Do Barre Classes Work?

Last spring when I wrote about my first experiences with barre, I was already a devotee. So do barre classes work?. Did 10-20 sessions transform my body? Well, not directly or immediately. But a month or so of showing up at the Pure Barre studio marked the first time in my life that I did not dread exercising. Twenty classes led to to 30 classes then 40. If you read the title of this post, then you know I made it to 100, which was a MAJOR milestone for me.


To recap my previous barre post, prior to trying barre I was not an exercise person. In high school I exercised on and off to early-90s classics like Cindy Crawford’s Shape Your Body video. In college the random exercise routine I sometimes implemented could not undo the damage of eating too much too often. After college and in my early married years (which, incidentally, were one in the same since I was practically 12 on my wedding day) I belonged to a gym but rarely went there so I cancelled the membership.

Me in 1992. I'm certain my kids would recognize me, but NOT that thing called a phone cord.

Me in high school, 1992. I’m certain my kids would recognize me, but NOT that thing called a phone cord.

1999, college graduation. I was engaged six months later. I was also 30 pounds heavier than I am now.

College graduation, 1999. I was engaged six months later. I was also 30 pounds heavier than I am now. 











March 2012, a bit before my first barre class. This is a more fair "before" shot than the pictures from the 90s.

March 2012, a bit before my first barre class. This is a more fair “before” shot than the pictures from the 90s.

After my first son was born, I exercised regularly at home, but never with any gumption. Two daughters and another son later, I couldn’t imagine exercising in a group setting after so many years of sporting oversized t-shirts in the privacy of my basement. But I was intrigued when a barre studio opened close to my kids’ schools. I had heard others swear that barre really works your muscles and that the method is fun (in a loose definition of “fun” by which I mean “not completely dreadful”).

You can read more details on what the first barre class was like for me in my aforementioned post, “Pure Barre, Lululemon and My Search for Sculpted Arms.”


Ten months and 100 classes later, I found some sculpt in my arms! I can complete the push-up sequence that nearly killed me during the first few classes. And I still find all the arm, leg, butt, and abdominal work difficult enough to make the class a good challenge. Barre classes made me comfortable enough in the group exercise format to seek out other classes, too. I joined Lifetime Fitness about seven months into my barre routine to keep things interesting. I’m now also a fan of Lifetime’s total conditioning classes with Heather, Katie, or Celeste, and warrior sculpt yoga, which is a fact I never would have predicted a year ago.



As barre has continued to gain popularity, I’ve noticed increased traffic to my blog with the search term “do barre classes work?” For the first seven months I went to classes an average of three times a week. Once I joined a gym, I went down to two barre classes a week and now it’s more like once a week. I think that at once a week I’m still benefitting as long as I’m doing other workouts during the week, but I feel best when I can get there twice. So, do barre classes work? Yes, I think they do if you go regularly. The same can probably be said for spinning or any form of exercise you can learn to love or at least tolerate. Right?

With Pure Barre teacher, Lindsey, at class #100

With Pure Barre teacher, Lindsey, at class #100

*Updated in May 2014 to say I tried Corepower Yoga for a month and the full report is here.

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Nina is a columnist at The HerStories Project and a contributing writer at and Her essays have appeared regularly at Brain, Child Magazine, The Huffington Post, The Jewish Daily Forward and have been syndicated in Jewish newspapers across the country. Her short stories have appeared in over a dozen literary magazines, and she loved participating in the 2013 cast of Listen to Your Mother. Nina is a co-founder of The Twin Cities Writing Studio. She lives in Minneapolis with her husband and four children.

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119 Responses to Do Barre Classes Work?
  1. Melissa Crytzer Fry
    February 27, 2013 | 8:03 am

    WIsh I lived nearby, because I’d love to try it. But as you know, certain geographic restrictions apply! So, it’s more running and hopping around in front of the TV for me. So happy for you with your results. How is it that you’ve shrunk since college while so many of us have gone the opposite direction? Great work, Nina. Keep it up!
    Melissa Crytzer Fry recently posted..Flying SouthMy Profile

    • Nina (@NinaBadzin)
      February 28, 2013 | 12:10 pm

      Thank, Melissa! Re: college to now . . . I get that question a lot. The truth is, I was carrying like 30 extra pounds in college for one reason only– I was eating way too much. Once I got that under control (and it took a long time), my body returned to what it should have been.

      I’m always inspired by your running routine by the way!

  2. Jen Zeman
    February 27, 2013 | 8:06 am

    You look amazing Nina! I would love to try Barre – I just need to look for studios in my area. Is it a lot like Pilates?

    • Nina (@NinaBadzin)
      February 28, 2013 | 12:11 pm

      It’s a pilates, yoga, ballet fusion–but with no dancing! Lots of focus on muscle work–big and small muscles. But no cardio . . . so that’s something that bothers people who are really into cardio. I’m not much of a cardio person so it was right up my alley.

  3. Rebecca B
    February 27, 2013 | 8:24 am

    I got a gift card from Pure Barre for the holidays, and I’ve been holding off on using it–I might be a runner, but I can’t do a push-up. Singular. You’re inspiring me to get into the studio and give it a shot!

