Please welcome guest contributor, Jen Mowrer!
I work out.
I run (two half-marathons under my belt thankyouverymuch with my first full marathon scheduled for January), lift weights and do other forms cardio all of the time – it’s basically a part time job. I am a wife and mother of two (5 and almost 3), and I do freelance work out of my home. I am a very busy lady but understand that exercise is a good thing and I have grown to love it.
I have been taking classes at barre3, located on Bearden Hill in a gorgeous and modern building (it’s city, y’all!), for the past 6 weeks. And I must say that I have not fallen so hard for something since, as a young lass, I saw Ricky Schroeder on Silver Spoons for the first time. So let me tell you why I love barre3 so very much…
For one, let’s talk about the aesthetics…the building is multi-level and sits upon ole Bearden Hill. It’s modern and brand spanking new – it basically sparkles. Inside it’s very cool and relaxed with a laid-back atmosphere.
barre3 has two studios, both nice and spacious and both have views of the Great Smokey Mountains. It houses a spa-like locker room and they have on-site childcare available (SCORE).
Secondly, let’s get down to what barre3 is all about. The barre3 workout combines core exercises with ballet, yoga and Pilates to tone, stretch and lengthen muscles. You are led through class by an instructor that will constantly cue you on movements and posture, the class moves fast so be ready.
A typical class goes a little something like this…
You arrive at the studio and feel automatically relaxed by the cool vibe they have going on. Feel free to use the restroom (hello, Aveda products at your disposal!) and grab some water. Enter studio after chatting with like-minded barre enthusiasts.
The instructor will let you know to grab a ball and hand weights (sometimes a strap but not always) then find a spot on the barre. The first time I attendedclass I chuckled to myself when I saw that the hand weights were teeny tiny (1-5 pounds I believe, basically for babies!). I mean, I regularly attend Body Pump classes at my gym and am always encouraged to add weight. I never use teeny tiny hand weights. How cute, I thought to myself.
I decided to meet them in the middle and went with the 3 pounders, thinking what could these baby weights to do me? Spoiler alert: My arms were on FIRE during that part of the class and I was cursing myself for not picking up the 1-pounders. Lesson learned.
But, I digress…the music starts and then you have a brief warm-up. Moving on to the barre for legs/glute work. A lot of the movements involve holding/squeezing a Pilates ball between your thighs while you perform various movements. The first time I did the class I had to stop several times to rest. My legs were screaming at me wanting to know what the hee haw was going on.
After barre work you move to your mat and perform a sequence of postures to work your triceps, shoulders, back, biceps and you end the class with the core workout of all core workouts (plus stretch time). Several times during class I got the shakes, and I was assured by the instructor (hi Cara!) that the shakes are a good thing – your muscles are engaged and they are working it! They will thank you later!
As you know I can totally hang at the gym, but barre3 classes continuously kick my rear and I love it. Everything you do, every move you make is small, deliberate and controlled. I love flowing through the sequences of postures with mindfulness. And please don’t let the word “flowing” throw you off. barre3 classes are extremely challenging and you will hurt – but in a good way and that’s what you want, yes?
Aside from the physical benefits (I am more toned! I stand up straighter! I love to stretch! I feel stronger!), my most favorite thing is how I feel after class. I am alert! I am happy! I feel great!
It’s the only time of day when I truly focus on what I am doing at that point in time. And I do a pretty good job of not letting other thoughts in – my body feels alive, my mind is clear and I am happy – and to me that is barre3-tastic.
6450 Kingston Pike
Knoxville, TN 37919
barre3 is opening a new location at Northshore Town Center – coming soon!
Jen Mowrer is wife to Matt, mommy to Lottie Sue and Rowdy and part- time freelancer. She hails from Morristown, TN, and after living in Chicago for a spell she is now back in beautiful east Tennessee. She is a closeted urbanite, lover of beautiful things, maker of horrible food and all-around great gal.