Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Meet Me at the Barre

One of the many things I’ve been recently obsessed with lately is Barre classes. I found a studio not too terribly far from me, through Groupon, that is not only beautiful but has a variety of Barre classes including Bootybarre, Flex and Flow Barre, Barre Fusion and Barre Circuit (descriptions can be found here. I, personally, love the Barre circuit class. I’ve read some blogs recently that talk about how Barre isn’t that great of a work out and I respect everyone’s right to like or dislike a work out, but I consistently burn 400 calories per hour during a Barre Circuit class and I think that’s darn good (considering I burn 450 in a bootcamp style kettle bell class, which has a higher intensity level).

The phrase “up and inch, down an inch” has become its own type of glorious torture for me, but in such a good way. Most of the exercises are done at the barre and you get low into a pose and then you hover… lifting up just an inch and hovering back down just an inch. I have never ever felt my legs shake the way this kind of isolated movement can make my legs shake. Even after just one work out, I walked out feeling like I had the longest leanest legs ever (I don’t, of course, but perception counts). It doesn’t hurt that everyone in the studio (and I mean everyone, not just the instructors) have absolutely magnificent booties. They don’t call it “booty” barre for nothing.

Holly and Me!
Holly and Me!

While all the instructors that I’ve had while attending this studio have been incredible, there is something inherently motivating about the owner, Holly’s, voice. I love taking the Barre Circuit class with her and her voice has this lilt to it that just makes me feel like she’s rooting for me (and everyone) no matter how torturous the words (again, I go back to “up and inch, down an inch”). She has created such a warm and welcoming space with good music, good work outs and a great team of staff. All the staff is welcoming , warm, supportive and encouraging, but Holly’s voice really carries me through when I’m taking her classes.

I should note that the studio also holds many Les Mils type classes such as BodyPump, INSANITY (I, personally, burn SEVEN HUNDRED calories an hour in this class!), GRIT, Zumba, Cardio Funk etc. (again, descriptions can be found here). They also have personal training, occasional monthly challenges, dance and many other offerings that make this a full service studio for a full body work out, not just for toning and strengthening but for HIIT (high intensity interval training) and cardio training as well. I, personally, am currently on a class kick and NEED the variety to keep me engaged in my work outs. Long over are the days when I could just pedal away on the elliptical with a book in hand. Between this studio, my 12 week weight lifting challenge (more on that later) and other studios / gyms I frequent, my work outs here keep me interested, engaged and pushing for more.

Until next time, friends, maybe I’ll meet you at the barre!

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