    • Nina (@NinaBadzin)
      February 28, 2013 | 12:12 pm

      Oh! I can’t wait to hear what you think. I think you have to do at least two classes to give it a fair shake. The first class is a little awkward. After the second you can judge better if it’s something you could like.

  4. Jackie Cangro
    February 27, 2013 | 8:49 am

    Way to go! You look great. (BTW – you have Katie Couric arms!) The key is to find an exercise routine that keeps you motivated. I’ve never tried barre classes, but it looks like fun. I usually run in the park just because I don’t have to follow a schedule. I can go when I want, though that has a downside also

    PS — Love the new look on the blog. I like the color scheme, too. (And I’ve been meaning to say that I like the headshot photo also.)
    Jackie Cangro recently posted..Friday FiveMy Profile

    • Nina (@NinaBadzin)
      February 28, 2013 | 12:13 pm

      Thank you for ALL of these compliments, Jackie!

  5. ZES
    February 27, 2013 | 8:53 am

    I haven’t tried Barre yet but I have been curious every time I drive by!

    • Nina (@NinaBadzin)
      February 28, 2013 | 12:13 pm

      I’ll enter you in the drawing!

  6. shary
    February 27, 2013 | 8:57 am

    I have a friend who swears by those classes. I’ve never tried them, but I’m very happy with my yoga, dance and dog walking routine. I don’t think I could fit in another class. :) But I think you’re absolutely right that the key is enjoying your workout, whatever it is.
    shary recently posted..Reading TogetherMy Profile

    • Nina (@NinaBadzin)
      February 28, 2013 | 12:14 pm

      I love that you and Sharon are dancers. I think some dance lovers who try barre expecting more of a dance experience are pretty disappointed. It’s definitely not dance. (But that was happy news for me!)

      So great to see you here, Shary. Thanks for stopping by.

  7. florence fois
    February 27, 2013 | 8:59 am

    Nina, I love the photos that show you from high school to this day. You, your body and your face have gone through major transformations. Love the results and love your new photo. I had given up on the notion that I could use my naturally athletic inclinations to resolve some of those “bottom” problems that plagues me as I became older and more sedentary. However, I discovered water exercise and it has changed my life.

    The trick to “moving” in spite of ourselves … is that our bodies get so happy that we have finally given them the attention they deserve … that our entire system seems to buzz with joy. Keep up the good work and whatever changed are coming here … I look forward to reading about them :)
    florence fois recently posted..The time of your life …My Profile

    • Nina (@NinaBadzin)
      February 28, 2013 | 12:16 pm

      Florence, this is such a great example of needing to find something you love. And that thing can change, too. I’m not claiming that I’ll still be crazy for barre in ten years or even one year. You just never know and I think it’s important to be open to new experiences.

      As for my face . . . YES– it used to be quite round. Even in my wedding pictures!

  8. Mary @ A Teachable Mom
    February 27, 2013 | 9:15 am

    You look fantastic! I’ve never tried Barre classes but I did try group exercise boot camp this year for the first time after years of being a solo exerciser and I’m hooked. Or at least I was hooked. I took a month off and need some inspiration to get back into it. That’s where you came in – thank you! And congrats!
    Mary @ A Teachable Mom recently posted..Rote RouteMy Profile

    • Nina (@NinaBadzin)
      February 28, 2013 | 12:18 pm

      I like the boot camp kind of format, too. The total conditioning classes are somewhat like that, though I think boot camp is more intense. It can be hard to get back into the routine. I’ve been sick for the past few weeks and it was VERY hard to get back. I was able to get right back into barre, but the cardio I do (which isn’t much) has been MUCH harder.

  9. Dana
    February 27, 2013 | 9:29 am

    Your good motivation with four kids. I was in the best shape of my life after number 1 and never the same since number 2. Now with 3 on the way I am hoping to try barre as a good addition to my pregnant and post baby workout. I have delayed in trying it partially due to cost and schedule but I am definitely game for trying it with you sometime.

    • Nina (@NinaBadzin)
      February 28, 2013 | 12:20 pm

      I will enter you in the drawing. I think you’d love it and if you win we can save it for a post-baby workout. You can do it pregnant, by the way, but in terms of financial investment, I think it makes more sense AFTER the baby is born. Thanks for stopping by here. Hope to see you Sunday!

  10. Tanya
    February 27, 2013 | 9:42 am

    You’re seriously my hero!! Good for you. I’m still doing yoga sporadically. I’ll do really well going twice a week and then life will take over, or kids will get sick, or I get sick (it’s kind of impossible to downward dog with a sinus infection, your head feels like it’s going to explode). I really REALLY want to start exercising more. It’s so hard with being a full time work out of the house mom to get to the gym. My hopes are high though. The girls are finally big enough to ride their bikes at my jogging pace so once the weather warms up a little more I plan to take them on trails.

    I do want to check out a barre class. My friend is an instructor in Vegas and between you and her I’m really intrigued.
    Tanya recently posted..Cake, cake, cake, cakeMy Profile

    • Nina (@NinaBadzin)
      February 28, 2013 | 12:21 pm

      Tanya, there are some good barre videos out there. I wonder if that would be a good thing for you. I’ll bet the girls can do some of it! Barre would be a great compliment to the jogging. What’s going on with your book blog?

