Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Barre Burn: ballet let by drill instructors

Welcome back everyone! Or should I say no one, as I suspect no one is reading this blog that lapsed into insignificance twice over five years ago?
I could have used the "circle" to draw this face, but opted for artistic integrity. I think it really works.

Regardless, I'm going to try something new. In an effort to turn my current Play-Doh-and-bones physique into something resembling human, I joined ClassPass.1 To encourage my own participation, I'm going to blog about the weird and wonderful classes I try here.

Week 1: Barre Burn 
Lava BarreArlington, VA; 12:15 - 1:00 pm, January 18th

What I expected: Something like my elementary ballet classes, only with less getting yelled at for zoning out and maybe more rock-and-roll music.

What it looked like: The space looked exactly like a ballet studio, but with intimidating extra equipment set up at the barre. This included a super thick black mat, about half the length of a yoga mat; two sizes of balls (ha), both of the kickball variety/weight; a black strap, like a webbed belt; and a pink strap, made of a futuristic material I could not identify.

How I spent the 10 minutes before class started: Unsticking the pink futuristic strap from itself, staring at out the window at people's feet, wondering if you should stretch for what I assumed was a stretching class.

What I thought at the beginning: This is like ballet... if the ballerinas were high on speed, like Jessie Spano on Saved by the Bell. Also, I might be the only person in this room who would even get that reference:

What I thought in the middle: Oh shit, we're using all the muscles I DESTROYED earlier this week doing Jillian Michaels videos and running for the first time in 6 weeks. This is going to be rough. 

What I thought at the end: OH YEAH I LIKE BIG BUTTS! Sir Mix-a-Lot really made the last move, where we did the bridge pose from yoga and then shoved our pelvises (pelvii?) around in circles much more pleasant. Also, maybe the instructor WAS old enough to remember Saved by the Bell after all. Or she was a hipster.

Final assessment: This was a legitimately tough workout on the muscles, though I sweated so little that I didn't even shower before returning to work. On the other hand, I have my own office, and I also ate beans for lunch after that, so maybe my standards for smelliness are not the same as everyone else's. Also, we barely used the barre in this "barre" class.

Recommended for: Toning, particularly if you're not already doing any lifting or circuit training. People who want a midday workout but not a midday shower.

Not recommended for: Working up a sweat, getting an endorphin rush, etc. Also, it was pretty hard on my hips at some points, because I am not a flexible person.

So that's that. Tell me in the comments about your barre experiences, or recommend other weird workouts for me to try!

1. I was NOT paid for this endorsement, for reasons that will probably quickly become clear.