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Carolyn Dickson, Lady Dickson

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A Review! Xtend Barre in Old Strathcona

Friday October 28 , 2016

“We’re almost done, I promise!” – empty promises held by fitness instructors.

And yet, I still believe them. Don’t we all? This is my review of the relatively new business here in YEG called Xtend Barre. Come with me now on this magical journey in which I cannot feel my legs today, but damn is it a good pain.

Xtend Barre

I didn’t know what Barre was until about 6 months ago and if you look around, it’s definitely booming. When asking what it was, I was expecting something to do with drinking, hence my interest. Finding out it was a mixture of ballet and pilates, it still held my interest. I don’t know about you but I find pilates one of the hardest forms of exercise out there. It hurts. It hurts so good after the work out, but during a session, I’m fairly certain I have never been closer to death.

I’ve always thought ballet was something I could never do because…have you seen ballet dancers? That’s why. Just…all of it. So when I heard completely uncoordinated fools like myself could take a ballet type class without feeling too much like an idiot, I had to check it out.

Lucky for me, Xtend Barre is 3 blocks away from where I live and they wXtend Barreere willing to have me come in and JUDGE THEM.

My first class last week, Xtend Fit Ball, was with the owner Jeannette.

She is such a lovely person; so kind, easy to approach, and knowledgeable. The class was a mixture of pilates and ballet but with the use of an exercise ball. It was an intimate class with only 5 people, which I really liked. The class definitely kicked my ass but I felt good the next day instead of thinking the only relief I will get is if I chop off all my limbs.

Last night, I grabbed 3 friends, Nicole, Amanda and Jaclyn, and brought them to the official pilates and ballet class: Xtend Barre, taught by Hilary. Upon arrival, Nicole said she really liked the open concept of the entire facility. She said she often thought this was just a fitness clothing store because of how much stock Xtend Barre has in their front area. TRUTH, there is a bunch of options to choose from and I want one of everything.

Much like the first class I attended, this was another small class. I was told the busiest time for class is 5:45, right after work. Makes sense!

Xtend Barre

Upon finishing the Xtend Barre class, I pointed and laughed at Last Week Carolyn for thinking Fit Ball was tough. If you are looking for a class to sculpt you into the Greek Goddess you know is hiding under those Netflix & Chill rolls, look no further. Seriously, this class destroyed all of us and I will definitely be back. The first part of the class is all arm work with your weights. It was a fantastic workout and now it hurts to brush my hair!

Halfway through the class, you go through a bit of stretching which is different than anything I’ve done before. It was extremely helpful to chill out for a hot minute and to get through the rest of the class, which was all leg work up against the barre.

Xtend Barre

Smile through the pain, baby.

During the class, you go through a bunch of different fitness tools: a yoga mat, a fitness ball, straps, and weights ranging from 1-8lbs. The instructors go through modifications for each move for those who need to ease on up. The instructors I’ve met have all been incredibly friendly and they know attendees names. Before my first class, the instructor teaching the class before mine came out to the locker area and told one of the attendees that her skills were improving and she was looking amazing.

I love the positive reinforcement and think it absolutely drives people to return.

Regardless if you are a graceful swan or a sloppy duck like myself, these classes are designed for every type. There are tons of different classes to choose from (Xtend Barre, Stick, Babies On Board, Ballet Stretch, Fit Ball, Intro To Circuit 7, Barre Technique, Pilates Fusion, Petites age 3-6, Suspend) that run throughout the day and evening.

Come on people, grab some grippy socks and be one with your inner ballerina.

Xtend Barre

Things of beauty.

Nicole’s review: No wonder ballerinas arms are so amazing. I would tell anybody thinking of going to start with a 1lb weight! I was not expecting to sweat so much. I was surprised by how different the movements were from other exercises I’ve been doing my whole life and I enjoyed that aspect. As for the studio: I could not stop noticing how impeccably decorated it was. Even small features stood out to me like the lockers having locks on them that you can program to any number. I was struck by how clean, light, and airy it felt the whole time I was there. Can’t see it as somewhere I’d find my husband, but that is a positive in my books!

Jaclyn’s review: Harder workout than I expected. Definitely a muscle burner! Would be a nice addition to your workout routine. I would be interested in checking out the other classes they ofter. The instructor was awesome! When I grow up, I hope to be half as pretty and fit as her.

Amanda’s review: Beautiful studio with good vibes. I’ve been to many Barre studios around the city and never got a workout like that. I was sweating after only 10 minutes! Lots of variety so I was never bored. And good instruction with modifications when things got too tough.

Xtend Barre