BarreAmped review

by Kim on April 18, 2013

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.

First of all, I’m so glad you’re loving the new Endure tanks tops as much as I am! Spread the word to your running friends, and don’t forget to enter to win one yourself!

Endure Tank

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.

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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!)

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(source)

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.

BarreAmped1
Looks easy right? Notice that their heels are lifted, and they’re probably about to pulse-squat up and down about 4 bajillion times.
(source)

(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!

BarreAmped2Here’s a picture of what did NOT happen to me. Harder than it looks!
(source)

–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.

BarreAmped3(source)

–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.

Overall…

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?

Three Musketeer bars: over or underrated?

OVER!!

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{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

Kellys Reality February 6, 2014 at 9:30 pm

I’ve been a recent barreamped addict since October and am loving it! The results are incredible and it’s a workout I actually look forward to :) Great post!

http://www.kellysreality.com

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Karey @ Nutty About Health April 18, 2013 at 7:03 pm

I’ve always been kinda curious about the Barre classes, but after reading your review, I’m not as interested. I really prefer more of a fast-paced or lifting type of workout… not too into the toning or Pilates style ones. The TRX Boot Camp one would be the one I’d be most interested in trying.

As for Milky Way… overrated. I vote for Twix or KitKat. ;)
Karey @ Nutty About Health recently posted…WIAW: Eating CleanMy Profile

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Jenny April 18, 2013 at 11:05 am

I used to swoon over Three Musketeer bars as a kid, but now have no idea why. I’d even choose a Milky Way over a 3M any day because that added layer of gooey caramel = WINNING. Really, though, Baby Ruth is where it’s at when all is said and done.

I took a series of Yoga Barre classes in the fall and really enjoyed them. They do work all those little muscles that aren’t typically exhausted in a more standard strength class, like Body Pump. Plus, we got a bit of yoga too, so our muscles were dominated and then streeeetccched, which was heavenly.

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Kim April 18, 2013 at 11:14 am

I agree Milky Ways are better, but when I want caramel, it’s gotta be Caramello. Fast Breaks are pretty amazing too, if you’re into that whole Reeses peanut butter thing. :)

I hope I get the chance to take a regular barre class at some point, so I can figure out what the differences between that and amped are. Where did you take barre? Did you do a lot of ballet-type movements?

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Jenny April 19, 2013 at 11:20 pm

I took Yoga Barre from the Studio downtown. We definitely did some ballet-type exercises, like plies and left lifts, while working with the barre. Depending on the instructor’s style, we also incorporated planks and ab works, as well as yoga, of course. It was refreshing and challenging, but not too difficult. Nice for something different. Plus, yoga movements and barre movements really compliment each other when they’re intertwined in one class.

I’d love to do a standard barre class, too. I hear it’s a total burn fest… which I dig ;)

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Brent April 18, 2013 at 9:48 am

If I can contribute anything, I wish to contribute this: Three musketeers bars are definitely not overrated. They fill a niche in the candy bar community that is vital. They will however always be in the shadow of their successful older brother Snickers.

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Kim April 18, 2013 at 11:19 am

Is there really a “bland, too-fluffy center” candy bar niche? :)

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