The first time I heard about Cardio Barre was about 4 years ago, when one of my girlfriends told me how she started taking classes at the new location in our shopping centre by our high school. I entertained the idea, of trying it out, for a week or so, but soon dropped it as I didn't have enough time back home to be attending regularly. It wasn't until recently, when my sister referred me to a package deal they were offering, that I re-dug it up from my "things to try" list.
I purchased a 5-class package deal which offered classes at lower than half their normal price. This started out as an incentive to: get back into exercising (since I quit any type of routine since August), see what this LA hype was really about, and low-key hope it was some laughable wannabe ballet exercise cult (I was hoping it was "easy").
Arriving to my 930a class
I read a few reviews on Yelp, prior to class, to see if there was anything I should be aware of, and to be more prepared for what was to come. Cardio Barre gives you two options for class sign ups- through a mobile app or through their website. They recommend that you sign up through one of the two so that your space is guaranteed, and it is required that you get to class 5 minutes before class starts. Apparently, one of the biggest complaints online (via Yelp) was the rule about getting to class early so you can secure your spot, even with reservation. Knowing this I get there 15 minutes early, since I was a first timer. Having signed up through the app sped the process up and I didn't need to fill out as many documents. The process was very relaxed, apparently all I needed to do in the future was to sign my name onto a clipboard and put my stuff into a cubby space, then wait for class to start. Before entering class, you are to grab a pair of weights (ranging from 1-3 lbs). For my first class, it was "heavy weights" day so I grabbed a set of 3 lbs. I know, I laughed on the inside. But little did I know...
Cute little office area, there is only 1 studio space
The class starts out with literally barre exercises. Yes, like the kind you do in traditional/classic ballet class. Tendu, plié, dégagé, battements, attitudes...the usual repertoire. Then cardio exercise gets mixed into in, so like extending and flexing, and holding positions for an extensive amount of time. The catch is...all of this happens double time, (read: super fast) repeating each set about 4 or 6 times. And you're doing all of this to sped up pop remix songs. After barre exercises, there are middle of the floor exercises with weights and arm workouts. The class then transitions to on the floor exercises where core muscles are worked, abs, crunches, and moving onto legs and butt.
WOW. I was defeated after the 60 minutes. Pooped. I sweat like no other that day. ¾ through the class I looked down and my chest was glistening with sweat (something that never ever happens to me) to the point I looked like one of those oiled up Giorgio Armani Underwear Ad Models. Day-um! Post workout, I went next door to Néktər to grab my green juice (can you say LA basic) and I couldn't even order my drink because I was still out of breath!
post-class selfie, feeling WORKED out
Some tips (subjective):
1. Arrive early, to prep, stretch, claim cubby space
2. No need for wraps or socks, barefoot is the best IMO
3. Dress lightly, you will sweat a lot
4. There are ~3-6 classes/day, depending on which day of the week, so check the schedule in advance
5. Go at your own pace, but don't give up entirely
6. You should snack on something SMALL, so you don't pass out, prior to class... but make sure its 1.5 hrs in advance so you don't throw it all up.
7. BRING WATER + FULL SIZED TOWEL
8. [technical tips and if you want a challenge, ballet wise] keep your feet pointed, don't drop your back/butt, "extend", don't drop your elbows, with grace ladies!
9. Routines are basically the same, but every instructor adds their own little kick to the combo
Outfit inspo, what I wore to the two classes
I've only gone for two classes, and throughly enjoyed both of them. I definitely underestimated how intense cardio barre can be and promise to never mutter "probably easy" again. Having danced ballet for a good 13 years (on and off), I know that this class (especially with the cardio and use of light weights) will sculpt you if you attend/practice regularly ~3 times average a week. The one review on Yelp that I agree most with, is someone describing cardio barre as "ballerina bootcamp", haha! Maybe I'm just out of shape, but what are your opinions? Have you ever tried cardio barre? Comment below (I'll answer questions based on my experience too!) Any ladies who would want to join me? ;) I can't wait to sign up for my other 3 classes...
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