  11. Poppy
    February 27, 2013 | 9:43 am

    I remember reading once that the people you knew from high school were usually 10 lbs lighter or 50 lbs heavier. Thankfully, I’m in the lighter category and I credit exercise! I’ve never tried Barre classes, but I think it is so important to find something you love. You look fabulous!
    Poppy recently posted..Awkward Family Photo with the iPadMy Profile

    • Nina (@NinaBadzin)
      February 28, 2013 | 4:49 pm

      Thank you, Poppy! Yes, I think that IS the key. It almost don’t matter what kind of exercise it is as long as you can stand it enough to do it often.

  12. Libby
    February 27, 2013 | 10:21 am

    OK so I have been stalking both Pure Barre and your blog…we have a lot of real life friends in common although I don’t think I’ve ever met you in person! I have been wanting to try this but haven’t figured out how to make it work in my schedule and budget! I have a feeling if I go just once, I’ll be addicted. Thanks!!

    • Nina (@NinaBadzin)
      February 28, 2013 | 4:53 pm

      I have for sure heard your name too and I always love hearing when people in town read the blog so seriously thank you for letting me know. I will tell you– schedule and budget are two things that can make barre a less than stellar choice for some people. Some studios have childcare, but this one doesn’t. If you can go at night, that might help both of those issues though? (Some of our common friends go at night!)

      There are also studios popping up all over the Twin Cities. I have to wonder how they will all stay open. Anyway, I will enter you in the drawing and hope we meet soon either way.

  13. Shailee
    February 27, 2013 | 10:46 am

    I want to try a barre class so bad. I am inspired by you! :) Barre has transformed you and I hope it will do the same for me.

    • Nina (@NinaBadzin)
      March 2, 2013 | 7:01 pm

      Thank you! I’ll enter you in the drawing!

  14. Zsuzsa
    February 27, 2013 | 10:49 am

    I have never heard of Barre exercises even though I live in St. Louis Park. I guess after a couple kids I just focus on different play area locations :))) It’s time to change! Thanks for the opportunity, it would be fun to try it with you!

    • Nina (@NinaBadzin)
      March 2, 2013 | 7:02 pm

      Great! I’ll enter you in the drawing!

  15. Jennifer Ajsenberg
    February 27, 2013 | 10:52 am

    Nina-I would LOVE to try a barre class. And it would be even more fun to do it with you! I hope I win. :) Jenny

    • Nina (@NinaBadzin)
      March 2, 2013 | 7:02 pm

      So glad you left a comment! I will enter you in the drawing!

  16. @Diann_D
    February 27, 2013 | 11:00 am

    Congratulations!! You looked adorable in the first pictures too, but as a friend used to say, there’s simply a feeling of happiness and strength in being at what she called “your fighting weight.” I tried one barre class before Christmas and it called up feelings of being in dance classes, which I loved and miss, so I think I will like it as an addition to my other stuff. I bought a 20-pass, and will report back. : )

    I’m curious about the Moksha Yoga–what’s attracting you to that over other styles? It really seems to be taking off!
    @Diann_D recently posted..A Salon Talk on Reading, and Some Thoughts About A Wild Sheep ChaseMy Profile

    • Nina (@NinaBadzin)
      March 2, 2013 | 7:03 pm

      I can’t wait to hear what you think. I think a blog post will be in order on that!

    • Nina (@NinaBadzin)
      March 2, 2013 | 7:04 pm

      Oh! And as for Moksha, it’s also not far from my kids’ schools AND it’s near my favorite writing spot in the Twin Cities.

  17. Lindsey
    February 27, 2013 | 11:58 am

    Hooray! You look amazing. xox

    • Nina (@NinaBadzin)
      March 2, 2013 | 7:04 pm

      Thanks Lindsey!

  18. Mommyproof
    February 27, 2013 | 12:05 pm

    I so, so need something like this but I find it so HARD to get away to a class when I have a little one. HOW DO YOU DO IT? (You look amazing by the way!) xox
    Mommyproof recently posted..My toddler is the CEOMy Profile

    • Nina (@NinaBadzin)
      March 2, 2013 | 7:06 pm

      I have help at home on the days that I’m doing barre. No secret tricks . . . just help. There are more and more gyms offering barre, I’ve noticed (which is easier in terms of childcare.) There are also some great videos (I’ve heard . . . have not tried them.) ALSO, some barre studios have childcare.

  19. Sharon Bially
    February 27, 2013 | 12:12 pm

    I could not resist this post. And you’re looking fabulous! Super-skinny, even? I’ve never done a pure barre class but have been taking full-fledged ballet classes for the past 10 years, including the barre part and just love it. My physique has definitely changed, too: more strength, balance, muscle and even a little grace :-) That said, after 10 years I still kind of feel, well, a bit heavier than when I started. But that can probably be boiled down to age. Ahem.

    • Nina (@NinaBadzin)
      March 3, 2013 | 8:09 am

      I’m not surprised to hear you’re a dancer after seeing you in person, Sharon!

  20. Cynthia Robertson
    February 27, 2013 | 12:23 pm

    What a difference those thirty pounds make, huh? Four babies later and you are…slimmer? What??!
    Glad you are enjoying the barre classes. Lookin’ good, Nina – keep going!

