I'm going to venture to guess most of you have heard of barre! It's been one of the most popular type of workouts the last few years. And sadly, no, it's not a class where you go learn how to make drinks as our friend Colleen first thought when I told her about this class haha! Although I would definitely sign up for that, too. I've been scoping out barre classes all over town from the safety of my Facebook app for months and months. I've done a few barre online workouts, and did a couple of shorter barre inspired classes at the gym I went to when Evan was a baby. But I've never ventured into the barre studio. Until now!
I reached out to the ladies at Body Sculpt Barre Studio in Prairieville, and they generously offered to have me come in for a free class. So I put on my big girl pants (the stretchy workout kind), and headed to the studio.
Let's just keep in mind that I am 3 months postpartum. So I've only been back in the exercise train for about 6 weeks. And although I do workout most days of the week, it's only for about 30 minutes. And it's by myself in my living room - not in a room full of mirrors and 20+ strangers. So walking into the studio for an hour long class already had my armpits sweating a little, and I hadn't even started the warm up yet.
I walked in and did a quick eye scan to see everyone kicking off their shoes at the door and grabbing a red bouncy ball and weights. So I followed suit and found an empty spot at the barre. I probably should have used the pre-class time to stretch (and pray to the dear Lord that I didn't die), but instead I started chatting it up with the ladies around me...partly because this is what I do when I'm nervous and partly because I was out of my house with adults and no kids. WOO!
So if you don't know what barre is, and just you just saw a short video clip of some people doing a class, you may think it looks easy-peasy. It's small little movements - no intense cardio, no high intensity moves. You might even think it looks like a piece of cake.
You would be wrong.
Our instructor, Shelly, walked in and told us all the things we would need for class - the ball and weights, plus some little stretchy resistance bands, and a sliding disc. We got started with a warm up. And y'all, I was already making the ugly strain face. As soon as I felt it happening, I decided it would be best to just not look in the mirror for the rest of the class. At nearly 6 feet tall, and still hanging in around 10 pounds overweight post-pregnancy, I'm not the most graceful thing you've ever laid eyes on. But I didn't need the mirror throwing that in my face, y'all. I don't need that kind of negativity in my life (kidding...mostly).
Most of the class was lots of pulsing and lifting and holding and squeezing and gripping and tucking, and I was just hoping I was gripping and squeezing the right things. Thankfully Shelly was awesome about making sure everyone was doing things correctly without making you feel like you were a complete mess.
There were a few moments where I may have muttered an expletive or two under my breath (including when I had to try to squeeze those teeny tiny resistance bands over my non-teeny tiny thighs), and I did get nervous that I may fall to the floor during some squat pulses instead of coming all the way back up. That would have been cute. And trying to keep everything gripped and tucked and tight while also lifting and lengthening made me want to take a nap. But as soon as I felt myself wanting to quit, Shelly would chime in with a "yes you can!"; that and the grace of the sweet Lord kept me going.
So would I do a barre class again? Absolutely. It was incredibly challenging, but I know that means it was working. I also loved how core-focused it was, especially as I am recovering from my third pregnancy and trying to regain my core strength. I was wiped out when I was done, but no part of me regretted doing it. Another thing I loved was the group class environment. Every single lady I talked to was so encouraging. I think we are so inundated with "mommy wars" and women being ugly to each other on social media, so it was really cool to see a group of women supporting each other and kicking some major booty together.
So if you're in the Baton Rouge/Prairieville area, go check out Body Sculpt (they also have a new location in Central). They were scored as the top fitness boutique in 225 last year, so they are legit! There are a variety of barre classes, TRX, POUND (I want to try this!!), and Pilates Reformers.
And the best part… your first barre class there is ALWAYS free! Their mission is to create and obtain an ongoing culture that is fun loving, encouraging and supportive of women of all sizes, shapes, and fitness levels; evolving each person into a stronger, happier, and more confident individual. And I totally saw that in action. They were so encouraging and motivating, and it made me want to go back for more! Feel free to mention to Jonathan that I'd love a gift certificate for a few classes as a Mother's Day gift ;)
If you've been on the fence about trying out one of these classes, go for it! You won't regret it. You may want to punch me when your whole body is shaking in class, and your muscles are sore for the next few days. But you can thank me once that wears off. Because it's good to get out of your comfort zone sometimes! And it's also good to have a nice butt.
So what's something you've been wanting to try but haven't yet?? And what's something you'd like to see me try next! Let me know in the comments!