The first thing people ask when I tell them I’m a regular at a barre studio is, ‘oh so is it like a ballet class?’ or ‘do they play classical music while you workout?’ or ‘do you actually get a good workout with 2 pound weights and one inch movements?’
And I’ll totally admit that I had these same questions before I attended my first class. I had heard of the barre movement for years, and decided to give it a hard pass because, like everyone else, I assumed it wasn’t quite a workout, and more of a ballet lesson.
Welp, I couldn’t have been more wrong. And 100 classes later, I’m totally addicted, and have been since class #1. Have I mentioned that I’ve taken ONE HUNDRED classes?
WHY I DECIDED TO GIVE BARRE A TRY
To me, 1-inch isometric movements sounded a bit silly and I didn’t really understand what the hype was or how it could possibly be effective. However, many of my friends who’ve had babies in the last few years swear by it. Seeing how my friends are much more in shape post-baby than they were pre-baby, my curiosity peaked.
I was growing bored of doing the BBG in my basement-gym, tired of yoga, I dread spin classes, and I’m not really a crossfit kind of gal. I was looking for something this summer, and I figured, what the hell. I might as well give barre a try. I did what any person would do, I bought an unlimited 30-days on Groupon for $79. And that’s when it happened. I got hooked. After my first week of classes, I signed up for their unlimited monthly package, beginning as soon as my first 30 days concluded.
BARRE IS HARD, EMBRACE IT
I will be the first to admit barre is super challenging. These tiny 1-inch movements are no joke. Your muscles become exhausted and fatigued and begin shaking. Literally shaking. All the while you must remember to… tuck, draw your abs in, keep your shoulders down your back and away from your ears, hold a flat back, press your shoulder blades closer, and raise your chin up to align your spine. And this is during virtually every pose.
No matter how many classes you take, it never gets easier, but you become stronger.
It is HARD. You’re working muscles you didn’t even know you had. It’s a complete full-body workout broken into three segments: arms + shoulders + back, legs + booty, and abs (my least favorite).
One hundred classes later, here I still…
- Loathe pushups and still do them on my knees.
- Get verbally corrected. All the time!
- Cannot do the splits or touch my toes.
LET’S TALK RESULTS
Before we get into the numbers, how many inches + pounds I’ve lost, just know that I’ve never felt better, more comfortable, beautiful, and confident in my own skin. My arms, shoulders, thighs, calves, back, booty, and tummy feel so much tighter, toner, and leaner. I’m able to look at my naked body in the mirror and feel proud of it. Never in my life, even at my absolute thinnest, has been this case.
OK, now let’s talk numbers. Before barre, depending on where I am with my cycle, I weighed anywhere between 127 — 132 pounds. This remains as is. I really haven’t lost any weight — which is totally fine with me, because….
As far as inches go, I’ve lost exactly 1 inch around the following parts of my body: hips, waist, and tummy. I also dropped an entire cup size! I can now wear workout tanks with a built-in bra WITHOUT the added support of a sports bra underneath — I’m super pumped about this, and haven’t been able to get away with that since I was 15.
I’ve never stuck with an exercise regimen longer than 3 months. I’ve tried them all. And I get SO BORED I can barely stand more than 2 classes per week. With barre, I find myself making the time to squeeze in a class. It’s for sure a top-five priority in my daily routine. I’m a 7:30A / 8:00A regular!
In the past, I used to sign up for whatever gym / fill in the blank studio was within a stones throw from my office / home. At first I was worried since this particular barre studio is 3 metro stops away from my home, I’d eventually stop going because of the commute. To my complete shock, it hasn’t once gotten in the way of me throwing on my yoga pants, tank top (NO sports bra, whoop!), and barre socks to head out for a class.
Barre makes me feel strong and fierce and fantastic. In addition, I’m constantly thinking of my posture and adjusting where my shoulders are. I love the yoga stretches in between sets and I love stretching at the bar.
GOALS FOR THE NEXT 100 CLASSES
- Complete all 60+ pushups on my toes! I’m currently doing modified pushups on my knees.
- Master ‘seat work.’ I still feel like I struggle with a few of the moves designed to help shape the booty.
- Upgrade to 3-pound and 4-pound weights for the arm + shoulder section of class. They recommend starting out with 2-pound and 3-pound weights, and that’s what I’ve been using!
- Hit the 200 class mark by June 1, 2018
Thank you to Karlee at The Bar Method for helping me with these photos, she’s one of their early morning instructors and will kick your butt! I’m one of her 8am regulars.