This morning I went to a FlyBarre class at FlyWheel Sports in Millburn, NJ, so I’m here to tell you every minuscule detail of my experience so you don’t have to spend money to find out. YOU ARE WELCOME!
The description of FlyBarre on the FlyWheel Sports website is:
FlyBarre provides a revolutionary form of body sculpting. It combines the disciplines of yoga, dance, circuit training, pilates and strength building with the Flywheel touch. Every instructor is experienced, creative and eager to push limits — yours and theirs.
A full-body workout based on high repetitions at low weights, FlyBarre is designed to lengthen, tone, and sculpt. Classes are highly energetic, fast-paced, and challenging. We use a wide range of props to tighten muscles and keep things interesting.
FlyWheel is all over social media right now, so when I found a deal on Gilt NYC I immediately snatched up a 5-pack of classes and promised to not let it expire like I may or may not have done with deals in the past. Oops.
I was still sore from my workout on Tuesday, so I really had to drag myself to this class. I was afraid I wouldn’t be able to give 100% and the teacher would be all “COME ON KARA WTF IS WRONG WITH YOU” because my muscles ached just walking up stairs. I incentivized myself with a Dunkin Donuts coffee stop on the way because really, the promise of coffee is the best way to get me out of bed.
I arrived super early but the ladies at the front seemed a little flustered, so I showed myself around. I was immediately impressed with the amenities and cleanliness: private changing rooms (with hair ties in a little jar inside. YES. It’s the little things in life.), programmable lockers (you punch in whatever code you want and then lock it, no need to bring a lock) towels, and my favorite amenity…bottles of water!*
*Yes, I know I should help save the earth and bring my own reusable water bottle. But I’m an imperfect human and sometimes I’m irresponsible and forget and other times I can’t find it because I’m generally always rushing out the door like a crazy person, so I LOVE that they provide free bottled water just in case.
There were only five people in my class so it was very small and intimate. The instructor, Amanda, was welcoming and individually discussed our fitness level and any injuries.
We started with some quick warm-up stretches, and then got right into planks with leg lifts and dips to the side. I felt strong with those (thanks to my “plank every day” resolution).
Essentially, FlyBarre is all about high repetitions of small movements at multiple angles, with little to no weight. High reps with no rest = killer. My muscles were basically burning after 10 seconds. There were a ton of ab exercises based around the resistance band and ball (see above photo for props). We also utilized the barre for hip/glute/leg exercises (fantastic for runners), and dumbbells for arms and full-body dance inspired exercises.
Cue the shaking muscles.
In the middle of class we slowed down did another quick round of stretching, at which point I was wondering if it was over already. Obviously I have zero sense of time. I was all “great, see you later!” Buttttt totally had another half of class.
Most of the movements were new to me which was refreshing (I love to mix it up; I get bored easily), but it’s also so important to make sure you’re doing the movements correctly, so I was thrilled that Amanda was so focused on each student’s form and made a point to make individual adjustments.
At one point Amanda mentioned that when she was learning the program, they told her to make her classes as hard as possible.
I’m not sure how I feel about that. I love a tough workout and I think it’s important to push ourselves, but there were a lot of moments when I felt like it was so tough that I couldn’t finish each set with proper form. I know the importance of stopping and resting instead of sacrificing form, but it worries me when I see other people struggling through instead of resting and worse, when teachers don’t correct them. There’s such an emphasis on “as hard as possible” classes, but I don’t think it has to be that way in every class, every day. At the same time, I know I obviously need some practice because I’m new to barre and I certainly can’t expect to just show up and crush it.
It’ll definitely be worth a few more shots to see what improvements I can make!
Overall, I enjoyed the class and the upbeat music. The drawback? One class is $30.00, and the packages aren’t what I’d call affordable. But as I always say, if you find something you love that gets you excited about fitness, you’ve gotta stick with it. You’d totally spend $30 on dinner and drink (orrrr I would, at least) so why not spend it on something good for your body and mind? (See pricing here).
Sidenote: I justify everything based on whether I’d spent that amount of money on food. So logical, I know,
I’m also intrigued by FlyWheel, the indoor cycling class they’re known for. I could hear the excitement and energy in the packed studio next door and I think next week I might spring for an individual class to test it out.
Have questions? Want to join me? Fill me in on your experience at FlyWheel! (Is the cycling class worth it?)