Pure Barre On Demand Workout Review

I’m a freelance writer. Which means sometimes I’m commuting to the city and sometimes I’m working at home. When I commute to the city, I spend 3.5 hours a day commuting. And when I work from home, I basically wake up, maybe walk the dog, and start working right away because I can. I never know what type of work situation I’ll be in, so a gym membership is dumb and so is committing to any kind of studio unless I only want to go on Saturdays. Also, my super-affordable, on-the-way-to-daycare bootcamp has moved and become a less-affordable F45 on the other side of town, so… I’ve been classless for a bit.

I needed a new home workout. Yes, I still like the Aaptive training app and my treadmill. But I was hungry for something new, and something that didn’t make me feel like a prisoner sweating alone in my basement. And I need to build strength and get results fast, so I researched on-demand barre classes.

Now, a good little blogger would re-do the research for you and post the costs of different on-demand barre classes here, but I threw away my notes over a month ago and I don’t feel like looking all that shit up again.

All you need to know is the best deal is Pure Barre on demand.

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What you need to know about Pure Barre On Demand:

  • $30/ month
  • Access classes on any device
  • A really good amount of classes in any length you could possibly want: 5 minute, 10-15 minute, 30-40 minute, 40-50 minute and full length 50-60 minute lengths
  • They add new classes all the time

And the classes are taught by a mix of instructors, so if you think one is annoying, you can avoid her. What you can’t avoid is stupid pretzel position, which is incredibly awkward and I really, really, really hate it. But they’re videos, so if you’re a lazy piece of shit like me, you can just say “nope” and skip to a less ridiculous part of the workout.

A lot of the classes are “live” which means recorded live in one of the Pure Barre studios. They look like they’re shot with a nest security cam, which is totally fine by me. I like how it feels like I’m in a real class. There are also more “workout video”-type professionally staged and shot workouts. There’s really a lot of content. It’s pretty great.

Here’s what the two kinds of classes look like:

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A “live” Pure Barre on demand class

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A “legacy DVD” Pure Barre class, available on demand.

 

 

About Barre

Not gonna lie. Barre sucks. It’s painful, awkward, and uncomfortable. And super hard. BUT, I’ve found that it is a really fast way to change your shape and get strong. And that’s what I need right now. I think of it more as physical therapy than a fun workout. Wow, that’s depressing, isn’t it? OK. It’s not that bad. It’s a CHALLENGE. Is that more positive? And I get to do different video every time (so far) so that makes it feel a little more special.

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All barre workouts are based on the same principles from The Lotte Burke Method: proper alignment, a large number of small movements done to failure, then you stretch that muscle group. “Failure” means your legs will not only burn, but they will literally quiver and shake, and that’s the goal. Yup. (“Shake to change” is the mantra in Barre Amped.) And all barre workouts use similar exercises and follow the same patterns (core, arms, legs, butt, abs).

 

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Look at my arm! A result! 

The vibe is a little different from brand to brand, and Pure Barre has the vibe that I like the best, but it’s up to you to see what you like. Pure Barre, for example is a little more casual/city and they work out to a beat. Dailey Method feels slightly more formal, closer to a ballet or yoga studio vibe.

They all have a little bit of equipment involved: light weights, a small inflatable ball, something to use as a “support” (barre substitute), sometimes tubing. Overall, I like doing barre at home better than in the studio because I don’t feel looked at, and most importantly, I don’t have to wear those stupid barre socks that lose their grip and become useless the first time you wash them. I hate working out in socks.

For home workouts you really only need the light weights. A ball is a bonus. I have a barre, which I ordered from Amazon, and it’s fine. But there are some moves where they hold on to the barre and lean back, and for that type of stuff you actually need a counter, so don’t feel like you have to buy a barre. But if you want one, this one’s the one I have. It’s pretty cool except you get a big box on your doorstep that says VITA VIBE. Oh hey neighbors! I promise it’s not a four-foot dildo! Link here, too: https://amzn.to/2qazoQ7

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Vita Vibe 4 foot portable barre

 

Oh, and Pure Barre sells apparel with a lot of good cuts (meaning: long, not skin-tight tanks). I would totally order some if they didn’t have Pure Barre logos on them.

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New fitness fashion brand: JoyLab by Target review

Target has been sniping successful brands and making their own versions for a few years now, but this spring they’ve really stepped on the gas in the fashion brand style-biting department…

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I get that they have to follow trends, but it’s a little blatant. And as a card maker who’s had one of her designs low-key copied by Paper Source and who has a few other maker friends who this has happened to…I can only imagine how these big, established brands feel about Target copying their whole entire vibe. Eeeeeesh. Not very cool. Anyway. Tabling the issues of brand-swiping and business ethics and moving back into FITNESS FASHION REVIEW LAND…

Target now has a fitness fashion brand called JoyLab that’s kind of like Outdoor Voices + all the other cute fit fashion brands rolled into one trendy package.

