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.

Screen Shot 2018-04-06 at 1.34.34 PM.png

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:

Screen Shot 2018-04-06 at 1.45.48 PM.png

A “live” Pure Barre on demand class

Screen Shot 2018-04-06 at 1.48.38 PM.png

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.

Screen Shot 2018-04-06 at 1.57.14 PM.png

 

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).

 

Screen Shot 2018-04-06 at 2.02.44 PM.png

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

Screen Shot 2018-04-06 at 1.54.45 PM.png

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.

Screen Shot 2018-04-06 at 1.40.15 PMScreen Shot 2018-04-06 at 1.40.22 PMScreen Shot 2018-04-06 at 1.40.02 PMScreen Shot 2018-04-06 at 1.40.44 PM

Advertisements

New Protein Yums! Brand review: MyProtein

Long story short:  There’s a new protein source in town. It’s called MyProtein. And it is good. If all you need is a thumbs up or thumbs down, then THUMBS UP, I say.  Their shop is here.  And right now you can get 20% off of all protein powders with code POWDER. You’re welcome! MyProtein.com

320x265-mp-wk12-wo-usnewcustomer-042909

Here’s my review:

I have a new baby. I don’t have time. And I’m tired. So my way of getting protein lately (other than a steady stream of grocery store rotisserie chickens) has been eating box after box of protein bars. But I can’t be trusted around those things. A box might last me a week. Or I might take down six bars in a sitting BECAUSE THEY’RE CANDY.

So the other day, while my brain and my finger were fighting over whether or not I should push the “Buy another box of protein bars with 1 click” button on Amazon Prime (on my phone, while feeding the kid), a miracle happened!

Someone from MyProtein contacted me and asked if I’d do a review if they sent me some food stuffs to put in my face. Um. HELL YES I’ll do a review! Perfect timing, psychic angel person from MyProtein! Boom.

Here we go:

MyProtein is a new company, they’re from the UK and distributed in the US from Aurora, Illinois. Of Wayne’s World fame. And a half hour from where I live. (Yay, quick shipping!)

They make protein powders and shakes and supplements and even some gear. The protein products are all low-carb, sugar-free, etc. They also make jerky and peanut butter and snacks, so it’s kind of a no-brainer one stop-shop for quick protein stuff. And I’ve just about reached the maximum number of rotisserie chickens one person should consume in a lifetime, so, YES YES PERFECT THANK YOU! Quick protein!

They sent me some shakes (delicious), some peanut butter (perfect), some jerky (gone in 60 seconds), and some Omega 3 (haven’t touched it yet because I’m still taking plenty of for-the-baby vitamins).

10852500-1254305484252368

First of all, points for clean design. A lot of protein/ supplement brands look like a ‘roided up fire monster mated with NASCAR (aka: MMA) or they’re so girlie they look like they belong in the barbie shampoo section. MyProtein products look like they don’t think you’re an idiot. So thanks for that.

Here’s what I got and what I thought:

MyProtein Beef Jerky (original flavor):

10988856-1544305484595784

This is the first thing I opened. And by that I mean I ate it immediately after opening my box of goodies from them, because jerky.  It was tasty, not too sweet, and  fresh.

I also got single packet samples of flavored whey protein powder

Strawberry: Yum. Tastes like Strawberry Quick.

Cookies and Cream: A little more “cream” than cookie. Think of it as Double Stuf Oreo flavor.

Salted Caramel: Brilliant idea!!! Tastes like Kraft Caramels. The cubes with the cellophane wrappers from childhood? You know what I’m talking about. Anyway, it’s not super sea-salty. But I’d just add salt to my smoothie to get it there. Yum.

Chocolate Peanut Butter: also tasty. Not fake-y.

But the part I was most pleasantly surprised with? The shaker. Seriously.

10852641-1406913544-196807

I hate shakers. They’re awkward to drink out of and they’re big and cluttery. But this one has a spout and it is easy to drink out of. This one I will not throw away. They seem to know what they’re doing, these MyProtein people.

