You’ve probably heard of Portland, Oregon. This coastal Pacific Northwest city is known for a few things.
- Matt Groening, creator of The Simpsons, was born in Portland over 60 years ago.
- “Put(ting) a bird on it“.
- In 2008, Sadie Lincoln and her hubby Chris started a killer brand of fitness called Barre3 that, in February 2017, finally opened in Center City, Philadelphia!
Barre3 has been around for a while, but, as they’re new in town, you might be wondering: What makes it different from other barre classes? Maybe you’re a Pure Barre fan, or you’ve never tried any barre classes and just want a crash course. Either way, let’s get down to brass tacks.
The Studio & Equipment
Barre3, unlike many barre classes I’ve taken (and I’ve taken quite a few in my day), takes place on a hard wood floor. Bright lighting for sure, and I noticed the instructor will dim the lights and turn up the music during certain points (like when you’re repeating a move for a little longer). You’ll use the barre around the room for leg/thigh work.
The only equipment you’ll use is a super squishy ball and a set of hand weights (ranging from 1-5lbs). Your instructor will bring you a mat when it’s time for that.
Pure Barre, like most other barre classes I’ve attended, is on a carpeted floor. The lighting starts bright and gradually gets darker, and I felt as though you used the barre much more often, for more than just leg work.
You use a ball, small hand weights, and a resistance band during class. The instructors bring over mats.
What to Wear
Barre3 – While there’s no required attire (officially), the “unofficial outfit” of the ladies of Barre3 is typically leggings or crops and tank tops. I don’t think I’d personally enjoy wearing anything with sleeves due to the larger movements of arms, but that’s just me. Barefoot in the studio!
Pure Barre – I believe they require socks (you can buy at studio if you always forget, like me. Note: this can get pricey.) Leggings were “strongly suggested” at my studio. I felt silly in crops, as I was the only one wearing them.
The Class Itself
Barre3 – These were my first few Barre3 classes, and I gotta admit, I liked them more than most barre classes I’ve taken. This is probably due to the addition of large, dynamic movements in addition to the teeny-tiny pulses that most barre classes highlight. The class went:
- Warm-up – In the center of the room, no equipment at first. Lots of movements to stretch you out, open you up, and get the blood pumping. Eventually you’ll use the hand weights.
- Barre Work – Leg-centric, this portion of class was pretty similar to many barre classes I’ve tried before. Squats, tiny pulses, raising of the heels. My inner thighs were burning.
- Mat work – Here’s where the balls come into play. Your abs are gonna be ACHING after this set, but it’s totally manageable and instructors offer modifications when necessary!
Pure Barre – Format is always the same so you know what you’re in for (they do have a “Platform” Class I’ve never done, so I can’t speak to that)
- Warm-up – Center of the room. Lots of marching.
- Arm work – Here’s where their weights come in, with a systematic pumping of biceps, triceps, and shoulders.
- Barre Work – Focuses on “Seat” (read: tush) and thighs. They love the term “Tuck” and you’ll hear it a lot during this portion of class, as you tuck your backside in and tighten your core.
- Ab work – on the mat, sometimes leaning against the barre. This was always tough for me as the barre isn’t meant for someone over 6′ tall…
- Cool down – Stretching, pretty similar to Barre3
Keep in mind the UNLIMITED cost of Barre3 is ONLY for the Barre3 Rittenhouse location, and only for a limited time. SO if you’re gunning for that unlimited membership, you gotta strike while the iron is hot (if you go 4x/week, that’s $8.06/class!) (Bonus at Barre3: $5 gets you childcare during your class!)
I don’t know if I could do either of these methods EXCLUSIVELY, but I think they both make a challenging and unique addition to any workout regime. I’d lean towards Barre3, personally, but I’m a big fan of those LARGE dynamic, explosive moments, and I know that’s not for everyone.
Welcome to Philly Barre3!
Have you ever done a barre class?
What did you LOVE?! What did you HATE?!
(I can’t stand the marching portion… ugh.)