    • Nina (@NinaBadzin)
      March 3, 2013 | 8:11 am

      It just goes to show that I was TRULY eating way too much back in the day. Exercise is important and key for toning, but I honestly think the major component to keeping those 30 pounds off has been completely changing the way I eat. When I’m not as careful, I gain weight–no matter how good my exercise routine is. Wish it weren’t the case!

  21. Allie
    February 27, 2013 | 12:26 pm

    You look fantastic!!! I have to see if they have these classes by me. I just quit my gym after 6 years. Burnt out, on a hiatus, but at my age, can’t last for long:(.

    Love the new colors!!!!

    Read Gone Girl, btw and LOVED it. Thank you for urging me to read it.

    Still upgrading my blog…decided to hire a professional, as I am hopeless with technology. Im still planning on getting back to you. I’d hate for you to see it in it’s rookie-state.


    • Nina (@NinaBadzin)
      March 3, 2013 | 8:12 am

      Thank you, Alli!

      Well I can’t wait to see the blog once it’s finished. Make sure you let me know!

  22. Scary Mommy
    February 27, 2013 | 12:34 pm

    You are my hero. I seriously am in awe of how you transformed your body – so inspiring. Also? I’m still sore 3 days later.

    • Nina (@NinaBadzin)
      March 3, 2013 | 8:28 am

      As someone who knew me as the person behind that graduation gown, I know you can appreciate it. I had pictures WAY worse than that but they were all with other people so I couldn’t use them.

      You’ll have to let me know if you keep going. Part of what I like about barre is that I can go about my day afterwards since it’s not really a sweaty situation.

  23. Lisa Weinberger
    February 27, 2013 | 1:06 pm

    I have always been intrigued by barre classes, but I’ve never tried one because I’m really intimidated by them, too! Everyone says that they are so hard. I don’t know if I could keep up? But, after being on modified bed rest with this last pregnancy, I gained a lot of weight and am the least toned person I know. I would love to do something about it, but I’m concerned that I won’t be able to handle the class since I’m currently in such bad shape. Thoughts??

    • Nina (@NinaBadzin)
      March 3, 2013 | 8:33 am

      I was intimidated my first time, too! The classes are hard in a challenge your muscle kind of a way–not in a complicated choreography kind of way. There are always ways to modify the exercises or take breaks. You would do fine and you would do more in each class as you get stronger. People do it pregnant, too, so there are always people modifying, etc. You can do it! Most places have a baby bounce back type of package. I started with that kind of deal when Nate was about 6 months old.

      It is hard, but not at all crazy impossible like boot camp kind of stuff. The pace is pleasant and not insane. I really think it’s worth a try!

  24. Roni Loren
    February 27, 2013 | 4:29 pm

    So glad you found something that you like to do. And kudos on 100 classes. I don’t think I’ve ever done a hundred classes of anything lol. I’m like you–I’ve never been an exercise enthusiast. (This may be due to that fact that my mom was an aerobics teacher when I was growing up and I used to have to sit through her classes. Think 80s music, headbands, and leg warmers.) But I kept my weight down when I was young because I was into sports. However, once I got older and left sports behind me, I wasn’t sure what to do.

    I joined Lifetime Fitness as well (though I just dropped my membership last month), and I got up the nerve to try some yoga classes. I fell in love. I still do the treadmill to get my cardio (which isn’t so fun) but I actually look forward to yoga. And it makes me feel stronger and more physically capable. Plus, it’s kind of relaxing. Win.
    Roni Loren recently posted..Must-Read Monday: The Happiness ProjectMy Profile

    • Nina (@NinaBadzin)
      March 3, 2013 | 9:07 am

      Roni–this is my first time ever committing to 100 of anything either–at least in the exercise category. Lifetime definitely is more of a production (parking, locker room, getting to class early to get a spot, etc.) but I like that there is yoga and cardio classes all in one place.

      Meanwhile, love our shared-appreciation of Gretchen Rubin. I love her books, blog–everything. And of course I’m INSANELY jealous of her concept.

  25. Lisa Ahn
    February 27, 2013 | 4:40 pm

    Like Melissa, I wish I lived closer. I’d love to try a barre class. It seems like the kind of exercise I would love. I do reluctant aerobics at home now, in the mornings. I am trying to push myself a bit more — it is great to find that definition in my arms and to be able to hold plank for longer than a second. :) Congrats on your achievement!
    Lisa Ahn recently posted..Wing-Feather Fables: The Tears of StarsMy Profile

    • Nina (@NinaBadzin)
      March 3, 2013 | 9:08 am

      I have a total love-hate relationship with the plank!

  26. Jenna
    February 27, 2013 | 8:44 pm

    I want to try it! You made me want to go now Even though I have been hearing you talk about it for 100 classesI now want to go with you.

    • Nina (@NinaBadzin)
      March 3, 2013 | 9:09 am

      I will enter you in the drawing!

  27. Sara Grambusch
    February 27, 2013 | 8:52 pm

    Lookin’ good Nina! I’ve only heard great things about Barre. It’s so great to find your fitness niche. Whenever people complain about running (or whatever) it’s like, well, do something else! :)

    • Nina (@NinaBadzin)
      March 3, 2013 | 9:09 am

      YES–exactly. Thanks for commenting, Sara!

  28. Shari Dveris
    February 27, 2013 | 9:04 pm

    Nina, would love to try a barre class with you. Keep up the great work with barre and your blog!

