Category Archives: Barre Method

fitness and health social media conference: the workouts

Greetings from a jet plane!
As I’m writing up this blog post I’m sitting on a Southwest flight home digesting all of the information I’ve learned in the past three days at FitSocial 2013. I’ve met so many great people, learned a lot about SEO and of course my favorite part of the conference- the workouts.
I’d been looking forward to some kickass group sweat sessions since the day I signed up to join everyone in Boulder and Denver. I loved the idea of meeting a community of like-minded people in the fittest state in the country so when I heard about a blogging conference nearish to where I hoped I’d be living now, I jumped at the chance to sign up. More on that later.
Sessions were held at the Millenium Hotel in Boulder and the Anschutz Health and Wellness Center at the University of Colorado in Aurora where they’re currently filming ABC’s Extreme Weight Loss Season 4.

anschutz1 conference1The conference actually started on Thursday but the only thing scheduled was a canceled then rescheduled hike. I was a little bummed to be missing it, but chose to fly in on Friday instead. For my purposes then, Friday will be Day 1, k?

Day 1
I’d connected with Christina from on Facebook and we met near baggage claim to carpool to Boulder for the first session of the day, a Vinyasa yoga class.
You all know how I feel about yoga. Feel great afterwards but hate it during? Yeah. I’ve been working hard at my Nashville Half Marathon training plan all week and was tons of sore. I hoped yoga would work out all those kinks for me on a scheduled rest day.
Even though I knew we were cutting it close getting into Denver about an hour before the AM class I crossed my fingers and brought a yoga mat through security hoping to save some time.southwest1Sadly, we didn’t make it. Boo.
I also didn’t get a picture with Christina the entire conference. Double boo.
We headed to breakfast instead and I had one of many cups of coffee flavored with Nestle Natural Bliss Vanilla Liquid Creamer. They provided the coffee for the conference and also had pumpkin spice and sweet cream flavors that PSL lovers seemed to enjoy. I’m not a fan of pumpkin spiced things but I loved the vanilla!
Anyway, since I missed yoga I told myself I couldn’t pass up Chris Freytag’s PM HIIT (high intensity interval training) session. I’ve run sprints before and figured the class would be similar to that. Working at high intensity with periods of rest and that sort of thing (sort of like CrossFit).This was way harder than I thought it would be and I finished the class looking like I’d gone for a swim. Not cute but effective.hiit1Chris made us sweat with a combination of plyometric exercises, cardio and body resistance strength training. No equipment. Tabata-style. There were eight sets of three exercises at a time done for four minutes each. Twenty seconds on and 10 seconds off.
I’ve seen Tabata offered at gyms before, but had never experienced it myself. Now I know why everyone says it’s so brutal! But it gets the job done. Squats, lunges, jumping jacks, mountain climbers, push-ups, squat jumps. You name it we did it.hiit2I left the class feeling strong and ready for dinner. It really didn’t seem like an hour because of the breaks. This was definitely something I would incorporate into my cross-training in the future.

Day 2
Saturday we were given the choice of three sessions: Tabata Cycle, Zumba and Barre Conditioning. I chose Barre because we only had 15 minutes to change for dinner after class and I sweat like a man.cobarre1 cobarre2I’ve taken Barre before here and here so the class was just as hard as I expected. The little pulses and micro movements get you just like in Pilates. It’s intense.
I heard Tabata Cycle was pretty fun too. Their instructor had them do similar HIIT to what we did the night before but on a spin bike.

Day 3
This morning we all got to demo Pound. I’d spent the night chatting it up with Angel (@brownawell) the night before in the hotel lobby (wedding planning is still fascinating even after my hurricane disaster vows) and went to bed pretty late. I made myself sleep in my gym clothes to make sure I’d get up in the morning but man, was it a rough start.
But that’s what coffee is for.
Once caffeinated I was ready to go!pound2Melissa, an instructor from New Jersey led us in the relatively new class.pound3pound4Pound started in LA and combines cardio, strength training and drumming in an “easy to follow workout”. Melissa’s class had a heavy emphasis on squats and lunges while standing and leg lifts while on the mat.
The quarter-pound plastic drumsticks (called Ripstix) are all you really need but we used a mat for our floor exercises as well.pound1Overall it was a great workout and would be fun when you’re looking for something different to do for cross-training. It did feel a little gimmicky so I don’t know how that will play out? Right now Pound is available in some major cities but I haven’t found any information about existing classes in the Nashville area. New Yorkers and those of you from Jersey, D.C., Miami and LA, give it a shot!
pound6Last night we stayed at the SpringHill Suites Denver and they had a pretty decent hotel gym. springhill1I didn’t get to use it since we were so active this weekend but it’s one of the reasons I would book there in the future. Kudos, Marriott!

