Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Class Review: The Pilates Barre's Pilates Body Class

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Performing lower abdominal work on the Reformer at The Pilates Barre, Devonshire

If you're looking to tone and tighten in 2015, there are a slew of workouts to help you do that. I am a fan of pilates workouts but, to be candid, they can sometimes be too easy or routine.

There is nothing easy about The Pilates Barre's 50 minute Pilates Body class, one of the five classes the studio offers.

The Class: Pilates Body 
A 50-minute Pilates Body class, taken at noon on December 22nd at The Pilates Barre's Devonshire location.

"It's an efficient, 50-minute full-body workout based on pilates principles," The Pilates Barre co-founder Meghann O'Leary told me.

The goal of the class is to strengthen the core, condition your body and provide cardio training.

"You can't just do traditional pilates to change your whole body. That's why we incorporate more strength training aspects. We're trying to work to muscle fatigue while also incorporating cardio," O'Leary said.

How It Went
Since this was my first class, working on a piece of equipment (a type of mobile Reformer) I had never before used, it was a challenge. A good one.

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Reverse lunges on Reformer at the beginning of class

We started with reverse lunges on the Reformer before proceeding through a range of movements: squats, inner and outer thigh lunges, upper body moves and ab work. During most moves, we could add free weights for an additional upper body workout, which I did.

We finished with an intense set of ab work. I was so spent, I had to regroup a number of times towards the end of class.

Because you flow through the movements so quickly, you also get a decent aerobic workout.

The Music
I loved it. This was not some generic aerobic set. This was a modern, upbeat playlist that kept me interested. Full disclosure: because I listen to sports talk radio 99% of the time, I couldn't name a single song.

The Instructor
Co-founder Meghann O'Leary. I love her story: she originally worked in corporate America but did a full career 180, studied pilates and started teaching in her home. She now has a thriving business. There's something to be said for combining your passion and talent in the real world.

The Room
Gorgeous. It has such a Santa Barbara vibe, I felt like I was in California. The Devonshire location has windows that open to Lover's Lane which let a ton of light into the room. Couple that with the beautiful floors and it's a stunning space.

The Burn Factor
My inner thighs were sore for three days. We did side lunges on the Reformer that absolutely killed me. Like, hurts-to-sit-on-the-toilet sore. I don't know about you, but I love it. It's the sign of a good workout.

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Escalator lunges - these kicked my ass!

Meghann told me that some clients have burned about 500 calories during this class while wearing measurement devices like a FitBit.

The Clothes
It was a runway for athletic chic. Yoga pants, tank tops, long sleeve Lululemon tops were all on display. A pair of grip socks is necessary so you don't slip while doing lunges.

What I Loved 
The work. This workout targeted every muscle group effectively. I also liked the length of the class. 50 minutes is something any of us can do.

What I Hated 
The fact this was my first time. Because I was a newbie, I needed a lot of help with the Reformer. Meghann was more than happy to assist me with anything I needed. I needed a lot! Anyone who does this the first few times will likely have a learning curve. That's normal.

The Cost 
Prices vary depending on the package you buy. It's $15 for an individual class. You can also purchase a set number of sessions ($485 for 30) or get monthly and annual memberships ranging from $219 to $169 per month depending on your commitment. There is an SMU student membership plan.

The Verdict
A tough, effective workout that will sculpt and tone your body if you incorporate it into your exercise regime a few times week. I loved it.

Learn More
The Pilates Barre currently has two locations: one in Devonshire and one in Snyder Plaza. A location in Highland Village opens on January 12th and a spot in Southlake is expected to open in the spring.

Click here for class schedules. 

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*Access to class was provided free of charge. Opinions expressed here are mine. 
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