old Town
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Pure Barre opened a new studio in Old Town in November. To get the 411 on this particular type of fitness, we chatted with the studio’s owner Rachel True. Read on to learn the benefits of being a barre devotee, what other types of exercise to mix in with the practice, and which leggings are perfect for pregnant women.
Tell us a bit about your personal Pure Barre adventure. What got you started, what got you hooked, and what inspired you to open your own studio?
Growing up, I was obsessed with gymnastics, doing it from the ages of three to twelve. At twelve my love expanded to sports in general. In addition to playing numerous team and individual sports, I also taught swimming and water skiing until I graduated from Emory University in 2003 and had to get a “real job.” I started working in finance after I graduated, first in New York and then in Chicago, and also earned my CFA charter during the time. While I found finance to be an interesting and challenging career, my love of sports, fitness and nutrition always stuck with me. Eventually, I decided I wanted to truly love what I do, share my love of fitness, and do something where I could help my community become healthier. It was in 2010 when I moved with my now husband to Ann Arbor, Michigan so he could pursue his MBA that a friend brought me to Pure Barre for the first time. After my first class, I was a bit overwhelmed and wondered what had just happened to me. After my third class I fell in love with the challenge and the burn, and after about two weeks I was amazed to start seeing and feeling changes in my body. So, it was after two weeks that I was completely hooked.
After realizing that there were no Pure Barre studios back in Chicago, it became obvious to me after some research that I wanted to switch careers and open a Pure Barre studio in my neighborhood of Old Town. Pure Barre is an amazing workout. It is incredibly effective, incredibly quickly—but there is so much more to it than that. I love the atmosphere of a Pure Barre studio. The studio is a warm and welcoming place, and I love the friendships I have made there. I also really value the mental clarity I gain from taking class. The classes are so challenging you can’t help but melt your day away as you take them, making it easy to focus on yourself and clear your head. The motivating music and the fast-paced class is fun despite how hard the work is, and I really believe everyone who leaves after class feels better for having come. Ultimately, I opened my own studio for all of these reasons and to help make a healthy impact on the lives of women and men in the community. My goal is to help our clients look, feel, and be their best in mind, body and spirit.
How many times would you recommend taking a barre class, and what are the best exercises to practice on non barre days?
Pure Barre is a non-impact workout, and is safe to do every day. However, I would certainly encourage our clients to mix up their exercise regimen. Ideally, someone would come to class three to four times per week to see, feel, and maintain maximum change in their body in terms of strength and flexibility. Regardless, everyone benefits from coming to class, even if it’s just once a week. While Pure Barre certainly gets your heart rate up, it is not cardio. As such, I would encourage people to maintain a cardio workout alongside Pure Barre. Running, walking and cycling are all great cardio exercises. I also love and continue to do yoga.
Pure Barre is a great exercise and compliment for anyone who practices high impact sports or fitness, such as runners or triathletes. Because Pure Barre works the entire body without putting stress on the joints already getting pounded through other sports, we are able to help our clients gain much needed strength and flexibility without extra strain. We consistently hear that we have helped runners with their strength and flexibility, and that overall Pure Barre has helped them become better runners with faster race times.