The Physique 57 Solution and thought that the rationale behind the series of movements made a lot of sense, so I wanted to try out the classes.
I took a Beginner class with Sarah M., who was great. I thought the class was hard but not impossible; I never had to stop during the upper body and core work, but there were a few times my thighs were burning just a bit too much for me to handle. But how often do you get a great burn over and over in the same workout? I didn't realize how worked-over my body was until the following morning when I felt a bit sore, but mostly I felt physically tired in a great way.
Sarah M. had an infectious energy that had me giggling several times even while in the middle of a torturous exercise. In honor of the Olympics, she had us making "gymnast hands" during thigh dancing on the floor, and we had to pretend to be Michael Phelps and "swim" during the core portion. Her enthusiasm and jokes made the class feel really comfortable, even though it was my first time. Because Sarah roamed around the classroom, it could be a bit hard to see her demonstrating the moves, but since she was moving around so frequently she was able to see everyone and make constant adjustments so I think it was worth the trade-off.
Overall I loved the class and I'd really like to make barre work classes a regular part of my exercise routine. Unfortunately, they're a bit too expensive for me to attend consistently. I'm considering investing in the DVDs and using those in tandem with 1-2 classes a month in order to have someone check my form.
Update -- I forgot to mention that I received a call before my class noting what I would need and giving me a few tips for before class. Then today I received a postcard from Sarah M. welcoming me to the studio. I think the personalized touch is really great considering that Physique 57 is a large chain of studios.
Class - Beginner
Site Description - Clients are introduced to the basic movements, positions and methodology of the exercise system. We advise clients to take at least 8-10 Beginner classes before advancing to the next level. A greater understanding of the technique allows clients to get deeper in the positions, making the workout even more effective.
Instructor - Sarah M.
Length - 1 hour (technically 57 minutes)
Cost - $35 (newbies get a 2-for-1 special and get 2 classes for $35 with this coupon)
Location - Upper West Side (73rd Street and Broadway, on the 2nd floor of the Ansonia building), there are also locations in SoHo and Midtown West
Skill Level - Definitely a good beginner class, although if you were totally new to exercise I'd recommend getting a bit more in shape before dropping in.
Has anyone else tried barre classes? What did you think of them?