You use the strap to help guide your balance while the ball under your tailbone ensures you are working your abs and not straining your low back. It looks easy, it’s not.

All right, I’m now 11 days into my insane Barre3 30-Day Challenge, so let’s talk about it. For starters, I’ve never worked out this much in my life and have recently been introduced to muscles that were living quietly within my body in a slumber state. I think I’ve angered them.

Since I wouldn’t post a “before” and “after” swimsuit photo here if you paid me a million dollars, my back up alternative was to weigh and measure myself to do comparisons. My whole goal was just to firm up and feel ready for swimsuits and short-shorts by sunny weather and not so much to lose weight. Well, that’s a good thing because when I hopped on the scale I was up 2 lbs. What?!?!?! I’ve been eating super painstakingly healthy, (minus one unfortunate incident with Skittles and champagne) and I feel thinner. It seemed like a cruel joke. Thank goodness I decided to take measurements too, because while my weight was up 2 lbs I’ve lost an inch from my waist and an inch from my thigh – in 11 days. It’s the first time in my life I can justify my weight by saying I have muscle without completely lying.

Now that I have proof my butt being kicked from six ways til Sunday is working, how do I feel about it? To sum it up: Barre3, you are my sweetest frenemy. I loathe and love every second of it. I look forward to going, curse every moment I am there until the second the class ends and then feel so happy I went. If it was a relationship, it would be quite dysfunctional. The actual locations will make you never want to set foot in a regular gym again. Barre3 is all done barefoot so owner Sadie Lincoln keeps those places clean enough for a boy in a bubble to roam free. Everything is light and airy and if I could move a couch with a copy of Vogue into the studio I would never leave.

 

With my challenge a third of the way over, what advice can I give to the newcomer? A lot. First off, eat about 1-2 hours before you go. Any closer than that and all the abs work will make your lunch feel like coming back to visit, any less and you’ll feel too weak to work out. Second, be in tight enough clothes so that you can see your posture. Once I actually saw how I hunch over like the wicked witch in Snow White, it was much easier to correct it. Third, it takes a few classes to figure out what the heck is going on. Don’t give up on it until you’ve given it at least 4-5. And finally, not all teachers are created equal. While all have worked me until I silently cursed them, some have different strengths. For example, Heidi is the meanest butt-burning teacher I’ve had, and according to my jeans, it’s working. You need to find the girls that work for your personality. Some people like positive motivators that push them; I tend to go for the Zen like yogi personality. It’s like dating and the right date will make the experience better.

And just in case anyone is wondering. Yes, this is really, really hard.