If you have been reading Grechen’s Closet for more than a year, you may have noticed how my body has changed, thanks to Pure Barre. You may also know that this year marks the TENTH anniversary of Grechen’s Closet (in March, to be exact), and that I’ve been trying to think of ways in which we can celebrate together. So this month, I’m starting things out with a bang and giving away a $100 gift certificate good for one month at any Pure Barre location to ONE reader.
I decided to start this way because 1. it’s January, and even though new year’s resolutions suck, January IS a good time to re-focus on your body after too much holiday indulgence and 2. Pure Barre has literally CHANGED MY LIFE, and I want to give one of you guys a chance to experience it yourself, and maybe it will do the same for you.
But before we commence the giveaway, let me tell you MY Pure Barre story.
A comment from a reader here in 2012 led me to a blog and a blogger who mentioned sort of randomly her experience with Pure Barre. The way she described it was “torture” but the kind she looked forward to because of the results she’d seen from frequent practice. I can’t say I was necessarily LOOKING for a different exercise routine, but Pure Barre sounded intriguing and I started looking into it. I noticed that there was a studio very close to my apartment and that they had a $40 for 4 classes new client special, and I thought that was pretty much a no-brainer; after all, $40 is less than the price of a James Perse casual tee 😉
So I started going in May 2012, and from my first class I was pretty much hooked. I had committed to doing the four classes within a week, so I did. Then I purchased the $100 for one month unlimited classes package and went 3-4 days a week during that month. After that, I knew I would have to do Pure Barre for as long as I could physically do it.
Honestly, I don’t remember much about my first classes besides the feeling of being out of place, out of shape, and quite discouraged at some points for not being able to do a lot. My first teacher, Rita, was wonderful and helped me out a lot with cues, and positioning, helping me to get in the right stance (which is very important). But I couldn’t stay in most of the thigh or seat exercises, and when we started doing abs under the barre, I was literally “WTF?” And I knew that I would NEVER EVER be able to get up on my highest tippy-toes in thigh work, I just knew it. But it didn’t stop me from trying. And six months into my 4-5x a week practice I was able to get up and stay up on my highest tip toes in thigh work, which I thought I was pretty amazing.
Now, I still have moments where I don’t feel as strong as the previous class, or I need to give myself a break, but I can also do 90 seconds of plank without wanting to fall to my knees, lift my knee up in the pretzel seat work, and let go of my leg during abs under the barre. I’ve been doing Pure Barre consistently since I started, never daring to miss more than 2 days in a row unless I’m out of town, sick, or something else prevents it. I just can’t do it. I rely too much on the feeling I get both in class when I’m feeling exceptionally strong, and after class when I can breathe again and enjoy that feeling of accomplishment. I’m also STUNNED at how much it has changed my body.
I still have hips, a butt and saddlebags, but they are smaller and much more toned than before. I did lose weight also (about 30 pounds), not just from doing Pure Barre, but I’ve lost weight previously doing other types of exercise (bikram & regular yoga, running, weight-lifting) and my body NEVER changed like it has with Pure Barre. The intense focus on JUST the areas that I need to tone up (hips/butt/thighs) makes it perfect for re-shaping my body and for using my biggest assets (also my hips/butt/thighs) to their best advantage.
I have defined muscles in my chest, triceps (although you can see I still have a bit of waddle there), arms and shoulders from the CRAZY hard arm exercises that I never thought I’d see. I look in the mirror every class and wonder who I’m looking back at sometimes; I’m still shocked by how much different my body looks. Not to mention looking in the side mirror while I’m in plank to see that I’m actually holding it – to see that I am STRONG.
Which I why I want to give this gift to one of you. You have been here for ME over the years – some of you since almost the beginning – and I want to acknowledge what that has meant to me. You have allowed me to live my dream of being a successful entrepreneur. I have a life and a career that I love, and it is because of you: because you come here to see what I’m wearing every day, to share your personal style stories, and let me into your lives just a little bit.
So…onto the giveaway. I am personally (this is not sponsored by Pure Barre or any particular studio) going to gift one of you a $100/one-month unlimited pass to your closest Pure Barre studio. But I’m not going to make this easy on you! Pure Barre is HARD, and I’m asking you for a one month commitment to practicing it, so I want to know that whoever I give this to will USE it.
Here’s how to enter: Leave a comment on this post with the following information –
- The location of your closest studio (visit Pure Barre’s website for a list of locations)
- How often/what times you will try to go to class if you win (check the class schedule for the location you want to visit) – it would be helpful if you also make sure they have a $100 or $99 new client special for one-month unlimited classes – look in the Online Store section for that information.
