Before I tell you why barre workouts really do work, let me share with you my experience…
When I first started doing barre, my workouts consisted of Jari Love, Cathe Friedrich (love her!), and the Firm. Prior to that, I was a personal trainer and so of course I did a TON of squats, lunges, sprints, etc. I had also done my share of spinning and running – and not much stretching. Are you surprised ;)?
Needless to say, I had some strong muscular legs.
Now, first I want to say that there’s nothing wrong with strong muscular legs…in fact I think they are beautiful on a woman.
It’s just that I’m short – and I didn’t like them on my little 5 ‘3 frame. I grew tired of my jeans feeling too tight around my quads. To other people I don’t think I looked really bulky. But I felt bulky, and that’s really all that mattered.
I don’t even remember how I found the Bar Method, but I happened upon the Bar Method website, and after reading almost every article on their blog, decided that I had to have the DVDs – Change Your Body and Accelerated Sculpting …and as they say, the rest is history. I never looked back at my old workouts. I never thought I’d see the day when I’d give up my good old trusty Firm vids J.
I alternated the two DVDs for a total of four workouts per week, sometimes three if I was short on time.
No extra cardio.
I couldn’t believe the fast results I got with those two DVDs! My lower body quickly thinned out, but looked very sculpted and lean, and my bulky quads started to disappear. Plus there was no dread factor whatsoever. I loved these workouts!
Since I got such great results at home, I figured I needed to get to a class. So I started looking for a studio in my area – and to my surprise, a new studio had just opened up 15 minutes from my house. Sweet!
My results were really enhanced when I started attending Bar Method classes twice a week. Since twice a week was all I could afford, I just did the DVDs at home the other two days. My muscle tone dramatically increased within 8-10 studio workouts.
Unfortunately, I had to stop my classes due to loss of income and becoming a stay at home mom (YAY!). But I did not let that stop my love for barre.
Since then, over the last 4 years, I have accumulated quite the collection of barre DVDs to feed my obsession! I have my favorites of course, but really ALL barre workouts are great and they absolutely WORK!
If you are consistent, they will get you the results you want quite fast.
How and Why Barre Works So Well at Slimming You Down
Interval Training, also known as high intensity interval training, or HIIT, is the key to shrinking your waistline and burning stubborn body fat in those hard to reach places.
HIIT workouts train your body in a way that will cause an “afterburn”, which is the secret to quick fat loss.
This type of training is superior in its ability to burn fat.
The technical term for afterburn is “EPOC”, or excess post-exercise oxygen consumption.
EPOC training, when done correctly, creates an oxygen debt. When you are performing intervals correctly, you will notice that you get really red in the face and begin breathing hard. This is a good sign of oxygen debt, and something that happens very often in barre workouts, especially The Bar Method.
When there is an oxygen debt, your body becomes unstable and has to work very hard to restore itself back to its normal state. The longer it takes for your body to return to normal, the more energy it uses, and thus the more fat it burns in the process. It takes up to 48 hours for the body to fully recover to a resting state.
Regarding interval training and The Bar Method, here is what Burr Leonard had to say about the Bar Method and why it shines:
…exercise order can make or break your workout. The Bar Method recognizes this dynamic and uses it to maximize results….The Bar Method places push-ups after its free-weight exercises so that push-ups become intense enough to serve as a bout of interval training. That way, you wrap up the upper-body work section by burning fat off the muscles that the free-weight exercises just sculpted. Why end with push-ups? Because they work a larger portion of your body’s muscles than free-weights do. Yes, if you reversed the order and did push-ups first, the free-weight work will seem more challenging, but free-weights just don’t engage enough of your body’s muscles to ever be a serious burner.
Although all barre workouts are based upon the same principles of Lotte Berk, Pilates, yoga, and ballet, I do have to agree that The Bar Method is in a class by itself when it comes to exercise sequence and intensity. There’s just something special about it. And it was The Bar Method that I was doing when I got asked twice if I was a dancer J. Can’t beat that!
That said, Physique 57 is also in a class by itself when it comes to intensity and producing RAPID results. You can read my Physique 57 Review and how it whipped me back into shape after I had my little boy.
Barre workouts all have their strengths, and they all WORK, which is why those of us that love barre so much got hooked in the first place!
It’s just that Physique 57 and The Bar Method just happen to be MY personal favorites!
Who is Barre Good For?
Of course I would say that the barre is perfect for all women, but especially any woman who:
- Hates the gym
- Hates doing cardio
- Likes the idea of working out in socks/bare feet
- Wants a longer, leaner look
- Needs to lose weight fast
- Short on time
- Needs an effective low impact workout because of back pain, knee issues, etc.
Like I said, ALL women 😉