Weekly Workout Wind Up (7/11-17/13)

My week goes SOOO much better when I have training plans to follow than when I try "winging it!"  

Thursday, July 11: Rest Day


Friday, July 12: 5-Mile Run

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Saturday, July 13: 2-Hour Bike Ride ... cut short because of a flat tire

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Sunday, July 14: VERT Race Series Sasquatch Trail Race

july 14

Monday, July 15: Pure Barre class and 50-Min Spinning

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Tuesday, July 16: Pure Barre class and 4-Mile Run

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Wednesday, July 17: 4-Mile Run, 1400-Meter Swim and Pure Barre

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This has been one tough week with high temperatures and tons of humidity in Boston, but you just have to keep pushing through. Why? Because you never know what weather conditions will be like on race day!

Pure Barre 2.0

Lift. Tone.


That is the motto of Pure Barre.

Not sure what Pure Barre is? Simply put on the website:

Using small isometric movements at the ballet barre set to motivating music, Pure Barre lifts your seat, tones your thighs, abs and arms and burns fat in record breaking time. Clients see results in just 10 classes, lose inches in weeks and have fun doing it!

And BOY is it true. Pure Barre really works on tiny tiny movements. Move your straight leg just one inch up and one inch out and your butt feels the work.

For those that are new to my blog (HHEEEYYY!!) or don't remember, I did a month stint at Pure Barre Burlington in November-December 2012. I documented my time there here.

I'll wait while you check it out. No seriously, I have coffee I can drink in the meantime.

La la la la. Oohh piece of candy.

Okay, you all up to speed?


Pure Barre Burlington is owned by my friend Jess, someone I have known and has been a fitness inspiration to me since college. Jess was gracious enough to offer me a free month of classes at Pure Barre back when she opened the studio in November to share with you all what Pure Barre is really about.

Once the month ended, I wished I could continue, but unfortunately it wasn't in my budget. But, in June, Jess and I were chatting and she once again graciously offered up another free month of classes at Pure Barre Burlington.

So I offered to again share my thoughts and even pictures of me with you all. :)

I walked back into Pure Barre on July 8th and I immediately got nerve pangs just like the first time I walked in there.

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But, this time around I KNEW I could tweak the exercises if I needed to. I also remembered I could stop and stretch at any point in time if my body needed it.

Also, the classes truly are made up of people of all shapes, sizes, athletic abilities, ages ... and even some gentlemen!!

(Note: cell phones are not allowed inside the class - which I love - but I have special permission for this series)

After my first class, I was happy to report that I felt stronger than when I ended the first series. Woo!

Each class is broken down into segments to work on different areas of the body: arms, abs, seat, thigh, etc.

I could tell those Jillian Michaels DVDs really helped my upper body strength.

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Even my surgically repaired back can handle the ab movements. I love that you can work the lower abs without having to do a bunch of crunches.

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The thigh work pictured above is where the SHAKING comes into play. Jess and her amazing staff keep reminding me that shaking is good so I let it happen. Ha!

One of the biggest thing Pure Barre does is combines the work - thigh, seat (aka butt), etc - while having you stand on your tip toes.

"Act like you are wearing six-inch stilettos"

I'm someone that rarely wears heels and after pretending I have heels on for a good portion of this class, I know why I don't. ;) It increases the burn ... but in a good way. Of course. :P

I am happy to be getting back to Pure Barre and adding it into my rotation. It is a total body workout, which I find will be SUPER helpful in my triathlon training.

Plus, my body can use the extra stretching as well...

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Have you ever tried Pure Barre before? Will I see you at Pure Barre Burlington?

Weekly Workout Wind Up (7/4-10/13)

The week started off poorly, but rebounded once I recommitted and actually found a training plan to follow for the upcoming triathlon AND the Dopey Challenge (Janury 9-12 ... 4 races ... 4 days ... 48.6 miles)!  

