When you think of taking a Barre class you probably think it’s going to be fun. You might know that it will be somewhat difficult. You might know that you won’t sweat as much as other workouts. If you’ve ever danced, you might think it’s going to be like ballet. You also might know that you’ll be sore afterwards – especially if you don’t workout all that much.
You probably don’t know that the classes are so intense that your whole body will shake uncontrollably. And you might feel like you’re going to throw up…
Barre class is a defined as a combination of ballet moves with yoga and Pilates. It focuses on working muscles through small, isometric movements. It uses your own body weight as resistance, although sometimes hand weights and resistance bands are also incorporated. Muscles are worked to the point of fatigue – on purpose.
After several months of Barre class (although, admittedly not in the past few weeks because of end of the year school things), I feel confident that I can give you a clear picture about what taking Barre classes will do for you and what it will not do for you.
Here is what I learned:
It’s harder than you think it is
I’ve taken many workout classes before and while they’ve been challenging, I wouldn’t say any of them are especially difficult. Not Barre.
Barre class is hard in a way that’s a bit indescribable. It’s intense. It challenges you both physically and mentally as you struggle to maintain your form and hold position. Your body will shake from holding positions and the isometric movements, which is a good thing. When you get to let go and rest, you’ll let out a huge sigh of relief and your muscles will throb. Then it’s on to the next position seconds later. Sounds fun, right?
Through it all, you’ll be exhausted but refreshed after class.
Even if you’re in shape, Barre class might kick your ass
If you run, if you lift, if you are a cyclist, if you do any other type of exercises, Barre will still be challenging and you will still be sore afterwards. As I said above it is harder than you think and the isometric movements work muscles that you don’t normally work doing some of these other exercises. I used to run all the time and I didn’t even know I had some of the muscles we work out in Barre class.
Barre is not the best if weight loss is your goal
If your goal is to lose weight, you need to work in another type of cardio workout in conjunction with Barre. While it will give you an amazing workout, the goal for Barre is to strengthen and tone your muscles without adding bulk.
Barre class is not a high calorie burner, which is something you need if you’re looking to balance out or reduce your overall daily calorie intake. According to the Mayo Clinic, you need to cut 500-1,000 calories a day from your diet to lose one pound a week. Depending on your weight, you can burn 200 – 300 calories per Barre class. For more on calculating how much you can burn, check out this information at livestrong.com.
There are mental benefits
Barre offers more than just physical benefits through. In fact, the mental benefits are similar to yoga. It increases your mind and body awareness and your focus and concentration. When you focus on the technique of the movement, it lets your mind relax and can decrease stress levels. You also get endorphins from it just as you would any other workout, which may be why I keep going back.
It doesn’t hurt my knees
Since I used to run all the time, my knees are shot. They are honestly the two things keeping me from running everyday again right now. I’ve had cortisone shots in both of them and in one of them there is evidence of a sprain as well as arthritis. News flash: I’m in my upper 30’s and not getting any younger.
I had been looking for something to supplement running when I stumbled into Barre class. I was a bit worried I wouldn’t be able to hack it due to my knee issues. However, I’m thrilled to report that it rarely bothers my knees. Even if one movement is a little tough for me, they NEVER hurt afterwards. That void of pain is something I actually never thought I would experience again from a workout.
You’ll see results fast
While Barre won’t really help with weight loss, you will see and feel results in about a week or two of classes if you go three or more times per week. I could feel my muscles toning up, I could see them toning up and when I did run, I noticed my endurance was much better than it had been before Barre. Again, there are also mental benefits and that might be one of the biggest perks. It certainly helped my outlook on things in the dead of winter in Michigan.
The music is awesome
If you’ve ever gone to a random aerobic workout class at a gym or if you’ve done Zumba or even yoga, you know the music might be a bit drab. Even if it’s upbeat, I sometimes don’t jive with it. In Barre class, the music is all a mix of songs you know that are popular on the radio.
It doesn’t seem like this would be a bonus, but I’m totally driven by the music I listen to while working out. In fact, there have been many days where I have bailed on a run because I couldn’t find a pair of headphones.
