One of my New Years resolutions for 2018 was to do more conditioning workouts, such as Barre and Pilates. While Yoga at that point had already been well-integrated to my team, I knew that I was missing the benefits of the isometric movements that Barre and Pilates offer. This was difficult for me. Up to that point, I had hated basically every Pilates and Barre workout I had done (apart from Trilogy Barre). But after a few weeks of attending Pilates Power at Equinox East 85th, I decided that I was ready for the hour-long True Barre experience.
True Barre GRADES
QUALITY OF workout: 9
One basically universal opinion about Barre: it’s hard and it hurts. This class solidified that perception for me. After a brief warm-up sequence, we started with arms. It’s recommended that you don’t use weights heavier than three pounds, which I abided by this time. (When I attended a class at Physique 57, I tried using eight-pound weights and sorely regretted it.) But the bulk of the class was spent actually at the barre. We did a series of exercises both with heels up and heels down, moving different parts of our legs in microscopic ways that still managed to make you feel as if you’d never worked out these muscles before. One of the most challenging positions to maintain was with our toes out, our heels up, and our knees bent. When we began to lift our heels up and down, I was pretty sure that my calves were actually generating enough heat to burn right off.
After finishing the series at the barre, we ended the class with an ab series and a cool-down. This ab series was no joke. We did a number of movements with the fitball between our legs that made me feel every second of the barre workout, as well as a tightening of my abs. And when I feel this type of pain during a workout, I take it as a sign that I need to be doing a lot more of it.
SIZE OF CLASS: MEDIUM/LARGE
Since the Barre studios at Equinox tend to be rather small, these classes are already capped and fill up quickly. This one was no exception. We had around 25 students in the class, and the barre definitely felt a little crowded. I definitely kicked my neighbors at least once (each).
This is a real, hardcore Barre class. You won’t sweat even a little, but you will work out every single muscle in your body, even the ones you didn’t know you had. However, despite how challenging this workout is, it’s very accessible to beginners as well as those with injuries or pregnancies who may need lower impact workouts.
STUDIO QUALITY: 8.5
I love Equinox East 92nd. It’s always clean and well-stocked, and it’s never overly crowded. However, the Barre room is definitely a little small based on the real demand for Barre classes.
THE BOTTOM LINE
True Barre offers an hour of challenging conditioning and toning. I would highly recommend it to anyone who is interested in building and maintaining strength, complementing a HIIT routine, or who needs to solely do low-impact workouts.
Bonus Section: Pilates vs. Barre
There is a deep divide today in the United States. I’m not talking about the results of the 2016 election and their resounding impacts today. Or the growing polarization of our economy and gentrification of cities across the country. What I’ve seen is that there seems to be a strong geographic relationship between preferences for Pilates or Barre. My very scientific way of discovering this phenomenon was through a search on Google Trends. I restricted my search to the U.S. and compared searches for “Pilates” and “Barre.” As you’ll see below, there is a clear geographic delineation. While the eastern states (with some exceptions) seem to favor Barre (blue), the western states are always up for a good Pilates (red) workout.
(Note: I understand that this isn’t a real study and there could be a lot of reasons for the regional differences in these searches. Please don’t take me too seriously).
check out iamrunningthis review as well!