Before I went to New York City, one of my friends told me I should try Physique 57 while visiting. I was interested in trying another barre class and since she had done it, taught it, and fallen in love with it before Pure Barre, I definitely wanted to make it a priority. I had three days in the city on my own, so I called to schedule a class at the location on the Upper West Side. When I found out they added a free class to your account after taking your first class, I decided to go to a class earlier on my trip (Sunday) so I could go again later (Tuesday).
I signed up for a "mixed" level class, which right away is something that Pure Barre doesn't have: class levels. My friend said I shouldn't taken a beginner class because of my background with Pure Barre, it would be too easy. But I could only take a beginner or mixed class as my first class.
When I got to the studio, I was impressed. It seriously looked like a spa. They had a really nice locker room that allowed you to lock your belongings and grab a towel before heading to class. Afterward, I was able to shower (they had shampoo, conditioner, and body wash), dry my hair, and rinse out with some mouth washed. I was seriously impressed! I was glad to have had the opportunity to shower since it was in the middle of the day and I still had so much I wanted to do!
The way Pure Barre embraces red, Physique 57 is all about blue. The equipment was blue and the carpet was blue. I knew I wasn't quite "at home". The girl at the front desk said I should grab 5 lb weights and put my water by my spot at the barre. I did kind of like that they have brackets dividing up smaller, individual sections of the barre, but once class started, I felt like I was way too close to my neighbors.
Throughout class, I felt a little lost and disoriented. I felt that way during my first Pure Barre class because I had absolutely no idea what to expect, but this time I thought I had a leg up. I was wrong. While many things were similar, it seemed a lot more fast paced and less structured. The teacher would set up positions all around the room so occasionally I had to scan the barre quickly to see where she was. Instead of dividing the class into five sections: warm-up, thighs, seat, abs, cool-down, the class felt more mixed. For instance, we did another thigh sprint between seat work. But that kept my heart rate a lot higher throughout class and I burned more calories than I do at Pure Barre, on average. I was also surprised at how often we changed position. In Pure Barre, when you start in certain position in thighs and seat, you generally stay in that same position for the whole set. That was not the case at Physique 57. And we used our arms a lot more than in Pure Barre. It required a level of coordination that I don't really have.
I was originally planning on returning to take my free class on Tuesday, but I ultimately decided against it. I didn't love it so much that I was willing to go back. I decided it was more important to me to explore more of the city. However, I did get a 30% off coupon from something in their store for my birthday and I wasn't able to use it. I was really bummed about that because there was a super cute Lululemon top I wanted.
Of course I'm comparing 1 class at Physique 57 to 165 classes at Pure Barre, but I think I'm a Pure Barre gal through and through. I'm all about structure and I feel Pure Barre classes are a bit more structured that Physique 57. I've also grown to love the stretching between each section of class and I feel that it's more of a reward in Pure Barre. I feel those stretches deeper and the teacher spends more time stretching. If I lived in a city where both techniques were offered, I would without a doubt choose Pure Barre. I think Physique 57 is great, but it's just not for me.
By the way, in NYC where both techniques are offered, Pure Barre classes are about $33 each and Physique 57 classes are about $38 each.
Read some of my other posts about Pure Barre: