The Scoop: Pure Barre vs. Barre3

If you’ve been following me for a little while, you may know by now that I am a huge barre girl! I love the feeling of working hard, sweating, and doing a full body workout, without the high impact that can come with running, Orange Theory, etc. Now, I know a lot of people who’ve never taken a barre class scoff at it as not being hard or challenging… but, let me just say this, don’t knock it till you try it! I’ve heard NFL players say it’s the hardest thing they’ve ever done!


For those of you that don’t know anything about barre, it is essentially a mix of elements including pilates, dance, and yoga. Every move is choreographed to high intensity motivating music! You do a lot of isometric movements, meaning you hold a position & contract your muscle, rather than moving your limb. Barre also incorporates a lot of resistance work to build and tone your muscles, rather than heavy weights (the heaviest weight they even offer is 5 lbs — this feels like 1000lbs at some points during class!!!)

So, the question I’ve been getting asked the most is: what is the difference between Pure Barre and Barre3? Let me start by first saying that every studio is different! They are all individually owned + operated so what I have experienced here in Fort Mill, SC may not hold true to wherever you live. But, I think this blog post will give a good breakdown of the similarities and differences!

Some of the obvious differences are that in Pure Barre you have to wear socks while in Barre3 they are optional. The floor in Pure Barre is carpet while Barre3 is hard linoleum.  Pure Barre has a more cozy and homey environment, while Barre3 is aesthetically more bright and airy. Barre3 also offers child care for all you momma’s out there! I know that is a huuge deal breaker for lots of women out there.

In terms of the people, the instructors are super friendly at both places. However, I will say, at Pure Barre you feel like a celebrity your first class; you get a full tour and instructional guide from the instructor. Whereas at Barre3 it’s more casual and less individualized. At Pure Barre, they take the time to learn everyone’s name and compliment or make individualized instruction all during class.  I miss this at Barre3, where it is more of a traditional group fitness class, where they don’t do much-individualized instruction. Barre3, at least at my specific studio seems to have a younger clientele, which I love since I am always the youngest in the class😂

Relating to choreography, I think Pure Barre is a lot more detailed. I could never teach a PB class, just because I am not very rhythmically gifted, but I think I could teach a Barre3 class. B3 uses more traditional exercise movements (eg. squats) that you perform over and over to make an impact on your physique.  Both classes work arms, legs, thighs, shoulders, back, abs… but, I think Pure Barre works your abs/lower back more; there is a longer dedicated period of time for abs. Whereas, in B3 you are supposed to be working your core during the entire class, by always flexing and sucking in your abs! Although this is hard to keep up the whole time 😉

One element that I love about B3 is that it incorporates more elements of yoga, such as relaxation, breathing, spiritual,  and mental focus.  It is amazing to have an hour of your day dedicated completely to re-centering yourself.

Pure Barre, in my opinion, definitely has better music. It is loud, motivating, and more popular well-known songs! Whereas B3 plays more instrumental music with strong beats.


My first Pure Barre class was over 3 years ago and I remember being sooo sore. My first Barre3 workout was last week and I was also SO DARN SORE. Like, couldn’t sit down on the toilet sore lol. So, I think they are both an amazing workout! It really just depends on your preference for the instructors, the location, and your overall workout style that you prefer. For me, I like rotating to keep things different! Barre3 has been such a good change of pace and honestly, I am just excited to get back into more of a workout routine since graduating college!

I’m sorry if this was a bit rambly.. I just really wanted to give y’all the most information possible! Let me know if you’ve tried both B3 and PB and what you think of each! As always, if you have any questions, feel free to DM me or comment below!



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