I took the day off from blogging yesterday because the things I wanted to talk about sounded silly and trivial after Boston. To be honest, the things I want to talk about today still do. As our country marches on past this tragedy, Boston remains front and center in our minds and hearts.
I’m also offering two additional entries for the giveaway! You can do one or both of the following:
–Repeat your tweet! (Don’t forget to include a link back to the giveaway post in your tweet.)
–Pin an image of one of the new Endure tanks on Pinterest. (Any image is fine!)
Just make sure to leave an additional comment on the giveaway post for each thing you do, so I can count it properly!
So. Remember the Sweat this City challenge through lululemon I told you about last week? Well, it officially started this week—which means I’m looking at a whole lotta yoga in my future.
Here’s my tentative schedule:
Monday – BarreAmped (went, loved it, already want more. I’ll tell you more in a sec!)
Saturday – Power Flow Yoga
Sunday – Body and Sole
Next Monday – TRX Boot Camp
Next Thursday – Hot Yoga
Next Sunday – Sunset Yoga
In case you aren’t familiar with Body and Sole (I wasn’t!), here’s the description from the website…
Body and Sole: A shoeless strength and conditioning workout. This barefoot class will encourage proprioception and enhance balance. You’ll retrain your feet to be natural shock absorbers and learn to accelerate and decelerate from the tips of the toes to the crown of the head. Did you know there are 33 joints worthy of articulation in each foot?
Sounds interesting right? I had to know what it was all about. The class caps at 6 (6!!) participants, so my fingers are crossed that I’ll get in! If I do, I’ll tell you all about it next week.
Oh, and I’m guessing you’ve heard about TRX, but in case you haven’t, here’s an image that might help. (By looking at this picture, you’ll know as much about it as I do!)
The TRX Boot Camp is definitely the class I’m most nervous about—largely because it includes the words “boot camp,” which, in my experience, typically translate to, “working your a$$ to within an inch of your life.”
I really hope I don’t embarrass myself by passing out in a sweaty, sad pile in the middle of class.
I’ll be back to give you full reports on each class, but for today, I want to talk BarreAmped. You’ve probably heard of Barre classes, aka the hottest fitness trend eva. I’m not exactly sure how Amped compares to regular Barre classes, but my impression is that it’s less ballet-based.
According to our studio’s website…
BarreAmped: BarreAmped is an intensive body shaping experience designed to produce reliable results, no matter the client. The method is influenced by classical and modern dance (though it is not a dance class) and utilizes a barre to achieve optimal positioning. Insights from Pilates, yoga, and orthopedic stretching also balance the method’s unique approach. The precision-oriented technique focuses mainly on small, isolated movements within deeply held and challenging postures.
What Went Down
The class was an hour long, and included focused work on the arms, legs, and core. We each used a yoga mat, a small ball, and a pair of light hand weights. Of the 20-ish people in the class, I saw lots of different ages and body types represented.
I admit that I expected more ballet-type movements (even though the description specifically said “this is not a dance class”), but it wasn’t like that at all. It was a lot of very small, very precise movements, repeated for many, many reps. The focus is on full-body toning, rather than building muscle, and the idea is to quickly exhaust each muscle group, one at a time.
It didn’t raise my heart rate much, since the movements were so small. But I think it’s cool that this class is low impact and great for any fitness level, but it can still kick anyone’s butt. I was chatting with some of the other women right before the class, asking them how hard it was, and they described the previous week’s class to me with big, round, serious eyes.
This was no joke.
Looks easy right? Notice that their heels are lifted, and they’re probably about to pulse-squat up and down about 4 bajillion times.
(Note: I’ve heard that the amount of dance involvement varies a lot per instructor, and that the classes vary from day to day even with the same instructor, so keep in mind that this review is based on my one singular experience.)
Here are some of my other impressions of the class:
–The music was upbeat, modern, and dancy. Gangnam Style was playing at one point. No Enya here!
–There was one really tough move where we had to sit with our backs and butts completely flush against the wall, push up on the barre, and try to lift our legs. I stared at my legs and willled them to move, but they WOULD NOT BUDGE. It was the weirdest feeling!
Here’s a picture of what did NOT happen to me. Harder than it looks!
–The hardest segment, for me, was the arm work. We used 2-3 lb. weights, but they were definitely heavy enough for what we were doing. Again, think teeny tiny movements, many many times. Our muscles were contracted the whole time and there was ZERO rest through the whole segment (to the point where we were all exchanging raised-eyebrow looks of horror). By the end, I longed for BodyPump.
–A few times, we all had to hold the barre and sit back as if on a chair, putting our full weight on the barre. It totally went against my instincts, and I kept picturing the whole thing ripping out of the wall and all of us flying back on our butts.
–The ball was used for leg work. We put it between our knees for some squeeze & release action.
–Possibly the best part of all: I came out of class feeling jazzed out of my MIND. I felt so light and happy, and spent in a really good way. As opposed to BodyFlow, which leaves me feeling relaxed and calm but also sleepy, BarreAmped left me feeling like I wanted to befriend everyone in class (I was extra chatty and bubbly) and then peel out of the parking lot blasting MJ.
I thought BarreAmped was an excellent toning workout and a fun change. It felt like a hipper, more upbeat version of pilates. Some of the moves were just plain weird to me (like the butts-to-the-wall one I mentioned), but I liked that you could really feel specific muscles being worked.
The next day, the only part of me that was sore was my back/shoulders (no huge surprise—that’s my weakest spot). I’ll admit I was kinda hoping I’d be a puddle, in that awesome “man, I DID work hard” kind of way.
Maybe I’ll just have to go back for more. I could definitely see myself attending this class again!
Have you ever tried a Barre or BarreAmped class?
And do you know what the difference is? (please enlighten me!)
Which of these classes would you be most interested in trying?
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