- What you want to get out of Pure Barre
- Why you are interested in trying Pure Barre
- Pledging that if you love Pure Barre as much as I do that you will introduce it to at least one friend or stranger – maybe purchasing them a 4 class for $40 package if your studio offers it. Pay it forward…
- That’s it! make sure your full name and email address are accurate so I can contact you if you win
A few other things – if you already do Pure Barre, I’d love it if you’d sit this one out and give someone else a chance to win! Also, this is for US readers only, and obviously, you must have a Pure Barre studio nearby. I’m going to run this for a couple of weeks and I’m not sure how I’m going to choose the winner yet. I will probably have an impartial person choose the winner based on answers instead of choosing myself; that wouldn’t be fair 😉
Okay! if you’re interested, leave your comment below. You can leave a comment without entering to win, just make a note of it 🙂
Thank you!!! Hope this starts your week off nicely! Oh, and yes, this means that every month I’ll be launching new giveaway to celebrate my 10th year…stay tuned!!
Erika Falkowski says
you have been SUCH an inspiration! – i have been dealing with so many medical issues – and the Dr’s can’t figure out how my weight has gone out of control – i’m literally at the point where i’m in pain b/c i’m too heavy and so uncomfortable in my own skin – i’ve even developed panic attacks when i’m in public b/c of my weight *augh* – but everytime i get your email and see the amazing progress – i know i can do it too!
i would go to the Barre in Westfield – i’ve actually been wanting to try it ever since you talked about it! — i would like to make it 5 times a week – they have night classes so that works out good for me! — my weight struggle has been going on for close to 2.5 years – i need a MAJOR shift in my life – it’s not fun to cry yourself to sleep or have nightmares over your weight – i’ve always struggled with my weight; going up and down – been bullied by it when i was a teenager (which still haunts me – WHY i don’t know!) – so it’s a cord that runs deep
i would DEF pay it forward – by getting my Mom a membership – she’s battled cancer – tons of surgeries – and just unimaginable pain and suffering – this was all in a 2 year span – so she deserves it – like myself – she carries a burden on her shoulders for being ‘not thin’ — we both are dedicating ourselves to MAJOR changes and being HAPPY – whatever it takes we’re gonna do it!
ANYWAY – would love to win this – i can go on and on and give you all kinds of sad stories and terrible things that i’ve had to deal with latley – but who wants to read that – what maters is that i’m making the change – using the past to make my future better! — and making sure from here on out i’m just HAPPY — it’s gonna take a lot of hard work and will – but i know it can be done – you are proof!
Grechen, I don’t know where to start, other than to say that your philosophy about clothing changed the way that I look at my wardrobe in the way that Bobbi Brown’s philosophy of makeup changed my thinking about beauty. You’ve changed my life! And that’s no small thing for your blog to achieve. I used to be so negative about myself (Still a work in progress), how I look, my weight, and what I should wear or NOT wear….until you came along, encouraging me, showing me new ways of thinking about the pieces I own (i.e. Quality vs. Quantity, spending a little more on American made, wearing what brings me joy…among MANY other ideas!), and showing me a new way of thinking about how I “illlustrate” my personality to the world through my clothing.
Your sense of humor about clothing has freed me up to wear stripes and not feel guilty (Vogue, etc….”Oh NO!! Quel horrors!! That woman is wearing horizontal stripes and she’s a size 14!!” Me…”So what?”) And I guess I’ve been reading you long enough to recall your fear of Eileen Fisher turn into a love for her harem pants. 😉
And to watch you gain in confidence with the Pure Barre classes, the freedom you’ve given yourself to choose what you wear based on joy, and the inner-strength you’ve found…All of that is a bonus! <3
Congratulations on 10 wonderful years, to the woman of strength, intelligence, humor, and caring that came up with the idea for this fantastic, real-life blog….the only one I read consistently!
xoxVal (p.s. I looked and there's no Pure Barre close to me. I'd have to take the ferry to Rhode Island!! Ha ha! So don't enter me.)
farha bano says
This is such a fabulous and motivating post!
As soon as I read it, I went to see if we had Pure Barre where I live,
and looks like we have a location that is coming soon.
I am seriously contemplating joining. I haven’t had much of a challenging routine in years.
Basically I jump on the elliptical 2-3 times a week for 20 mins and do situps/pushups and lunges twice a week.
So I’m really excited to switch things up!
heather hannan says
So happy you posted this. I needed a refresher about how you started doing Pure Barre. And wow! Who doesn’t love your honesty. I have been hearing about so many different new exercise regimens, its seriously dizzzy-ing. Great to hear the good things about Pure Barre and know it is coming from a honest place from someone we all can relate with too.
Jessica Attanasio says
Happy blogiversary, Gretchen! This is perfect timing for me, as I’ve been struggling with a body that I hesitate to still call post-baby, since my little guy is now 20 months old. I’ve never been someone who naturally likes exercise, but I’ve come to the realization that I can’t just sit around making excuses anymore. I’m getting very close to the “need to buy new pants” point, and I’m hating how I feel mentally and physically.
There is a Pure Barre studio about 3 miles from my office, in Wayne, Pa., which does have a new student special. I drive by the studio at least twice a day and have even looked at their website a few times, but I’ve always been put off by the cost. But really, I know I’d be MUCH better off making an investment in myself and cutting out some of my other non-essential spending (like unhealthy eating out).
