Love Barre, a new locally-owned fitness studio opened recently here in Round Rock. Intrigued by barre classes, I have tried several at Love Barre and quickly became hooked. Here are the 7 Things I have learned from 3 months at Love Barre.
There are so many different fitness options in Round Rock – from beautifully-shaded trails to fully-equipped gyms, there is something to help everyone in their fitness journey. If you are anything like me, I like to try different work-outs to keep exercise fresh and challenging.
I have been reading about barre classes for years and have been intrigued to try them. So I found Love Barre, located on the southeast corner of Interstate 35 & 45 (across from the Best Buy), and signed up for a free week of classes.
Beyond not knowing what I had gotten myself into, I found that I was actually really enjoying the change. So I decided to continue going to classes and even signed up for a 20 classes in 30 days challenge. I found myself setting early alarms to make the 5:45 am classes and squeezing in time for me on Saturday mornings for the Barre Stretch class (my favorite). And before I knew it, I was 40 classes into my barre journey.
7 Things I Learned from 3 Months at Love Barre
One of the biggest reasons to start a new fitness journey is to shake up your routine and find some new fitness motivation. Another reason is to lose weight and/or tone your body a bit differently. I set into my barre journey because I wanted to focus on toning my “problem areas” – my thighs, hips, and abs.
But what I found after a week or two is that what I considered “problems” or areas that needed work, were really not so. But more on that later….
What exactly is Love Barre?
Love Barre is a new barre studio created by owner Kristin Crawford. A former triathlete, Crawford was on a business trip and witnesses someone struggling to climb the stairs. From that encounter, she wanted to find a way to help others in their fitness journey. One thing led to another and she found a need for a barre studio in South Round Rock.
What are Barre Classes?
Barre is a ballet-inspired workout that sculpts your muscles (even if you’re far from a ballerina). The workout focuses on very small, isometric movements combined with stretches to lengthen muscles. During a barre class, you’ll often be switching from moves done at the barre to Pilates exercises, and sometimes to yoga poses.
What did I Learn from 3 Months at Love Barre?
Barre is Hard
I never went into my barre journey thinking it would be easy. But after years of running & working out, I didn’t think it would be much different in terms of my stamina and strength. Barre challenges a whole new set of muscles that you don’t use ordinarily, so yeah, it’s hard. Chair squats, second position plies, lunges, and more are not that easy but man do they work!
And 2 pound weights for arms? pft. I could do that in my sleep. Um, try 5 minutes of an arm sequence with 2 pound weights in each hand and tell me that. Slowly I have been able to work my way up to using the 3 pound set and that’s a big accomplishment….
Barre Makes You Tone
In my mind, any type of exercise should burn the calories AND make me lose weight, right? Well, the older I get, the less that becomes true. But you become wiser and more accepting of your body. I have stopped my daily scale check (yes, DAILY) because the constant fluctuation of my weight was driving me batty. All that really matters to me now is how my clothes fit and how confident I feel with my body – both of which improved after my time at Love Barre.
I am very happy to say that collectively, I have lost 4 1/2 inches since starting barre classes 2 and a 1/2 months ago. I purposely didn’t weigh myself and only did inches as my research into barre had shown that barre classes are known for toning your muscles and not primarily for weight loss. If you are interested in weight loss, you will need to add a bit of cardio into your exercise routine. Easy – add nightly walks or a few weekly runs.
Barre Makes You Strong
The best results that I gained after 40 sessions over and above the inches lost was my increased self-esteem. I’ll be honest, I’m a pretty confident person to begin with, but I never felt fully confident in my appearance. I am physically stronger as my endurance has improved and my muscles feel stronger. But I am also mentally stronger. As one of the Love Barre instructors is fond of saying, “You have done harder things than this.” and it always helps me push through the reps and not give up.
Barre Makes You Taller
With all the stretching we do in barre classes (each class ends with 5 full minutes of stretching), I walk out of class feeling leaner and taller. I have really increased my flexibility and I feel myself correcting my posture throughout the day as a result of it.
Barre Teaches You to Stop Comparing
I went into barre thinking everyone was going to be as tall and lean as ballerinas and that wasn’t true. There are all shapes and sizes in barre classes and ALL OF US are beautiful. I know my time at barre has taught me to look at people differently, to see the strength that we all have, no matter what shape we are in. I know that God makes us all differently and it’s healthy to accept & embrace who you are. I don’t need to compare myself to anyone else.
Barre Can Make You Laugh at Yourself
Barre has also taught me that I am not the elegant gazelle that I think I am. In my head, I have the straightest legs and the most pointed toe – I AM A BALLERINA. But then I look in the mirror and sometimes laugh out loud. Yeah, there’s no elegance here. And that’s OK. There are some moves that we do in class that make me laugh thinking I can hold my leg at a 90 degree angle while lifting for a full 32-count. Yeah right. Maybe not today, but most definitely someday. For today, it’s ok to laugh at myself.
Love Barre is Like a Family
One of the happiest things that has come out of the 40 sessions at Love Barre is the family that I have gained. As with anywhere you exercise, you bond with other people who are going through the classes with you. You laugh together, you groan together, you maybe even cry a bit together. I have really enjoyed getting to know some of the familiar faces I see each class.
I am also very thankful for the Love Barre instructors who take the time to get to know you, send you encouraging notes in the mail, and call you out for the good things you are doing in class – “Good Job Rebecca” is sometimes all you need to hear to push you through that last count of 8.
Get a FREE WEEK of Classes from Love Barre
My barre journey has just begun and I plan to stick around in hopes of getting even stronger. If you are looking for a new fitness challenge or would like to try Love Barre out, they offer a few week of classes to all new visitors. You can start with a basic Barre class – offered at convenient times throughout the day and try out the different instructors – each offer a different type of class. Love Barre also has Barre Bounce (a barre class on a mini trampoline – it’s REALLY FUN) and Stretch classes to compliment their barre offerings.
If you have any questions about my experience, feel free to reach out to me and I’d love to take you to try a class! Email me at email@example.com
Disclosure: I was invited to try Love Barre for the experience. I was not compensated for this article. All opinions are my own.