You have seen the news, read the magazine, asked questions in fitness blogs and now you realize that you really don’t have a clue as to how effective it really is. Can it help you lose weight? Does it really fix your posture? How much weight can you really hope to lose with such minimal movements?
You have all these questions and the more you catch a word or glimpse of Barre in social media or even a sitcom, the more curious you get and the suspense ultimately leaves you procrastinating with that muffin top tucked behind your shirt.
What you need to understand is that you are asking all the wrong questions. Let me take through a quick 101 tour on what is barre fitness and if it’s the right investment waiting for you to pull out your wallet and cut back on your daily Netflix and chill sessions.
HOW DOES BARRE FITNESS WORK?
I will start off by explaining to you what is barre fitness so you can understand the mechanism behind it and perhaps perceive if it will be beneficial to you in any way.
Barre is a hybrid mix of yoga, Pilates and ballet. As you well know, all these different disciplines do work. So you can safely assume that barre does work indeed.
Now moving on to the applications of barre. The primary effect of Barre is the strengthening of your core, while it simultaneously fixes any posture problems you may have and greatly increases your overall stability. This is because the midsection holds the center of gravity for our body, so a stronger midsection will undoubtedly hold the weight of your upper body more efficiently. Having a weak midsection/core is typically why some people have bad posture.
I will now dig deeper into the next portion of Barre. Which is the using of Bars(this is where the name comes from) to hold static stretches. This might shoot a barrage of questions into your head and rightfully so, it is normal for someone who does not know much about it to really fathom how this may work.
The mechanism behind it all is simple. Barre makes you hold a part of your body, which is working against the weight of your body, so it’s really like lifting up a heavyweight and just holding it. If you just try lifting any of your limbs up without dropping it, you will start noticing that it starts to burn after a short time and not just a little. It burns more than it does with most strength training, meaning you are getting micro-tears in your muscle tissues. So when they regenerate, they come back stronger and denser.
HOW MANY CALORIES DO YOU BURN IN BARRE FITNESS?
If you are looking for the afterburn effect, then you can just forget about the barre. It is not calorie intensive in the sense that, it’s not an aerobic exercise. HIIT and CrossFit are more efficient when it comes to the burning of fat. However, you can expect to burn around 300-400 calories in a typical barre class. It’s more than you burn in ballet and yoga classes. The burn does add to the whole calorie-torching effect. Your metabolism is significantly shot up after each session since the minimum of barre exercises require you to work your muscles to complete fatigue. Also, the energy it requires in the healing process after a typical class is undoubtedly greater than strength training.
Here’s the fun part, just because the basic setup of a barre class isn’t calorie-intensive does not mean that you can not tweak the system to add significantly more metabolism spiking. You can get the extra push from diet and design the sets and repetitions that way.
Not only that, a lot of High-Intensity Interval Training(HIIT) moves are derived from Barre. They make you hold and do a couple of barre moves without any break exceeding 10 seconds to catch your breath or prevent some of the muscle groups engaged from overheating. So, basically, you’re doing one barre move after the other, with mini water breaks in between to really amp up your overall metabolism to peak levels. Before you know it, you are getting the afterburn. It is not easy. It’s never easy. But definitely very possible.
Another thing you can incorporate in your barre class to really maximize the amount of burn is adding more weight. You can do it to fight against a very common drawback of the system- PLATEAU. If you ever feel like you reached the full potential barre has to offer, then just upgrade your session to something more hardcore. ADD MORE WEIGHTS. No matter what you are doing, even if it is HIIT or just basic strength training then you know that after a while you will not be able to get much out of these. Of course, you need to train a lot to really achieve a level of fitness that great. But add more weight and the whole system gets more intense, and your body provides more energy to keep up with the increased difficulty of the same workouts. This is how the Strongmen/strongwomen train. They just keep on adding more weight and increases calorie intake, which in turn makes them grow even bigger. So it never stops.
At last but not least, you can’t really focus on any one particular exercise system to keep on doing just that ONE thing. You need to keep an aerobic session, and strength and something isometric
If not fat burning, then what can I expect from a typical barre class?
As mentioned above, Barre will greatly strengthen your core and other muscle groups that get involved. You will not be packing on size but static strength will be there. You will be able to hold with a stronger grip and you muscles will be significantly harder and tighter. You can start noticing small changes that come with barre in about a week of vigorous training in your Barre classes.
I suggest you give barre a try before you listen to me or the internet. Try it to know how well it works with you and if it can aid you to reach your body goals. So just put on your activewear and go for it. Try it at home first, use a chair or another appropriate substitute tool to mimic the same function of bar equipment. I personally found it to be really useful and helped me in many ways, stabilized my overall balance and fixed my hunched back. Plus all this burn does aid in fat burning. If you keep normal cardio or HIIT sessions in your daily fitness routine, then you have absolutely nothing to worry about. And it’s super fun to do and you can do it while you watch TV. It does not require you to put a lot of focus.