A Pure Barre enthusiast tries The Bar Method…

Pure Barre Ball

I’m a loyal consumer. When I find something I like, I’ll revisit it for months, even years (I’ve turned many a mexican foodie onto Poquito Mas…  where I once went on a burrito binge that lasted 7 days, back in 2005! To this day I have not yet had a better wet burrito).

But back to the point: any good fitness enthusiast knows that the key to staying fit is C-H-A-N-G-E! And when change is just a 10-minute bike ride away from your home, as is The Bar Method’s Marina Del Rey Studio  from mine, it’s got to happen. Any work out that’s within walking, biking, jogging, and/or roller blading distance gets extra points because if you’ve got desk job/commute booty like I do, the extra cardio is welcome (gotta burn off the burrito somehow, right?)!

Now before I lament the wonders of my first Bar Method class, I must first tell you about Pure Barre. I work in the valley and was easily convinced to break up the long, often depressing, drive home to join my girlfriends at Pure Barre in Brentwood. Pure Barre (PB) Brentwood’s location is PERFECT,  just a quick 5 minutes west off the 405, and with a 5:15 session I could make it right after work.

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  1. happ33grl

    I am about to try out Bar Method in MDR as well! So glad it is right around the block and going to kick-start my strengthening routine since I only do cardio nowadays. Let me know how it works for you!

    • I did enjoy Bar Method, but after my introductory month I switched back to PB. Both routines, however, are definitely the best place to start for strength training in my opinion. Beats a traditional weight lifting regime any day! Enjoy Bar Method, it will kick your butt!

      • happ33grl

        May I ask why you switched back to PB?

      • I switched back to PB for a few different reasons:

        1. It seemed to me that The Bar Method’s regime focused on upper body more than lower body. It also seemed that PB’s butt and thigh sections were more intense overall with a longer portion of the class dedicated to these areas – areas that for me need the most work. I can hardly walk after every PB class.
        2. I wrote the Bar Method studio about something and they never got back to me. Having worked in Customer Service for several years with Red Bull North America, I expect a reply from a small local studio such as Bar Method MDR. Seems silly but I like to feel loved! The ladies of PB have always treated me like a VIP and I get the feeling they do that for everyone.
        3. While the Bar Method teachers were VERY impressive with their ability to remember names and dole out focused advice through each class, I just didn’t feel the warmth. Bar Method MDR brought back memories of snobby ballet studios from childhood, so I realize it may be MY issue haha.
        3. PB is right next to my Yoga studio – Core Power Wilshire. Not only that, but they’re both in the perfect location to break up my commute south from the valley.

        :) Hope that answered your question!

  2. SHF

    You should try The Dailey Method!

  3. Michelle

    I am a PB fanatic myself and have been curios about The Bar Method. Thank you for the review!

  4. I’ve tried Purre Barre, Bar Method and TDM…I completely agree with you that BM are kind of snobby. I feel that Purre Barre is more relaxed and fun but still a great workout. TDM I took my second class today…the exercises are completed in sets of 3. I’m not as sore after the class as I am with PB or BM. Next stop Xtend Barre.

    • Steph Mignon

      I totally agree with you that at first glance TDM doesn’t seem as challenging at PB or BM or even Pop Physique. Yet the thing that seems to separate TDM for me is the focus on spine alignment. I had some back and hip pain before I started TDM, quite possibly the result of improper spin alignment during the other regimes, and it’s totally gone. In fact my back and posture feel more lifted and lighter than ever! I haven’t been to a PB class in awhile, but I’m anxious to check it out again to see if it’s as “tuck” centric as I remember.

  5. Dori

    I’m interested in beginning a home barre exercise regimen. I’m tall 6’1″. How high of a bar should I be looking for?

    • Steph Mignon

      Hi Dori! This is a great question!!! In fact, you’ve inspired me to write a blog post about this very question (should be up by the end of the week). Until then this I’ve heard that most barres should be around 42′ but I believe that is for the average person. In your case I’d suggest an adjustable barre. I found some pretty amazing ones here: http://www.custombarres.com/ Thanks for being the inspiration for my next post! And good luck with starting your at home regime. My Mom just bought fluidity barre and I took a “before” picture of her. Here’s to hoping she sticks to it!

  6. Kimmie


    I’ve been doing barre exercises for 4 months now and I love it! It can be pretty costly though so I have been looking into getting my own barre at home. I’ve been looking to find the perfect barre for the exercises, but I really can’t find any good free standing barres other than the Fluidity barre (Pure Barre offers a door mounted barre, but doesn’t look very stable).

    For the exercises where you pull the barre, the other types of free standing ones won’t work because those would tip over. So Fluidity barre would be nice to do exercises like that, but I really enjoy Pure Barre’s flat back exercises with the leg up towards the barre like this: http://www.littlemissrunshine.com/2013/04/pure-barre-round-back-flat-back-if-you-cant-feel-it-try-try-again.html. I’m worried that the Fluidity barre wouldn’t hold up for that exercise because the hand that isn’t supporting the leg pushes against the barre (basically lifting the whole barre), and my back would be pushing against the pad that says Fluidity (which is only supported by plastic jointed metal in the back). Is the pad hard enough to lean against? I think even if the pad was hard enough, I feel like the one little metal rod that is holding it up would fall out.

