This week, in the spirit of it being the week focused on movement of the 2012 Self-Care Retreat in which I am participating, I decided to try a new-to-me form of movement by going to a barre class at a studio here in Washington, DC called b.fit barre. b.fit is similar to Pure Barre, which is one of the better known barre “brands” in the U.S., though living in New York, the method I was initially most aware of was Physique 57 (this post over on Fitnessista has a great summary), . As other barre methods do, b.fit draws from strength training, Pilates and ballet-barre work to provide a high-energy, core-focused workout, complete with upbeat music.
My sense from the little bit of reading I did is that Physique 57, Pure Barre and b.fit are all pretty similar. There is a related method called Core Fusion (another great summary on Fitnessista) which has more yoga worked into the routine as well. I had been wanting to try barre for a while for variety’s sake, but had not gotten around to it. There is actually a Pure Barre studio in Washington, but the reason I decided to try b.fit was the fact that Lauren, a yoga instructor at Tranquilspace, raved about b.fit and that I liked the idea of supporting a local brand. Last year the self-care retreat motivated me to try Zumba, something I had been wanting to do for a long time, so in the same spirit this year, I tried barre.
I should add that while I have done pilates numerous times, I invariably end up getting bored and unable to distract myself from the discomfort that core work entails, so when Lauren said Rachel at b.fit teaches a great class with great energy and loud music, I was convinced. I went to Rachel’s class this morning and was impressed that when I caught glimpse of the clock the class was 45 minutes in, even though it felt more like 15 to 20. That *never* happens to me in pilates. In fact, that was when I saw why barre fans call it addictive – the experience is very engaging and there seems to be a lot of variety in the classes. I also tried a beginner’s class earlier in the week to get a sense of the experience. While that helped, it was not mandatory to try the beginner’s class before attending a regular class. Overall, I had a really fun time (and Julie joined me for the class today, which was super fun). I would definitely go to Rachel’s class again, and would love to try more barre classes, whether at b.fit or elsehwere. In fact, I am hoping to be able to also try CoreFusion, as I am travelling next week and will be staying at a hotel that is connected to an Exhale spa.
Photo and graphic used with permission from Barre Fit.
General Disclosures & Disclaimers