Happy Friday! What are you up to this weekend? My bags are packed (okay, that’s a lie — I need to go pack ASAP) for Chattanooga. I’ve got a half marathon on Sunday!
I’m resting up for the race, so don’t have any running recaps to share with you today — but I do have another type of workout on the agenda!
On Tuesday, my blogger buddy Brita and I were invited to attend a class at barre3 in the Gulch. The studio’s tucked in a rustic brick building with almost-free ($1-$2 parking) available. Classes are offered throughout the day, with the first weekday class offered around 6 am and the last class around 6-7 pm. Since we went to an early morning class, getting there was easy!Inside, the studio is sleek and welcoming. Our instructor Holly greeted us right away and helped us get set up with light weights, a mat, and a barre ball. I was surprised to see how full the class was; usually, I feel like there are only a few people that will wake up early for exercis. I take that as a sign this studio offers good workouts!
The one-hour class began right on time, and we jumped into a series of cardio and stretching movements for the first ten minutes or so. From there, we hit the legs pretty hard (think thousands of mini squats and mini lunges) and arms, too (think thousands of mini curls and dips). Core movements like planks were thrown in nonstop throughout the class, of course ;).
The most challenging part of the class was definitely the last 20 minutes, when Holly had us do a series of bridges that realllllllly got our glutes going. Luckily, lots of encouragement from her (like telling us to find our own “personal butt trance”) and some awesome Rihanna song helped keep me going in the last set. Warren G’s “Regulate” also came on, which was pretty amazing.We finished off the class with some more core exercises and light stretching. Class ran about five minutes over its scheduled time — I guess Holly really wanted to give us a good workout!
In terms of difficulty, I’d say that this barre class was on par with other barre classes I’ve taken before (like here and here) — it was pretty challenging at some points and my legs got shaky quite a few times. I wasn’t too sore the next day, though, and never felt like I couldn’t handle the movements.
In terms of atmosphere, I think barre3 is my favorite studio I’ve been to yet. The class felt much less serious (though still structured) and less competitive than other studios I’ve been to before, which was really refreshing. Holly continually reminded us during the class to not compare ourselves to our neighbors and to modify movements to fit our fitness and energy levels for the day.
Another unique feature of this studio that I liked was the emphasis on health and well-being (instead of looking hot and being skinny). During class, Holly emphasized that some of the movements weren’t for our glamour muscles, but for functionality, stability, and flexibility in our everyday lives. “This one-hour class is cross-training for the other 23 hours in your day,” she said. The studio is also really into food!
They’ve work with nutritionists and have a stash of healthy recipes for members to try. Brita and I met McKel of Nutrition Stipped there!Overall, I’d give this studio a thumbs up. Thanks for having us, barre3!Let’s hope all those squats and bridges will pay off with a PR. I’ll see you after race day!
- Ever tried barre? What did you like/not like about it?
- Locals: favorite fitness studio in town?
- When was the last time you were sore? What was it from?