Everyone who has ever tried it before knows what I am talking about. The pain, the look at other girls butts (no sexual desire involved, and even if, absolutely no energy left), the shame and the sweat. And the shy, proud smile 50 minutes later. I tried a new sport and learned a lot about human beings and muscles. The challenge is called Xtend Barre.
When I was looking for a new fitness class in Wellington, I came a cross a studio that offered classes I have never heard of. Curious as I am, I clicked through the schedule and stopped at something called Xtend Barre. The description read pretty good: xxx
I did some ballett when I was little, some jazz dance when I was not so little anymore and would consider myself little above average fitness. I finished a triathlon once, so I think I should belong into that category (picturing the average participant on a Tuesday morning class at least). So I signed up for the next available class.
As always, the first learning came even before the class started. I entered the studio right before 12 after searching for the entrance for quite a while. All the people who had signed up where already there – all women between 20 and 60. And when I sat down in the lounge area with my leggins and my Adidas shirt I felt like a couch potatoe: 12 gracious figures walked in behind me, defined legs and arms, nothing that could even pretend to have been a muffin top once was any where to be seen. They were chatting about green smoothies and a new documentary about Afghanistan. I knew that Xtend Barre was kind of a hip new thing and the Studio not in the price category of backpackers and shop Assistants, but, come on!
We started to contemporary music and Beyoncé was entertaining us for what the instructor called a „short warm up“. After five minutes I was sweating like hell and did not even dare to touch my weights „to make it a little more intense“. Where all the others seem to do just fine, I was struggling to even follow the instructions (kiwi english with ballett vocabulary namening parts of your body I would probably barely know the German name for, not mentioning that I have probably never used the muscles involved either).
After another 10 minutes of serious weight, jump, lift exercises, we moved over to the barre and everyone grabbed their tools as well: a ball, a streich band, the weights and a mat.
And so we continued with squats and plank like exercises, squeezing the ball into our knee caps or elbow and then trying to repeat certain movements for what felt like an eternity.
The final 15 minutes were spend with sit ups (of course not the standard ones, but some weird super hard – you already got enough muscles to get there, so just hold the position – kind of combinations) and a short stretching finish. When I grabbed my water bottle at the end of the class, it was already empty and so felt my brain.
One thing that cannot be said about the class is: it was boring. Actually I rarely had a 50 minute class go by so quickly. Also, if you want to be sure that you have a proper workout, I can highly recommend it. You will feel the exercises for the next couple days! 🙂
One remark if you are – like me – more an average not really prima ballerina fitness superstar type of person: be little careful with repetitions that involve squats over your knee and other strenuous positions that might put too much pressure on certain areas.
All in all: It was hard, it was different, it was even somewhat fun…and I might try it again to see if I can do any better – so the motivational part if definitely done!
> Wellington, Xtend Barre Studio, …
> March 2016
> To try this class I got a two week newly pass with unlimited access to the group classes. In that period I also tried MELT, … (link to articles)
Tags: Try something new, sport,
Update: Ballett Barre Fitness, Munich, July 2016, Dance Studio
Almost four months after my first encounter with Xtend Barre, I found myself in a similar class again. I was staying with one of my friends and she asked me if I wanna join her for a new class she wanted to try. At the dance studio we went to, it was called ballet barre fitness, but most elements were the same. Funnily, the impression was very similar. Many super skinny 18 year olds waiting for the class, a little-too-motivating instructor and now, two days later, aching muscles and still a little exhaustment.