Where it’s offered: Physique 57 Upper West Side, New York City, and Beverly Hills
Get ready to fight the fashion set for a spot once the booking window opens: barre workout fave, Physique 57 added a new class, Physique F.I.T., to its packed schedule today—and it uses intervals for targeted strength training and increased cardio.
It’s just one example of how barre studios are expanding their offerings to go beyond just pulsing, toning, and tightening: they now want to jack your heart rate and metabolism, too.
Physique F.I.T., definitely does that, but it has an additional twist. The class focuses specifically on the arms and butt, areas they call “your most visible spots” or “trouble zones.” (We prefer “power zones,” personally, but you get the picture.)
During our session, the focus was made painfully clear. We dove straight into an intense arm sequence, hitting biceps and triceps from all different angles using five- to eight-pound weights. Then, we moved to seat work, exhausting each glute with floor exercises like clam shells and donkey kicks followed by lifts and pulses at the barre. And while your arms and butt are the targets, your legs are far from neglected—during bicep curls, for example, you’re pulsing in wide second, with your quads begging for mercy.
While all of that would be enough to feel like a completely new class, there’s more: all of this toning happens at a breakneck speed for the barre world. Cardio bursts in the form of fast, full-range squats and thigh dancing keep your heart-racing, and there are no breaks or stretching until the very end. (Note: You probably don’t want to choose this class if you’re totally new to Physique or barre in general.)
So while it’s no spin session, you’ll produce a surprising amount of sweat. From my perspective, at least, that’s a very good thing. —Lisa Elaine Held
$36 in New York City, $28 in Los Angeles; for more information, visit www.physique57.com