Exhale Core Fusion
I am sort of on a
bar barre kick. I had taken the Bar Method classes for a 30-day spin over a year ago and absolutely loved it. After 5 short weeks I found myself with the best toned stomach I’ve seen on my body in years and in such little time! Not to mention the daily craving to get my legs shaking, how was that even possible? However their price + my work schedule + the times they offer classes = not worth the cost per class I could attend per week (*I had done the trial in the summer).
This past December I was itching to return to the barre, but the cost and schedule issues were still keeping be away. I decided to try out a local fitness boutique’s take on the barre instead. I had been taking their spin classes and figured giving their barre class a try couldn’t hurt, especially at $9 cheaper. I’ve been attending twice a week, and although Tthe classes have been challenging at times I don’t always leave with that “I’m shaking so hard I may fall down the stairs” feeling Bar Method always left me with.
So when last weekend I found myself in Manhattan crashing at my sister’s while attending a conference, I couldn’t shake (no pun intended) the thought of dropping in on another barre class. Aside from the glories of catching early subway rides uptown on the most bitter cold day of the year without earmuffs and wrestling to keep my eyes open in the wee hours of the morning while the rest of the city was fast asleep with brunch hours away, I managed to squeeze in one more positive into my day. I work well for gifts.
The idea was pretty much cemented when I saw Exhale Spa was literally across the street from my conference. Done. (It’s normal to have yoga clothes in your purse justincase, right?) I ran into the spa during my lunch break and signed up for their 4:15 class, which meant I had to duck out exactly as the conference closed for the day to haul my booty next door and get changed.
Okay, so Core Fusion Barre review here we go!
First Impressions: The ambiance is so, so chill. While I find the Bar Method to be upscale classy, Exhale spa is upscale chic. I mean, it’s in the Gansevoort, duh. When I signed in there were two girls in front of me who shared that they had hauled ass to the studio to try to make the 4:15 class because they were both waitlisted for the 5:30. I mean these girls are so dedicated to their Core Fusion that they ducked out of wherever they were doing to make it to the early class. Damn.
The studio was on the third floor and lined with two walls of full length windows where the barre sat. Talk about motivation, men in the office building across the street were totally just watching the class. Just. Watching. I walked into the studio of no more than 15 girls already sitting on their mats with weights at their side. I wasn’t greeted by the instructor like I have in other barre classes, so I sort had to fend for myself and find the weights, mats and a spot on the barre. When the class started the instructor did not ask if there was anyone new, so I knew I was just going to have to make do with what I knew from previous classes and hope for the best.
The Class: The class started with a flash and altogether felt like a whirlwind. The instructor boppeed in, microphone up SUPER high to top the super loud *motivating music. (I mean we are talking dance party in the living room because mom’s not home loud.) I think maybe it was to mask the pain that was about to be endured. The class began with the typical arm raises and light weight lifting with high reps – on crack speed compared to the other classes I’ve taken. I mean I felt a burn in about 2-minutes and maintained that through class. Then the weights were tossed and we hit the bar for some thigh shaking and seat squeezing. Holy OW! Insta-shakes galore for so, so many moves. It was hell but so, so good! Before I knew it we were on the floor crunching and curling and twisting galore, with a few yoga moves thrown in for good measure. And then we were done. I felt like I had walked in, been spun around, and about faced the door. That’s how fast the class went!
Summing it up: Wow? I damn near stumbled down the subway steps and felt the burn for 2 days in my thighs. TWO DAYS! It was incredibly fast paced compared to the other two barre studios I’ve attended which lent to tons of positives: quick poses and reps coupled with loud music made the time fly through all the pain! However that also meant that I wasn’t always sure that I was performing the move as well as I could have or that by the time I got the hang of it we were moving on. For the hefty price of $37 per class, this certainly wouldn’t fit into my daily budget, although I’ll be sure to return the next time I’m in Manhattan and need to get my body whipped into shape fast. I imagine that after two weeks of these classes you would find your body in very different shape! I wish they offered more boutique Exhale Spas near me so I could try their yoga classes.