Class: Svelte Signature Barre
Class description from website: The SVELTE Signature Barre Class draws from multiple dance inspired influences and infuses fresh customized isometric movements in properly timed sets to tone the large and small muscle groups of our most challenging areas. Combined with targeted stretching, the SVELTE technique provides an intensive body shaping experience and full body workout, designed to produce long, lean and svelte results.
Location: 3944 Peachtree Rd, Suite C, Atlanta, GA (Brookhaven)
Cost: $14 per class and they offer packages.
What to Bring: Water, socks. The studio provides “grip” socks for $6 that you can reuse (pictured to the left). I do recommend these as the floor is a tad slippery and you need to get a grip on the floor for some of the exercises. Any socks with rubber grips on the bottom (e.g. yoga socks) would work.
What to wear: Comfortable workout clothes. Yoga pants, leggings, tank top, t-shirt etc. I would shy away from shorts because you are lifting your leg into compromising positions at times and you don’t want to give a peep show while you’re getting your fit on.
Class size: Small. There were 5 people including me so there was plenty of space for all of us at the bar.
Props used: Theraband, sponge ball (some of you may know this as a Bender Ball), dumbbells (1, 2, or 3 pounds). All props are provided by the studio. I recommend going with the 1 pound pair for your first class. You will still feel the burn…I promise! I consider myself to be in very good shape and the 2 pounders kicked me square in the rumpus.
Volume and type of music: Music was at a low volume but audible enough to provide motivation. The teacher had a microphone headset so it was easy to understand her over the music. The music was a mix of top 40, R&B, hip hop, country, and pop. Something for everyone!
Impact: Very low. There was no jumping whatsoever.
Modifications: The teacher gave modifications when necessary and there was zero pressure to do any movements that might have been out of my comfort zone.
Format of class: Before entering the actual studio we were asked to take our shoes off. There are cubbies inside the studio for you to place your belongings.
We began class with a quick, easy to follow warm up in the center, then moved right to the bar for our total body workout.
Exercises were performed using isometric movements (a small range of motion that increases muscular endurance. Example: if you were to do a traditional biceps curl with dumbbells you would start with your arms down by your sides and then bend your elbows to bring the dumbbells all the way up to touch your shoulders. In this class we performed biceps curls with the dumbbells wrapped in the ends of the Theraband, which was wrapped around the bar, and we started with our arms bent and the dumbbells already touching our shoulders and pulsed the dumbbells with about a 1-inch ROM (range of motion). Before each section, the teacher explained the exercises we were going to perform. We started with upper body using the dumbbells and Theraband to add resistance and did an exercise to target each of the major muscle groups in the upper body (back, biceps, triceps, chest, shoulders). Following the upper body section we burned out our legs using the sponge ball and the Theraband. Again, hitting all the major muscle groups in the lower body (quads, hamstrings, glutes, adductors (inner thighs), abductors (outer thighs), and calves). We did a quick hip stretch before moving to the floor for our core work; the studio provides a nice cushy mat on which to sit for floor work. We used both the sponge ball and Theraband for our core work. We finished class with a quick cool down and stretch on the mat. The teacher passed out a sanitary wipe so we could wipe down our equipment.
What to expect: Expect a gorgeous studio, which is surprising considering the cost of the class. They have a lovely sitting area, if you get there early and want to hang out beforehand, as well as clean bathrooms, and a water fountain plus bottle-filling station (water, that is). There are two studios (one dubbed “Strong” the other “Slender”) so more than one class can run simultaneously. Both studios were nice, spacious, and the temperature was just right. I recommend reserving your spot online for class because they do cap classes so that everyone is comfortable.
Who should take this class: If you are one of those people who like to “feel the burn” then this class is for you. This is not a cardio class so don’t expect to sweat or increase your heart rate exponentially. This is a weight baring activity that is excellent for people who are afraid of the weight room; it’s a great way for you to ease yourself into lifting weights or to become more familiar with resistance training in a non intimidating environment. This is a great class for both non-dancers and dancers alike (although I think dancers might feel more of a burn as you will have your ballet teacher’s voice in your head screaming “PULL UP! SUCK IT IN! GET YOUR HEAD UP! STOP LEANING ON THE BAR!” I know I did.)
Professional advice: Go in knowing that you will “feel the burn” throughout the entirety of the class so leave your pride at the door. Drop your weights when you need to, abandon the Theraband if your hip feels like it’s on fire (mine sure was), and stand up and shake it out if you’re quivering so much that you can’t maintain proper body alignment…trust me, I’m speaking from experience. I was quivering the entire ride home. Make sure that you are aware of your posture and body alignment. It’s easy to fall into bad form when you’ve got that kind of burn going the whole class. Keep your shoulders back, head in line with your spine, and belly button squeezed in. Those things will help you and make the class more beneficial. It is an excellent hour to practice posture and proper body alignment.
Thank you to SVELTE and to my instructor, Cameron, for being so welcoming!