JOYLAB REVIEW

The quality is pretty good. Better than Target’s terrible Champion/ C9 stuff (so thin, so clingy, makes me so angry), but not as thick as “real” fitness brands. Then again, what do you want for under $35 per piece? Basically, if you have cellulite, you might be able to get away with their pants, depending on the color and how few fucks you give. But I only found one pair of pants that I felt OK in, and they have a distracting pattern.

But the bra tops are all really cute. They cover a lot of different trends in color, pattern, and cut. Mostly I noticed a lot of “long line” bras/ bra tops which means they go further down towards your waist and *some* people can wear them as tops with high-waisted leggings. ICYMI, this is my formula to find out if you are one of those people. (From my post about jog bra trends from a while back.)

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And JoyLab has a lot of cute jackets and sweatshirts. A few different takes on bombers (mesh, scuba, sweatshirt, etc.) and a lot of cute sweatshirts. But the sweatshirts are mostly pretty cropped, so I only tried on the (totally predictable for me) big baggy long one. I’d put pictures of the jackets and sweatshirts here, but the pictures online don’t even come close to doing them justice. You have to see them in person.

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT JOYLAB BY TARGET

  • Affordable. Pants $35. Bras $20.
  • You get more than what you pay for in the style dept.
  • You get about what you pay for in the quality department.
  • 900 times better than C9.
  • Check out their jackets.

Here are some JoyLab things I bought:

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Here are some other JoyLab things I tried on:

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Here are some other cute JoyLab things:

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And Imma just put this here…

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Stink like a girl / Vapor Fresh sports laundry detergent review.

 

#FitGirlProblem: The stinky jacket.

The stinky jacket is the jacket you wear to and from the gym, or put on after your workout before you take a shower. The stinky jacket could also be the layer you start your run in, but eventually peel off, about three minutes after you’ve sweat into it. I have 1.5 stinky jackets. I wear them because they’re my coolest, longest, best jackets. They make me feel like a superhero badass person. They’re the ones that made me say “really? over $100 for a hoodie?” when I bought them, but I reach for them every single day and they make me realize how absolutely unflattering and shitty the cheap ones are.

But I also hate wearing them as stinky jackets because they’re the kind of jacket/hoodie things that I like to wear in athleisure situations, too. (This is where the .5 comes in. One of my stinky jackets I very rarely use as a stinky jacket, mostly as a running around jacket, but all it takes is one time and…yeah. I think it’s probably a stinky jacket.) It would be nice if stinky jackets didn’t have to be stinky jackets only, and I didn’t feel like I had to buy yet ANOTHER expensive fancy hoodie jacket thingie for everyday use because the other one and a half fucking reek. And they do. They fucking reek. I don’t think other people can necessarily smell them, but I sure can. Because they get jammed up in the armpits after workouts when I’m wearing sleeveless tops, grinding stinky deodorant wax and weight training funk all up in that fabric…not their fault. They’re armpit thongs, basically. How could I expect them to not fucking reek?

And yes, of course I wash them. I wash them all the time. And yes I use my special detergents. But that’s not cutting it. Them shits still stink.

MEANWHILE, as I was pouting about my 1.5 stinky jackets and trying not to buy another expensive workout jacket…Vapor Fresh sent me a new sample of their detergent! So I thought I’d tackle two birds with one post.
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What’s this Vapor Fresh you speak of?

Vapor Fresh by Raw Athletics (rawathletics.com, vaporfresh.com) is a sports laundry detergent that says it has stain and odor lifting technology and is designed to clean sports apparel and everyday laundry. Perfect, because that’s how I roll. I wash everything together and just use my fancy delicate detergent for the whole lot. Which I shouldn’t. See my earlier post about washing your workout wear here.

FYI: liquid detergent = usually bad for stinky and/or sweat-wicking things. Why? Fragrances, dyes, softeners and brighteners can clog fabric, trap the stink, and jam the wicking fibers so they can’t wick anymore. (Read more about it in the drop-downs here.)

What’s good about Vapor Fresh Sports Laundry Detergent:

  • not liquid
  • fragrance and dye-free, hypoallergenic
  • eco-friendly, biodegradable
  • no harsh chemicals
  • uses cold water compatible surfactants (soapy sudsy things that break down oils)
  • a lot smaller than a box of Tide or a jug of Cheer or whatever
  • can be used with regular and HE washing machines
  • made in Illinois!

Did it make your stinky jackets not stink anymore?

No, and then yes.