11027538-1414305484615917

And then, their Peanut Butter. Guess what’s in it? Peanuts.  That’s it. No sugar. No salt. No extra oils. No weird things to keep it at an unnatural consistency. Just a big jug of QUICK PROTEIN STRAIGHT FROM THE EARTH! Usually I can’t keep peanut butter in the house because I’ll eat half a jar in a day. Or an afternoon. But this stuff, because it’s not sweet or salty, you eat what you actually need, and then you’re like, “OK. I’m good.” And you get on with your life. Also, it doesn’t separate much. So, bonus.

They also have this cool thing where you can get plain whey protein, but then buy flavor drops instead of having a huge jug of one flavor. Great idea, right?   10966230-1094305484410114

Overall: I’m impressed. I like the stuff.  And I’m ordering more.

MyProtein. Check em out: MyProtein.com

unnamed-1

 

 

 

Dressing the Fit Bump

WHAT I’VE LEARNED ABOUT BEING PREGNANT, WORKING OUT, AND WHAT TO WEAR

1. Shopping stops being fun.

So, shopping for workout wear is massively less fun when you’re pregnant. There’s no such thing as “man this top makes me feel sleek and powerful.” It’s just “man, I look like a hippo.”

Screen Shot 2014-12-08 at 10.09.07 AM

Couldn’t even zip the damn jacket.

 

2. You’re tired as shit.

Working out when you’re pregnant is massively less fun, also. First trimester I barely did anything because I was so fatigued. I mean, a walk around the block was a win. I’m not kidding. Also, your blood volume increases, which makes you feel instantly like you’ve lost all of your cardiovascular fitness. So while you can still wear your workout clothes, you can’t workout and feel like the laziest piece of shit on earth. Or at least I did.

3. Even if you want to run the whole pregnancy, you might not be able to.

Second trimester, I got my energy back, but my appetite grew. So I’ve just been growing in every way. Working out…eh. I can’t run because it feels like my bladder is going to fall out, and I’m generally pretty lazy. I walk. I’ll do a little Dailey Method. A little lifting. A few 21 day fix videos. Also, I went to spin twice, figuring “hey, no impact, perfect.” One class was fine. But another class, we did a lot of really fast pedaling, which was basically me bouncing (slamming) up and down really fast on a bike seat for an hour. Pretty uncomfortable. Anyway, workout commitment and consistency?…Not even close. Granted, I work from home, so I struggle with structure and routine. You may not be such a worthless slacker.

Screen Shot 2014-12-08 at 10.11.28 AM

This is me after spin.

4. Even though you don’t want to shop, you have to.

As far as workout wear goes: 1st trimester I just bought larger sizes of pants I liked. My Athleta Chaturanga leggings were king. They’re really soft and stretchy, not a compression pant. I also rocked a pair of seamless champion tights that I just bought huge. I didn’t feel comfortable bouncing a ton, so it didn’t matter if they weren’t tight enough to really stay up.

Screen Shot 2014-12-08 at 10.11.10 AM

Athleta Chaturangas.

15008131

Champion seamless yoga capris.

 

 

5. At some point you WILL have to buy maternity pants. And it will change your life. 

So you might think you can save yourself some money buy just buying larger workout pants, that you’ll still need later as you’re coming back down from preggo size. Yeah. You need those. But at some point, that belly is going to grow. And even though pants fit in the butt and legs, they just get more and more uncomfortable on your gut. I went on a road trip in regular jeans before I could bring myself to buy maternity. It was a mistake. I had to lie back with the car seat reclined, pants undone Al Bundy-style, whining the whole time about how I couldn’t breathe. Don’t be vain and stupid like me. Be comfortable and get on with your life.