Did you try anything new this weekend? What workouts did you all do? I came home with all of this so I think a giveaway is in your near future. :)

barre 54


60 min. elliptical

Tuesday afternoon I drove over to Winter Park to check out barre54.

20130305_114520It’s in a super cute walkup that almost reminded me of Brooklyn. Almost.

I’ve been passing this place for a year but haven’t stopped in because Winter Park is SO FAR. I usually only make it over here every other week and almost always at nighttime. Their new Dr. Phillips location is even farther from me so I guess I just can’t win.

From their site:

“barre54’s techniques are rooted in the Lotte Burke Method, which was developed in the 50s by its namesake, a German dancer who used precise movements with correct body alignment to strengthen her injured back after a car accident. For decades, various spinoff concepts have enjoyed a devoted following by professional models, dancers, actors, trendsetters and celebrities, including Madonna, Kelly Ripa and Elle MacPherson. In recent years, barre classes have surged in popularity as they are discovered by pilates and yoga enthusiasts, as well as joint-weary consumers seeking an effective alternative to high-impact workouts.”

The drop-in rate is $23 a class but I used a promo code on a card I got at Lululemon (7013, one use per person). There are also lots of specials and packages that bring the cost down.

I walked into a bright, airy, clean facility and checked in quickly.

I was a crazy 20 minutes early (Who am I?!) so I had plenty of time to look around and settle in before we started.

It was kind of nice. Maybe I’ll make this a habit?

Anyway, after setting my stuff in a cubby I was instructed to grab a mat, a set of weights (I grabbed 2 lbs. and it was plenty), an orange ball, red bands and a cloth strap.20130305_11495320130305_115234 20130305_115240About 5 to 10 minutes before the official class start time about 10 other women walked in so I didn’t feel like such a creeper.

Our instructor, Kelsey, led us through an intense series of micro-movements that got everything burning in all of the right places. We followed a similar routine to what I did at Above the Barre in St. Pete but there were a lot more exercises. First arms, then the booty, legs and we finished up with core and some good stretching.

Maybe I was still feeling Monday’s WOD but my quads were burning! I’m not flexible at all and it showed but I can see how with practice (like with yoga or pilates) these classes would increase flexibility.

I’ve been trying to do yoga or pilates as cross-training once a week but this will definitely be something I can incorporate in place of those. I just wish they were closer!

barre54 has two locations. In Orlando at 7988 Via Dellagio Way, Suite 206, Orlando, FL 32819 (above Zou Zou) and in Winter Park at 444 West New England Ave., Suite 101, Winter Park, FL 32789 (Hannibal Square East near Dexter’s). Classes are 54 minutes long.

Have you ever tried a barre method class?


above the barre

WORKOUT- 1 hour barre method class
Saturday morning I headed on over to St. Pete for a blogger barre method class at Above the Barre Fitness in St. Petersburg.



I wish these lovely ladies lived in Orlando because I want them to be my BFFs. Creepy? Kind of? Oh wells.

The class was intense. Like way more than I expected.

I know I sweat a lot already but I kept having to wipe the moisture off of my face after what seemed like a series of itty bitty easy peasy exercises. Boy, was I wrong.





I couldn’t hold a lot of the poses but I definitely felt like I got a good workout in when we finished. This awesome chick even said her heart rate monitor said she burned about 600 calories!!

After class we went to Rollin’ Oats, a local market and cafe, for lunch and I got myself a delicious curried chicken salad sandwich (need to attempt to replicate ASAP!).



I’ve never tried a barre class before and it was so much harder than I expected it to be. I’m not very flexible or “strong” and this was all the class was all about. When we were done with the barre we did all kinds of planking and I got my untimed plank-a-day challenge done about 10x over.

I plan on checking out Barre 54 in Winter Park soon because 1. It’s not two hours away and 2. I pass it every time I go to Dexter’s. It’s about time I make it a point to actually attend a class, right?

If you’re in the Tampa Bay area I highly recommend Above the Barre. You’re in for a really great core/leg/strength workout.

Above The Barre Fitness is located at 3326 MLK Street North St. Petersburg, FL 33704.