For the longest time I've steered away from "hot" classes of any kind. With my wonky heart that doesn't like heat AT ALL, it has always been considered a recipe for disaster to even think about it. Normal people have trouble not passing out in the heat why should I even try it? I mean, a hot shower can make me pass out cold. Needless to say, I've been pretty successful at avoiding the craze. Until now.
My gym finished the lower level in such a way that hot barre classes could be held there. It's a really cool space; I think it looks like a wine cellar. :) Anyway, I can't tell you how many times I would schedule a hot barre class only to cancel for fear of passing out and being sick. But our instructors are AWESOME. They heard my concerns, promised to keep watch over me, and assured me it would be ok. So I tried it. And I love it.
Seems like a no-brainer, but it is HOT. Like hard to take a deep breath hot. I think when class started it was in the upper 90's on the thermostat and who knows how warm it was by the end with all those warm sweaty bodies in it. No fans, no air movement...just hot, wet, stifling air. I remember thinking to myself when I walked in the room that if this class was like regular barre class I was screwed. Lucky for me it's not like regular barre at all.
What makes hot barre so different and so effective is how slow, small, and intentional every movement becomes. No action is done to really get your heart rate elevated. While in a regular barre class you might rapidly move from first position to second repeatedly but in hot barre you might simply hold second position but continually inch deeper and deeper into the position. It might seem like that would be an easier class than normal barre, but do not be deceived. My legs were shaking like jello not long into the class.
It is truly miraculous how are bodies are made! It's amazing how much warm, soft, muscles can stretch further. And how holding those muscles in a contracted position for a period of time, especially those big leg muscles, get your heart rate going without the typical cardio.
The sweat? Well the sweat is both gross and cool all at the same time. I looked like I had climbed out of a washing machine when class was finished. Every part of my body and clothing was drenched. But what a detox! It was as if every time Darby had us twisting and turning we were literally wringing out the junk from our muscles.
I experienced no ill effects from the heat and class. Now, I went way over the top with lots of Nuun and Nuun Plus during and post-class. I have no doubt that saved me on many levels by keeping my electrolytes replenished.
Because I've been able to find a method that works for me I have no problem or qualms incorporating hot barre into my regular class schedule and that makes me very happy. It's great variety and once a week the detox and low-impact muscle fatigue is welcomed. I'd encourage all of you to give a "hot" class a try and to not be afraid. If you've got observant instructors, knowledge of your own body tolerance, and prepare appropriately it's a great thing.
TODAY I LOVE: cool washcloths after warm classes
SONG OF THE DAY: "Bad Blood" by Ryan Adams