Pure Barre DC – Oiselle Style

On Sunday, I tried out my first Pure Barre class in D.C. Thanks to several teammates who go their regularly, the Eastern Market studio hosted a group of DC birds for a free trial class. Photos are courtesy of Courtney over at Eat Pray Run DC.

I have to say I was a bit skeptical, but that’s only because I would rather just run all day everyday than have to cross train. It’s also a bit on the pricey side for me when I know I can do a lot of strength workouts out of my own home or at the gym I already pay a monthly fee for. Whether or not I actually do those strength workouts on my own is another story. 🙂

Our instructor Sydney was fantastic. You could tell she’s very experienced and did a really great job of keeping the class flowing while simultaneously stopping to help us newbies – something that is not easy to do. She also made the class fly by. I looked down at my watch at one point thinking maybe we were halfway through and we only had 10 minutes left to go.

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Another pro – I loved that it was set to a playlist. I don’t run with music much anymore unless I hit the treadmill, and forgot how fun it is to work out to tunes.

I honestly thought the strength component would be tougher. I’m not saying it was easy (it was not) – just that I thought it would be torturous. Reading things like this guy’s hilarious recap of attending Pure Barre with his fiancee made me expect the worst! Maybe I am just getting better at those strength workouts on my own …and those near daily P90X core sessions and push ups are having more of an impact than I realized!

I wish I had grabbed at least the 3 pound weights. You have a choice between 2, 3 or 5 for arm workouts and being overly cautious I grabbed the 2-pounders and did not get as much as I could have out of the arm sections.

The leg stuff was great and a few of those squats on your tiptoes while squeezing a ball between your thighs (there is probably an actual name for these) had my legs shaking pretty good. Still, I thought it was all very doable and having run a half marathon that morning had expected this to hurt a lot more. I was pretty proud I didn’t collapse mid-class! Adding pistol squats and single leg lunges back into my routine about a month ago definitely helped me out on these ones. We also did some hip opening and strengthening exercises I struggled a bit on that has to be helpful for runners doing this on a regular basis knowing how common hip tightness can be for us.

The stretching – now this was a whole other story and every bit as tough as I expected and then some for this not-at-all flexible runner. I nearly burst out laughing at a couple of the things we were expected to do – then realized as others in the group started to do them with no problem that this was no joke! Nose-to-knees? Ha, I can’t even touch my toes, so that is just not happening. From one position we were told to reach back and grab our foot if we could. I’m pretty sure my foot was in another zip code. My favorite was when the instructor raised her arms over her head and pulled back as far as she could then asked us to do the same – the only way my arms could find that position would be to start them behind my back and pull them up!!

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While Pure Barre may not be entirely my style of workout it was definitely a cool experience. The stretching clearly made an immediate impact as I was way less sore on Monday than I was just two weeks ago after the RNR DC half. So much of it is also great for runners, so I can see why so many like it. I don’t think I’d make it a regular thing, but could certainly see myself dropping in for a class here and there. If you’ve never tried it, I’d certainly recommend giving it a go!

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Footprints: Monday Morning Recap

Once again I’ve been MIA for awhile, but I’ve been busy with lots of good things happening. This week started off awful with no runs Monday through Wednesday, but then I had a strong end of the week, so I’ll focus on that for the recap!

Here’s the day-by-day breakdown:

Thursday: I taught morning boot camp then got in my P90X core workout. After work I put in just under 4 relatively quick, but still felt easy miles along Four Mile Run & W&OD trails. I was motivated for this run thanks to the arrival of my new Oiselle tool belt roga shorts and wazelle halter tank – the near 70 degree temps didn’t hurt either!

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Friday: I put in a speedy out and back negative split run along the W&OD for 4 miles.

Saturday: I was up early and all bundled for a very easy nearly 4 mile shake out run along Four Mile Run & W&OD. After 70 degrees two days earlier, a feels like of 22 felt awful!

Sunday: I ran the B&A Trail Half Marathon up in Annapolis and had a pretty good race – more to come soon. I also got in my P90X core routine and a Pure Barre class with my fellow DC Oiselle teammates in the afternoon. Pretty good day for working out!

Footprints: Monday Morning Recap

I had some really good days and some really lazy days last week. The nice thing is, I’m not training for anything so I’m okay with that. I really enjoyed the workouts I got in and I took it easy when I was tired.

Here’s the day-by-day breakdown:

Monday: P90X abs and push-ups.

Tuesday: Rest Day.

Wednesday: Today was a busy one. I was up right away when my 5:30 alarm went off and got in my P90X ab ripper workout before heading into D.C. for my second week with the November Project. We ran the steps of the Lincoln Memorial mostly nonstop with quick “breaks” where you found your group of four and did five push-ups and five burpees. I book-ended the day with another tough workout doing a late evening Barre Ride at Revolve DC.

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Thursday: Rest Day.

Friday: Rest Day.

Saturday: I started my weekend off right with a tough one-hour Body Ride up at Revolve. This class was awesome and seriously kicked my butt. My arms were shaky all day from the weight portion!

Sunday: I was up early, but ended up spending a lazy morning on the couch before running errands making Sunday another rest day.

Barre Ride

It’s felt great hitting the spin studio a ton this month, and Sunday I finally tried out my first Barre Ride class up at Revolve in Clarendon. What an awesome combination of cardio and strength in an hour workout. I put in a fast-paced 4 miler right before heading up to the studio, so my legs were already feeling it a little, but they were full-on shaking by the end of class.

It started out like one of their usual rides. We did 36 minutes of heart-pumping riding and using the weights for an upper body workout before hopping off the bikes and ditching our bike shoes. We started out with calf raises and then stood in different ballet positions – first and second position – doing squats and pulses while holding onto the bikes for balance. We did more of these going into a plié, while up on the balls of our feet in relevé. (For any ballet dancers out there I’m likely using these terms wrong, but I’m trying!)

The toughest portion for me came when we were up on the balls of our feet, went down to a 90 degree chair position, pulsed further down before coming back to chair position, and stood all the way up before starting again. I was seriously trembling by the end. We wrapped up with a few more exercises before ending class with some stretches. I can’t even remember them all now, but my sore muscles over the past couple days have reminded me what we worked on!

If you’re looking to get in some intense cardio and strength in one workout I highly recommend the barre ride. It was great!