FAB LA Spotlight-Raising the Barre

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Eating healthily and sensibly has become a way of life for me. In other words, I've been on a never-ending diet since 2009. My days are food-filled with fiber rich smoothies, salads, and lots and lots of fruit and veggies. But I cheat. Often. The buffet binges, my unconquerable addiction to sweets, and my penchant for Flaming Hot Cheetos detrimentally interrupt my otherwise bird-like eating habits.

To counteract my inevitable spurts of falling off the healthy eating wagon,  I try to work out at least four times a week. Cardio workouts are a staple and I supplement them with isometric training in the form of barre classes. Living in LA, I'm bombarded with a myriad of different barre studios that offer similar workouts. Never content with just one option, I've tried almost all of them and have found that each is unique and bring something different to the "bar."


Bar Method: Integrates the fat burning format of interval training, the muscle shaping technique of isometrics, the elongating principles of dance conditioning, and the science of physical therapy to create

The Good:
  • Plethora of LA locations
  • You can buy the Bar Method DVD and work out at home
  • Each class is different which means you're never repeating the same exercises 
The Bad:
  • Holding the correct body position make or break the exercises. Precision and slight adjustments matter greatly but individual instruction attention are hard to come by due to the large class size
The Fabulous:
  • I don't break out in a sweat which means the classes can be easily integrated into my always unpredictable schedule

Cardio Barre: A unique, high energy/no impact exercise class that combines barre work and light weights with continual fat burning motion. Central to the workout are toning and resistance exercises for the butt. legs, torso and arms to sculpt muscles and elongate the appearance of your body.

The Good:
  • The upbeat music make the one hour sessions go by quickly
  • Great nontraditional cardio workout
  • The leg lifts are killer but create killer butts
The Bad:
  • The unavoidable wave of nausea that follows the leg lifts segment
  • Classes are packed which means if you get there late you risk being turned away. 
  • On a few occasions, my lower back stiffened and felt sore after class
The Fabulous:
  • I can feel my abs tightening and my "seat" lifting after every class

Pure Barre: Using small isometric movements at the ballet barre set to motivating music, Pure Barre lifts your seat, tones your thighs, abs and arms and burns fat in record breaking time.

The Good:
  • Great upbeat music
  • Love the high effective abs and leg exercises
  • Small classes means a greater focus on individual attention
The Bad:
  • Expensive! 
  • Fewer class locations (at the moment) as they've just recently expanded to LA
The Fabulous:
  • The exercises are so effective I can feel the fat burning and melting away during class which keeps me motivated to work through the pain

Pop Physique: Incorporates a ballet barre inspired exercise system into an efficient one hour class set to excellent music that blends elements of ballet, Pilates and light weight work into a methodical series of strengthening, isometrics, core shaping, and luxuriating stretches.

The Good:
  • Class size very small
  • Great music
  • The Silverlake location is close to all my favorite cafes and boutiques

The Bad:
  • Intensity level is too low for me
  • Not enough on the barre exercises
The Fabulous:
  • A lot of gazelle-bodied dancers take the class which make for great body envy/motivation

live fabulously