It’s In Demand!
Pure Barre joins the online fitness class craze
For some, getting to a regular fitness class is nearly impossible. Whether you pull long hours at the office, have a crazy commute, travel a ton for work or are a stay-at-home parent with your hands full of diaper changes and nap times, fitting in your favorite workout is often a no-go. The good news for all is that fitness studios across the U.S. are increasingly recognizing the need to offer options beyond their brick and mortar locations, creating on-demand platforms for customers to access their favorite workouts online or on mobile devices, on their own schedules.
“It’s all about convenience. With increasingly busy schedules, convenience is becoming more of a deciding factor for folks seeking new fitness routines. People are either strapped for time, or are looking for something that fits their schedule,” says Julia Barclay, director of strategy for Pure Barre, which has nine Atlanta locations including Virginia-Highland, Inman Park and West Midtown.
Pure Barre is one of the first local studios to extend an on-demand option. A barre-fiend myself, I tried it out to see how it compares to its neighborhood studio:
What’s a barre class without a barre? Turns out, the back of a chair or couch will do. And the weights, balls and bands some classes use as props can be subbed with a water bottle, throw pillow and towel, respectively. Easy enough. I also used a yoga mat for padding on my wood floors for floor work like leg lifts, planks and crunches.
A subscription gives you access to more than 30 hours of classes of varying lengths, from 5- to 60-minute workouts, mostly based on Pure Barre Classic, the studio’s signature class. Other in-studio options, such as Platform and the new Pure Empower, are not yet offered online. However, Barclay says a new class is being added each week, including more specialty classes, so there should be a wider selection soon. I tried to ignore the tempting quickies (great if you are in a time crunch) to focus on the videos that would mimic my “normal” 45- to 60-minute class routine.
What I found was that a Pure Barre class is totally doable at home. I didn’t need much space since the movements are quite contained, and it’s simple to follow along. I felt slightly less motivated to push myself as far as I normally would under an instructor’s watchful eye but gained the same sense of accomplishment, but without driving anywhere. The only real “con” with the On Demand platform compared to in-studio was the lackluster techno music. Typically, the music is one of the things I love most about Pure Barre classes—the killer playlists rock! Still, for only $29.99 per month (with a free first trial week), it’s a deal for being able to tighten up that tush and tummy, no matter when and from wherever you want.
The popular fitness app ClassPass, which offers Atlanta members access to a range of classes in the city, recently started featuring complimentary videos for subscribers that don’t count towards class or studio limits. Watch and partake in more than 100 workouts of different lengths across categories, such as yoga, HIIT, dance and strength training, from your mobile device or computer. classpass.com
STORY: Karina Antenucci