Barre3 – Stronger in Mind & Body
When my editor asked me if I wanted to take a bar class, I got giddy. My head was spinning with the possibilities. Would I learn how to juggle vodka bottles? Would I learn how to muddle mint? Would I learn to stick my nose in a wine glass, sniff with exuberance, and be able to identify what region the wine was from? By the time my brain stopped, I pictured myself being a sommelier in Paris.
Then she went on… Barre3 is an exercise class.
Ohhhhh, the bar with two r’s. I am way too literal. Sigh.
But, I was game so I packed up my water bottle and off I went to Barre3, located at 3900 Hamilton Boulevard in Allentown, where Brittany Morse is the studio owner. It opened in April of 2015 and has, because of its gaining popularity, doubled its class offerings with now over 40 classes per week. It has classes for the early bird, day classes, and then some evening classes are offered as well. Child care hours are also available, so bottom line, no excuses.
When I first walked in, I was greeted warmly by the attendant who actually looked me in the eyes, which is rare these days. The waiting area was spacious, simple and clean. I nosed around and found the wee but mighty dressing room, complete with showers, towel service, and a counter stocked to the nines with product that is available for you to use. So far so good!
Then I met Brittany. The first thing I noticed was her posture. Regal and confident. “Oh man, I have to stand like that as opposed to my current Quasimodo-esque style,“ I thought.
I learned Brittany began her fitness career as a dancer, performing on stages internationally before transitioning to teaching and choreographing full time. But in 2011, she discovered Barre3 and never looked back. She loves the results-driven workout as well as the phenomenal community surrounding it.
I wasn’t sure what she meant by “phenomenal community” until the class before mine let out, and then I started to see it. Every person exited the studio with a smile. They stayed, chatted, giggled, pick up their kids, and chatted some more.
Well, buckle up. It was my turn. I had Erin as an instructor that day. She started out with the music cranked, which I personally love because it camouflaged my groaning. Throughout the hour, she led the class by making her way around the studio explaining, adjusting, and giving modification options to different exercises all the while giving encouragement and counting.
And let me address that counting… if you take her class, she will keep your attention through her encouraging words… I think to distract you from the fact that she is counting backwards from around 600 by 4’s.
“Ok, 4 more, 3 more, 2 more, 1 more… You are strong women! 4 more, 3 more, 2 more 1 more.
4 more, 3 more, 2 more, 1 more… Focus on your core! You can do it… 4 more, 3 more, 2 more, 1 more.
My legs were shaking, my arms were quaking, and my stomach was quivering. Did you know your stomach could quiver? I did not.
Throughout the class there was lots of change up. We used our own body resistance, free weights, resistance bans, and an exercise ball. That is great for people with an attention span of a gnat like me.
After class, I was met with the same kind of phenomenal community Brittany referenced. We lingered in the lobby, we giggled and we chatted… employees and patrons alike. There were smiles all around. True, it could have been exercise endorphins, but unless Barre3 fostered that community, there would not be one.
Brittany says, “Barre3 is for everyone. We don’t believe in the one-size-fits-all approach to exercise. Instead, we empower each individual to modify postures and develop body awareness for lasting results.”
If you look on their website you will see what Morse is saying. Under the classes offered, it says Barre3. It is a no brainer. There are no advanced classes, beginner classes, or senior classes; there is no Power Pump, Bootie Buster, or Torture Times. It says Barre3 straight down the line. You take the class, you give it all you’ve got, and with instruction and modification, the work out is yours and yours alone.
Here’s the thing I like about Barre3. I’ve taken almost every exercise class under the sun. And inevitably, the first class of almost every one, I felt like a giant doorknob. I don’t know the poses, I don’t know the calls, I get confused watching my footing in the mirror so I trip, I face backwards when everyone else faces forward, and I go left when everyone goes right. But with Barre3, there really is no learning curve because you get it immediately. You will sweat and you will quiver and you will NOT be able to walk up your steps the next morning without uttering bad, bad words BUT you will get it the first class.