Try New Things Tuesday

Try New Things Tuesday!

Hey everyone!  So I’ve decided that with all of the new things that I’ve been trying lately (and want to continue trying all year round) that I would start a new feature on my blog!  On Tuesdays look out for the new things that I’ve been trying out!

trynewthingstuesday

For the first edition of Try New Things Tuesday, I’m going to write about the greatest workout class ever:  Barre3!

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*Disclaimer:  I was not compensated at all for this review.  Although I did not pay for the class, no one else did either and all opinions are my own.  Barre3 has no idea I exist and they don’t care what I write, so keep reading for an honest review!*

I wrote a brief post about Barre3 here, but since then I’ve taken this new workout to a whole new level!  I discovered Barre3 from my sister, who used to be a dancer.  She did these workouts a few years ago and got super toned (she’s already skinny) and only had good things to say about them.  After doing that short 30 minute workout online (which you can find in my link if you’re interested in trying it!), my legs and butt were killing me!  I realized that even though running gives me a great workout, I’m not doing enough to tone up or work my non-running muscles, especially my arms and core.  So after doing the short workout online, I started googling to find cheaper ways to do Barre3 workouts, and discovered that a new Barre3 studio was opening up in Berwyn!  That’s only about 20 minutes from my office, so I was really excited about the opportunity to do these workouts with an instructor who could help me work on my form and get the most out of my workouts!  I became even more excited when I learned that during the studio’s opening week they were offering free classes!  Friday’s class was full, but I signed up for the wait list and prayed that I could get in.  And guess what?

20140120-234641.jpgWoohoo!  Best mid-day email ever!  I may have screamed at work  🙂

The closer I got to class, the more nervous I got.  I’ve only taken 1 workout class before this, and the Barre3 studio was on the Main Line (think lots of skinny pretty rich girls decked out in full Lululemon outfits) so I was a bit intimidated.  But when I arrived, I was met by extremely nice employees who made me feel very comfortable.  They got me all set up at the barre, and I was ready to get started!

barre3outside(photo from the Barre3 Main Line – Berwyn Facebook page)

If you’re about to take any type of barre class, here are some things you should know:

  1. You will be taking the class barefoot unless you have special socks with a sticky bottom to grip the wood floors.  This is an important thing to remember in the winter when you’re not keeping up with your DIY pedicures.  I would say the worst part about taking this class was how embarrassed I was by my chipped up pedicure!
  2. Barre classes don’t require you to know ballet.  In fact, there was no dancing in this class (thank god!).  There were a few movements that we did that had a graceful ballet flow, but we mostly used the barre to do standing planks and push ups.
  3. Barre3 has many elements of yoga, especially with the breathing.  We got tons of instructions on when to breathe in each exercise, and we did a yoga-like cool down.  There was even a point after a super tough section where we did child’s pose!  That’s my favorite yoga pose  🙂
  4. Barre3’s exercises revolve around “earthquakes”:  you hold a position, and then pulse up and down 1 inch until your muscles are shaking uncontrollably!  It’s super tough to keep working through it but I can definitely tell that I’m getting a good workout!
  5. Just because you’re given 1 or 2 pound weights to do the exercises doesn’t mean that you’ve got it easy!  Your arms will by DYING by the end of the arm work!  I’m proud to say that I stuck with my 2 pound weights the entire time, even though the instructor said that we could put down our weights at any time.
  6. You will definitely need a towel.  I got to my class last minute, but luckily I was placed right next to the shelves with the class supplies.  I had to grab a towel off the shelves because I was sweating buckets only 15 minutes into class!  I definitely felt like I got a good workout!
  7. All exercises can be modified based on your experience, fitness level, and possible injuries that you may have.  My instructor had lots of modifications for each new exercise and she was excited to see many people using them during class.  She stressed that we need to feel comfortable doing these moves and that we needed to make this workout fit our personal level.

barre3inside(photo from the Barre3 Main Line – Berwyn Facebook page)  This is an actual class from last week – doesn’t it look like fun?

After 60 minutes of warm ups, barre work, lots of leg “earthquakes”, arm work, and the most killer ab workout I’ve ever done, we finally began our cool down.  I was totally shocked at how fast the class flew by and was actually sad it was over!  I felt tired from all of the intense moves we did yet really calm and energized from the yoga-like cool down.  After class the owner gave us free gifts for trying the class.  I was really excited to see a card for a complimentary class!  I literally couldn’t wait to come back for another workout!

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On my Try New Things scale of 1 to 5, I give this new thing a 4!

Pros:

  • Tough workout that can be modified to fit your current fitness level
  • In-class workouts that change constantly so you’ll never get bored
  • A calm, welcoming atmosphere to work out in – plus the Berwyn location only had 1 classroom so it was not a loud and busy place
  • Great staff that were willing to help newbies get set up
  • Lots of tough workout moves mixed with yoga-like moves and breathing techniques
  • Lots of mirrors so I could constantly check my posture and technique to avoid injury
  • It’s low impact so it’s a perfect cross training exercise for runners

Cons:

  • The price – single classes cost $20 and the packages are definitely not cheap.  They do have new member packages but I know after those run out I won’t be able to afford classes anymore.  But they do have occasional free classes when they are training new instructors so it’s worth checking it out to see what deals they have going on!

There aren’t many cons, but price is a big one.  Barre3 offers unlimited online classes for only $15 per month and these workouts change each month so you never get bored.  That might be the best option for me if I want to continue doing Barre3!