Thursday, July 4: Rest Day


Friday, July 5: Rest Day


Saturday, July 6: Travel Day to Maine/Rest Day


Sunday, July 7: 4.5-Mile Trail Run with Sarah in Maine :)


Monday, July 8: Pure Barre class, 4-Mile Run and 50-Min Spinning




Tuesday, July 9: Pure Barre class, 35-Min Stairmaster and 25-Min Elliptical



Wednesday, July 10: 1000 meter Swim and 5-Mile Run




I am sooooo happy to be following a training plan again - it just makes life easier!! :)

Just 9 Days Left With Pure Barre...

How does a month pass so freakin' quickly? During Dana's 7:10am class on Thursday I realized I had just 10 days remaining in my time with Pure Barre Burlington.

Ahhh ... 2/3 of the way through the month ALREADY.

Each class is still as tough as the next, but I can really feel a difference in my body. 

I think this photo sums up my whole time at Pure Barre thus far.









Yes, shaking definitely is one of the adjectives I have felt from Pure Barre. But I know when you are shaking, it's working. ;)

What I have enjoyed the most from the experience thus far is pushing myself past the point of comfort and trying exercises I never thought I could possibly do. And they are exercises I can incorporate into my daily routine. Really!

I found myself "tucking the tailbone," which is a staple saying at Pure Barre Burlington, in the car while driving around the other day. ;)


Jess snagged this action shot of me the other morning during class and I loved it because ...

... at first I was so self-conscious of how I looked in class, but then I realized I look just like everyone else. :) It is such a safe space, where I'm just one of the gang and I thank Jess and her whole staff for making that feeling for all their customers!


Once I realized just 10 days remained I got down to business and started registering for as many classes as I could between now and then so here it goes:

Monday, December 10 - 7:10am

Wednesday, December 12 - 5:20pm with Contest Winner Heather :)

Friday, December 14 - 5:20pm

Sunday, December 16 - Noon

*Still need one more class with the other Contest Winner Robin!


Will I see you at Pure Barre Burlington before December 16??

*WINNER ANNOUNCED* Pure Barre Class With Me Giveaway!


Thanks to Random.org, the winner of the giveaway is #7 .... AND #18:

THAT'S RIGHT! Jess at Pure Barre Burlington was nice enough to give away 2 free classes with me instead of 1! Thanks Jess...


Congrats to Heather Federico AND Robin Nichols!!

Thanks to everyone who participated and keep your eyes out for the next giveaway - which will be launching TOMORROW for Sparkly Soul headbands … :)


Are you ready to lift?

Do you wanna feel the burn?

Looking to tone?

Then Pure Barre in Burlington is the place for you! :)


Just a reminder of what Pure Barre is courtesy of the Founders:

Pure Barre is the fastest, most effective way to change the shape of your body. Using small isometric movements at the ballet barre set to motivating music, Pure Barre lifts your seat, tones your thighs, abs and arms and burns fat in record breaking time. Clients see results in just 10 classes, lose inches in weeks and have fun doing it!


I've been attending the class for just over a week now & am starting to drink the Pure Barre koolaid :P

Check out some of my thoughts so far: Class One, Class Two and Class Three!

It is definitely a unique workout that hits spots on my body I never knew you could strengthen.

So now it's time for the good news!

You ready?

Are you sure?

Well, here it is ...

... I'm giving away a free class with me at Pure Barre Burlington!

And following the class - we can grab a Dunkin Donuts coffee or a beer (pending time of class) ;)


So here's how to enter:

*Follow @IrishEyes1982 and @PureBarreMA on Twitter (if you have an account) - leave one comment after following both

*Like Weight Off My Shoulders Blog and Pure Barre Burlington on Facebook (if you have an account) - leave one comment after liking both


*Comment below answering the following question: “What about Pure Barre makes you want to check out a class with me?” 


… I will take responses until 2pm ET Wednesday (November 28).


