Sunday, June 5, 2016

Barre Crawl: barre3 Revisited

Lately, I've been taking classes at barre3. I reviewed one class I took there when it first opened, but I did so with some trepidation. I really don't like reviewing studios with only one class under my belt. Somehow, it doesn't seem quite fair. You need a few swigs to get a really accurate perception of a barre, and at the time I was in the tank for the Bar Method. I still really like the Bar Method, by the way. They're tops for form corrections, and the carpet... oh my. But I gave up my membership there last summer. My wonky bits were acting up too much for me to get enough use out of it, and I was ready for a change.

So color-me-happy when my local barre3 had a sale on ten class packs. Yippee! A sale on barre classes is to me what a sale on shoes is to other women.

Here are five things I'm loving about barre3:

  1. I sweat. This is not usually that hard for me, as I've mentioned before. I tend to be a sweat-er. But not all barre classes will get you more than misty. Barre3 is a full-on sweat. This is because b3 always includes a set of compound exercises. You're working upper and lower body together, and it's intense. 
  2. They use large range of motion exercises, along with the up-an-inch-down-an-inch isometric contractions for which barre is famous. Usually, a set of tiny pulses is followed by some big movements. Honestly, this just feels good after the tiny pulses. And it gets your heart rate back up. See #1.
  3. It's different. We all know how I feel about barre. I *heart* it to the moon and back, but sometimes it's nice to do something a little different from the standard barre workout format (arms/thighs/seat/abs.) The layout of a barre3 class is not like a classic barre class. Everything is all jumbled up. You know, in a good way. Not like my kitchen gadget drawer. Anyway, moving on...
  4. They are all about modifications, and that makes my heart sing. After my year of 1000 injuries, I need modifications, and I love that I am encouraged to modify up the wazoo if I need to. Every studio I've ever been to sanctions modifications if you need them, but sometimes it feels a little less-than if you are doing them. Not at barre3. They're all over making the workout work for you. And that leads me to my fave aspect of b3....
  5. The vibe. It's very supportive, and very non-competitive. You won't hear any of that 'see if you can get one inch lower than your neighbor' nonsense. You know what? Some people could maybe get a little lower in wide-second, but maybe they shouldn't. Not everyone's body is designed to get the femur parallel to the floor. For some people, that's an injury waiting to happen. I've now taken classes with five different instructors, and they are all about making the class work for you. On that day. Even if you're normally an amazon, if you're just not feeling it that day, that's A-OK. And that, peeps, is really nice for recovering badasses like me. 

The only thing I'm not loving about barre3 is the floor. It's hard. And the mats are rigid so you can't just fold one up and stash it near your spot for when releve is hurting your bunion. But that's ok. I can work around that. barre3 is getting two thumbs up.