Happy Hour At The Barre
Oops, did I say bar? I actually meant barre…hehe my mistake. Anyways, happy Friday! If you’re off to the other type of bar right now you might be changing your mind by the end of this post.
It’s been about 4 months since I took my last barre class. For anyone who is a barre fanatic you’re probably staring at the previous sentence in disbelief. Barre is addicting and amazing! When I was teaching last summer I would wake up just itching to hit the barre. Then we moved to Thailand for a few months, and I managed to get distracted by everything that’s Thailand. Unfortunately, barre got moved to the back of my brain until today when I met with a local gym to discuss the possibility of teaching barre again! Man, my love for barre came back and hit me full force in the face. The withdraws have kicked in, and like an addict, I now need my barre!
I was first introduced to barre class by my aunt. I remember that class vividly. We were packed into a small studio, and arrived a bit late so I was left with the only open space in the room behind a pillar. I had no idea what to expect. It had to have been 90 degrees in the room and humid. There weren’t any clocks in the studio, but I managed to be planted right in front of the thermostat which had a digital clock. Man was that class hard! I remember watching the clock tick by slowly wishing that the longest hour of my life would be over. Yet, somehow after all of the pain and torture was over, I ended up wanting more! Call me a glutton for pain, but I have been addicted to barre class ever since.
I really suggest trying out a barre class if you have never gone! If you don’t know what barre is, it’s a combination of Pilates, yoga, dance and light weight lifting – more on why the light weight lifting is harder than it seems later. Don’t be fooled by the dainty name either; barre class will kick your ass. I took some time off from barre to work with trainers and focus on heavy weight lifting. Let me tell you, my first barre class back I was a bit cocky. I was thinking to myself “I’m going to rock this class. I’m in great shape, I have been lifting heavy weights, can squat this much, I’m well conditioned, etc.”. Ummm, I don’t know what I was thinking, but I struggled like no other. Those little 2 pound weights got the best of me, and I literally couldn’t walk in the morning.
The great thing about barre class is that it targets your muscles differently than heavy weight lifting; hence the reason I was in huge pain. Barre instructors utilize light weights, small motions and lots of reps to work the muscle until exhaustion. Usually, you’ll notice a bit of a shake once your muscles start reaching failure. You must embrace the shake and let it work its magic; the shake means that your muscles are toning. If you stick with barre it will treat you well. In about a month of taking barre 2-4 times per week, you will notice leaner muscles, lost inches and a sleeker look. Besides toning, barre class offers many other benefits:
- improved posture
- stronger core
- low impact workout – easy on the joins
- great calorie burn – you can expect to burn around 300-600 calories during class and 100 calories after class
- total body workout
- increased flexibility
- like any great workout, barre class will help you de-stress
- look good naked
I almost forgot that barre class is also fun! Most barre instructors keep class upbeat with energetic music, quick and flowing choreography, a variety of exercises, motivating comments and tough exercises.
So maybe next time you’re off to happy hour you’ll make a detour to a barre class before the bar. Your body will thank you, and maybe you’ll be inspired to start taking wheatgrass shots instead of tequila shots!
Until next time,
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