After a several month hiatus from my ClassPass workouts, I started my membership back up again in April and kicked things into full gear. Since then, I’ve used ClassPass at 12 different studios, between 3 different cities. These workouts have included boxing, rowing, barre, HIIT, and cycling. The days I’m not using ClassPass? You’ll find me struggle bussing at my friendly neighborhood gym as I grudgingly put away a couple miles on the treadmill.
One workout that I’ve had a love / hate relationship with is barre.
Sign me up for a HIIT class and 45 minutes later I don’t know what hit me (pun intended). This is because I am so busy maxing out my reps for each interval, that I don’t have time to think about the fact that all of my muscles are burning. But a barre class? That’s a completely different story.
Out of the several barre classes that I’ve taken, the best one I’ve gone to was at a barre3 while in Atlanta.
Barre classes focus more on isometric strength training exercises, mainly inspired by ballet (and a bit of yoga / pilates as well). These exercises are small range-of-motion movements that are performed for a high number of reps.
What this means in English is that the various postures are held in place, while performing very small pulsing motions. For most of the exercises, there isn’t much movement involved and postures are held for around 30-60 seconds. This means there is plenty of time to think about how much your muscles are burning.
The exception to this was some of the ab / oblique exercises and the warm-up cardio that was also included in the workout.
Between all of the relevés, squats, and pliés: everything burned. I could literally feel the lactic acid pooling in my muscles.
No, I am not being dramatic.
The instructor was incredibly patient and circled back around several times to help correct my posture. She would gently nudge me into the correct form so that I could feel the full effects of how each pose was supposed to burn.
Throughout the class, we used an assortment of resistance bands / straps, dumbbells, and a core ball.
Since barre classes provide quick results for women (hello six pack? hell I'll even taken a four pack), I've been back to various barre studios for a couple of additional sessions. However, the isometric exercises remain far from my favorite.