    • Nina (@NinaBadzin)
      March 3, 2013 | 9:10 am

      Thank you, Shari! I will enter you in the drawing. And I’ll see you later! :)

  29. Anastasia
    February 27, 2013 | 9:35 pm

    I really like your new style and your creative ways to keep us readers engaged. Thanks for sharing your personal efforts with your fitness. You are an inspiration!

    • Nina (@NinaBadzin)
      March 3, 2013 | 9:46 am

      Thank you!

  30. Hallie Sawyer
    February 27, 2013 | 10:47 pm

    Way to go Nina! I’m so proud of you for making your health a priority! You are being such a great role model for your kids and someday they will learn that exercise is just something your family does. I was just like you, heavier when younger, and it was because of a pathetic attempt at exercise as well as unhealthy eating habits. It is so hard to overcome bad habits the older we get; that’s why I’m so proud of you. You kicked yourself into another gear and look at you! Awesome times 1,000! Keep it up!
    Hallie Sawyer recently posted..WAHMing and the Down Side of Snow DaysMy Profile

    • Nina (@NinaBadzin)
      March 3, 2013 | 9:47 am

      Glad to know someone else who was heavier younger rather than now. People ask me about it from time to time . . . no secret recipe here, I simply ate way too much back then. For years. I still have lots of bad days, but I don’t have bad weeks or bad months. Makes a big difference!

  31. Jolina Petersheim
    February 28, 2013 | 8:18 am

    You’re one hot mama, Nina! I wish I could try these classes, but I’m too far back in the sticks. Love the idea of a giveaway though! :)
    Jolina Petersheim recently posted..You Know You’re a First-Time Parent When…My Profile

    • Nina (@NinaBadzin)
      March 3, 2013 | 9:48 am

      Jolina– I don’t know if you’re a video person but some people really like doing barre with a video.

  32. Cindy Richard
    February 28, 2013 | 9:30 am

    Congratulations Nina – you look great. Also, congratulations on finding an activity you can stomach. I detest exercising and especially exercising in group settings. I wish it weren’t so. I do love to walk and I am good at keeping up with it in spring, summer, and fall (notice I left out winter…which is unfortunate since I live in a place where it is winter for about 6 months out of the year). I also love the new look of your blog – the yellow and grey is very classy.

    • Nina (@NinaBadzin)
      March 3, 2013 | 9:51 am

      Thank you! I was wondering if people noticed the blog change!

      Maybe for winter you need to become a mall walker!

  33. Mari Passananti
    February 28, 2013 | 12:14 pm

    You look fantastic! And you’ve inspired me to give Barre a whirl. I’m a runner who can no longer run due to a nasty knee injury that surgery failed to fix. I miss running and find myself exercising less because nothing else has grabbed me the same way.
    Mari Passananti recently posted..In Which the Grape Attempts to Teach Me to DriveMy Profile

    • Nina (@NinaBadzin)
      March 3, 2013 | 9:51 am

      I can’t wait to hear what you think!

  34. Heather
    February 28, 2013 | 12:18 pm

    You look amazing! That is one class I’d love to try, never having done anything like it before. You look adorable in your “before” photos, of course, but you can definitely see how much your hard work has paid off. I said it before – I’m sure no one ever guesses you have four kids!
    Heather recently posted..News Flash – Divorce is ExpensiveMy Profile

    • Nina (@NinaBadzin)
      March 3, 2013 | 2:02 pm

      That is true for you too!! It is!

  35. Natalia Sylvester
    February 28, 2013 | 12:19 pm

    You look amazing, Nina, and so strong! I think it’s so great that you’ve found a routine that you look forward to. So many people dread working out, and even after they’ve committed to it, it still feels like something they do because they HAVE to. I used to be one of those people until I found a boot camp class that I love, and it’s completely transformed how I think of fitness. It’s simply a part of my life now, just like writing or spending time with my family is. It just makes me feel good, and I can’t imagine giving that up. May will be 2 years since I started!
    Natalia Sylvester recently posted..In the Vastness of MemoryMy Profile

    • Nina (@NinaBadzin)
      March 3, 2013 | 2:11 pm

      Two years is so great! That inspired me a ton. And thank you!

  36. Robin
    February 28, 2013 | 12:38 pm

    Nina, you have been such an inspiration for so many people! You look amazing. Thanks you for your dedication and support of the studio. Now off to class 200!

    • Nina (@NinaBadzin)
      March 3, 2013 | 2:11 pm

      Thank YOU! :)

  37. julie gardner
    February 28, 2013 | 1:22 pm

    Oh my word, but you look fit!

    I’m sure you are a major inspiration to so many people looking to find some new exercise they love.

    (IF they can get over being jealous of your hot bod.)

    Still, it’s all about the brains, right, my friend?
    Okay. And a little about the butt.

    julie gardner recently posted..How To Not Write a NovelMy Profile

    • Nina (@NinaBadzin)
      March 3, 2013 | 2:12 pm

      I’d always prefer the brains! 😉 (Really!)

      And thank you!

  38. Wendy
    February 28, 2013 | 2:25 pm

    I read your post about Pure Barre and was really intrigued by it. I had no idea there was an exercise venue with ballet as a basis. I was in the best shape ever when I took a beginning ballet class at age 26 at Teacher’s College in NY. I’d love to give this a whirl.

