The other night, I had the opportunity to try out a free barre class at Momentum Fitness. I had no idea what to expect. I even googled what it would be like.
The facility is a great space – a small cozy but upscale-feeling gym that focuses on personal training. The studio was only large enough for a class of six people. I couldn’t take a picture in the studio without feeling like a tool so you’ll have to use your imagination.
The instructor was a an experienced dancer and definitely looked like one, despite saying that she had “just” had a baby. She was a really great teacher and was good at explaining how to move and hold your body. I hate it when you take a fitness class and the instructor is just someone who took a few weeks of certification and calls themselves an expert *cough* a lot of kickboxing classes *cough*. Anyway, I think her name was Michelle and she was very knowledgeable.
Each person was set up with a yoga mat, 2-lb weights, and a foam roller. We actually started the class by foam rolling our legs and thighs. Then we did this crazy move where you lie on your back balanced on top of the foam roller, if you can picture that. It took some strong ab muscles and focus to not wobble around. As if that wasn’t hard enough we then did some leg kicks while balanced in that position. We continued on the mats with squat (plié) type moves and flowy arm movements while holding the little weights. When you are holding your arms out for an extended time, those 2-lb weights do get heavy! Finally we moved on to the barre where we did plié squats and moves where you kick your leg out behind you (like an arabesque but like, 1/4 of that height).
The entire class moved very slow and was sort of calm. Some of the moves were challenging and I had to stop for breaks, and I knew that I’d be sore the next day, however I was never out of breath and literally didn’t break a sweat. I don’t know how much of that is typical of a class or if she was extra easy on us because it was everyone’s first time. For the record, I was sore the next day. Although I definitely understand the benefit of these muscle-toning moves, I’m not sure if I see this as a workout for me. First, it’s kind of extraneous. It can’t be your only exercise; you have to add it to other stuff that you’re already doing. It also doesn’t seem to be the type of workout for someone who wants to lose weight. For fat loss, you have to sweat heavy and lift heavy. This type of workout is for extra toning for people who are already in decent shape. I really appreciated the chance to try a new type of workout since I’m always looking for new ways to get in a workout, but it’s just a personal preference that barre isn’t for me.
Tangent: I mentioned that I couldn’t take a picture in the studio because I felt like a tool, so here I am taking a selfie in the dressing room, being a tool in private. I bought this tank top at Old Navy for $7, and I thought it was so adorable. Then in class I realized it makes me look so pregnant. Cute pregnant, but pregnant nonetheless. It didn’t help that I had to stare at myself in the studio mirror the whole class.
I hope no one in the class thought I was pregnant. How annoying!