6. Start with under the belly.

At first you’ll want under-the-belly stuff. These basically have a big elastic waist band and slope down at the front. Very comfortable. I have some jeans and leggings. And I tried the Maternity Straight Up Pant, and Maternity Metro Legging from Athleta. The Straight Up is called that because they’re closer to a straight leg than a bell-bottom yoga style. I didn’t like them because they were tight and compression-y. The Metro Legging is a legging with seams and pockets so it’s styled like a jean. I like them because they’re slightly more pant-like than leggings, but they do tend to slide down when I’m walking.

Screen Shot 2014-12-08 at 10.34.49 AM

Athleta Maternity Straight Up

Screen Shot 2014-12-08 at 10.33.29 AM

Athleta Maternity Metro

 

Screen Shot 2014-12-08 at 11.08.03 AM

Athleta Maternity Metro.

As far as “public pants” go, I found that the J.Crew maternity minnie pants were actually LOWER rise than the regular ones. No bueno. The Old Navy fake Minnie pants (pixie) maternity are a fine substitute. And for anything in the “black stretchy pant” category,Target is fine. I have some Gap and Old Navy maternity jeans. Also fine. You could spend more, but really, you just keep on changing sizes so why? Oh, and Free People is pretty great for big flowy but still edgy-ish tops. I just wear tanks, big cardigans, big flowy tops, and the occasional blazer. I am not a dress person. I am not a baby-doll top person. They look like sad potato sacks and I just won’t go there.

7. Transition to fold over/ full belly. 

Of course I couldn’t be without my Old Navy Yoga Pants, so I ordered those a size bigger, and then quickly realized that that was pointless and ordered the maternity ones. They have a full belly panel. Which I folded over because my gut didn’t quite fill it up yet. (Now it does.) Same thing with full-belly panel jeans. You’ll want to transition, or at least I did, because while I can technically wear the under the belly stuff, my belly looks more like rolls of beer gut when I sit down and it falls over the band. With a full panel, you get a smooth line. And you can fold it to give yourself a “belly band” effect. I might try a belly band with the low panel pants to see if that works too.

As far as full-on, full-panel maternity workout pants go, I have the Chaturanga (great), some Old Navy capris (fine, but not nearly as stretchy and comfy, compression = not fun), and the Old Navy Yoga Pants. Which everyone knows you don’t work out in, (butt sweat), you just wear around the house because you don’t want to wear real pants ever. Speaking of, those fold-over “yoga leggings” that the kids wear as pants (shudder) are SUPER COMFORTABLE for pregnant times. That fold over flap just becomes a belly panel. Thanks, Target! (and no, I do not mean PINK pants. PINK is for little sluts, littler wannabe sluts and old clueless wannabes. You know better. Don’t do it.)

Screen Shot 2014-12-08 at 10.12.44 AM

Screen Shot 2014-12-08 at 11.11.43 AM Athleta Full-panel Chaturanga with the fold over trick.

Screen Shot 2014-12-08 at 11.16.33 AM

Old Navy Maternity Compression Capris

Screen Shot 2014-12-08 at 11.19.34 AM

Fold over “yoga” (yeah right) leggings from Target.

 

7. Tops are depressing.

You can totally hide for a while. I just layered tanks and high-low tops and it was totally fine for the first bit. I have been able to wear regular tank tops so far. (I am a pear, though. Apples, maybe not. We get what we get.) But I’m at 26 weeks now, and I don’t think I can really wear my regular ribbed tanks anymore.  I have a stash of maternity tanks (rouched sides, extra material) ready to go. You’d think you’d want to wear baggy tops, but with me it’s kind of the opposite. Because my beloved tunics don’t flow and hide. Now they kind of almost…fit. It’s not a fun feeling.

