This morning started on a happy note for me!
A couple of months ago, I noticed a new barre studio pop up relatively close to us and just the sight of one gave me the biggest smile. Long time readers might remember my visit to an Xtend barre class at a Pilates studio back when I first moved up to Michigan.
I thoroughly enjoyed that class, but wasn’t keen on the distance required to get there, especially in the dead of winter. For that reason alone, I never attended regularly and became ridiculously excited when I found out that a free-standing studio opened just ten minutes away from me!
For the first time since teaching classes in 2012, I got myself out of bed and made it to the barre for a 6:30 a.m. class. Getting up that early is always a challenge for me, but once I get there I absolutely love it.
The Xtend barre workout is very similar to the style I taught back in Orlando. We started with a warm-up in the center that involved a light set of dumbbells (my shoulders died), then completed a series of cardio, arm and core strengthening exercises.
I don’t think my arms were quite ready for the warm-up series. Even though my weights were only 3 pounds each, they seemed heavy after a few minutes time and I eventually set them on the floor and finished without any weight at all. Eh, you live and you learn!
We spent the rest of the class at the barre and went through the standard set-up of thigh, leg, and seat exercises. Everything gave me a challenge with the encouragement of trying to balance without using my hands and had the advanced option of adding a relevé.
There was a continuous music track of different upbeat songs playing at all times which kept us moving quickly from exercise to exercise. I barely stopped for water breaks!
In my opinion, the majority of the class is spent sculpting the limbs: arms and legs. If you do the exercises with correct form, however, the majority of them can also work your core and some can tone the booty.
With ten minutes to go, I was wondering if we were going to get to abs. As soon as the thought crossed my mind, we killed the next five or so minutes using a yoga strap around the barre and finished with a series of bodyweight crunches, pulses, and plank holds.
The class came to a close with dimmed lights and a slow track to cool us down, which is always my favorite way to end a workout.
I ended up purchasing a 5-class package, but have a feeling I will be returning pretty frequently once my gym membership expires again. I look forward to trying out the different styles of barre fusions and definitely want to make it back for their jazz choreography class.
I loved the ambiance of the studio!
I decided to take the early class so that my best friend, Alex, could take it with me before work. She also loved it and joined me for a quick recovery breakfast at Starbucks afterwards.
I mixed it up this time with a non-fat Chai Tea Latte, but got the same old (but tasty!) spinach feta egg white wrap for substance.
Thank you to all of my fellow mid-westerners who entered in the $100 Meijer gift card giveaway!
Entry #267 : Chelsey Jones. You won by tweeting about the giveaway!
You have been emailed and will need to respond within the next 48 hours in order to claim your prize.
I’m currently blogging from the coffee shop and plan on spending the next couple of hours glued to my chair to study. I tend to focus much better here than at home with the every day distractions from the pets and such.
Ha! I couldn’t resist sharing this guy a friend sent me last night. Too cute!
I hope that you have a great start to the day. See you later on this afternoon!
Question of the Morning
• Are you more of a coffee or tea person?
I will always be a coffee person through and through, but that mostly applies in the mornings. If I am looking for a pick-me-up or even just a hot beverage to sip on in the afternoons, I usually gravitate towards hot herbal tea or a chai tea latte instead. I love it all!