Article by Jade Kendall, original source: www.jkendallfitness.com
When my friend suggested barre pilates, my instant thought process went a little like this: "Oh that sounds a lot like it has something to do with ballet. Oh shit... ballet."
Barre pilates is a workout that has a foundation of pilates movements with a mix of ballet leg work and positions. At first I thought that how hard could it possibly be, right? It's just pilates, i've done that before and it wasn't that hard, i've got this.
I WAS SO WRONG ON SO MANY LEVELS, I DIDNT HAVE IT, NEVER HAD IT.
Let's just say it felt like all the pain you have ever felt from exercise at once, just in your legs. Jelly couldn't even accurately describe what my legs look like during this 45 minute session of pain. But don't let that throw you off, because it was definitely worth it. I will run you through my experience of barre pilates and the moment I thought my legs were going to drop off.
So off we go, we hop in the car in our yoga tights (actually worn to exercise and not to pick up milk from the local IGA) and our excitement levels are set at high at the stage. The studio is located in the Spring Hill Baths, which is a gorgeous little lap pool with cute little coloured change rooms. To be honest I was more infatuated by the adorableness of the little pool then why we were actually there.
Anyway, we eventually find the studio which is sneakily disguised as another cute coloured change room (in other words, we couldn't find it). The 10 person studio is every home decorators dream, polished wooden floors, white wooden walls, beautiful light features.
Ok, so after being stuck in a world of awe it was time to get down to business. Class starts with some calf work. Simple enough, up and down on the balls of your feet... Easy right?NOPE. After approximately 10.5 seconds in and the burn was real, as a personal trainer I was feeling pretty defeated at this point.
At the 10 minute mark there was sweat in all the wrong places. I check on my friend to see how she was travelling, but my friend had been replaced by a sweaty panda with mascara running down her face and the look of "wtf am I doing here" splashed across her face.
20 minutes in and I have never felt a burn in my legs quite like this, I quite honestly thought that it will be the moment I will never walk again. We are constantly moving our legs, the movement just. doesn't. stop. My friend is a dancer from way back, so naturally she has a perfectly pointed toe and knows the ballet positions automatically. I however, look like an octopus caught in a net: Limbs flying everywhere.
At the 35 minute mark, that was it. It was time to throw in the towel. I was done, I was looking like a baby giraffe learning to walk. The instructor could see the pain strewed across my face, she knew my body was crying on the inside. When the words, "Ok now onto the floor for final stretches," flew out of her mouth like music, I have never felt more relief. The last ten minutes were of complete 'zen,' as the yogis would say.
The class ended and I felt like I was a new women. I felt like I could walk (crawl) out of that studio and join the NY ballet school for ballet people.
Now time to answer some FAQ, yes it was incredibly painful, yes it was hard, yes I may have shed a tear, BUT yes it is worth it.
The instructor was helpful and supportive of my wonky ways, and I felt like I just smashed a HIIT workout. Totally worth every minute of pain. Loved it so much i've booked myself in for more sessions of pain.
If you want to feel an experience anything quite like mine, I do suggest this beautiful little studio! It's quite small classes so you feel like you're getting the most out of it.