Your movements will be in time with the beat and there’s something cathartic about it all once you get them right and get on rhythm. Sometimes I can convince myself I’m just dancing…sometimes…
You’re stronger than you know
I think that this is one of the biggest takeaways for me. Even though Barre is extremely intense and can feel difficult, you will get through it. In fact, you’ll probably do really well if you can challenge your mind a bit and push through.
Don’t be afraid to take a break
If you need a break, you can also take a couple seconds. No one shames you at Barre class. Even if people look like they are in peak physical shape, it’s still intense and everyone ends up needing a few seconds at some point. I’m going to be taking a lot of them when I start again next week.
You’ll be hooked
I know a lot of this sounds negative. However, there’s honestly something about Barre that makes you feel strong, empowered and happy. That will keep you coming back for the pain time and time again. What can I say? We all know love hurts. At least this kind of love will make you kick ass strong too.
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What I need is to improve my overall strength and flexibilty and this looks like it would be perfect for that. I think my daughter does barre as part of her exercise plan.
I have always loved dance so this fusion class is a great idea to get all of those things icluding yoga, dance and pilates. I have not seen any barre near me so I will keep looking for it.
I’ve never tried barre class before. I might have to try it out and see if I like it. I have no rhythm, but still, I’ll probably have fun.
I have used bits and pieces of this class. I love doing the arms. My arms have gotten so much sculpting because of it.
I’ve never tried a Barre class before. I would love to give this a try. It sounds like a great experience.
My gym offers a Barre class that I really want to try. I need to get the courage. Maybe your post will help me. Thanks!
I’ve been wanting to try a barre class. They look fun and hard which is a good combo for me.
I only know the benefits of the bar training when I was growing up and taking balet classes. I would love to find something like this in my area!
I have never tried barre before but it sounds invigorating. I could use a class for stress relief.
I’ve never even heard of this class til now. This would be something I would be interested in trying though. I’m going to see if there are any near me.
My sister has just started barre classes and has been telling me I need to try it. She can’t believe how intense of a workout it is with such little movement.
Eeeekkk I am so excited to try my first barre class this week. Everyone I know loves it so this looks awesome. Thank you for sharing your tips. It makes me more excited.
I haven’t heard of barre classes until now. They sound intense. After I lose some weight I would be interested in trying this.
I think it’s so cool to attend barre classes. Thanks for sharing these details with us!
This is certainly something good to consider. It keeps you super fit and healthy. I am really into this.
It’s pretty cool to be part of a class like this. It seems that students are having fun here. I’d love to give it a try myself.
I just signed up at the Y and they have barre there. I’ve been curious about it!
I have never thought about trying this before but it looks like a great workout. I bet there are some nearby that I never even know about.
Love me some barre! you did such a good break down of it.
I have heard so many great things about barre classes. This is something I have to look into as an exercise regime!
I had no idea that barre class was so intense. Since I’m really out of shape, this doesn’t sound like a great fit for me.
This looks like a lot of fun. I’ve never done one of these classes, but I think I’d like to.
This is the first time that I’ve heard of this class. I do wonder if we have this here in the city. I will have to check. I’d like to give it a try.
I haven’t tried a barre class, but it sounds nice. It is definitely the kind of exercise I think I would enjoy over others.
Barre class is NO JOKE! I took some classes and went in thinking it would be harder than yoga but easier than spin classes as far as a workout… it kicked my butt! But I loved it!
I think this one is pretty challenging but worthwhile. I am sure the results are great. This is a must try.
I have always wanted to try a Barre Class but I am overwhelmed. This really helps a newbie figure out how to push themselves to take a class! Thanks!
I’ve been looking into trying a Barre class but now I’m more into kickboxing. Sounds like it’s working for you.. that’s great!
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Thank you for sharing this. In fact, I’ve been going to the gym for a long time, but I just can’t choose the very activities that will please my soul and become my favorite. And then I came across your article and I think it’s not in vain. It seems to me that this type of training requires a lot of endurance and good physical fitness. This is a great challenge for you. But I’m not entirely sure if it is possible to do this kind of fitness for people who have problems with the cardiovascular system. My girlfriend just wanted to do something that could train the will. So I hope this option works for her.
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