Barre So Hard

Posted on August 8th, 2017

In February 2016, I had a little bit of a fitness “come to Jesus” moment.  I’d been a pretty committed runner for several years, and could in fact run a half marathon any day of the week… but I realized I could not even do two honest-to-goodness, on-the-balls-of-your-feet pushups.  I realized I had a bit of a gap in my fitness regimen, but felt overwhelmed at the prospect of mixing things up.  Classes seemed intimidating and expensive, but I had never had success in just doing a non-cardio strengthening routine on my own.


As often happens when I am indecisively floundering around, Ian made the decision for me.  We attended an auction the following week, and he bought me a one month Bar Method membership, remembering that I had taken a class in St. Louis once and really enjoyed it.  I did in fact feel intimidated walking into the studio aggressively early for class on that first Sunday morning, but I did in fact love the class, too.  Bar Method recommends 3-5 classes per week to maximize results, so I committed to layering 4-5 classes on top of my running each week.


For those unfamiliar with barre workouts, they are based on high repetition isometric movements that fire up the muscle without tearing.  It looks and sounds easy, but all of those tiny movements layered on top of one another are grueling!  I remember a particularly painful set of foldover when I cried.  The first week of my new routine, I could not walk down stairs or reach behind me to zip up my dresses before work.


^^photo taken at the brand new gorgeous Williamsburg studio— New Yorkers should take advantage of their super low new member grand opening pricing! 




Fast forward almost 17 months: I took my 300th class on Sunday!  I’ve visited seven Bar Method studios.  I know some people prefer variety in their workouts, and even I admit that I have days when the classes run together and feel repetitive.   For me, having consistency in the routines has really made me able to nail the technique so I can focus on pushing myself and building muscle instead of worrying about whether my hips are in the right place and if my spine is in proper alignment. They mix it up enough to keep me engaged without making me feel like a beginner every time.





Barre has become a huge part of my life for several reasons.  It is the first time I’ve exercised with a focus on getting strong instead of on how a workout makes me look.  It also introduced me to my two best girlfriends in Seattle, and really gave me a community in a city where I didn’t know many people.  When I moved to New York in June, I signed up for my first barre membership within forty-eight hours of touching down.  I feel so inspired working alongside the other strong women grinding it out in class.  Ian foolishly decided he wanted to spend as much time with me on my birthday last year as possible, which meant coming to Bar after work.  He survived, but he won’t be making that mistake again.


I’m making progress, and I do feel like I’m getting stronger every class.  Now when it’s time for pushups, I do all sixty on my toes.