First pass: no. They still stunk. Then I read the directions on the package of Vapor Fresh, and it said “for heavily soiled laundry, allow laundry to soak with detergent for at least 10 minutes prior to washing.” And the website says to do it for “at least 30 minutes (!)” So technically, I didn’t give the stuff a chance to do its job on those deodorant-filled stinky jacket armpits.

So I dug out my washing machine manual, learned that I have, of course, been using it incorrectly for years, and figured out which settings have extra long soak times. Alternatively, you could just pre-soak the items in question Woolite-style in the sink like this.

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Pre-soaking is a bit of a pain in the ass, but it’s worth it to save an expensive jacket from stinky jacket doom, right? Now we know.

DID IT WORK, THEN?

YES. They came out…NOT-STINKY JACKETS!

Shit. Now I don’t get to go buy a new fancy workout jacket. 😦

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VAPOR FRESH: THE VERDICT

I know that Vapor Fresh won’t harm the performance (wicking, stretching, compression) of my workout clothes, and I am happy to report that does remove B.O. when you follow the directions. Which you think would be, like, the definition of any laundry detergent’s job, but you tell me. How many of your workout shirt and jacket armpits can you stick your nose into? Go ahead. I’ll wait.

Available on Amazon , $22 for a 5lb tub, which is good for 36 regular/ 72 HE loads of laundry.

 

 

 

New Balance x J.Crew

J. Crew now has a workout wear line, in collaboration with New Balance.

  1. Because, of course.
  2. Because everybody else has one and they’re the only two brands left.
  3. Because NB makes retro 80s preppy runners that J.Crew does sell, so it’s actually a totally organic pairing.

Real talk?  J.Crew having a workout wear line is funny, and don’t think I’m not going to call their shit out for it. There has never been a single muscle on a single female model in all of J.Crew, and the preferred workout program of the waif prep schooler is anorexia/bulimia, not Crossfit or even barre. Maybe her mom went to a barre class once, but she joked the whole time about how she needed a martini to get through it. Yes, I know J.Crew is an aspirational brand that true East Coast Wasp folk with Old Money and Important Art don’t really shop, but I’m a middle class girl from the midwest, so that’s as far as my actual knowledge of/ignorant assumptions about true prep go.

Deep breath. Focus. OK. J.Crew x NB. Let’s seewhatchagot.

Highlights/ Actually Useful Sport Pieces

1. Seamless Hoodie 2. Softshell Jacket (Practical, cool, athleisureness.) 3. Perfect Tank Top (Love the thick stripe, perfectly sea-preppy.) 3. Performance Color Block Leggings (Get the blue and orange, not the blue and grey b/c they’ll chop you off and make you look thicker in the thigh.) 4. Polka Dot Running Short (So cute they look like PJs.)

And the Ehhhhhhh, not so much-es.

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1. Seamless Capri Leggings (pro: they’d be super comfortable. con: they come in three shades of hell no, super unflattering if you have any bumps and also they will show all of the butt sweat.) 2. Performance Capris in Color Block Polka Dot (Light grey? For the back panel? That’s not gonna work. For an-y-body.)

That’s it. I don’t have time to go through it all. Overall: it’s brand-appropriate in style, patterns and colorways. But none of it is anything you can’t find anywhere else. Conclusion: they’ve checked the obligatory “we have a fitness line now” box, it all makes sense for them, but it didn’t push anything, and it’s definitely not a “holy shit did you see what J.Crew did in fitness???” Which is kind of a shame because I think there’s a lot of potential there… I have ideas….call me Jenna. 😉

 

Striped Stretch Pant Fail

Striped Athleta Chaturangas

When they came out last year, I was like “Whaaaaa? Those are cyuuuute.” But I own at least 4 pairs of Chaturangas already, and sort of doubted horizontal stripes across my widest bits would be a good idea.

But I have seen them on different ladies with different body types, and they do kind of look cute on a lot of people, so I kept them in the back of my mind…

Then I was out negative-shopping last week (returning things) and saw a pair on the sale rack at Athleta, so I had to try them on.

If you were wondering if striped leggings are for you, (and you’ve got a booty) here’s your answer: 

NOPE.

Oh well. A few more notes on them:

FABRIC:  much less stretchy than the other chaturangas I have.

FIT: the cut and rise are the same.

Pretty-Sweaty on the Socials

Hello! Quick little update on the digital world of Pretty-Sweaty:

  1. The Instagram account for this blog is now officially @prettysweaty 
  2. Below are some posts from the last few months.
  3. There is a twitter account for this blog @prettysweaty1 so you can now get fitness and fitstyle-themed bitchings, rantings, and ravings in bitesize form.
  4. I still hate tech-fabric shirts, so don’t worry, there’s stability in the world.

 

Today’s WorkOutfit

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Admittedly, “work” today means worky work, like sitting on my ass at the computer work. Dressed like a dude in joggers, kicks, and a jacket. And 30 second hair. They have it so easy they don’t even know.

