We're getting married in March, and part of my fitness plan is to buy two unlimited months of barre classes so that I can get hella fit during the final countdown to The Big Day. Before last week, I had taken barre-style classes a couple of times and they are exactly the workouts I want for my body. Light weights / high reps with a focus on the booty, and juuuuuust hard enough that I sweat a lot but don't wish bad things upon the instructor.
I really love taking group fitness classes. I like the competition and I like working out in front of mirrors (to check on my form and feed my narcissism, of course.) In college, I used to just show up for kickboxing or yoga classes without paying for them. That way, if I couldn't make it for some reason, I didn't have to worry about getting an incomplete. Plus, not signing up meant it was free, which was great for my college budget.
I was going to wait until January to start taking any barre classes because they are so damn expensive. Unlimited classes are usually around $100 for your first month, and then $175 a month after that. You can buy packs of classes in fives and tens too, but if you go 3 or more times per week, the unlimited month is really the best deal.
Who do they think I am, a Real Housewife?
But last week, I got a pretty enticing e-mail from ClassPass letting me know that a n00b like me could get 70% off my first month. So I signed up for 5 classes for 14 bucks and felt like I beat the system!
I made an appointment for the following morning to take a 6:00am barre class before work.
I mean, I really just feel like I'm in my natural habitat at these barre studios. And I like the 6:00am class because it feels like I'm getting a head start on the day and one-upping everyone who's still sleeping.
The next day, I met up with my sister at the studio closest to her house for an 8:45am Saturday class. After trying a few classes, she ended up just getting an unlimited month because she works from home and it comes with free daycare. My 3-year-old nephew loves barre class (the daycare) and wants to know when he can go back, please. Win-win for mamas!
On Monday, I went to a different barre studio (except this one is called a bar studio), and on Wednesday, I took a 3rd type of barre class with my friend Kristen before work. This particular class was what I imagine working out in Blake Lively's closet is like. The studio was very roomy and the lobby/hallway area had a fancy dresser where you could get a handful of trail mix out of a glass jar using a chic metal scoop. It reminded me of her pretentious and unpopular blog Preserve that shut down, all exposed brick, pastels, and industrial lighting.
My thoughts and reviews on each of these studios varies slightly, and I definitely know which one of the barres my favorite. (Message me for details, I guess?) But here's a little peek (in no particular order) into my internal monologue during the barre-style classes I took over the past week:
Oh my god, I arrived before the the instructor for a 6:00am workout class. I'm such a LOSER!
The instructor said it was good to see everyone. Do they know I'm a first-time imposter?
Do they think I'm a conceited teacher's pet for posting up right in the front?
I wonder if that blonde girl would want to be friends.
Check out my butt!
Are these women heading to work after this like I am?
How much money do they make?
I wonder how much those subtly tie-died yoga pants cost that I saw for sale out in the lobby?
Am I the sweatiest one in here?
I wonder how many of them pay the $175/month membership fee and how many trolled ClassPass for a 70% off deal like me?
What would it be like to be a rich housewife and stroll in here for the 10:00am class every morning?
Damnit. That pregnant lady is squatting lower than me.
Do they clean these mats and resistance bands each time?
Should I take some of those tampons and bobby pins with me when I leave just in case I need them later? Or if a friend needs them? ClassPass says you can search for studios by amenity. Can you search by which ones offer the best tampons?
If this is a "stretch", then why are my thighs shaking like salt shakers?
The cheer coach that forced that 13-year-old girl into the splits was a real dick.
I think I want an Apple Watch.
This is way more pushups than I want for the shape of my upper body. Everyone says that women can't bulk, but like, YES they can. "Bulk" may be in the eye of the beholder, but I don't actually want arms like Jillian Michaels (no offense).
Did the instructor just tell that lady she ate too many Cliff Bars over the weekend?
Did the instructor just say, "You're all doing it wrong"?
🎶 🎵 You can do side bends or sit ups, but please don't lose that butt, shake it, shake it, shake it, shake it, shake that healthy butt, baby got back 🎶 🎵
I hope my right side isn't getting more reps than my left side. Here comes my OCD. Symmetry!!! Help me.
Wow! I'm hella fit. Wait, I'm not at all, actually.
How much do Apple Watches cost?
So if 5 classes is $100, that's $20 per class, which is cheaper than brunch and I can maybe meet my sister every Saturday and kiss my nephew....
Uh oh....I see her shadow behind me. Is she gonna straighten me out again? Do I totally suck?
I feel like Apple Watches could be cool now.
Wait, did I just do all of these leg lifts twice on the same side? I can't remember. Is my right her left, minus the mirror, plus my obsession with symmetry? I can't be sure of anything anymore. Send help.
I'm totally listening to the Moana soundtrack on my way home.
I'm never coming back here.
Ooooh! $85 for a month of unlimited classes for new members?!
As you can see, most of my thoughts during barre classes revolve around money.
At one of them, my form was constantly being corrected, which was actually kind of distracting and it sorta knocked my confidence and made me question why I was even there. (Sensitive Sally, I know.)
I'm hoping that these 5 classes kinda help me simulate the amount of muscle I'll have on my body on my wedding day for when I take my measurements later this week.
All in all, I am all about barre. I certainly know which one is my favorite, but could get down with some other barres (or bars) here and there. They're all pretty hard, but totally fun, and after just a few classes, I feel like my waist is smaller and like I can stretch further. To me, the best classes have a challenging format and a mellow instructor, so you don't feel pressure to be perfect.
As of this morning, I'm out of classes and I'm actually not sure if I'm going to renew my package next month, which would be $45 for 5 classes. ClassPass is not really that great of a deal, IMO. I think it used to be like $30 for unlimited classes each month and you could studio-hop to different different locations of the same class to hack the 3 visits per studio rule. But apparently, they've gotten smart. So $79 for 10 classes or $45 for 5 when you have to hustle around town to hit up all the barre studios doesn't really seem like that sweet of a deal to me.
So is it worth the money? I don't know!
Does it make me wish I was a trophy wife who could afford taking as many barre classes as I please? Definitely, yes.
The voices inside my head are pretty conflicted about the whole thing, so I guess we'll see.
The sassiness and sarcasm expressed on this blog are partly fictional, partly hypothetical, partly questionable, and 100% the responsibility of the author.