A little while back, my closest friends and I hit up our first ever Barre class together at Barre Body Studio‘s Bow Trail location. And by first class I mean none of us had ever tried the elusive and trendy workout before. If you are anything like me, you will have it in the back of your mind to try something new; a new workout, a new recipe, etc, but you hold yourself back because you feel there is something daunting about that first step or you are telling yourself you won’t be able to reach or achieve that final result you are after. I’m here to tell you, from one bridled lady to another, that Barre is not even one bit scary, and you won’t look dumb in your first class. I promise!
So what exactly is “Barre” you ask? Well, it is a super effective workout combining all the best things about yoga, Pilates, ballet, and weights. One of the things that really stands out to me and that I love about Barre so much (I’ve been going 2-3 or more times a week for a couple months since that first class!) is the low impact/high intensity nature of all the reps you will be doing. If you have an injury, which I do, you will still be able to enjoy class and get all the full benefits without harm to your body. Barre works by tiring out the larger muscle groups first and then using teeny tiny “isometric” movements to work out the small twitch muscles for a fully body toning and strength building workout. You will get the shakes for sure, but I always remind myself that shakes mean strength is being built, and you will hear most of the instructors at BBS telling you in class “embrace those shakes ladies!”.
So I asked my friends to come along with me for my (and their) first class, and afterward we snapped some photos of both of them in their new favorite Barre pose.
Pictured above, Veronika is enjoying “first position” which she liked because it was fun, got her muscles burning, and also made her feel like a ballerina (because, common, who doesn’t want to look and feel like a ballerina?). In BBS instructor Jaimie’s words “first position targets your hamstrings, outer thighs, and glutes all at once and can be done flat foot or on relieve, heels lifted balancing on the balls of your feet”
Pictured below, Cheyanne is rocking her favourite, “reverse chair” pose. “Also known as a wall sit, this pose targets the hamstrings, inner thighs, quads, and glutes. We tell clients to focus on engaging the glutes (that little ledge where your glutes meet your hamstrings) to take the emphasis out of your quads in this pose,” says Jaimie of this lofty and challenging pose.
That’s another thing I love about Barre that you won’t find with too many other workouts; the instructors are truly engaged with each client and are always finding ways to help you make those tiny adjustments to get the most out of your hard work, all while being super encouraging. You basically want to take each instructor home with you after class for more confidence, and you picture them being part of your squad outside of the studio… They are just that incredible (and they do so much of the work with you which is why they are all so fit).
Each Barre class is 60 minutes long, unless you are at one of their early morning or lunch time “barre press” classes which are only 50 minutes. The 60 minute classes include 2 rounds of cardio, always in a fun and interesting way; this really is a full body workout guys, important to work out those heart muscles! Pictured above, we are busting out to some upbeat music with our best “mall walkers”- these always get me smiling cuz they feel like such a playful workout, love ’em.
Of all the things I love about Barre, my favourite thing is obviously the results; I have never felt so strong, slept so well, or seen my booty so high and round in my life. I don’t want to ever stop going, and I would be going every day if I didn’t have to line up child care to get out of the house (mamas with infants can bring their babes with them for the scheduled mama and baby classes by the way). This is all coming from just an average human who never liked working out before, let alone making it to class every other day… If you don’t believe me, try it out for yourself and I can guarantee I will catch you smiling along with me in class many times in the future, get that “first time” out of the way and you’ll be hooked for life (and telling all your besties what they are missing!)