I have tried (and enjoyed) Flybarre (see my review here). Flybarre Sport was still a bit of an enigma to me. There’s no real description on the website. The only review I could find was this one on Rate Your Burn. It’s not on the schedule a lot and when it is it’s at 1030AM on a Monday, not the most ideal time for most. And yet, when I did finally make it there at that precise time, the class was packed. What I like about Flybarre is that unlike at other barre studios where you have to clamour to make it to your favorite barre spot, over here you choose your mat at sign-up so none of that mad rush that very often precedes barre classes.
I took class with the lovely Kara Liotta, Flybarre’s Director of Training. Beforehand I told her this was my first Sport class and she proceeded to give me a quick run-down of how this class was going to be different from a standard Flybarre class. “It’s faster paced and there are lots of cardio intervals. Very ab and upper body focused!” Sounds good to me!
The class started out with a cardio series where we did a succession of jump squats, push-ups, plank variations and triceps dips. The routine was done 3 times without any breaks. I was breathless at the end. Want to spike up your heart rate fast? This is the warm-up for you! Next up was an arm sequence where the recommendation was to use between 5 to 8lbs for biceps/shoulder work. Lots of biceps curls and hammer curls with variations in tempo and distance. Before class we were asked to pick up 3 sets of weights: either 5, 3 an 2 or 5, 2 and 1lb pound weights. So for the first arm set we had the option to double up, which I did. This was similar to an arm sequence at other barre studios. That’s until we started the second arm series where we dropped down to one set of light weights and proceeded to sculpt our arms while moving our arms in all different planes. Some boxing moves were also incorporated. Abs were attacked while lying down with our feet up against the barre and doing crunch variations. The thigh sequence was interesting. We had our back against the barre and faced each other in class. We squatted down to a chair pose and pulse and pushed out one leg with the other lef firmly planted into the ground. We had the option to rest our elbows on the barre for support but the exercise was designed to be done without such support so that your thighs were focused on any kind oif support. This was killer. I am always up for an advanced variation and I started out without the elbows but a minute into it I succombed. The seat section was also interesting. Just two exercises (one legged hip lifts and an on-all-fours leg lift) but Kara had us do multiple repetitions and would change up the speed so you would either be doing things very fast and then slow it down and then it would be switched up again. I love this approach because it really honed in the particular area while at the same time avoided bringing in the boredom factor. I should add that between each set we were doing the cardio bursts (jump squats, mountain climbers, push-ups).
I really liked Kara. I remember taking a class from here when she first started and she seemed kind of shy and we didnt interact much. Not the case now. She was totally working the room. She’s incredibly warm, has superb command of the room and was ever watchful to make sure you were doing the exercises correctly. Also, the music rocked. So basically she was awesome and I will definitely be back for her regular Flybarre class.
Having done barre for over 7 years there are times when I feel like my body has adapted to the method and I need something extra. This class is great for those moments. It should be described as “Barre Meets Bootcamp” because that’s exactly what it is. I felt like my heart rate was spiked throughout class and at some points, for example the thigh and seat section, I was actually in pain! While there are plenty of the small, repetitive movements specific to classic barre, there are also plyometrics and plenty of strength training, giving it a more modern edge. Overall, I really enjoyed this class and Kara is a total rockstar!