    • Nina (@NinaBadzin)
      March 3, 2013 | 2:13 pm

      It’s such a great program, but it’s definitely not dance, which is good news to some and bad news to other. For sure google barre a bit to see what the moves are like. I think you’d like it though. I’ll enter you in the drawing!

  39. katharine Owens
    March 1, 2013 | 6:26 am

    Go Nina– you look great (adorable family shot, by the way) and even better, you look like you ENJOY it. We don’t have Barre here– but it looks so amazing. I’ll keep my fingers crossed that it will continue to expand.
    katharine Owens recently posted..Things I’m digging right nowMy Profile

    • Nina (@NinaBadzin)
      March 3, 2013 | 3:34 pm

      It seems to be growing like crazy so I bet it will pop up somewhere close sooner or later. And thank you!

  40. Michelle O'Neil
    March 1, 2013 | 8:57 am

    I’ve only peripherally even heard of barre, but this is so inspiring! You look beautiful, and I love that you make time to take care of yourself with four kids. A wonderful, powerful message. Go Nina!
    Michelle O’Neil recently posted..Whoosh!My Profile

    • Nina (@NinaBadzin)
      March 3, 2013 | 3:36 pm

      Thanks so much Michelle!

  41. Leigh Ann
    March 1, 2013 | 9:34 am

    You look amazing! It’s so worth it to find a workout that works for you and that you don’t dread. :)

    • Nina (@NinaBadzin)
      March 3, 2013 | 4:10 pm

      Thank you Leigh Ann! SO appreciate you stopping by.

  42. Rivki Silver
    March 2, 2013 | 7:42 pm

    Wow! Good for you! I’d never heard of Barre, so thanks for putting it on my radar. With two kids home full-time and one in preschool only from 9-1, I can’t really see how I’m going to fit any exercise classes into my schedule, but hopefully someday. I really loved going to yoga when I was able to. We have an elliptical in our room, and I try to use it at least once a week, but it’s so much nicer to have the camaraderie and support of a class.

    Great job, Nina! You must feel amazing!
    Rivki Silver recently posted..When Falling Down Means Going UpMy Profile

    • Nina (@NinaBadzin)
      March 3, 2013 | 4:12 pm

      Thanks Rivki! I’m digging the new avatar by the way. I’m going to watch your newest Partners in Torah blogs tonight too!

  43. Leah
    March 2, 2013 | 11:52 pm

    You look fabulous, Nina! I joined a barre studio last year and I liked it. But I agree with you that the key is sticking to it. I did like the workouts. I need to get back into it and hopefully will see some results. It does feel great afterwards. I won’t deny that.
    Leah recently posted..You WILL be Productive at Work, Darn It!My Profile

    • Nina (@NinaBadzin)
      March 3, 2013 | 4:13 pm

      Thank you, Leah! And thanks for stopping by!

  44. B
    March 3, 2013 | 8:49 pm

    I’m a new reader (found you through ADR) but I live in Minneapolis and would love to check out a barre class. Things have not been the same since baby #2!

    • Nina (@NinaBadzin)
      March 3, 2013 | 11:52 pm

      So glad you found the blog! I will enter you in the drawing. Thanks for stopping by and I’ll have to thank Aidan, too.

  45. Renee A. Schuls-Jacobson
    March 3, 2013 | 9:08 pm

    Okay. I was getting worried because I hadn’t heard from you in a while. Ahem. Obviously you have been busy! You changed the bloggie! Good for you! I know you wanted to redesign some things. And also good for you on the barre classes! You look fabulous!

    I’ve resubscribed. Hopefully, I’ll keep getting emails!
    Renee A. Schuls-Jacobson recently posted..Why I Love Me Some Bad BoysMy Profile

    • Nina (@NinaBadzin)
      March 3, 2013 | 11:54 pm

      Thank you for missing me! :) Yes, I was ready to lose the pink. Just wanted it a bit more serious but still fun. I think I achieved it!

  46. KristyMN
    March 4, 2013 | 12:57 pm

    Hey, Nina! Awesome job – I want to look like you :)

  47. Caroline Sable
    March 4, 2013 | 6:38 pm

    I’ve heard of Pure Barre through some Zumba friends.. and was actually referred to work there.. just from my dance experience. I have never taken a class though! I loved your story and would like to experience it first hand!

  48. Lisa Dahlberg
    March 4, 2013 | 6:59 pm

    I’d love to try barre class with you!

  49. Nickyla Marso
    March 4, 2013 | 7:24 pm

    Have wanted to try pure barre for quite some time (actually since the St. Louis Park studio opened), but just have not ‘committed’ to it because of the price. Hope to make it there sometime soon. Your story is a good motivation! Thanks.

  50. Judy Victor
    March 4, 2013 | 9:08 pm

    so, i’ve tried one barre class and it kicked my butt (yeah, i know it’s supposed to.)
    i would love to try them. i’ve heard great things about them.

    keep up the great work, nina!!!

  51. Stephanie F.
    March 5, 2013 | 9:53 am

    I’d love to try a Pure Barre class! I’ve never taken a group fitness class, but I’m curious to see what it would offer!