I bought one new top at LuluLemon  (black friday weekend clearance). The Run Times Tank. They don’t have it on the site anymore. It’s another bra and breezy over-tank kind of a top, but the over-tank has a little more coverage, the bra has wider straps, and a higher neckline, and the bottom of the bra extends down further so only a teeny little bit of rib skin shows. I look like a marshmallow in it. It bums me out. But it will be a cute feminine thing for after baby. Oh, and special fun note on that top in particular: I posted a picture of me in it on instagram, and some really charming fellow who has an instagram account that posts only pictures of women with bubble butts (in thongs, and yoga pants and volleyball shorts) said, and I quote: “hahaha absolutely disgusting. :)” How did he know how I felt? He must be a real empath. Some lucky girl is going to get to marry him. Or some sex doll with a bubble butt will get to marry him. Because apparently that’s all women’s bodies are to him. Parts. Yay internet!

So anyway, to me, tighter tops are less depressing because at least you’re not adding more volume up there. And for your budget, that’s good. Because you only need a few tank tops. And the Breathe tank from Athleta is great.

Screen Shot 2014-12-08 at 11.33.45 AM

Athleta Breathe Tank

 

Speaking of breathing…good luck with that because…

8. You can’t breathe so good. 

My out of breath-ness comes and goes. But blood volume + baby taking up more and more of your body cavity = less lung capacity. It doesn’t feel that way all the time. But…it’s only going to keep getting more crowded in there.

9. Your baby squishes your stomach. So full is REALLY FULL.

And yet, I keep on eating more than I need to, every single time I eat. What’s up with that? Oh yeah, I’m an idiot with a compulsive eating problem. And hormones. Good times.

10. Your boobs get HUGE. And they hurt. Like. Hell. But not all the time.

I never wanted big boobs. My boobs were fine. Neither here nor there. Never bothered me. Now, they’re big, and it has taken some getting used to. I won’t even go from bed to the bathroom without some support. I basically live in bralettes now. My jog bras don’t fit. I bought bigger ones, but they’re still pretty damn uncomfortable. I can’t do bouncy jumpy run-y things anyway, so it doesn’t matter. I don’t need sport-level support. I bought bra band extenders for my real bras. Which kind of work. But I broke down and bought some real bras in the right size yesterday at soma. Yeah. the kind that pretty much have fabric up to your neck and stick out ABOVE your tank top neck lines? Those. Real woman bras. Not very exciting. But the holidays are coming and I will have to go out in public more often. So. Support is probably a good thing to have.

11. You can’t work out for more than 5 minutes because you have to pee every 3 minutes.

Seriously. I mean, I pee more than a puppy when I’m not pregnant. Pregnant, I pee more than I thought was humanly possible. I can’t take a walk that’s longer than 20 minutes, because, no way. And now my dog is getting fat. Even when I walk on the treadmill at home, I have to hop off every five minutes. I’m not joking. It’s ridiculous. I took a “fit 4 baby” fitness class…had to pee before, during, and after. In second trimester came the “double pee.” I’d go upstairs, walk down half a flight of stairs, and have to turn back around and go again. And now that I’m almost in third trimester, the triple pee has started. I will, I shit you not, I sweat to fucking whatever, have to pee three times in five minutes. So yeah, that’s another reason why workouts are tough. You either have to pee, or are stopping to pee. Jumping Jacks? Not gonna happen. I peed twice while trying to write this paragraph.

I could go on about all the other things I’ve learned, but there’s an entire universe of mommy bloggers for that shit. I’ll just keep it to the workout clothes and fitness stuff.

Here are some of my pregnant WorkOutFits: And yes, I had pink hair for a bit. It was leftover from Halloween.

Screen Shot 2014-12-08 at 10.10.35 AM  Screen Shot 2014-12-08 at 10.10.58 AM   Screen Shot 2014-12-08 at 10.10.15 AMScreen Shot 2014-12-08 at 10.09.50 AM

 

Screen Shot 2014-12-08 at 10.09.21 AM

Athleta breathe top and maternity Chaturanga leggings.  23 weeks.

 

 

Screen Shot 2014-12-08 at 10.08.51 AM

Lululemon Run Times Tank, Old Navy Yoga pants, 25 weeks