Work smart, not hard.
I read this from some flyer or blog about barre3. Barre3 is a combination of ballet, pilates and yoga. Now, I’m not really sure what this meant but I expected some twirling (from ballet) and some yoga poses. Barre3 is being offered by The Spa in different branches namely Greenhills, Eastwood, Shangri-La, Trinoma, Fort and Alabang. I’ve been wanting to try this to improve my posture and to complement my Crossfit with some flexibility. I also wanted a ballet dancer’s body. Don’t judge me.
The problem was the price. Upon checking the website, it was clear that my wallet couldn’t afford the memberships, and the walk-in rate was 700 pesos! So, I set this aside, waiting for a promo to pop-up. And it did. Deal Grocer offered a voucher for 60-days unlimited barre3 in different branches at a reduced price: from 11,100 to 7200. I know, I know. Not cheap but there were only 14 left so I said, ‘Why not?’.
I was looking for the perfect timing to have my first session especially now that I will seldom be in Manila. I had a trip back to Manila coming up to process my clearance so I decided to have it on my second day (May 19).
My voucher had to be availed first at Eastwood which only had two classes on that day. I chose the later class which was at 6:30 PM. I was at the studio by 6:00 PM and was seated by my lonesome by the door. Hahaha.
The other participants were friends so they all had their little groups already; I didn’t want to be FC and barge in.
By 6:25, teacher Penny, came in and looked for me. I guess the front desk really did inform her of first timers. She asked me to get a ball and some weights. She explained how the class will go: each person had a section in the bar and just follow the class; there will be options at every step if you wanted to challenge yourself or if you wanted to move it down a notch. She also said to have fun.
The session was broken into parts. If i remember correctly, it was sectioned into warm up, bar workout, legs, arms, core, and cool down.
- Warm up: It reminded me of those 90s aerobics videos. We were marching, stretching side to side while tapping our toes.
- Bar workout: I remember us stretching first our back with the help of the bar. Next were push ups on the bar and then we progressed to push ups with knee tucks.
- Legs: we went from regular squats to pulse squats, from both heels on the ground to one heel at a time.
- Arms: we had bicep and tricep workouts wih two two-pound dumbells with additional leg integration
- Core: I’ve read that barre3 is focused on the core and now i know why. I remember doing the plank for a minute, with a choice of mountain climbers for 30 seconds. This part used the ball a lot to help us in getting the correct form. We first put it on our lower back and did crunches. We moved in to our bra line and did crunches. From here, we went to a hollow hold pose with the ball in our hands and slowly transfer the ball between our shins and then back to our hands. My core definitely felt the burn and felt like cramping :))
- Cooldown: This part was mostly stretches maybe to help in the recovery of our muscles. This was my favorite part 😛
I liked the class but somehow it felt bitin. Yes, the workout was exhausting but it was mostly due to ngawit. I love workouts that make me feel accomplished and barre3 did not make me feel that way. However, I think this is because I am used to workouts that are high intensity and high energy like Crossfit. I am giving this another try to see if I’ll feel better about it, but mostly para ma-sulit iyong voucher, hehe.
I decided to go back the next day (May 20, Friday) in the Trinoma branch but with the same teacher, Penny. I was hesitant at first because I thought the workout might be the same. Fortunately, it wasn’t. Penny added other moves this time which I liked better. The feeling of being in a 90s aerobics demo video lightly decreased. Like last time though, I was exhausted but there was no ‘Wow, that was fun!!’. Just plain ‘Okay, I’m done for today’.
I went back again last week, May 23 (Monday). This time it was with Teacher Patty in Shangri-La. So far, I love her routine best. It had more movements that used the bar (YAAS, this is what I came for) and yoga (hello, proper posture!). The core workouts were also intense even though they were only few. She also brought out bands which we used for the leg workouts! It really did help a lot in guiding our leg movements.
With my three sessions, here are my observations:
- Studio- Because it is being offered by The Spa, going inside the studio was really relaxing. Na-tempt ako mag-book ng treatment :)) Also, the studio looks clean, spacious and pro with the bar and mirrors all around.
- Teacher- Yes, I’ve only been to three classes but if Teacher Penny and Patty are barre3’s standard then I’m sure all teachers would be welcoming and encouraging. Plus, teacher Penny is apparently as mountaineer and biker. Like, wow.
- Workout levels- We were given options on the intensity of the poses. That was nice especially for someone like me who isn’t really flexible or graceful (imagine me doing the 90s workout videos. I was trying so hard to not laugh at my reflection while doing those moves)
- Price- Even with the voucher, the price is just too steep!
- Ambience? – I am not sure what you call it. There’s this air of high-class-ness that I know I shouldn’t be part of. Charr. Pero, gets, parang ang sososyal nila pero ako dukha. Hehe.
- Restrooms/shower rooms- They usually have only one to two small shower rooms, so nakaka-pressure. Kailangan mabilis ka magbihis or maligo. So far naman, parang ako lang iyong naliligo after class. What’s up with that?!!
- barre3 caters mostly to mothers/titas. Well, may mga ka-age ko, but the mothers/titas really did stick out. Habang ako naghihingalo, sila kalmado lang; just inhaling and exhaling the session away.
- No one smiles! I think I was the only one making bungisngis whenever I’d see myself in the mirror. Everybody was poker face lang while I was smiling and laughing at myself.
- Instructors are long and lean. PEG.
Taking all my three sessions into account, I think I still need time to get used to barre3. Since I’ve been doing Crossfit for about a year, my body just craves high intensity workouts with a community factor. I long for those classes where you can smile and talk to each other to share your pain. I also really just can’t chill when working out, which is what barre3 is not about. While Crossfit is functional training with coaches trying to insert energy and excitement all throughout the class, I think barre3 is supposed to be a holistic workout trying to physically challenge you while helping you maintain your peace. At the end of every session, I noticed that breathing exercises were accompanied by small statements like ‘Inhale the good vibes around you and exhale all the tension in your body’. Hopefully, by the time my membership is up, I can already do exactly just that.