Top: Simply Workout ; Leggings: Alo Yoga
There are so many different methods of exercising- there’s the gym which requires a lot of self motivation, there are online class in the comfort of your own home, you could take the hundreds of thousands of classes offered by studios, personal trainers, outdoor activities, the list goes on.
I personally love to take classes because they give me incentive to wake up earlier than I usually would without having to think "I just don't feel like going today”. I love the high energy and motivation from the other people attending class and the sense of community that you develop when your schedule becomes consistent at the same studios. You form relationships with the instructors and you may even make new friends.
I joined Classpass about two years ago (when the unlimited membership was still $99), but downgraded to the monthly 10-pack for cost and convenience purposes. There are a few classes that I love which are not part of Classpass. Having been a member for so long, I've had the opportunity to try out a lot of classes (and I mean a lot)- yoga, hot yoga, spinning, HIIT, boxing, Pilates, TRX, barre and so many more.
Barre classes really stuck with me because they hit targeted muscle groups that gave me noticeable toning results without bulking up (which I found with some other classes). I began taking them around lunch hour as a mid-day calorie burn because they didn’t require too much energy exertion like an intense cardio class but still left me with an endorphins kick to get me through the rest of the day.
With the numerous amounts of barre classes that I have taken, I've chosen my top three (3) to review. These reviews are based on taking multiple instructors and are 100% my opinion.
Top: Varley ; Leggings: Beyond Yoga
Length of class: 60 min
Locations: 1 in NYC, 2 in NJ & many more (listed on their website)
Studio: The NYC studio does not have a shower, but does have two changing rooms and one bathroom. It’s located on the second floor in the West village and is kept very clean. The studio has a small boutique of athletic wear and does not sell water bottles, rather letting you use a mug to fill from their water cooler.
This is the one barre class that really wakes me up because of the cardio warm-up and the soundtrack. Followed by the warm-up, the class typically begins with an arm exercise using light weights (I usually use 2 lbs), then transitions into legs, glutes and finishes with abs. I find that Barre3 gives me the best sweat and really challenges my muscle groups because of the extended number of reps per body part along with the cardio to elevate my heart rate. I have never not left the studio in desperate need of a shower, which is a great thing when completing a workout. Barre3 also offers online classes for those who don’t live near a studio.
Top: Lululemon (other colors in link); Leggings: Lululemon ; Socks: Toesox
Length of class: 60 min
Locations: New York, The Hamptons, Beverly Hills, Dubai & Bangkok
Studio: The NYC studios have all the amenities (showers, lockers, towels, & toiletries) and are kept very clean. The NYC studios have small boutiques of athletic wear and sell water bottles.
I find the signature class to be very challenging with the right instructor. Each instructor has their own style and music selection that they incorporate into their classes, so it takes a few classes to find the one(s) that are right for you. Typically, the signature class begins with a quick warm-up and transitions quickly into an arm workout. I typically use 5 lb weights- which is the heaviest of any other barre class. Similar to barre3, the class usually has a pattern of focusing on legs, glutes then finished with an ab workout, but breaks the class up with intervals of floor exercise such as push-ups or a thigh sequence. Because of the lack of cardio, you really dig deep into the targeted muscle groups and feel the burn (in a good way). This is a great class to take during your lunch hour because a shower is probably optional but your body definitely feels as though it had gotten a workout. Physique57 also offers online classes for those who don’t live near a studio.
Top: Lululemon (similar top in link); Leggings: Lululemon
Length of class: Power 45 or Flybarre 60
Locations: Nine (9) in NYC, many more across the U.S. & in Dubai
Studio: The NYC studios have all the amenities (showers, lockers, towels, & toiletries) and are kept very clean with a small boutique mainly selling branded athletic wear. The NYC studios also offer complementary water bottles and typically have complementary apples and bananas.
Having taken both the 45-minute and 60-minute classes, I have to say that the extra 15 minutes really makes a difference in your workout. The 45-minute class is a little more fast paced as the instructor tries to target the full body in a shorter amount of time. The 60-minute class is not necessarily a slow paced class but more attention is paid to the individual workouts. Flybarre typically begins class with an arm sequence and the rest of the full-body workouts vary in order by the instructor. I do find that these classes have a more challenging ab workout, however focus less on sculpting the legs. From my experience, about half the exercises are done on the mat, either using your own body weight, the barre ball, hand weights or resistance bands and the other half is done on the barre (aside from the weight sequence). The sweat is minimal but the exercises are definitely targeted and challenging.
These three barre classes are my top three favorites. I am not giving them a rating because I alternate between the three based on what my mood is, what kind of energy I want to exert that day or what body part I really want to focus on. I hope this article has helped anyone who was looking to try any of these studios or just a barre class in general. Feel free to message me in the contact area of my website for specific questions!