Meet me at the Barre...or don't because it was really hard.

Okay it was hard but it was worth it.  

Because I haven't danced since my high school team and I miss it, my ears perk up every time I hear of something remotely dance related that I actually can sign up for and attend.  I've been reading about barre classes in magazines for years, but at the same time not really understanding what it was.  I figured that since it's done with a ballet barre that there must be some relation to dance?  No matter what, I still wanted to try it because I'm into all those yogacardiopilatesbuttsnguts type classes you can take for free at your college's gym.  Actually I took a HIIT class my sophomore year and almost died right as the instructor told us to take another lap, but that's beside the point.  

I would consider myself moderately fit, like the kind of person who goes to the gym a few times a week and can run for a decently long time without passing out.  Nothing too drastic though.  I stop when I get tired, especially when there's no peer pressure present.

A couple weeks ago I saw a Groupon for The Barre Code in the Third Ward.  It was like $33ish for 3 classes (and there are 8 different types of classes to choose from).  Since I've been dying to do this, I convinced my cousin Maya to buy a 3-class package with me.  We found a day neither of us were scheduled to work, signed up for it, and off we went.

According to Fitness Magazine,
 "Most barre-based classes use a combination of postures inspired by ballet and other disciplines like yoga and Pilates. The barre is used as a prop to balance while doing exercises that focus on isometric strength training (holding your body still while you contract a specific set of muscles) combined with high reps of small range-of-motion movements."
I would say this pretty much hits the nail on the head.

I should preface this by saying: I really did enjoy this experience, even though the description of the amount of pain I was in may not be so convincing.

 And below, this couple would just not get out of my way.  Sorry guys.

I'm glad the phrase "Choose a positive thought" is in the background of this scenic view in the Third Ward, because I needed that after the class was over and I was questioning my ability to walk to my car.

I read this sign before the class and was like, "YES! EXACTLY" and by the end I was like, "I CAN'T EXCEED ANY EXPECTATIONS!"

On the way to our class, I warned Maya that the class that we chose was called "Barre Code" (from the Strength Training category, which I figured was a good place to start, since this is what the place is named for?) and that the brief explanation of this class mentions, "working each muscle group to fatigue" and that we'll, "really feel the shake and burn."  And oh we did.

I'll start by saying it was an adorable studio.  Super clean (they know how to please me) and the girl at the desk gave us a lovely tour since it was our first time.  You take off your shoes, lock your valuables in a free locker, read the chalkboard to see if your class requires any equipment, and walk your sock feet to an empty spot at the barre.  We got there early, so there was time for us to stretch and choose where we wanted to sit.  The place filled up fast.  

In came the drill sergeant.  Just kidding, she was really nice, but her tone was commanding!  I needed that...  She got us started right away, and I'll give you a brief synopsis of what we did because I don't know if I even remember the entirety of it.  I may have blacked out for a bit at one point or another due to challenges to my body and mind.  

All of a sudden I was in a plank position, then doing push-ups (ow), pointing toes, flexing feet, kicking backwards and diagonally, and who knows where else.  That led to the ab portion of the class, where I think I worked my abs more in 50 minutes than I have during my whole summer of working out alone at Planet Fitness.  Literally, they were being flexed so much that I'm pretty sure I could see them popping out through my tank top in the mirror... good or no?  Yikes.  Next thing I knew, we were at the barre.  This was where my legs first decided they wanted to think about giving out.  Apparently my thighs are really weak, which was kind of a blow to the ego because I actually thought that part of my body was semi-strong.  Guess not :/ Anyways, this was where the high reps of small range-of-movement activities came into play.  My legs were def shaking.  I've never really seen them do that, but they were as intimidated by Barre Code as I was.  We used the weights we brought into the room with us to work my triceps to Gumby status.  She had us finish it off with a little cardio and stretching.  Then, Maya and I looked at each other, speechless as to what we had just witnessed.

We walked out the door of that studio feeling accomplished yet extremely less athletic than we had originally thought we were.  Still, I wanted to go back.  I feel like it would be the ultimate triumph to be able to eventually take that class and be able to do it in full, at completely 100%.  Looking around, almost everyone in there had to take little breaks...especially us.  I had no idea what we were in for.  If I ever have an extra $99/month, I would totally pay for a membership!  Sadly, I do not.  Maya and I still have 2 more classes to sign up for from our Groupon.  I know we won't be doing this one again, just because we want to try 2 other types of classes, but someday I definitely want to do it again.  Loved it, worth the pain! (<and rarely do I say those words)

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