Have you ever done a Barre3 workout?  What new workouts are you trying this week?

28 thoughts on “Try New Things Tuesday!

    1. I know! They were definitely doing it to get more people interested in taking classes and clearly it worked because I’m hooked! I haven’t tried the VitaCoco yet but I’m excited I can do it for free!

      1. It took me a while to get used to it. I love coconut, but the first time I tried it I threw it out! Over the years I have started to like it more and more 🙂

  1. Oh my gosh I love your new feature idea! I’m much more likely to try something new if I’ve heard about it from someone else (that pros/cons list is a huge help) 🙂
    I never wanted to try a Barre3 workout in the past because I assumed it would feel too much like ballet (which never appealed to me)- but it sounds like you got a fantastic workout!
    I think my gym has Barre classes, so I’m going to have to see if there’s one that works with my schedule 🙂

    1. Yay I’m glad you like it! I also love hearing about new stuff from someone who’s already done it – that’s why I read race recaps before running a new race! You should definitely try a class. I’m not a dancer AT ALL so I was nervous to try this, but they really only took the “graceful” part from ballet and mixed it up with yoga to disguise how difficult the moves were 🙂 There was one point in the warmups where she had us doing some kind of dance-like move and she said “This is the only time we’re going to do any dancing!” but I think it was something like moving your legs and arms at the same time, so it wasn’t exactly dancing. It made me feel a lot better knowing that I wouldn’t have to bust out any kind of crazy moves in front of all those strangers!

  2. I loved this review b/c I’ve honestly always thought Barre was a ballet type class, and a dancer I am not lol. I can always use more tone and low impact so I’m gonna check out my area for a studio. (after I do the 30min video you posted before of course)

    1. Me too! But it’s really not at all. The video I posted was the 30 minute standing workout which I liked because all you need is a kitchen counter (or in my case, my bed frame). I’m sure if I did this type of workout all the time I’d have killer arms and a much stronger core! In class they had us do core work with the squishy ball thing supporting our lower backs…it was the most intense core work I’ve ever done! I felt it on my run 2 days later!

    1. Thanks! I’m excited to do this on Tuesdays! And definitely see if any of your local gyms has some kind of barre class. I think every type of barre class is slightly different (I hear Barre3 has less cardio and more yoga breathing which I really like!) but they should all have that super fun earthquake toning aspect 🙂

  3. I take Barre3 classes in Georgetown (in DC) – talk about women in nicer workout clothes than me! But the staff and instructors do make everyone feel welcome at the studio. And I hear ya on the pedicure thing, I am always hoping none of them are looking at my toes.
    I love barre, but yeah I don’t know that i can do it regularly due to the cost.

    1. That’s awesome! Yeah I think Berwyn is like the Georgetown of Philly so I know what you mean. It’s on the richest end of the Main Line, but luckily those girls were really sweet and didn’t judge my jacked-up pedicure (at least out loud haha). I actually should probably go paint my nails right now! And now that I think about it, I didn’t notice any overtly “I’m rich!” clothing and even noticed a few girls in ratty old sweatshirts (I had to give them props for wearing those the whole time since I was sweating!) so it actually wasn’t that bad! I sound like such a hater but I’m just secretly jealous of anyone who can afford Lululemon AND barre classes at the same time! I did notice the girl next to me had the Barre3 socks and I was totally jealous of her haha.

    1. You should totally try one out! Even if you do a few online you can tell if you’ll like it, although I liked it so much more in class. It’s nice having someone check on your form. And I’m excited about my Tuesday posts too! I get to try out all kinds of new stuff now!

  4. I would love to try a class – the last time I looked there weren’t any near me. I’m going to search again to see if I can track one down. This looks and sounds like a great workout!

    1. I’m not sure where you are located specifically, but definitely search for some classes. I think they have Pure Barre over there, and maybe one other kind? I really wanted to try out other types of barre classes but only found one other nearby studio that has it and they don’t offer any kind of “first class free” thing so I might hold off on trying it until I’ve got $20 to shell out for a workout. I’m a sucker for free classes!

      1. I’m in South Jersey, about 20 minutes outside of Philly. So far, no luck tracking one down but I won’t give up! I’m a sucker for free too – I like trying something out before shelling out the moolah. 😉

    1. Same here! I watched my sister do it once and I was like “why are you sweating?” but now I totally get it. It’s crazy when I can see how much my legs are shaking! Do you take classes or do classes online? I might have to subscribe to their online classes so I don’t go into withdrawal 🙂

  5. I really need to try a barre workout. I’ve been skeptical but I’ve heard such great things. Thanks for the fab review!

    Also, if you’re going to keep up with try new things Tuesday, you should consider linking up with Jan at Sprouts n Squats! She does a trial tuesdays link up (although she is on the fence about continuing it). Just a suggestion if you’re interested 🙂

    1. Definitely try it! I’m sure it’s not for everyone but I definitely liked how it made me feel, especially the next day when I could tell how much it worked my abs! And I’ll have to check out her blog! Thanks for the tip!

    1. I am thinking about doing the online subscription because it is so much cheaper than classes! Did you like the workouts? Did you feel like they were a good workout? The owner of my new Barre3 studio told me that they’re “not as good as class” but I don’t see why not. I think she just wanted me to buy the super expensive monthly subscription!

      1. I loved the workouts but I did a lot of the shorter ones because it was right after my son was born. Full disclosure: I’ve never been to an actual class, so I can’t say if it’s better, but the price is good enough to try for a month and see how you like it!

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