If you’ve been reading my blog, then you know that I am a big fan of barre-based workouts. When I lived in Chicago, I was addicted to going to Bar Method. Even though the workout was challenging every single time and my legs shook like crazy, I loved the way it made me feel after. I also loved it because I lost inches and toned up.
When I moved back to Wisconsin, I found a barre workout class at Danceworks-it was good but it didn’t really compare, especially for the price ($18 a class!) Since then I’ve been on a mission to add more barre style workout DVDs to my collection.
I first read about Physique 57 on Gina‘s blog. I didn’t think too much of it at the time because I was really into Bar Method and I just figured it was the same workout. Well after a few weeks of doing the same Bar Method DVD, I was starting to get bored. I needed a change of scenery, so when my grandma decided to send some birthday money my way, I knew just where I wanted to spend it.
When you log onto their website and read about the workout, it pretty much boasts the same thing that bar method does: small, isometric movements, a “lifted seat”, muscle burning and lengthening, etc. Both P57 & Bar Method originated from the Lotte Berk Method, so the general idea of them are the same. To start out, I ordered the Complete Physique 57 Kit Volume 1. What’s nice about P57 is that they offer a free 30 day trial. If for some reason you aren’t happy with the DVDs, you can send them back within the 30 days and you aren’t charged for them. The kit came with an exercise ball & 3 DVDs (classic 57 min full-body workout, express 30 min full body workout, and Arm/Ab booster 30 minute workout).
As far as a workout DVD goes, I found Physique 57 so much more challenging than my Bar Method DVD. (I’d love to be able to compare in-class versions!) Instead of using 2 & 3 lb. weights that I would with Bar Method, I used 3 & 5 lb. weights. My arms felt like noodles at the end of the “warm up”. The thigh and seat section of the DVD is no joke. I tried to keep telling myself that if I could make it through a natural birth, I could make it through this thigh set-it didn’t work…I had to stop and shake out my legs. The music with P57 is more upbeat and I also liked how the DVDs seemed a little bit more up to date than the bar method DVDs.
The 30 minute full body DVD is a good one for when you don’t have an hour to dedicate to working out. The arm portion isn’t as intense, but your legs, butt and abs still get an awesome workout (I was pretty sweaty 15 minutes into it). The arms/abs booster is a good one to pair up with cardio. Yesterday, I did some Zumba on the xbox and did the arms portion of the DVD. I can still feel it in my arms today.
The reason I enjoy barre strengthening over other types of strength training is because it can be done at home (during Madelyn’s nap time), the weights you use are light but extremely effective, and it’s the only workout where I’ve seen a noticeable difference in my body. I’ve taken body pump classes before at the gym, and although it’s a good workout I don’t find them as enjoyable.
Next fall, I hope to run the Chicago Marathon (EEK!) and my goal for 2013 is to remain injury free. In order to do this, I will need to make sure that I have to have a strong core, and thighs to help keep hips, knees and ankles in place. So along with my regular running workouts, I’ll be incorporating barre more into my weekly workouts. I’m excited and nervous about training for the full. I think I’m more nervous about how I’m going to balance my time with a new baby than I am about the distance. The good thing is, that by spring she will be old enough to go for runs in the jogging stroller and not just walks, so I can bring her with me on the easier days. The long run days will be reserved for daughter/daddy time I also have a BFF who wants to run it too!!! It’ll be nice to have someone to run with and to keep me motivated.
Anyone else have any 2013 fitness related goals? I’m not big of resolutions…only on how I’m going to make 2013 a better year than the one before. 2012 will be tough to beat though!