Thursday morning after teaching boot camp, I made my way to Barre Evolution in Mt. Pleasant. They invited me in to try a workout and I was all over it. I was even more excited when I did my research and learned about the two woman entrapreneurs behind Barre Evolution.
Once upon a killer workout, two driven and dynamic women—a former New York City marketing executive and the owner of a Charleston-area Pilates studio—found themselves sidling up to the same barre. Nancy Meyer, a 12- year barre fitness veteran, was hungry to find a great workout south of the Mason Dixon line and Nicole Wallen’s Body by Barre class had the answer. Tightened, toned and sexy bodies weren’t the only things to exit the studio that day—a synergy emerged as the two women discovered their mutual passion for barre fitness and a common desire to share it with the world.
Women of action, Nancy and Nicole trained in New York City under esteemed veteran instructor Debbie Frank, the national instructor trainer for Core Fusion, a wildly popular program with a celebrity following. Together they took Body By Barre to a whole new level. They sculpted a kick-ass method and a plan to open a studio that combined a spa-like, welcoming atmosphere with the body-transforming, hardcore workout they loved. Barre Evolution is the product of their vision and the sizzling new fitness destination on the Charleston workout scene.
I’ve seen a few barre places popping up around town and was curious to experience it for myself. So thanks to Nicole for letting me come in!
Barre Evolution was gorgeous, the white panel floors and huge windows in the front were very welcoming. When I walked in I was quickly introduced to the staff, and then taken on a tour. It’s not a huge facility by any means: studio room, lockers, bathroom, etc. But I was impressed with all the little toiletries that were placed so nicely on the counters… it reminded me of a fancy hotel bathroom.
Those little balls were trouble! They felt like kickballs but when you’re squeezing them between your thighs plus going up into “releve” they do a number your legs!
What, I Lift Weights And You Want Me To Use Those?
From here, it was barre time. I walked into the studio (wearing just socks), where the instructor helped me set up my station. I needed two pairs of light weights. She told me the light ones would be used for lateral side raises while I needed a heavier weight for upright rows.
After contemplating for a moment I choose a 5 lb set and an 8 lb set. I figured that since I normally do rows with 30 lb + dumbbells, that I would be able to use their heavier weights. Clearly the instructor didn’t agree with me and quickly convinced me to drop down to 3 lbs and 5 lbs… Later on during the workout I was thinking her in my head, on several occassions.
No joke, and I was thankful for my little 3 pounders!
The Barre Workout Breakdown
Then it was time to workout. The class was small, only 5 or 6 other women. And to be honest I didn’t have high expectations of the workout. I thought we would be stretching, maybe doing a few squats, and the little weights that laid down at my feet weren’t helping to convince me otherwise.
But I was wrong. Within the first 10 minutes I was shaking. The idea they use is to isolate body parts and go to failure using high reps, VERY high reps!
We started with push-ups (which I was the only one doing them not on my knees, the new girl had to prove herself, right?) then went into a shoulder segment with the light weights. I started off with the 5′s but ended up having to finish off with the 3′s… yea I felt rather pathetic.
Next were thighs. As the name implies there is a bar… like a ballarina bar which lines the room. We did every sort of squat in the book, even up on tippy toes! Let’s just say that by the end of our squat segment, my thighs were on fire! Awesome!
Then was butt time. I contribute my butt and thigh burn a lot just getting back into working my lower body after taking 4 weeks off. But that damn bar made my butt burn so bad! Who knew that over a 100 leg extensions could make one’s tush hurt so bad.
Last but not least was abs… oh ab moves how I love you. I learned a few new plank variations which I showed off on Friday to my boot campers! They weren’t as excited as I was but then again their stomachs were shaking, they were grunting and I was loving it!
The perfect end to a great workout. And while I honestly did enjoy it, I don’t think it was my cup of tea. You know I love heavy weights, hard cardio and having sweat pouring down my face. To me this was a combo of yoga and strength training, which is great but just not for me personally.
But if you’re looking for a fun workout, something a bit different then I definitely recommend a Barre class.
The After Affects
I won’t lie, I walked out of the building, called Dan and told him I was going to be super sore the next day. My arms and legs were still quivering. But to be honest I was surprised when I work up the next morning with just mild “yay, I worked out” soreness. I even managed to run quite a bit the next morning
Barre And The Battery
One other thing cool, is that today Barre is kicking off their first Barre At The Battery where they are holding a class at one of the larger stadiums in Charleston prior to a big soccer game. A great way to come and get an idea of the workout philosophy. I wonder if a bar will be brought in?
- What fitness classes have you done?
- Have you tried a barre class before? What did you think?