Featured photo: Courtesy Body Language
By Andy Pomroy
For Enchantment Sports
Until a few months ago, I would never have even considered an exercise class. I just didn’t think it would be anything I’d ever like. It’s not a pickup basketball game. It’s not jogging. It’s not weight-lifting. So why and how did I end up in a barre class, you ask?
It’s the same answer all men are likely to have at some point …
“Because a beautiful woman asked me to join her.”
But what is barre? I had no idea what I was getting into, so I did what everyone does to become an instant expert: I Googled.
As it turns out, barre is a form of exercise done in group classes that uses the ballet barre and incorporates movements from the art of dance. These ballet moves are combined with yoga and pilates moves. Add in resistance bands, exercise balls, hand weights and yoga straps, and you will be feeling the burn in no time.
Please understand. I was completely up for the challenge. I figured I could get by without too much trouble, right? I’m in pretty decent shape.
I was an idiot.
No, I was a really BIG idiot.
Ready to try it?
Address: 7321 San Antonio NE
Albuquerque, NM 87190
Welcome to the world of the 40-something man getting his backside handed to him by a class full of highly energized, motivated and exceptional females. (And a couple of guys.)
They should have a sign over the door that says “Check your ego.”
So, the class begins pretty close to what I read about online, but Wikipedia fails to mention the motivational speakers. I say “motivational speakers” because they are the instructors, and they play music (which is really cool) and stay with you to make sure you are focused. They ensure you’re not just doing the work, but you’re doing it the right way to protect your body. They are also incredibly nice. They are constantly coaching you up, and they are infinitely patient — even while you are sweating gravy.
Please note: I sweat gravy … these women just glow.
The leg workout is tough: They made me put a ball between my legs and act like I’m sitting on an invisible chair. I was turning and squatting and up on my toes.
I had to break out the bands and make my legs move like I was in a chorus line.
I had to stand up straight in knee bends.
Planks … and planks with arms bent.
Twisting. And tucking in the core.
I exercised parts I didn’t know I had.
My butt was kicked. All that aside. The class is good. I don’t just mean good for you physically, but also for the mind. So I have continued to go back by myself. I don’t need a beautiful lady to convince me to return.
There are several things that the class does for you, and that I think can help with just day-to-day activity besides just a general workout.
1. The core: You want to lose some belly fat? Pilates and yoga movements focus on the core.
2. Posture: Thanks to the era of the smartphone, tablet and computer, it seems we are constantly crunching over. A barre class helps you stand up straight and stretch with shoulders back and head in proper posture. In short, my back and neck feel much better.
2. Flexibility: Men, in general, are not as flexible as women. I’m not a doctor, but from what I can see, that is the truth. However, flexibility does make you feel better. Day-to-day tasks are easier. The stretching in this class really works.
3. Isometric holds: This is very challenging. You will be shaking and burning.
4. Satisfaction: Finishing a class like this makes you just feel good. You got through it. You own it. You did it with others. It’s a really nice feeling.
5. The instructors: They are some of the nicest, toughest, kind, direct and accomplished teachers I have ever had the good fortune of meeting.
These classes helped me change my life for the better. Give barre a try!
Andy Pomroy is the owner of Windsor Door Sales. He is a former outstanding high school (Cibola) and college golfer, and a contributor for Enchantment Sports. He’s learned a lesson about trying to compete against the ladies. Contact Enchantment Sports at firstname.lastname@example.org.