There was a time in my life, not too long ago, where if anyone asked me if I wanted to go to barre I would have assumed that they were asking if I wanted to go to the bar. While both bar hopping and barre class will leave you sore the next day, one of them is the good kind of sore and not the hangover kind of sore.
So what is barre class? It seems to be one of those fitness trends that seem to be ultra-popular, primarily with women. It fires up your muscles with a combination of moves based of ballet and utilizes a ballet barre for some of its' signature moves.
While douchey gym bros may disregard it as a "girly" workout trust me when I say, barre is not for those looking to take it easy. Also, let's stop assuming because something is feminine/popular with women it means it's not as hard, yeah?
ABOUT BARRE BELLE
Based in Kitsilano, Barre Belle originated in Calgary before opening their first location in Vancouver. Barre Belle aims to make barre a little less intimidating by offering a variety of barre classes, plus one specialty class. I wasn't entirely sure what to expect going into barre class seeing as how I lack basic coordination skills and I don't think anyone has ever described me as graceful.
The majority of workouts I tend to gravitate towards aims on short bursts of power so I knew barre would be a unique challenge, much like Lagree, because so much of barre is based on controlled and slow power.
The space is stunning - one of the most beautiful fitness studios I've been to. When it's bright out natural sunlight floods the studio while large windows give the studio an open and spacious feel. The studio has a shower, hair ties, dry shampoo, towel service as well as lots of merch to browse through. They've collaborated with great brands like Brunette the Label and Smash + Tess for their own custom gear.
The team at Barre Belle was kind enough to extend me a complimentary 2 week unlimited membership and me being the type of person I am decided that I would cram in as many classes as I could just to do a review on each type of class. Knowing that I would be poorly equipped for this I decided that I would (of course) try every single class... I barely survived tbh. The only class listed on their site that I did not do was Barre Strength which isn't available in Vancouver yet.
Somethings to note before we delve in:
Barre Belle Fit
Their signature barre class, Barre Belle Fit is the best pick for anyone new to barre. It's a full body class done in intervals. It works to build strength and cardiovascular endurance by sprinkling in some cardio between intervals. It's equal parts booty, upper body, lower body, and core.
Barre Belle Fat Burn
This one was my favourite class, think of it as a step up in intensity on comparision to Barre Belle Fit. It aims to burn calories by changing the format of how cardio is introduced into your 1 hour workout. While Fit is strength, cardio, strength, cardio; Fat Burn makes it hurt (so good) by doing all your strength in one chunk, than all of your cardio in the last chunk. I do think a beginner could do a Fat Burn class, however if you're not used to longer periods of cardio it may be challenging to not break up your cardio with other moves.
Barre Belle X
Want a class that will leave you breathless? Because it'll be Barre Belle X. Their most advance class, Barre Belle X will leave you winded with a combo of strength and HIIT (high intensity interval training). For those of you who don't know what HIIT is, you're lucky. Nothing makes me feel more out of shape than HIIT. It's a training technique in which you go through short but intense burst of exercise followed by short (too fucking short in my opinion) recovery period. This is the kind of workout that gets your heart rate up and burns fat like no other.
Ass & Abs
This is the class I need because I am always working on that booty (it's still not there btw) and we could always use a bit more core workouts. I am always a fan of a class that is a lot of mat work because I justify it by telling myself that I get to lay down. Well, this class is definitely no nap and after my first class I feel like I got stabbed on the side of my butt and my butt was twitching for hours after. I am going to assume that's what twerking feels like. #twerkitout
Priced at $25, Barre Belle's drop in fee is seemingly on par with other Vancouver fitness studios. The best bang for your buck is their intro which is their two week unlimited for $55 as long as you can get in more than 3 times in that time frame, you're saving money. They do have some class pack and unlimited membership options so depending on how often you think you can make it in there is a class option suitable for everyone.
Barre Belle is also on ClassPass which is $40 off your first month, or your first 2 weeks free depending on which promo you decide to go with. Classes at Barre Belle are 6 ClassPass credits which works out to be about $15 a class via ClassPass.
So after every butt targeted class I look in the mirror to see if my butt has gotten any bigger (it hasn't) but after only 6 classes I definitely notice an improvement with my overall ability to keep up in class. My technique and form improved and I could tell that my endurance for the moves had definitely gotten better. Every class left me sweaty but feeling strong. Almost all of the moves have a low-impact option which makes it great for beginners.
The instructors were incredible with my two favourites being Sean and Kimberly both for their love of 90s music and just the highest energy. Another shoutout when it comes to teaching styles that I liked a lot about Barre Belle is that all the instructors were super encouraging and engaging throughout class and none of them were drill sergeants.
Gals I talk to that regularly take barre say that nothing perks their butt up more than so that's good enough for me to keep sculpting that backside. Hashtag peach emoji, hashtag booty gains.
Photos provided by Barre Belle.
The fine print: It means a lot to me that you got this far into the post to read the fine print. It means more to my butt for sure because I put it through a lot the past two weeks for this post and dem booty gains. This post is not sponsored whatsoever, however Belle Barre was kind enough to extend a two week trial for me to try the classes.
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