  52. Allison
    March 13, 2013 | 10:38 pm

    I just finished my 8th class and can’t believe you completed 100! You look fantastic and you are certainly an inspiration. I want to smack the girl every time she tells me “up an inch, down an inch”. Who knew an inch could be so painful?! :)

    How long did it take before you started to see serious changes in your body…and was it pure barre alone or the cardio + pure barre that created the catalyst that resulted in major changes?

    • Nina (@NinaBadzin)
      March 14, 2013 | 2:43 pm

      Hi! So glad you stopped by to comment and ask this question. First of all, thanks so much for the compliment. I totally laughed up your up an inch, down an inch comment. So true. I feel the same way re: “little bend, little straighten.”

      So, to answer your question, I don’t do very much cardio–never more than 90 minutes of cardio a week and what I do isn’t that inspiring. I usually do the recumbent bike so I can clear emails at the same time! That’s what I did before barre, too, so I think barre made a big difference for me. I have added total conditioning (some cardio + weights) and a yoga sculpt class in the past few months, but those two classes replaced two of the barre classes I was doing. They are not in addition to barre because I only have so much time!

      But I digress: I started barre last April and probably saw the major changes by August. I was going three times a week on the baby bounce back package. The other major contributor, and this really was a major help, was using to keep track of what I was eating. Not so fun, but important. I was good about what I ate (and still am) about 4 out of 7 days a week on average. Used to be zero days so 4 is pretty good. Some weeks it’s 6 days, some it’s 3. Four is pretty typical.

      I love that in barre it’s an hour of a good workout and then I’m done. I’m hardly a trainer or all that knowledgeable on fitness though. As I said in the post, I was not at all a fitness person before barre. Some people probably need a lot more cardio. I could probably benefit from it, but I know I won’t keep it up so I just keep it simple on the bike. It’s not a big push but it IS consistent. That counts for something I think!

      Sorry for such a long answer! Will check back in after more classes and let me know how it’s going? I’m curious!

  53. […]  EDITED ON 2/27/13 to SAY: I wrote about my 100-class milestone. Check it out! […]

  54. Missy
    May 26, 2013 | 9:39 am

    Thank you for so much info! I was looking at Pure Barre, but by me, after the second month, it is $200 a month. Why so high? Do I get a spa treatment with that??? 😉 After a bunch of kids, I need to lose a lot. Will I feel really fat and uncomfortable there? I do not want to embarrass myself! Also, what kind of diet do you do on the fitnesspal? If it is counting calories, how did you figure how much to really lose in the beginning? And lastly, how much did you lose? You look great!

    • Nina (@NinaBadzin)
      May 27, 2013 | 9:32 pm

      First, thank you for the kind words!

      As for the cost . . . I know . . . It does get pricey! I am not a member. I just buy packages when there’s a good deal and go once or twice a week and do other workouts the rest of the week.

      That said, I DO think my big commitment to barre for those first months after finally working out again is what helped get me stronger and more fit. There are people of all shapes, sizes, and ages there. I don’t think you will feel uncomfortable.

      My fitness pal allows you to eat anything you want. It just keeps track of the calories and nutritional info so it makes you more mindful of what you’re eating. There’s a program in there that asks you what you weigh and what you want to lose and then figures out the calories for you. I didn’t start myfitnesspal until I had ten pounds left to lose.

      As for how much I lost–it’s hard to say. I’m about 30 pounds lighter than when I graduated from college. But that is not all due to barre. Over the years in general I started eating better, but in 2012 and even now I made many changes in how I eat.

      I really love barre, but I also believe it just helps to find SOMETHING you like. Could be anything! (Well, except ice cream.) 😉

  55. Haute Barre Giveaway | Nina Badzin
    June 3, 2013 | 10:14 pm

    […] and stretching. If you’ve read my blog for a while, then you know I’m something of a barre evangelist (to put it […]

  56. Jaime
    June 11, 2013 | 1:46 pm

    Hi there! I actually specifically searched for “pure barre and arms” and came across your blog, haha. I am getting obsessed with toned arms.. I feel like I could be 2% body fat everywhere else, but if my arms are flabby, I still feel yucky. So, curious how many inches you think you lost in your arms? And did you lose much weight with this activity specifically? I just finished my 22nd class (I think?) and I have not gained or lost one pound LOL. Although I do see other changes.. anyway. This is a great blog, I really enjoyed it. Thanks!

    • Nina (@NinaBadzin)
      June 11, 2013 | 1:56 pm

      I’m so glad you found me! I don’t have any information in terms of inches. I also started eating a lot healthier at the time I started barre so it’s for sure not fair to attribute any weight loss DIRECTLY to barre. That said, it was my dedication and excitement for getting to classes consistently (and the fear of wasting all that money) that kept me eating well, which I think is the BIGGEST influence in losing weight. I think I lost ten pounds from the time I started barre to the time I hit 100 classes about ten months later. I also started with my baby was about six months old so there was still baby weight to lose in there.

      I totally hear you on the arms! If my arms feel toned, I feel more toned in general even if it’s not true. What’s with us!?

      Thanks so much for reading the barre posts and for taking the time to comment. I love hearing from readers who have found this post!

  57. […] Nina Badzin’s Barre Class Results: 100 Classes Later (definitely worth a read!) […]

  58. Pat
    January 15, 2014 | 12:45 am

    Hello amazing post !! Would you recommend to do cardio before pure barre class or after the class ?

