Fitness Review: Barre3

I've been working out on a regular basis to gear up for my wedding in 20 months. Yes, I still have a lot of time, but I am still on prednisone. I am thankfully only on 9 mg right now, but I would like to lose the extra 35 pounds I gained from it when I started retaking it in October 2013 (on 80 mg!), so I can start dress shopping around the 7-9 months left mark. Here's to hoping my kidney will stop acting up.

Even though I get frustrated about prednisone and my extra flab, I know deep down that by keeping a regular exercise routine I am doing great things for my body. I am gaining strength, endurance and flexibility. I am fighting more diseases coming my way. It's important for us lupus patients to stay active to avoid joint pain, fatigue, and depression. Exercise has done such amazing things for my mind. I am mentally kicking and screaming at first about not wanting to do it, but after I do I feel like I am ready to take on the world.

I've always been into yoga/pilates/barre workouts, the ones that promise you "long lean muscles", "dancer's body", "lengthen and strengthen". I know that those claims can be farfetched, and that it's mostly marketing. I know, I've heard that lifting your butt 100 times and nothing more than 5 pounds is ineffective for toning and strengthening. But I'm here to tell you that almost exactly 2 years ago, I was not on prednisone. I was around 120 pounds. I did Ballet Beautiful DVDs to lose the extra prednisone weight from 2012. I've never felt so sleek, and I should trust that the trainer, Mary Helen Bowers trained Natalie Portman for Black Swan and Victoria's Secret models! Okay, I totally have totally different genes from them, but I felt like the leanest I could be.

Me in Rome, July 2013. I was doing Ballet Beautiful, yoga and some kettlebells. Can I please go back to that size?

Anyway, I have been on a barre kick, using Phyisque 57 and Bar Method DVDs. These methods come from Lotte Berk, a dancer developed an exercise system incorporating ballet, yoga and Pilates. There's a lot of small pulses with 3-5 pound weights (although Physique 57 allows you to progress to heavier weights) that make your muscles burn.

Right now I am using Barre3's online streaming workouts which are only $15 a month. This is perfect because there are no barre studios in Sacramento except the Dailey Method and U-Barre. Plus, live classes are extremely expensive, almost up to $200 a month! But...if you've been interested in fitness, you know the stereotype of barre clientele: rich, teeny tiny white women decked out in Lululemon head to toe. And I guess it's true, especially in the Physique 57 and Bar Method DVDs where they always talk about "looking good in skinny jeans/bikini/running into your ex/etc." What makes barre3 interesting is that even though their clients want to lose weight and tone up as their goal, they hardly talk about that in their videos. Instead, they emphasize their mission statement: "Our workouts are designed to transform the body to one of equal balance, strength and flexibility" (which represents the "3" in barre3). In fact, I have seen some of the instructors that seem larger than a size 2, which totally makes me feel like I can aspire to be as fit as them too.

The main thing that actually sets barre3 apart from other barre workouts is that it is a lot more yoga focused. It's not uncommon to find yourself down cat/cows, tree poses, downward dogs, etc. Also, while you still do small pulses, there are more exercises that incorporate larger range of motion than in Bar Method. Barre3 also emphasizes neutral spine, whereas other barre workouts emphasize tucking your spine.

Barre3 was created by Sadie Lincoln (who by the way, almost looks exactly like my former pastor's wife. They are both short with blonde hair and similar facial features) in Portland Oregon. If you're a mom, you will love Barre3 because the studios provide childcare. Sadie created the system with moms in mind, knowing that they barely have time to take care of themselves, so the childcare is available for those who are unable to hire a nanny. In addition, there are a vast number of pre-natal and post-natal videos.

As for my results? I can't say I have seen a dramatic change, especially because I'm still on prednisone. But I can slightly feel my waist getting tighter and my upper body looking more toned. It's the little things that add up. I always get sore everyday, despite other barre aficionados saying it's easier than Bar Method, Pure Barre, Physique, etc. Also, Madonna has hired Sadie as a trainer before. Everyone knows that Madonna is the exercise queen in Hollywood, so if it's good enough for her then it's good enough for me!

I definitely still want to keep trying this system, as long as I can...although, I do have exercise ADD and I always want variety to keep me from getting bored. I will also incorporate heavier kettle bells so I can be functionally stronger and help other pick up heavy items. I also just need the weight bearing moves especially because prednisone weakens your bones, making you at risk for osteoporosis. I also love the way yoga makes me feel too, especially the power and vinyasa styles.

Whether you're new to exercising or have been for a long time, or want to try something new, then barre3 is perfect! They accommodate to everyones needs. Each video has modifications for beginner and advanced. You can try the online streaming or the DVDs. Also, there are studios around the US, Canada and the Philippines (I'm totally giddy over this. When us Filipinos hear anything related to our country, we go super-ballistic in an excited way. Our country is a super nationalistic one. Why else do we go crazy about Manny Pacquiao, other than the fact that he's an world class boxer?)

The Barre3 website is here. (NOTE: I am not compensated for this post. This is all purely my opinion and experience).

1 comment :

  1. Waw, congratz bride to be. Hope your fitness program giving you more result. I pray the best for you. <3