The winner will be picked at random … Good luck! :)

My Back Vs. Pure Barre

I went back for more torture ... haha just kidding ... I went back for my lifting, toning and burning! :) I was wicked anxious before my first class at Pure Barre in Burlington on Friday night!

BUT, after the initial soreness wore off I was ready for more...


Now before I go into how class went yesterday morning, I want to give you a little story on my surgically repaired back.

In December 2010, I was told I had a herniated disc in my back. I tried PT, but it didn't work so on January 28, 2011 I went under the knife and had a microdiscectomy in the L4-L5 region of my back. I was banned from all activity from December 2011 through May 2012 (besides some light walking). I was finally able to return to full activity in June 2012 and haven't looked back.

Occasionally my back can get some discomfort after I sit in a chair for too long (think long car ride, airplane ride or a movie), but other than that I am pretty much back to normal. But, I am always weary of certain exercises that may flare up some back pain so that is another reason why I am cautious about trying out new activities...

But, thankfully the girls at Pure Barre Burlington couldn't have been nicer. During my first class on Friday, Jess (who knows about my back issues) gave me an extra Pure ball to use in the small of my back during the "ab" section at the end of class. I didn't use it, but it was great to know they were ready and willing to help me modify the ab work to fit for me.


Now, yesterday morning, I hit up the 7:10am class with Dana. It's funny how I grumble at having to get up early for work, but I sign up for a 7:10am class and I jump out of bed in excitement. Anyone else do that too? :)

I hadn't met Dana or Becca (another Pure Barre instructor) before, but both were so welcoming when I walked in the door.

Since it was my second class I was a pro and knew exactly what to grab before class ... okay, I still checked with everyone sitting around me to make sure I didn't miss anything. Check!

I even recognized a couple faces from the Friday afternoon class - I love seeing regulars at a studio! :)

So it was time to start, we started with the warmup/core work again. Since I had done Body Pump the day before, I went lighter on the weights, but still felt quite a burn ... especially during the bicep portion. Pure Barre keeps the intervals short, but you are working the entire time.

We followed that up with some chair work along the barre, but it was different than the moves done on Friday. I love variety. We worked the same muscles, but switched up the specific moves.

After a brief yoga/stretch, it was time for some "seat" or booty work, but instead of doing it along the barre (like I did on Friday) Dana had us working it on the floor. I wasn't sure how we would get the same burn, but my thighs let me know they felt it - and then some.

I am not so good at the self portraits ;)

One wouldn't think such tiny movements of the leg could lead to so much muscle work, but since they are wicked precise they do.

After the seat work, we set our mats up against the wall so our backs were against the wall and our heads were under the barre and it was time for more core work. Boy did my abs and legs feel that. At one point, you held one leg up towards the bar, while the other was pointed straight out off the floor - and moved both in small circles at the same time.

WOW! I didn't think I would be able to do it, but I did. During this portion, there were a couple points where I took a break, but thankfully I saw other people periodically take breaks or stretch out the legs or back so I didn't feel out of place at all taking a moment.

And before I knew it class was almost over, which meant it was time for seven minutes of abs.

Again, Dana had slight variety of ab work, but it was great. My back wasn't sure at all. Instead of doing more crunches on the ground, we did them while sitting up. I had the extra ball next to my mat just in case, but I didn't even need to use it.

With my abs on fire (in a good way), it was time to end class with some stretches. As I was doing the stretches, Dana actually walked over and helped push my stretch even deeper. I really appreciated the help and love the hands on approach of the Pure Barre class.

Overall, my body was feeling the lifting, toning and burning, but I can say I wasn't as sore as Class One. That has to be a good thing right?


As I noted in my post following Class One, Pure Barre says members start seeing results in just 10 classes. Well, Friday will be Class Three and I'm bringing my girl Lindsey with me.

Pure Barre Burlington is offering a special Black Friday deal, where any client can bring a friend to a class for free!

Hopefully someone will be around to help me out with pics at Class Three since clearly I can't tone and take pics at the same time. :P