I spent the last year of my life pregnant with someone else’s baby. Three days after I delivered that baby, I received a letter in the mail from my Primary Care Physician stating that they were “worried about my health due to my weight at my last doctor’s appointment.” The letter suggested I come in for a doctor’s appointment to consult with their nutritionist and develop some ideas of how to lose weight and get healthy.
What a great way to inspire and motivate people, right? Not.
The letter acknowledged that “this kind of thing can be hard to talk about in person.” Do they even know who I am? I laughed and threw the letter in the recycling bin.
I just had a baby, I obviously feel like I need to get my bod back. Settle down Dr. McJudgy.
I have spent my entire life figuring out how to be healthy and not eat cardboard. My family likes to eat! We eat very delicious, nutritious meals that we typically make from scratch. I do admit I struggle with healthy substitutions because I believe in delicious flavor and for obvious reasons. Butter. But it’s not as if I’m lathering my thighs with pounds of lard. I won’t bother eating it if it doesn’t taste good.
In addition, I have a fairly active exercise culture. I have multiple workout “buddies” and we are great at holding each other accountable and getting a workout in. My buddies and I have recently jumped on the latest workout trend and we’ve been “meeting at the barre.” Let me tell you, post-partum mommas, this is the workout for getting your core strength back, once (in my son’s words) the baby crawls out and your belly gets squishy. It helps zip those abs right back together.
I currently have an unlimited pass for 5 weeks of barre classes with a goal of going at least 3 times per week. I’m in week 4 and there is a noticeable difference in my body. The workout is so hard, I often have to rest. Barre classes focus on tiny movements that target your glutes, thighs, abs, back and arms. You work muscles you didn’t even know were there. “Little bend, little stretch.” “Up an inch, down an inch. ” All this pulsing, squeezing, freezing, holding and tucking is set to music to help distract your mind from how freakin’ hard this is.
Although I heart this class, it doesn’t end without me giving a few dirty looks at the teachers. Like when she’s asking you to sit two fists from the wall with one leg straight in the air. She’ll ask you to “lightly grip” your right calf with your right hand and straighten and lift your left leg an inch off the floor while pointing your toe. Now tuck and hold. Tuck and freeze. Tuck and hold. At which point I’m hoping when she says “light grip” she means hold hard enough that you leave finger shaped bruises on the back of your calf, because seriously?
In all honesty, every class gets easier. I mean, I’m now able to hold the 90 second plank, without putting my knees down at all. This is a big deal and I like to impress my friends with that fun fact, so please act impressed.
I’m less impressed by barre’s prices. These classes can be pretty expensive, I can’t really figure out why, but okay, I’ll pay $20 bucks, I guess. Or I won’t and I’ll just whine about how I wish I could go to class but I can’t afford it. I’m the kind of girl who needs group fitness, but if you’re the kind of person who can work out at home, open a new tab and immediately buy a beginner barre DVD workout set and get started. I personally plan to try all of the studios offering barre classes and find one that I can’t live without. Which means I’ll pay. They’ve really got me over a barrel here. Most studios have package deals that help lower the cost, and some even offer the first class free.
I’ve put together a list for you:
Burlington Barre/Burlington Core Studio at Studio 208– This studio has multiple barre styles to choose from. Wake and Shake Barre, Power Barre, Energy Barre, Core Barre, Cleanse Barre, Yoga Barre, Burlington Barre. Burst Barre and Barre-Lates are also offered which incorporate HIIT (high-intensity interval training) into the workout. $15/class.
PureBarre® Burlington– PureBarre® is a national chain. They know what they are doing. They also offer an introductory $99 unlimited for one month rate. Then it’s $21/class
Absolute Pilates (South Burlington)-BootyBarre® is what is offered here, which is a registered Barre method that claims to use “that perfect combination of strength and flexibility with an added cardiovascular element utilizing the barre.” $15/class
All Wellness Physical Therapy and Pilates (Burlington)-This studio used the BarSculpt® method which is a “combination of high-energy cardio, strengthening and stretching results in a long, lean flexible body.” $15/class
Move You Fitness Studio (Essex Jct)-Also uses BarSculpt®, but for $14/class.
Urban Dance Complex-This studio teaches RahBarre, which was developed by the studio’s director, Sarah Cover. The music is great and the choreography is great. And bonus! It’s only $10/class.
Lastly, you may be thinking, “hey lady, I’m busy being a kick a** mom and have no idea when to squeeze in a workout” and to that I say this: Working out makes me a better mom. Sure finding time is hard, but I figure it out because I know I need to. Early morning, a quickie at lunch, or late night…I just have to find the time. I have a friend who gave me the idea to go to sleep in my workout clothes so I can roll out of bed and head to class, so that’s what I do. A little “me” time goes a long way. Here I am at 6:45 AM, headed home to get my daughter on the bus, get my son to his childcare providers and head to work by 8.
I started going to pure barre in December (we’ve seen each other once) and I love it too. I agree some days it kicks my butt and then other days I get stoked when I can do something I couldn’t before. The $99 for 5 weeks was amazing and I was nervous about the pricing after. But because of the packages they do it can be less than $21. I got a 3 month membership and because I go three times a week it’s about $15 a class. If I could figure out how to go four times a week it would be $12. So if Pure Barre ends up being your favorite don’t despair it won’t be $21. And if you somehow can figure out how to buy a year membership I think it ends up close to single digits per a class if not under $10 going the times a week… but I know I can’t afford that!
I didn’t know about the other studios. Thanks for all the info!
Mags, I’ve been wanting to try a Barre class and yes why are they expensive? Anyway, you’ve inspired me. It’s sooo hard to get up early and go to the gym. But if I can get up and dress for work, why shouldn’t I be able to get up and dress for the gym? I’m going to use your tip and sleep in my gym clothes and be ready to hit the gym at 5:30 am!