My obsession with barre classes came from out of nowhere. I really like Yoga, but wanted something to give me that “wow, that was an intense workout” feeling instead of the “wow, I’m so relaxed” feel. I still don’t know where I found out about barre (let’s assume it was from Pinterest). I started off doing the absolute most intense workout EVER (everyone says “omg” or “whoa” or “yikes” when I tell that I did it), and realized I needed to slow down and start from the beginning.
Barre is a mix of ballet, yoga and pilates. Depending on your instructor, you’ll probably use a combination of equipment, including very small dumbbells (2 lbs+), a squishy ball, a fitness ring, a yoga band and/or a mat. You’ll need some grippy socks, which I purchased at the studio. The hour long class is packed with stretching and pulsing. You focus a lot on the arms, glutes and the core. The burn is absolutely out of this world. There are many times that I can’t hold a pose or do an exercise in its entirety. You’re challenging your body to do some serious work, so much so that your body shakes. I mean really shakes. And that shakes lets me know my body is getting it in. Just thinking about it makes me want to head to class now! In fact, I liked the classes so much, I started another Instagram account to share my yoga, pilates and barre inspirtation!
The only issue I have is the price. Most places charge about $20 a class, and I’ve seen unlimited monthly memberships that are $170+. I do NOT have that kind of money right now, especially since I owe Sallie Mae my life and my wedding is four months away. So I go when I find a Groupon or Living Social deal, and I stalk the company’s Facebook page for flash sales. The two Baltimore studios that I’ve been to include Barre. and Pop Physique. (Barre. does have a $300 bride-to-be/new mom special for 3 months of unlimited workouts that I’m slightly considering..but that’s still a lot of money to me!)
This studio is in Pikesville. This is definitely a hoity-toity location. Everyone basically wears Lulu Lemon and Splits 59. I spotted a Birkin on my first visit, and there are a slew of luxury cars outside. No one seems to have back fat or love handles (but that’s okay–more motivation for me!). I completed that crazy intense Megabarre class (read the review here) there, and as I said, there’s a bit of a rich housewife feel. However, the staff and instructors always make me feel welcome, and I always go back without hesitation. Plus, the studio is gorgeous! If it were up to me, I’d attend 5-6 classes a week at this studio.
This studio is in Charles Village in Baltimore. Parking is hell during the week (ugh, meters and city traffic!), so I only go on the weekends when it’s a little easier to find a spot. They have a huge, airy lobby that’s super chic (check out my picture I posted on Instagram last week). There was a small crisis the day I went, so the staff seemed a bit rushed. In fact, the entire class was a bit rushed. But it won’t stop me from going back–I’ve got four more classes left on my Groupon.
Want to see exactly what I’m talking about? Here’s my Barre playlist with free workouts on Youtube. I do these at home, but I find that I slack more when I’m not in the class. Let me know what you think!