To those who think Barre 3 is “not really a workout,” THINK AGAIN. I had the same sentiments before I tried it for the first time. A combination of Yoga, Ballet and Pilates? Pieces of cake for someone like me that spent half her life as a gymnast and the past year and a half going to the gym. YEAH RIGHT! The first class I went to made me discover micro-muscles that I did not know I even had. It tested my balance and strength, and yes, left me walking like a bow-legged duck the next day. Before you get discouraged, or scared, I mean this all in a good way. If you are serious about working out and getting fit, this is an option you might want to try a couple times a week to pair with some form of cardio and whatever else you do to keep active through out the week. I've worked out a list of pros and cons after doing Barre for a month straight.
Pro: It gets the little nooks and crannies of your body because of the micro-movements you make. “Up and inch, down an inch” is something you will get used to hearing when you start doing Barre 3. It's up to you whether you want to cower in fear or take on the challenge (and believe me, it will test you!)
Con: If you are used to heavier weights, you will not find them here. I believe the heaviest free weights are 5 pounds (although for me, they are heavy enough when doing 8 minutes straight of arm exercises with no rest!) so if you are into lifting and putting a lot of effort in heavy machinery, you might miss that when doing Barre.
Pro: It is such a “girly” work out. It really understands women's bodies and how we want to look. You will do a lot of squats, holds in chair position, crunches and the like. It will leave you with a lean and long physique, which I love! They say strong is the new skinny, and I agree, but if you can be strong AND lean, what's not to love?
Con: You can't bring your boyfriend. I mean, you can, but I don't think he will want to do plies. Moreover, I honestly don't think he'll be able to handle the work out. So if your S.O. Is your work out buddy, time to find a girlfriend to be your Barre buddy!
Pro: They have many branches. In fact, most of the major branches of The Spa include a Barre 3 studio, so you can get to class whether you are in Alabang, Ortigas, The Fort or Quezon City. Then, you can reward yourself with a massage at the end of the week.
Con: Prices are a bit steep. If you can afford a monthly unlimited or a ten class package, do so, but only if it's something you can commit to. A ten class card valid for 2 months is the same price as a monthly unlimited package at P5,500. A single class is P750 and 30 classes valid for 6 months is P15,000. Ouch, I know but I feel worth it, even if you can incorporate a couple classes a month into your regular work out. It's fun and cuts the boredom from the “sameness” of daily gym sessions.
Pro: You can go at your own pace. The teacher usually gives options depending on your fitness level and how comfortable you are doing certain exercises. For instance, she will ask everyone to do a basic move, and give the option to add to it to make it more challenging, or an option to make it a bit easier for those who are just starting out.
Con: Since it IS a class, you may feel a bit pressured to keep up. When you have a personal trainer, you usually really and truly go at your own pace and he/she can give you full attention. Although Barre classes are relatively small, and I do feel like I get the teacher's full attention from time to time, I also feel like I need to push myself harder to keep up all the time. I guess this is only a con if you see it that way. I like to see it as a challenge.