Burn at the Barre

I decided to not blog every day while on vacation because that’s just crazy-ness. So instead I’ve asked a few friends to chime in for me. I’ll make this short and sweet. Jill, blogs over at Bluegrass Belle and I’m excited to have her on my blog today! Please take a visit at her website. She’s one of my daily-reads (or whenever she updates, heh heh!)


Hey there, Spiffykerms readers! I’m Jill, from Lexington, Kentucky, and I blog over at Bluegrass Belle. While I wish I could tell you I have a certain topic or “focus,” you’d quickly figure out that isn’t the case, ha! (I intentionally chose this picture of myself because a friend told me I looked skinny…ha!)

Anyway – I’ve been reading Nancy’s blog for quite a few years now and one of the things I’ve always admired is how active she is! Well, now I understand why that is easy for her – it’s because she does something she likes! Last January, I too started doing something I liked…Barre Amped!

Never heard of Barre Amped? Well neither had I, really, until I started doing it! From the website: “BarreAmped is an intensive body shaping experience designed to produce reliable results, no matter the client. The method is influenced by classical and modern dance (though it is not a dance class) and utilizes a barre to achieve optimal positioning. The precision-oriented technique focuses mainly on small, isolated movements within deeply held and challenging postures. BarreAmped is proven to increase metabolism, burn fat, and lengthen tight muscles. With commitment to the technique, you get recognizable results exactly where you want them.”

Okay, well, that sounds great and all, but does it work? Honestly, before I did it I had a hard time thinking that it would. You never use more than a 3 lb. weight and it’s not like you’re running miles or anything. The first time I took a class, I didn’t even take a bottle of water!!!! (It was an accident, but oh, how quickly I learned…)

(This hottie is Leigh-Ann, one of my BarreAmped instructors and the studio owner. Not too shabby!)

I’ll say this – when I started doing Barre Amped, my size 6 pants were starting to become snug. That has definitely changed! My stomach is flatter and more toned, I have muscle definition in my legs that wasn’t there before, and I feel tremendously better.

BarreAmped has also allowed me to feel comfortable in LEGGINGS. People, I hadn’t worn leggings since elementary school! And skinny jeans? I actually LIKE them now.

In addition to being a total body workout, BarreAmped allows me to zone out for an hour and focus on me. Usually, at the gym, I’d be on the treadmill or elliptical…and the whole time my mind would be racing. Honest to Pete, I would often wish I had a notepad to make notes to myself of all the things I would think about that I needed to do (at work, at home, etc.) That is enough to make you dread working out right there! At BarreAmped, not the case. The entire 60 minutes, I’m focused on the instruction and cues from the teacher, as well as my body and position.

So, you may be wondering about the title of the post, Burn at the Barre. Well, if you don’t feel the burn and your muscles aren’t shaking, you’re not doing it right. Or else you are tremendously in shape and I hate you. But let’s assume that isn’t the case ;) A huge goal in BarreAmped is to make your muscles shake and burn. I can handle the shaking a lot better than the burning. Let’s take a look at one of the positions that burns the crap out of my legs AND makes me shake…Leigh-Ann is below in seated chair, with heels in releve (rell-uh-vay).

(Can I just add that Leigh-Ann taught BarreAmped classes all the way up to 40 weeks pregnant?! I’m not kidding when I say I took a class with her one night and she had her baby girl THE NEXT DAY. She is amazing.)

The other HUGE burn for me comes when we do what is known as the “Waterski.” Check out the picture and you’ll easily see why. I hate waterski, but I love it. It burns like the dickens, but I know it is working. I can feel it!

If you don’t have Barre Amped in your area (check this link for locations), there are a number of other barre classes you can try. I can’t speak to what they’re like because I’ve never done them, however, those I know of are: Pure Barre, Bar Method, and Physique57.

Still none of those available? Check out this at-home workout, compliments of Shape magazine: Embrace Your Inner Ballerina

Or, you can visit My Barre 3 and try out some online classes. My friend Emily did this for awhile, when she was faced with a really hectic schedule and couldn’t make it to class! She enjoyed it!

Hopefully, I’ve convinced you to give barre a try! If nothing else – you heard this from someone who has actually tried it and seen results…not just some super fit instructor! I always wanted to hear from someone firsthand but a) never knew anyone who did it and b) never had the courage to ask many questions. I’m about 10 lbs. lighter than when I started, and loving every minute of class. Just don’t forget your towel and water bottle ;)

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