Pure Barre: The newest fitness craze in Detroit

We took a class to see if this fad really was fab for abs


One of the most popular ways to get "beach body" fit was invented by a dancer, Carrie Rezabek Dorr, from Birmingham, Michigan. The unique exercise style grew in popularity and now has locations all over the country. It's called "Pure Barre", and it uses a ballet bar to give you a total body workout. To see if it was effective we tested it ourselves.

1d4 reporter Lauren Yousif and I tried the Pure Barre experience. It was fun, it was exciting, and it was intense. It should also be noted that Lauren took the entire class while I only did one exercise.

I am sore from posing for this single picture.

A Pure Barre class definitely shows it's Pilates roots. There was pulse pounding music, our instructor Renee called out exercises and issued corrections or encouragement as needed. Where it differs is the use of the ballet bar and some simple equipment to utterly exhaust specific muscle groups.

“It’s addicting, but it's a good addiction. The results will bring you back," said Renee, "Everybody loves the burn and the shake. While you’re in class you’re burning and shaking, and when class is done you just feel amazing.”

Our instructor wasn't reading a company line: Before becoming a teacher, she spent a long time as a student.

"I started this because when I visited a friend in New York I was surprised by how fit she had become. She said she had been doing [Pure Barre], so I started taking classes too."

Renee had been taking classes regularly when she was asked by her instructor to try teaching.

“[My teacher] knew I was interested in teaching but I kind of didn't have the guts to do it. And then she was like, 'Are you going to send me your resume or what?!' That’s how it all started.”

Renee will be teaching at the Detroit club that is opening on June 16. For now, she used the location in Troy to whip us into shape. Lauren was our daring participant.

"For me, I can't just go to the gym and do something," Lauren said, "I need someone there to motivate me."

Renee motivating Lauren, who is braver than me.

The class was attended by people of all ages and levels of physical fitness, and is designed to get everyone healthier. I found the students to be extremely encouraging of each other, an attitude that comes from the top down. Renee corrected form where necessary, but was also quick to praise students who were doing well.

Pure Barre is definitely a different way to get fit. Even its lobby, which is set up like a boutique sports clothing store, feels more fun and trendy than the you might expect from an exercise experience.

For those interested in attending classes, head to PureBarre.com to check them out! They are opening their Detroit location on June 16, with a grand opening party July 12. Details available online.

Jake Draugelis and Lauren Yousif are currently midway through a training montage, but they also write for 1d4 every day! Also check out 1d4 on Facebook and Twitter.