I've become a Pop-aholic. As someone who never really worked out as an adult, it still seems strange to me how much I enjoy, and look forward to, going to barre. I've been poppin' for six months, and I'm a convert. I'm obsessed. I go about 3x per week, but had to work up to going that often.
Pop Physique is a one hour ballet barre-based class. According to their website, "The principles of dance are used to create long, lean lines and tight, compact muscles." Like many other barre classes, Pop Physique uses a mixture of these barre-based activities, body weight exercises, Pilates moves, isometric movements and stretching to create a grueling and super effective workout.
Each class begins with some cardio and warm-up, goes into planks, push-ups and triceps, moves into biceps and then everyone heads to the barre. There's some stretching and then it's right into thighs (tons of tiny movements and leg shaking--which is good!), more stretching, seat work (your seat is your butt...), more stretching, and then abs, back dancing and cool down. All in an hour. The pace is fast, the exercises are a little different each time, the music is loud, and you sweat. The class goes by super fast and you'll feel it instantly, and the next day, and sometimes the day after that.
The class is challenging, and I still find it hard after six months. Like many things in life, the difficulty depends on you, and how much work and effort you put in. You can always tighten your muscles more, tuck your seat deeper or come down one more inch. I love that the instructors walk around and correct during the entire class, and they always know what to say to keep everyone going. My favorite instructors not only tell you what muscle to focus on, but tell you how (make sure the muscle above your knee is tight to straighten your leg more!). The descriptors they use to explain what's happening with the muscle or muscle group are perfect.
Since starting I've noticed that my clothes all fit differently. I'm much more toned, and am way stronger than I was. I love not thinking about anything except my own body for a few hours a week. I like watching my legs shake, and pushing myself to stay in it. The studio is beautiful, and I always feel accomplished and calm when I leave.
Although classes are priced individually at $25, they have a new student special on their site, and they always have deals they send out via email. Their app is easy to use, and I love that you can see the instructor scheduled to teach a certain class. The instructors and the girls at the front desk are all super friendly, approachable and helpful. If you're in The City, I highly recommend trying a class at the Russian Hill location.
Bring some socks (or borrow some for $2) and be prepared to shake!