Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Workout Wednesday - Barre

Well after procrastinating for several months and worrying about how my hip would be affected, I finally went to a barre class at The Bar Method in Austin.  What can I say? I wish I had gone earlier! I really loved it!

The class was so different from how I workout normally.  The idea behind barre is that it mixed pilates, yoga and ballet into a challenging class that works your smallest muscles to give you a long, lean but defined body.  Using a mix of ballet bar, weights and mat work, you hit your arms, your abs and you legs with high reps of tiny movements followed by stretching of the area you just worked.

I have to say, I thought it would be easy and some of it was.  For me, the arm work was very easy and I am going to experiment with heavier weights to see if that creates more of a burn without sacrificing the form and posture which is critical to this class.  But the leg and ab work?? HUMBLING! I squat regularly, often with heavy weight on my shoulders and yet this series of small squat movements had my legs literally shaking!  I had to focus really hard to maintain my posture, my technique and still do the small movements and the next day, I felt muscles in my butt I've never felt before!  And then we hit abs...and I felt the burn! Again, it's small movements but tons of reps and it was tough!

I love finding different ways to work out and stay fit but I really love getting my ass handed to me, especially if I had the cocky attitude that it would be easy (which I did with barre!).  Both my friend Erin, who goes as well, and I both had some reaction - we run, we train hard but this was a different kind of hard! And that challenge, that different kind of hard, has us both hooked! Erin is even training to be a barre teacher so stay tuned for my experiences with her classes! I always say when a workout is hard, harder than most workouts are for you, it's your body telling you that some area of your fitness has been lacking and that whatever the exercise you find hard is, that's the one that will fill that gap!

Specifically about The Bar Method in Austin - I can't say enough about this place! It's clean, friendly, with ample parking and great instructors.  The instructors go out of their way to remember each persons name and they are very hands-on in helping you correct your form.  They are also really encouraging and supportive and will often explain things several different ways to make sure everyone is able to gain something from the class.  I've had 3 different instructors and they all have slightly different styles which has been great for me as I have an attention span of about 3 seconds for workouts that aren't weights or HIIT cardio but barre has kept me guessing (and working!).  While different, each instructor has been really informative, helpful and passionate.  If you live in the Austin area, I highly recommend trying The Bar Method in Austin.

Have you tried barre?  Do you ever find workouts you think will be easy end up kicking your butt?


  1. Julia, thank you for sharing your experience with The Bar Method on your blog. It was a pleasure to have you in class on Tuesday! Who knew small movements could deliver such big results, right? See you soon again in class! Best, Kate

    1. Thanks Kate! Yes, it's definitely a completely different workout than I'm used to and I love feeling the challenge in such a different way! See you soon!

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