    • Nina Badzin
      January 19, 2014 | 9:38 am

      For sure you’d want some cardio throughout the week as well. Maybe on a different day. But could be same day if you have time. Time is usually the issue.

  59. Pam
    January 22, 2014 | 8:51 pm

    CONGRATS! Ok, congrats, about a year late. I love this post. It is really inspiring. I went to a few barre classes with a friend and OMG it was hard! Don’t blame your recumbent bike routine for your discomfort when you started Pure Barre… When I went I was in the best running shape I’ve ever been and it still made me want to beg for my mommy. Also, totally non-sequitor, my husband somehow knew I would want The Most of Nora Ephron for Christmas! (We do a small gift exchange at his parents’ house for Christmas even though we do not celebrate it ourselves, if that makes any sense). I thought he saw me fondling it in a bookstore recently but he hadn’t, he said he just thought I would enjoy it.
    Pam recently posted..The most meaningful 800 words I’ve writtenMy Profile

    • Nina Badzin
      January 22, 2014 | 9:28 pm

      SO glad you stumbled on this post! Usually when I get a comment on an old post it’s spam. Glad to know the barre pain was not just me. Now I’m sort of on to Core Power Yoga. Really love the sculpt classes. Look how far I’ve come!;) And I might have a little crush on your husband.

  60. Viktoria Gerzeny
    February 25, 2014 | 5:02 pm

    Hello Nina,

    I just searched on the web if pure barre is changing the body. I have a ymca and a la fitness membership. Right? it is ridicules. I tried pure barre and i am addicted. The funny part is that I am a counseling masters degree student and I just stated in my class that I do not have an adictive personality.
    I saw many common with you becuse I work in child welfare and I used to be a journalist when I lived in Hungary where I am from. I do not practice any religion however my maternal grandmother was Jewish. My father told my family do not involve me with any religion at all I will decide when I am ready. I am just at the point when I would like to learn more about my grandmother history. Thank you for what you do and your motivation.
    Viktoria Gerzeny

    • Nina Badzin
      March 2, 2014 | 8:34 pm

      Hi Vikortia! So great to get your comment here. I took a break from barre for a while and tried other classes. I haven’t loved anything as much so will probably head back there soon. And how cool to find out that you have some Jewish heritage in your family. It’s a complicated but wonderful story to make part of your story. I wish you the best as you learn more. There’s so much beauty there. All the best, Nina

  61. Sheryl
    March 1, 2014 | 4:01 pm

    I started Cardio Barre here in Tacoma, WA 7 weeks ago. Prior to starting classes, I had lost 38 lbs by changing the way I think about and deal with food. Now, 7 weeks in to classes, I haven’t lost any real weight but I do feel a lot better and have lost some inches. Question: I am on an estrogen patch and was pretty much guaranteed to gain weight – which I haven’t. I attribute the lack of weight gain to my barre classes (4X/wk) but when can I expect to start actually LOSING weight?

    • Nina Badzin
      March 2, 2014 | 8:23 pm

      Hi Sheryl! I’m not expert as I do not work for a barre studio, nor am I a fitness professional in any capacity. I think barre is best for losing inches and toning, and the weight loss would come more from changing your diet and cardio routine. Good luck!

  62. Mary
    March 4, 2014 | 1:11 pm

    I’ve never tried a Barre class but am very interested! Look forward to seeing if I can try one for free! Thanks for posting. Pure Barre is near my home in SLP and I’ve been meaning to try it.
    Mary recently posted..In Honor of My Mom’s BirthdayMy Profile

    • Nina Badzin
      March 4, 2014 | 8:06 pm

      Hi Mary! Hope you get a chance to try one.

  63. Kate
    April 5, 2014 | 8:42 pm

    Pure Barre absolutely works. Similar to you, Nina, I had a hard time getting back on the exercise wagon after I had my daughter in early 2012. I was just never excited enough about running, yoga, etc. to do anything consistently. Until Pure Barre came along, that is. The PB studios are fairly new in the Washington, DC area, but man, the ones that are open around here are ridiculously popular. And it didn’t take me long to see why. I think I’ve been to about 25 classes and I feel fantastic. I also noticed more tone in my arms as well as my abs after just a few classes. I don’t do any other kind of exercise and probably won’t (aside from some occasional walks with my family). I love Pure Barre!

    • Nina Badzin
      April 7, 2014 | 9:05 pm

      Kate! This is motivating me to try barre again. I’ve taken a barre break just to switch things up, but I don’t think I ever felt as good as when I was doing barre regularly. Ultimately it’s great to find something you love and stick with it. For now, that thing for me is hot yoga sculpt, but when my package runs out, I think I’ll be hitting the blog again!

  64. Tawny
    October 24, 2014 | 12:07 am

    Hi Nina !
    I enjoyed reading about your experience with barre classes. I used to attend bar method classes back when I had a job and could afford them (before I became a stay at home mom 😉 I saw rapid results in my physique and I too never dreaded my classes even though they kicked my butt every time! I do barre DVDs now and have gotten great results with them. Have you ever tried doing the DVDs at home? They arena great alternative to barre classes :)
    Tawny recently posted..My Thoughts on EssentricsMy Profile

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