There are so many new workout programs out there that it’s difficult to find the right one for you. There is CrossFit, a severely intense program that will really squeeze every single ounce of energy from you. There is also yoga, a program that focuses on form, breathing, and flexing. And of course, who could forget the traditional weight-training program where you hit the gym and simply pump iron to gain an enormous amount of strength? And then there’s the Barre3 program.
Uhhh, Barre3? What the heck is that?
According to its official website, barre3.com,
“Barre3 is a revolutionary class that combines the grace of the ballet barre, the wisdom of yoga and the strength of Pilates. Set to music, this transformative 60-minute ballet barre workout improves balance, increases flexibility and enhances strength. Every second in this workout counts for fast body shaping results and long term postural benefits.
Barre3 wasc reated by fitness expert Sadie Lincoln and was borne out of her 20 years of teaching numerous exercise platforms. Sadie created this transformative class by combining the best of ballet barre work, yoga and Pilates into a unique sequence designed to balance the body.”
Okay, the definition is all good and well, but what can Barre3 do for you really? I’m sure you want the specifics! Chad from fitorfake.com outlines a few benefits the barre3 workout:
“• Fast body-shaping results and long term postural benefits
• Longer, leaner muscles and a strong core
• Greater energy and increased stamina
• Increased flexibility and a natural flow to the body
• The ability to connect mind, body and breath and relieve stress”
There are many version of Barre3, but all of them still adhere to the general concept of doing a lot of reps of tiny, pulsing movements (like raising and lowering your lower limbs by just a couple of inches). Most versions, if not all, also target your core muscles as well as the lower part of your body. Barre3 also places high value on proper form.
Rozalynn S. Frazier from Health.com wrote a piece published in Huffingtonpost.com describing the different versions of the barre3 workout.
“• Barre 3: This class draws from yoga as well as dance, so there’s a real focus on breathing and the mind-body connection — making it the most holistic workout in the bunch. But you’re still going to sweat, thanks mostly to the plyometrics and killer core sequence.
• Figure 4: The peppy tempo (married with some super-challenging thigh work) keeps your heart rate up, adding some calorie-burning to the mix. Developed by a former ballerina, this was the most ballet-like (and my fave!) of the classes I tried.
• Physique 57: Following the goal of “strengthen, then lengthen,” each interval of till-you-drop muscle work is followed by a period of stretching to allow time for much-needed recovery. Thank goodness.
• The Bar Method: Developed under the guidance of physical therapists, this class has you working muscles in ways that won’t tax your joints, with very hands-on instructors. I was surprised, though, given the name, at how little time we actually spent at the barre.
• Pure Barre: Ballet meets Pilates in this fat-frying class. Those micro-movements I mentioned above? You do a lot of them here (enough to nearly bring a grown woman to tears—trust me). Almost every move is small and controlled, with few props beyond the barre.”
Not going to be outdone by Frazier, little ol’ me decided to try out the program myself. I headed to the barre3 Portland studio and asked for a one session trial. The studio instructor welcomed me with open arms and let me in for a try.
When I joined the class, I couldn’t help but notice that the 20 people in attendance were in various shapes and sizes. All of them were female though, roughly between the ages of 21 to 40. It was during this time that I asked the instructor if there are any men that do the barre3 workout. The instructor nodded and said that there are a few. I giggled a little inside as I imagined my male friends doing the barre3 workout.
Anyhow, the instructor started with a couple of stretching exercises. The instructor then led us to a more open area for some regulated barre3 bend movements. After that, we went back to the barre and started doing a couple of movements that isolated specific muscle groups. For instance, the instructor taught us how to balance on one leg while slowly kicking the other leg in the air. There were times that I felt like I was going to trip, but the barre kept me from doing so.
Admittedly, the intensity level of the barre3 workout isn’t high. I never felt for a single time that I was out of breathe or exhausted. However, the day after I tried it out, I felt certain soreness in my muscles. It was the good kind of hurt though, the type that you know that your body is getting more fit.
After my experience, I can see why the barre3 workout is spreading like wildfire. It’s not mystery no more why even A-Class celebrities are doing it (I’ve always been a sucker for Celebrity-endorsed workout programs). I’m also even starting to see barre3 DVD for sale in the local mall!
In conclusion, there’s now absolutely no doubt in my mind that the barre3 program is a legit workout as my behind, abdominal muscles, and legs are very sore right now. I highly recommend it for men and women who are looking for something new to do! Just remember that whatever type of barre3 workout you choose to participate in, you’re going to be in for some intense body shaping.