**Update: I wrote this today, before tonight’s class…and updated some areas that I totally forgot about until – ouch – tonight’s sweatastic class! Updates in bold ;-)*
Some of you have asked me what exactly the barre n9ne workouts consist of and what our routine (my sis and me) has been to accomplish the results so far from the barre n9ne challenge. Tanya laid it out so well here, but I thought you might want to know more about the actual workouts too (my sis blogged about some of the specifics but I realize not everyone that reads my blog reads hers and vice versa).
So, what are they?
Besides beyond absolutely awesome, they are like no other workouts I have ever done. Sure, there are similarities to Core Fusion but not in every way, and not that I want to compare them at all, but for those of you that have done those workouts before, you might understand a little more about what these are.
From the website:
The barre n9ne™ fitness method is a focused and proven program of isometric exercises and orthopedic stretches. Combining elements of Pilates, dance elements, and resistance training. Tanya Croteau, a four year NFL & NHL cheerleader has created a simple yet effective method using the ballet barre, light weights, and your own body weight as resistance.
barre n9ne™ classes will tone your seat, abdominals, thighs and arms; strengthen your legs and back; and improves posture to produce an overall, more fit and lean body. Your muscles are targeted and overloaded to the point of fatigue, then stretched for relief which in turn creates long lean muscles. It is truly a body sculpting, fat burning workout all in 57 minutes!
The barre-style workouts (my FAVORITE, hands down) start out with a warm up, some plie squats with light 1 lb weights held at the sides (typically), lifting each heel to the toe on each side and then both heels at once (these are killer!! But I LOVE them and what they are doing for my dreaded inner thigh – this is where I have lost the most inches already, and I am stoked!!). Usually then goes into the upper body workout which is done with 2-4 lb. hand weights and the ‘evil’ silver 1 lb. balls (believe me, start with the 2-3 lb weights!! I did 4 lb weights just ONCE for biceps and my arms were screaming, trust me). My favorite of this series is the shoulder workout, which uses these ‘evil’ balls for lateral arm raises (oh, I don’t know, a bagillion of them?!) and then you do some overhead presses into lat pulldowns and finally into the grand finale…drop those balls and start using just your arms for a series of lateral raises and moves that ‘wrap’ the muscle. Holy WOW, you will not be able to lift your arms after (my goal is to get through the set without stopping and I am almost there) (um, I amend my shoulder statement…triceps are RIGHT up there, mostly because I hate triceps dips. Abhor them. And there are a shitton in this class!)
Next up? Step up to the barre. This goes into a series of forward and plie squats at the bar, heeled lifted and the evil blue ball enters. (usually) You work the thighs, inner thighs, glutes, quads and calves. LIKE WHOA. (I am simplifying this part so this post isn’t overly detailed and long, and well, I think you really need to come to class to truly understand what the barre work is. It’s simply awesome). (holy wow…the newest barre leg plies are INTENSE!! I was wobbling at the first set!)
Next up? Glutes!! We move into glutes (at the barre) or seated with the blue ball for inner thigh squeezes, the SIDE LEG SERIES which is intense and kills the ‘swoop’ at the side of your thigh that you get from too many squats and lunges (I was honestly worried that not doing these exercises would make my legs wimpy. Not true, not true at all. They look leaner and more toned than they ever did with any heavy leg workout), or leg lefts squeezing the silver ball in the crook of your knee.
Gimme some abs (or ‘smabs’ as Jess and I refer to them in our own sister-slang!). The class usually ends with a 6-10 min core workout and this section is ALWAYS different. A huge reason I love it, since I tend to get really bored with too much repetition in my core workout (and it keeps me challenged, focused and at this point, I am a sweaty mess!).
For the non-barre classes (Fusion, Legs, etc), the toning and conditioning floor work is typically longer and there is no barre work in these workouts. I would have to say that the long and lean legs class on Thursday is not only the best legs class I have ever done, it is one of a kind (check out this post too for deets on a recent amazing class we had!). You HAVE to try it to believe it ;-)
I just can’t say it enough – these classes are awesome and really make me feel like I am getting a well-rounded workout every day, each class, 4-6 times a week. And as I have said before, this combined with running (for the half marathon) has really made a huge difference for me and it most certainly has become my ‘new normal’ for workouts. As Tanya also said in a previous blog entry, never again will I go to a gym…this is IT for me. Truly.
So there you have it – our barre n9ne challenge in a nutshell. If you have barre-style classes near you, TRY them!! Honestly, you will love them. Or, try one of Tanya’s new skype workouts (6:15 am on Weds for starters, though as they take off – and I really think they will – my guess is that there will be even more of these to open it up to those of you that live elsewhere).
Hopefully this wasn’t too much of a rambly post and to Tanya, hopefully I did justice – in a nutshell – to these workouts. Just know that my recap of classes are not ‘official’ but my take on them and how I perceive them (Tanya’s the expert!). And on that note, I am off to my favorite barre class…barre n9ne method! Bring it!
*There’s something about a room full of energetic, excited people taking a class…tonight’s class was just that (thanks Julianna!), everyone was uber focused, sweating, and the comraderie was off the charts. It was awesome. Have I said awesome enough yet?!*