Barre 3

Last week was the week-long grand opening celebration at the brand new Barre 3 Rittenhouse location! They offered free classes for everyone, and I got a chance to take class 3 different times. To read more about their classes and gorgeous new studio, keep scrolling!

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The Studio: This studio is so beautiful! Centrally located on 15th and Sansom Street, the airy space is on the fourth floor. You are greeted by a large lobby and retail space. You check in at the front desk, then can leave your stuff in the many lockers and cubbies available. There is also a large bathroom where you can change, shower, and get ready. The locker room is fully stocked with hair-ties, face wash, and personal products. Back in the lobby, there are two large studios that open out to either side. Each one has an amazing high ceiling with many sky lights that provide tons of natural light. The rooms are lined with mirrors and there are barres installed around the edges.

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The Format: The Barre 3 class starts out with the students spread out in the studio, doing a warm-up on the floor. “Moving big” starts with exercises like squats, lunges and side-bends timed to the beat of music flowing through the sound system – think low impact aerobics. Then you will take the class to the barre, incorporating light weights (they recommend 1-2 lbs, but I always used the 4-5 lbs and didn’t feel pushed to the limit at all) and a ball at different points in the workout. There will be a series of small movements, holds and pulses in different ballet and/or yoga postures at the barre. There are often periods of stretching between exercises and breaks to “move big” back in the center of the room. The last 20-30 minutes of this 60 minute class are spent on a mat doing pilates-style floor work – ab exercises, glute bridges, and core work. Unlike some other barre classes, this workout is done on the mat and hardwood floor, which means no grip socks are necessary (a big plus in my book – I do not enjoy carpeted studios). Barre 3 provides all the props, mats, and towels, so all you need to bring is yourself.

The Workout: Each of the classes I took was different, though they all stuck to the basic format described above. One instructor had more big movements that got the heart rate a little more elevated. One had a longer and more challenging ab section. Each time it was a full-body class, focusing more on balance and light toning, rather than cardio or serious strength-training. The instructors always demonstrated the moves while also verbally cuing, and constantly offering variations to make the exercises more or less challenging. It was sort of like a choose-your-own-adventure workout with so many options. They all had a very positive, accepting attitude – no shaming, yelling, or pushing here!

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The Pros: Theses were relaxing, all-around classes in a beautiful environment. I usually went in the morning and the light streaming in combined with the stretches and balance work reminded me of a yoga class (both  in terms of fitness level and mental revitalization and balance). The studio is a lovely place to spend a morning. I definitely felt a sense of community and empowerment among other women, if that is something that is important to you. I always looked forward to going there. Bonus: they have some 6 am classes and offer child care during some time slots.

The Cons: The workout did not feel challenging enough for me. If you are used to HIIT training or weight lifting, this might not be your go-to choice for pushing your limits. Again, its nice to lengthen and work on balance, but I didn’t leave feeling tired, shaky, or sweaty. To me, its great for an early morning weekend wake-up, if not for an every day butt-kicking. But, everyone’s goals and fitness levels are different – your results may vary!

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The Pricing: Right now they are running a founding member special: $129/month for the monthly unlimited pass. This a great deal for a monthly membership compared to other fitness studios in the area. If you love barre work and this studio, take advantage of this opening special ASAP. They also offer different size classes packs. New clients can get 3 class for $45 (compared to $25/single class). 10 classes are $200. Go check out this beautiful Rittenhouse newcomer!

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