I have never been especially good at exercising regularly, and the gym was never really appealing to me. So when I heard about Xtend Barre combining dance (which I LOVE) and Pilates (which I had heard great things about) I wanted to give it a try. I was just coming off of my second pregnancy and getting back into shape was top priority for me. But even though I was committed to working hard, I was worried. I was out of shape and didn’t want to get hurt or look silly in front of other people who looked like they knew what they were doing. But Nicole came to the rescue and helped me get started with a 1 month Xtend Barre Challenge.
You may have seen my post talking about the Xtend Barre Challenge and my first impressions working out there. In short, it was awesome! Beautiful facilities, great atmosphere, friendly teachers who really want to help you succeed, and even an adorable child care service that I could barely get my daughter to leave, she was having so much fun.
One of my favorite things in my experience with Xtend Barre was the close personal instruction you get, even in a 20 person class. Everyone knows the instructor by name, and they are right there with you every step of the way helping you reach your goals and learn the moves. Xtend really feels like a “Lady’s workout” because everything is focused on toning, chiseling and lengthening your whole body. The small, controlled motions are great for hitting specific areas hard and make it much easier to jump in and follow along right away. There’s no choreography to memorize or steps to worry about missing, just a killer workout using your own body weight and ability level. That was a really big deal for the women in the class who were still pregnant too. The instructors had modifications to ever exercise to make it safe for them, while still getting the workout they were looking for. On a side note, huge props to all the pregnant women in the class that were so on the ball and seriously took less breaks than I did! You rock!
As for my results, I was pretty sure I’d see a difference, but I really didn’t expect to see as quick or dramatic a change as I did. But the instructors did such an amazing job I was able to reach my goals even while missing almost a week with two terribly sick kiddos (#bronchitissucks #lifehappens).
My goal when I started out was to lose some of my baby weight and to tone up my body as I got into exercising regularly, really for the first time in my life. Let me just say, I am hooked! Not only was I able to reach my basic goals, but I feel healthier than I have in years. I lost 5.5 lbs already and dropped from a pant size of 4 back to between a 2 and a 0 (depending on the brand) like I was back before my FIRST baby! But more than getting back to a smaller size, I am amazed at how much stronger I already feel. I was never aware of my posture before but with my new and improved core muscles I find myself standing taller and feeling more balanced than ever before. My legs are physically and visibly more toned and with their focus on tightening your “challenge zone” my whole body feels more tight and dialed in. Plus, an unexpected but VERY welcome bonus was the huge boost in energy I feel. Whether taking care of sick kids late at night, or packing up the kids and going to the doctor and back too many times, I just have so much more energy and stamina than before that I can better deal with the craziness of life.
I’ve still got a ways to go before I reach my long term goals but if my already tighter, perkier booty is any indication I’ll be able to reach them in no time!
Huge thanks to Nicole and and the Xtend Barre instructors for making it such a wonderful experience and for helping me not only learn the exercises, but to do them right and experience my body moving in the right direction!