    I read that your mom just got a Fluidity barre, and I wanted to ask your opinion about the Fluidity barre being sturdy for the kind of flat back exercises I want to do. I just don’t want to spend $400 plus and next thing I know is that I broke the barre.

    Thank you!

    • Steph Mignon

      Hi Kimmie,

      It sounds like you are off to a great start with your barre program! I think it’s smart that you started off by taking classes FIRST, and now you’re ready to transition to cutting costs and adding an at home regime to your fitness program.

      I asked my Mom about fluidity barre and she loves it. She said that it is possible to do “flat back” type exercises. Because she lives several hours from me, however, I’m not able to verify this myself just yet, but from what she described it does sound like it would work. If you do try it, please email to let us know how it went!

  7. Hi Steph,
    I stumbled upon your blog and enjoyed reading your reviews and comparisons of barre classes. I am a Booty Barre Master Trainer. I was wondering if you had ever tried a class? It is a Pilates based cardio barre class. We also have Flex and Flow which uses the theraband for arm, ab, back and flexibility work. We work in neutral which is the best position for pelvic and low back stability. There are great exercises like hitching a ride, the cougar, and the elvis (because it makes you shake!). Booty Barre is the opoosite of snotty! We have fun in our classes but also provide verbal/physical cueing for proper alignment or modifications if needed. For more info go to http://www.thebootybarre.com. Tracey Mallett is the creator. Her studio is in South Pasadena CA. She chose not to make BootyBarre a franchise so there was more freedom for instructors but we are international and we have instructors all over the world! You can also order DVD’s for home. As a Pilates instructor and dancer I feel that BootyBarre has such integrity as a barre method. Hope you get a chance to try it! Our barre height is 36 inches but for some one taller than 5’7″ 38 would be ideal. 42 is the usual height for a ballet class but is too high for a barre class. hope this info helps! If you have any more questions about anything please feel free to email me! My studio is Equilibrium Pittsburgh Pilates, BootyBarre, Yoga. www. eqpittsburgh.com. If you get a chance to take a class let me know what you think!

    • Steph Mignon

      I am so sorry I missed this message! How is your studio doing? I’m just getting back to the barre after being pregnant and becoming a mom. :)

      • Valerie

        Congratulations!! Hope you and baby are doing well. I came across this page just as I was about to leave PureBarre Pasadena for the tempting $100 first month at The Bar Method. I am so grateful you gave a follow up on your review because I loved the detail of why you went back to PB, same reason I feel inlove with it too!
        Blessings and Love :)

  8. Ex-ballerina

    I would like to thank you got your review of different barre methods. As an ex- dance, I often get filled with fear over the complete lack of regard for spinal alignment in most work out videos. And, the same for many barre workouts. i wasstruggling and since you reviewed TDM, I feel ocnfident in my decision to try it over other workouts out there.

  9. I just began barre classes about 3 weeks ago (I’m down in San Diego) I started at Bar Method in Solana Beach & LOVE it…I have yet to try others though. I’m looking forward to finding out each studios different approach & the target areas they focus on. I have had 3 of the 5 (I believe, there may be more than that) instructors & am very surprised at all the individual attention they give. They want to make sure you are getting 100% out of the class & are doing things correctly! I love that. You are greeted every class by name as you walk in as well!
    My body thanks me every morning & throughout the day (especially after attending the 6am classes!)

  10. Casey

    Hi Steph, thanks for this review. Im currently taking the bar method classes and I am trying my first pure barre class today! I also feel like I do not get that “warm” feeling from the bar method, but I guess I will see what one I like better today.

  11. Hey there,

    I was wondering do you have an opinion on paleo diets like this one http://weeatpaleo.com/

    I was thinking of starting one and following your program at the same time, would this be safe to do so?

    Kind Regards


  12. Sabrina

    Hi, I am new to Barre. I am from Santa Barbara and have the option of cardio barre, the dailey method, barre3, and the bar method. Could someone please tell me a little about each one and why you would pick one over the other? I am 25 and in okay shape. Looking for something that will give me some cardio but also tone. I hope to lose a few pounds during the holiday season and also tone my muscles. Any advice would be great! Thank you!

  13. Jo-Anne

    Hi Steph,

    I was wondering do you have an opinion on diets for when working out, that wont make me lose too much weight.

    I was thinking of starting a working out to try and get my mottom bigger, something like this one looks cool, http://bestbootyworkouts.com/tammy-hembrow-workout/ would this be safe to do if I’m on a diet?

    Or would I be better off doing your program instead? Im’s worried I will lose more of my booty if I do your workout.



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