I would love to try out Pure Barre to give myself a serious kick in the butt and get my mind and my body in a healthier place. I love the idea of a workout that combines cardio and strength, and helps create lean muscles — the last thing I want is any bulkiness, even if it is muscular. Realistically (as a full-time working mom), I’d like to make it to 2-3 classes a week, some at 4:45 and some at 12:15 (hope my office mates don’t mind me being a sweaty mess!).
Last but not least, I pledge to pay it forward, probably to one of my girlfriends who is also a new-ish mom — and would probably do classes with me!
Wow! What a generous giveaway. I’ve loved seeing your transformation over the past several months. Very inspirational! And, it’s made me curious to try pure barre myself. I would take classes at either the Nashville or Brentwood, TN locations….probably just a couple of times a week to start…maybe the 6am classes but the evening classes are good,too. I’m about to turn 35 and really want to give myself the gift of good health! I lost 30 lbs myself at 29, but have slowly slid back into old habits over the past couple of years. I would definitely find a friend to treat to new client package to pay it forward.
Grechen, I absolutely love this giveaway. It’s such an awesome way to give back in a healthy and inspiring way.
There’s a Pure Barre near my office (P Street in Washington, DC) but I also see that they are opening one near my house so that would be even better (McLean, VA). I would probably go 3 times during the week (especially when some of the classes are convenient for after work by starting around 6:45 and 7:45). If the one near my house opens up soon, then I can add Saturday and Sunday to my schedule to really take advantage of a month’s worth of unlimited classes.
There are a few reasons why I want to try barre classes. I didn’t make any NY resolutions this year because last year I decided to make a 35 before 35 list of things I’ve been putting off and have been wanting to try but haven’t gotten around to due to procrastination. Going to a barre class is on the list (right after taking a spinning class which I actually did try). Spinning and barre seemed interesting but intimidating to me especially when I’ve struggled with staying consistent in exercising regularly and I’m so out of shape. Part of the reason I’m intimidated by barre is because I have absolutely no flexibility. I cannot touch my toes, the most I can reach is about 10 inches from the floor. In addition to that, I have no core muscles. Seriously, I can’t do a sit up by using my core alone because it just doesn’t work. I have to push myself off the floor with my hands and it can be embarrassing if I’m in some kind of class and we do ab work. It’s such a simple thing to do, yet my body doesn’t cooperate. Anyway, that’s all to say I’ve been extremely interested in barre, especially after reading how much you love it and go all the time. I want to feel good about my body like you do and I know it took you quite awhile to get there because I’ve been reading your blog for a long time. I want to look in the mirror and see a tone and fit person. I want to be able to do something simple enough as to reach my toes in a stretch and to feel capable. I want to do an exercise that is fun and challenging and I think barre could be it for me.
I would love to pay it forward and I have a person already in mind. My friend just had major surgery and it is so important for her health that she exercises and re-build her strength and endurance. She hates to exercise and right now she gets winded just walking a few feet. I can’t throw her into zumba just yet so I want to make sure she does something that isn’t extreme but that she can handle and actually get some enjoyment out of when she does it (or I make her do). 🙂
Jenn Knutson says
Love, love, love seeing you at the Barre as often as I do. You always work hard and look amazing! I hope to get to know you better and hope to see you sneak into “your corner” someday soon. I would love to have you next to me any day.
Good luck to your readers and good luck choosing a winner. That’s going to be tough!
The location of your closest studio: Magazine St., New Orleans! Just a short distance from our house
How often/what times you will try to go to class if you win: I’d hopefully say 2 times a week. We do have a current gym membership, and I’d like this to supplement, not replace. (I have grown to enjoy running.)
What you want to get out of Pure Barre: Core strengthening. Focus. Determination. The transition of “I can’t do this, I can’t do this,” to “I did some of it,” to “I can do this.” I’d also like to FEEL stronger. When you spend hours slumped at a computer desk, moving your body can be hard. And hurt. I love that this has been helping with that feeling, even so short.
Why you are interested in trying Pure Barre: I’ve taken 2 Barre 3 classes, and I’d like to see how a different studio varies. I’m interested in pursuing longer as part of my efforts to focus on myself this year, work on getting back into shape, and feeling strong, healthy, and beautiful at my wedding later this year!
Pledging that if you love Pure Barre as much as I do that you will introduce it to at least one friend or stranger – maybe purchasing them a 4 class for $40 package if your studio offers it. Pay it forward…
Of Course! I’ve already been spreading the gospel after my 2 Barre3 classes, and I just encourage them to take what they can and what’s close already.
Happy anniversary, Grechen! I’m so amazed and inspired by how long you’ve been blogigng… and by the changes Barre has made in your life! XO
There are no PB studios in my area but I’ve been considering purchasing the DVDs. Do you know (have you heard) if the DVDs are as good as the classes? I have the Physique 57 DVDs and they’re excellent workouts but very boring and slow paced. Thank you!
Grechen Reiter says
i have heard good things about the podcasts, so i’m assuming the DVD’s are similar? i wouldn’t hesitate to purchase and use a dvd if i was going to be traveling for a while.
sarah woods says
Perfect for the win if dreaming comes real