Joggers: Gapfit, Jacket: Mountain Hardware, Shoes: Toms, Tracker: Up2 by Jawbone

Can we talk about strappy bras? / The Sports Bra Report

2014 was all about the pants. (Patterns! Colors! Laces! Mesh!)

2015 and and 2016 so far: it’s all about the bras.

What are my thoughts on sports bra fashion? This is a very important question in the world today. Obviously. Let’s dive in.

I like a deep arm hole, so I appreciate a cute sports bra.

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But I’ve learned from experience that the bolder the bra design, the less you can wear it with.

I don’t really understand why every bra isn’t made for high impact, and have lining or padding. Who wants saggy nipply sacks showing through their shirt during sweat yoga? I don’t want to see that shit. This is not NatGeo. Get a real bra.

I instantly don’t like anyone who doesn’t wear a top over her sports bra, either. I mean, come on. You know exactly what you’re doing and it’s not powerful or cool. Save it for Instagram.

Long bras or bralettes or short tanks or whatever Taylor Swift wears are somehow OK, though. There’s probably a formula.

APPROPRIATE AB EXPOSURE =

YOUR PALM WIDTH minus IF YOU EAT CARBS divided by IF YOU HAVE ANY SHAME

or something like that.

But the big trend in sports bras right now is the super strappy bra. I’m sure it was inspired by the cage/harness bra trend, which I find edgy, but generally kind of unflattering.

Oh, and skanky. That shit is skanky as HEY-ull. But I think that’s why it’s appealing. Everybody wants to skank it up sometimes and that is your goddess given right (in the bedroom or near water, and only if you’re young enough, for fuck’s sake, please) so whatever. Go get it.

Right now, every athletic wear site has a strappy bra for its main image when you click on “sports bras.” Don’t believe me? Try it. I’ll wait.

There are wide straps and skinny straps and rib cage straps and holy shit is that a spider web? straps. And that’s all good and fine, but I’m not buying any of them.

  1.  Because it’s hard to style that shit. You always end up with too much going on.
  2.  Because it just looks hard to get into. ANGTFT
  3.  Thin-strapped bras dig into my neck and give me a headache, so mo’ straps mo’ problems?
  4.  In my old age, I’m realizing how quickly things become dated. And I’d rather drop $65 on a super supportive black thing that I can wear until it falls apart than a cute strappy thing that’s only going to be on trend for a few months. But, hey, that’s just me and my mood. If you like it, rock it. I salute any effort put towards feeling good about yourself while you do the work.

BUT, big picture, it’s a little “lingerie,” and I prefer more warrior / less princess for my power outfits. Same goes for anything that looks like lace. Just doesn’t feel right.

But Aimee, do you like anything? At all? Why are you such a hater?

OK fine. There’s one thing in sports bra land that I really like right now. OK two.

First one is the leather look. Or lustrous look. Holy shit. This is edgy and cool and bad ass and a little sexy, but more in a “I will slap you” way and less of a “please think I’m pretty” way. You know what I’m saying? There’s a huge difference. And it’s all in who has the power. To me, this leather look is something you wear for you, it’s very superhero, very strong. And strappy is something you wear for others. Who have peens.

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Second thing I’m digging in the sports bra world is this new (to me) brand, Panache Sport. I saw them everywhere when I was on my tour of every athletic wear store last month. Panache is a lingerie brand from the UK, and Panache Sport is their athletic side. They only make one bra, with or without underwire. They’re pricey, but they’ve got pretty good design, major support, they’re flattering, they’re high enough so your bits don’t fall out, AND they’re cute/powerful looking. They’re kind of everything. I’m not in spend mode, but I did find one for cheaper on Zappos or Amazon or something. It was cheaper because it’s a weird color. There’s always a trade off. You get what you pay for. It’s hard to wear with a lot, because IT’S BLUE AND ORANGE!, but it is a really solid bra. I recommend.

And that’s what I have to say about that.

Oh, and and also, camo is huge right now.

Later.

 

OMG ALO GODDESS LEGGINGS ON SALE!

  1. ALO is the brand that makes these leg warmer leggings, called the Goddess, which I have been coveting for the last two years.
  2. You can get 30% off online right now/ only until tomorrow/ cyber Monday, when they’ll be having a different sale. Code AYB30.
  3. I’m ordering a pair, even though for two years I’ve been saying “no, dumbass, those are going to look hella turrble on your thick ass thighs.” I’ll let you know how it goes. Could be a nice surprise. Or, really really funny.

     

    4. Speaking of funny, the best part about these might be this: Screen Shot 2015-11-29 at 8.04.24 PM

    5. hahahahahahahahahahaha! kiss my ass.