Wellness: The Real Results of 8 Pre-Vacation Barre Classes

At Visual Therapy, we’re all about Mind, Body, and Soul. As we work with clients to line up their optimal wardrobes and help them to be the best version of themselves, we’re huge believers that it’s not the dress, but what’s in the dress that matters. And even though clothes can help you feel like a movie star, there’s something that needs to be taken care of first on a deeper level. Welcome to “Wellness Wednesdays”: our weekly feature to bring you tips for a healthy, whole and fulfilled life.

Fly Barre

Photo via FlyBarre

Here’s my disclaimer: my idea of a workout is running for the bus or squatting to pick up a pencil off the floor. The last time I joined a sports team was 9th Grade volleyball (and I nearly got cut at tryouts). Yet, perhaps thanks to my Asian heritage or my parents’ slim genes, I’ve never been particularly heavy.

But then this weird thing called “Not Being a Pubescent Teen Anymore” happened and all of the sudden the fried chicken and pizzas started to leave a mark. So, four weeks before my trip to the British Virgin Islands this summer where I’d be taking a plethora of bikini-clad photos for my blog, I decided I was ready for some toning.

I’ve heard of FlyBarre barre classes before, and its main appeal to me was that it didn’t involve cardio–at least not explicitly. They had multiple locations in the city, one near work and one near home. And most importantly, it was a class that would charge you if you cancelled last minute, which meant no flaking on my part, something that would totally happen even if I had a ludicrously expensive gym membership.

And so, donning my new Nike yoga pants and off-the-shoulder top, I nervously attended my first class. And let’s just say there was a legitimate fear on my part that I was going to pass out. I’ve always had very little upper-body strength so the planking and dynamic arms (where you perform a series of choreographed motions while keeping your arms up at shoulder level and holding one or two pound weights) portions were particularly painful. Add on a couple dozen sit-ups and squats with zero break in between and you’ve got a jello-legged Rosie staggering out of the classroom.

When I reviewed my experience with some of my peers, however, I received a lot of quizzical, even unimpressed looks. Then I realized, the FlyBarre routine is indeed deceptively easy. At no point are you lifting heavy weights or contorting yourself into weird shapes, but what most people don’t realize is that small motions for sustained periods of time (they call it “pulsing”) can be incredibly taxing and is actually the key to long, lean muscles.

Slowly, I felt successively less sore after each workout and found myself being able to push harder during each session. Four weeks and eight classes later, I felt a slight curve along my thighs where the muscle bulged and most obviously, greater definition in my shoulders and biceps. Realistically eight classes really wasn’t enough time to get me looking like Isa Goulart, but as I donned my bikini to hit the beach, the most important thing was that I felt healthier, more confident and more in charge of my body.

Rosie Lai British Virgin Islands

Photo via Rosie Colored Lenses