My abs begged for mercy at Carolina Barre & Core

My abs begged for mercy at Carolina Barre & Core
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(Note: Our Workout Wednesday series is brought to you by OrthoCarolina who reminds you – cross training is important! Mix up your workouts to avoid injury… and have fun.)

I’m trying out a different workout class each week and reporting back for your entertainment every Wednesday. Homegrown fitness concepts all the way up to the big national franchises. Follow along here, browse our fitness archives for more, send class suggestions to [email protected]

Vitals

Name: Carolina Barre & Core
Class:
30/30 Cardio/Barre
Location:
 2901 Selwyn Avenue
Class schedule: see schedule here
Class duration: 1 hour
Drop-in rate: $22 drop-in class
Monthly membership: $200 1 month unlimited, $175/month for 6 months, $160/month for 12 months. They also sell classes in packages: $100 for 5 classes, $180 for 10 classes or $320 for 20 classes (see all pricing here).
Pros: Low impact. Class moves fast (meaning the time flies, not that the instruction was too fast). Muscles burn. Minimal sweat. Very clean, smells great.
Cons: The smaller, thicker mat size felt too short and squishy to me but that’s probably because I’m so used to a yoga mat.

carolina barre & core charlotte

How to dress and what to bring

Black spandex head to toe is my uniform for all workouts. In this particular class, some people wore shoes and socks for the cardio half of class and some put on sticky barre socks for the barre half of class. Barre socks are required for full barre classes but in the Sport and 30/30 classes, you can go barefoot which is what I did.

If you’re taking one of the yoga classes, bring your own mat. All other equipment (mat, weights, ball, bands, etc.) is provided for barre classes.

carolina barre & core charlotte

What to expect in class

My mat was already laid out for me so I just had to grab my weights (2, 3 or 5 pounds) and head in to the studio. I went with 2 pounds to be safe.

The 30/30 class started with a quick warm-up followed by 30 minutes of cardio work delivered in 8ish short circuit bursts that centered on mountain climber planks. After each round we added another 8 counts of mountain climbers until we were up to 11 8-count sets in a row. Ugh.

The barre half of class was my favorite because I find barre to be one of the best muscle burns out there. We did thigh work, butt work and possibly the most brutal ab set I have ever done. Contrary to popular belief, barre is not a ballet class. There’s a ballet barre and some of the moves might look like ballet moves (like a plié), but you’re not doing ballet.

Where you’ll feel it the next day

Abs. Abs. Abs.

Locker room situation

They have a locker room with loads of cubbies for personal items, a private changing area and a unisex bathroom. No shower or lockers.

carolina barre & core

carolina barre & core

My take

Four main observations. (1) I can’t believe how quickly this class flew by. I felt like I was in the hour-long class for about 20 minutes. I credit this to the combo half and half model and appreciate that it got me out of my head. I love when a workout distracts me from my life instead of leaving me checking the clock every five minutes.

(2) I would definitely go heavier on the weights next time. They were used for short bursts of punching and some curls/presses and 2 pounds just wasn’t cutting it for me.

carolina barre & core

(3) I can’t even wrap my head around the ab workout. It was the simplest, most straightforward combination of a c-curve spine position and gentle pulsing but I thought I was absolutely going to die.

(4) It smelled so good in there. This is not something I say about gyms and studios in general but they had some Doterra essential oil diffusers cranking in the lobby and the studio and the smell did not go unnoticed. Now I want one for my house.

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