Doing something new every week in 2017 #8: Barre

#8 of 52 new ways to challenge yourself in 2017 | Last week: Steve Blank

Getting ready to barre with my fitness apparatus

Unless you’ve been sleeping under a rock, you have probably heard of barre, the latest fitness craze that everyone has been talking about.

Barre is an interesting mix of ballet postures, cardio, yoga and Pilates. It is a medium to high intensity workout that also involves some weight training.

Barre classes tend to be small (around 10 people typically) and it is popular with women, as it is seen as an one stop shop that includes all the essentials of a well-rounded exercise program for those that are short on time.

Last week, my friend Jas finally persuaded me to give it a go (with the bribe of a free pass), so it was with a great deal of trepidation and anticipation when I stepped into the Xtend Barre’s studio with her…

Suit up

The studio was smaller than the yoga studios that I’ve been to, but looked well equip with all sorts of fitness apparatus. Jas helped me pick out two sets of weights, a resistant band and a stability ball.

You do need a pair of grip socks for balance (much like a ballerina). I suggest getting one from Trade Me/eBay/Amazon as they are much more affordable online. Grip socks have small dots at the bottom and they can be used for Pilates/interpretive dance if your find barre isn’t really your thing.

Complete your look with some yoga pants and a T-shirt/tank top and you are all set to barre!

Dare to barre

The barre session was intense and fast paced. You end up working on all areas of your body in a 45 minute session that covers cardio, resistance/weight training and stretching. We ended up using all of the apparatus and although nothing was particularly hard going, I did find that resistance training and core strengthening were definitely my weakest areas.

The workout did have some aspects of ballet, but it wasn’t too challenging for a beginner.

For me, barre was much easier to master than hot yoga or advanced Pilates. I particularly liked the variety of the exercises involved.

The aftermath

If you are unfit (like me), everything will be sore the next day. I went to barre twice last week and I found it much less painful and challenging the second time around.

So, the good news is that the more you do it, the easier it becomes!

The cost*

There are a range of payment options to suit, depending on how frequently you’d like to do barre. The first session is always free, then it’s $25 per session or cheaper if you do a 10-visit or monthly pass. They also have a $49 special for newbies, with unlimited classes for the first 2 weeks.

*I’m not affiliated with the Xtend Barre studio, they are just the closest studio to my workplace. There are other similar providers in the region as well, so it pays to do your research.

Coming up next: salt pod/sensory deprivation tank