So when a Groupon for 4 Barre classes went on sale for a decent price I jumped on it like
I drove the 30 minutes (across two bridges - that's how we tell drive time in Charleston) to Mt. Pleasant. Since the studio was only about a mile from the Cooper River Bridge I decided I'd kill 2 birds with one stone (try something new and do something I hate, but need to work on) by getting some hill work in. However, I happened to forget while not working out (I guess you call that resting) for days and popping anti-inflammatories like candy for my back that I had pulled my hamstring about 2 weeks ago. When I walk and take it easy it isn't too bad, but after numerous days off my hamstring was surprised when I ran last night and decided to show its outrage by rebelling this morning. I took a couple running steps and it hurt bad. Old version Abby would have run through the pain, but I am trying to be smarter about this, know I have a marathon coming up, and didn't want to injure it more so instead I decided to take a relaxing walk in hopes of not aggravating it. I happened to see a trail opening in a back corner of the parking lot so instead of making my way to the bridge, which would tempt me to run, I check it out. Nice little 2 mile walk.
Then it was off to Barre class. I was really nervous because I tried yoga once, but as I have no balance (or coordination, or grace, and am instead a clumsy, awkward hot mess) I kept tipping over, falling down, and basically crashing out of the poses. The instructor loved me. HA. They were praying I never came back. So while I was excited and knew it would be good to try something new I was also super worried about not being able to do it or embarrassing myself in front of everyone. I put a Twitter plea out asking for luck and well wishes (@BackatSquare0) and was flooded with support which really psyched me up to go in. Thanks guys:)
The place itself (BarreEvolution in Mt. Pleasant) was gorgeous! Like what I envision some fancy New Your or LA ballet or yoga studio looking like, not like the sweaty spin rooms which have been my most common form of cross training. The ladies were really nice too. They signed me in, introduced themselves, showed me where to put my bag/shoes, and then introduced me to the instructor. Luckily I had gotten there about 10-15 minutes early which gave her time to explain the equipment to me and help relieve my worry a bit.
The class is split into four section: arms, legs, butt, and abs. The goal is to work each muscle group until it is totally fatigued and then to stretch it out (supposedly to make me look long & lean like a dancer - here's to hoping - I've got the long, come on lean!) before moving on to the next muscle group. The class was done using weights, bands, balls, and mats. I never lift (another goal I am trying to work on) so they suggested I use the 2 pounds weights and by the end I could still really feel it. The leg section was the most intense though. As a runner I have pretty strong, very bulky legs which I take great pride in, they let me run 26.2 miles, so they are by far the favorite body part. I was really surprised because I thought that would be the easiest part for me, but at one point my legs were quivering so much I could see them shake and I had to stop for a second, put them flat on the floor, shake them out, and then try to get going again. Wow! I am really excited that I have 3 more classes I get to go back for. (I already booked two for next week.) After the Groupon is over I am not sure if I'll be able to continue as it gets pretty expensive (over $20) for each class. However, I think doing this on my cross training day once a week would be a great way to get some extra strength training and stretching in during marathon training. Ideally I'd love to do it twice a week, if I could figure out a way to fit it into the marathon training schedule, or maybe go more when I am not currently in full training mood (and if I was rich so the expense wasn't an issue).
Want to try barre at home? Here is a tip from the studio I went to today.
Have you ever tried a barre class? What type of fitness classes do you enjoy taking?
Finally, If you could try one new type of workout or workout class what would it be?