Last month, I ventured over to the very fancy, very new Pike & Rose development in Rockville, Maryland. (Or White Flint. Or North Bethesda. Or South Potomac. Or whatever the heck they’re going to be calling that area once they redevelop the mall!)
The Sport & Health in Pike & Rose has been hosting free outdoor barre classes — called Pike and Tone — throughout the summer, and I had an opportunity to participate in my first one back in August. It was amazing! I had been wanting to try barre ever since I heard of its existence. I danced ballet as a young girl, and have a yearning to try it again as an adult. When I learned that barre is essentially ballet meets pilates, I was all, “sign me up!” Except… I didn’t sign up. I procrastinated. 😐
Nonetheless, the opportunity presented itself, and it couldn’t have been much easier for me to get out there and try it. One of my favorite local bloggers, Mar from Mar on the Run, wrote a positive review about barre, so I thought I for sure had to try it, especially since this free class was located pretty nearby my house.
I parked in the garage (they have free parking for the first two hours), grabbed my things, and headed to what I thought was a studio. Turns out, it was actually outside! I didn’t realize this from the instructions, so it was a pleasant surprise. They had all of these individual bars set up with mats, medicine balls, resistance bands, and chairs for your belongings at each station. At the sign-in table, there were goody bags for all of the participants, bottled water, and they even had a tub of towels that were on ice to help cool you down a little bit in between sets! There was an instructor and a microphone, and it all looked wonderful!
|How I hoped to look
during barre class
I’ll be honest: I struggled. Barre is not easy! It’s not a high impact activity, but all of the tiny motions with high reps were KILLER. We did push ups, pull ups, lots of squats, and worked every part of our bodies. I was sore afterwards, but I felt great! I love barre!
So, what did I do next? Well, I went again today! The weather in the D.C. area has been perfect this weekend, and I spent a significant chunk of this weekend outdoors. I actually thought that the class was next weekend, when I would be out of town, but Mar informed me at our blogger brunch yesterday that the class was being held again today. I signed up at the last minute with my best friend Jean, and hoped for the best. Last month, they ended up having to hold two classes, and even turned people away because so many people had registered.
|Last month’s goody bag|
This morning, Jean and I were among the first to arrive, which was a good sign! One of the trainers from Sport & Health, Sarah, was there to greet us, and remembered me from last month! She got us all set up, and managed to have my last-minute RSVP after all! The goody bags were different this month, and we actually had free 3-packs of running socks from the City Sports located right there in Pike & Rose, in addition to some hair products and a cute little bag from PR at Partners.
We had a different instructor this time around, and the workout was a little different. We did less ab work, and the class was just a few minutes shorter, but I did feel it in my big ol’ butt! Man, some of those exercises were tough! What was great was that she explained that this style of barre is actually called Fluidity Barre, which apparently is different from the style taught at most of our local barre studios. I’ll have to try out another barre class to see if I notice the difference, and I’ll report back on what I find.
After today’s barre class, I actually had an opportunity to check out the gym. I have a two-week pass I received during Girls Night Out at Road Runner Sports last month, but I haven’t used it yet. Sarah gave Jean and me (along with another woman from the class) a tour of the Sport & Health. OH. MY. GOSH. IT. WAS. AMAZING!!!! Seriously, it was the coolest, most zen gym I’d ever visited. I wanted to become bffs with this gym, tell it all of my secrets, and make it a mix CD. SERIOUSLY. GORGEOUS!
First of all, the gym is huge. It’s three stories, and it has an elevator. There is a virtual cycle studio with a massive screen to show you various terrain while you’re in spin class; the yoga and pilates studios (they are two separate studios) are soundproofed, and they have their own lobby area with cubbies for your shoes; the class fitness studio is the biggest I’ve ever seen and looks so roomy and amazing; there is an outdoor patio with turf that is sometimes used for yoga and other classes, but you can use it as you wish by bringing equipment outside; there are all kinds of cool cardio machines that I’d never even seen before; the locker room was very spacious and clean, which means that I won’t have to squish myself up in a corner in order to avoid touching some butt naked lady; there is a sauna in the locker room as well. I could go on forever, but you get my drift. The gym is super fabulous.
I thought that the gym was going to be wicked expensive, since I immediately felt fancy upon stepping into it, but I was wrong! The gym is actually the same cost as my current gym! I’m still going to use my 2-week pass to make sure that I am totally sold on the gym and that I don’t have a “traffic jam” issue during prime time, but I’m pretty sure I’m going to switch over. Fortunately, my contract has been up at my gym for about a year, so I hope I don’t have to jump through any crazy hoops to ensure that they don’t charge me next time around. Fingers crossed!
Finally, after the barre class and gym tour, Jean and I grabbed brunch and did a little bit of shopping (browsing mostly). We grabbed brunch at Summer House Santa Monica, where I had – quite possibly – the healthiest cocktail I’ve ever had. It was delicious! It has chia seeds, strawberry, gin, and prosecco, which was a perfect combination for outdoor dining on a gorgeous day. I felt like I was transported to SoCal or somewhere, which I think was the point. I ate these delicious lemon and cottage cheese pancakes, and Jean had these chicken breakfast tostadas. We made some pretty good meal choices, if I do say so myself! When we got back to my house, Jean took a nap on my sofa, and I took a nap on my bed. She left, and I slept for a couple more hours because I never get to nap, and I wanted to make the most of it. 🙂
I ended my day with a volleyball match where I played terribly. Like, worse than I’ve played in a while. It was frustrating! I think I was maybe burned out from the weekend? I’m not sure why I played so poorly. Aside from that, I would say that I had a pretty fantastic day. I love barre, and I really love the possibilities that this new gym could bring to my increasingly boring workout schedule. Now, I’m ready to take on this week, which will end in a mini vacation!
How did you spend your weekend? Are you staying Awesome in August? Did you know there were different styles of barre? How do you say “barre?” It’s supposed to sound like “bar” like ballet bar. I used to think it was pronounced bare. If you want to join me in September for Pike and Tone, RSVP here.
Quick note: What are you supposed to wear when practicing barre? The most important thing is to wear grippy socks. Studio rules vary when it comes to the sock. Some places don’t allow you to weary grippy socks that are not complete socks (e.g. if it has the toes cut out). It’s also important that you wear pants as opposed to shorts. For the most part, you want to dress like you’re going to yoga class. You’re going to be bending over, so it’s important that your clothes arent’t too loose, but you always don’t want them so tight that you’re suffocating.