This past weekend, I attended the first ever Whole30 Coaches Summit in Park City, Utah. It was a lot of travel and time to get there and back, but it was definitely worth it. The resort and surrounding area was absolutely gorgeous, there was no shortage of ridiculously amazing Whole30 food plus yoga, HIIT, and hiking sessions, and it afforded me the opportunity to learn from a pretty impressive list of speakers and experts in leadership, business and brand development, nutrition and wellness. But most importantly, it provided me with the chance to meet and connect with other Whole30 coaches and I think the majority of us are walking away with a fresh surge of passion, an overwhelming sense of gratitude, and feelings of belonging and purpose. As we finished up on Sunday, taking pictures and giving hugs goodbye, I heard so many of my cohorts commenting on what a terrific opportunity it had been to spend time with a community of people who were likeminded in so many ways and yet totally unique and on our own paths. The Whole30 program has, since its inception, attracted a fiercely loyal following because it’s both effective and inclusive. Qualities which are, interestingly, also two of my very favorite things about barre!
Although I am quite serious about the things that I am serious about (understatement), I do understand and appreciate that everyone has different tastes, preferences, and needs. And previously, I shared some of my thoughts on the importance of finding a workout that works for you, because I believe that more effective than prescribing THE workout or a one-size-fits-all diet, or a single strategy to make a habit stick, is figuring out what fits well with your lifestyle and needs. That being said, I do believe firmly that everyone would benefit from finding an exercise routine that allows them to move, whatever that looks like. And in my experience, it doesn’t take long for even the typically exercise adverse to develop a #barreaddiction because, like the Whole30, barre is effective and inclusive. I’ve shared many times in the past some of the biomechanics that lend barre its effectiveness as a workout physically, as well as the powerful impact that it can have on one’s mindset, and the opportunity to connect with the group is a benefit which cannot be underestimated. But in case you’re new or still on the fence, here are some more reasons why barre is effective and inclusive of all:
Barre is effective and inclusive of all levels of experience and fitness.
At the Whole30 Coaches Summit, there was a huge range in terms of experience with coaching, nutrition, and the ways that we all structure our interactions and resources for groups or individual clients. However, it was clear that we were all passionate about and focused on learning how to best support our community throughout their Whole30 journeys. And barre is not too dissimilar. Every class is mixed level and includes total newbies and long time veterans. Modifications and hands on corrections are provided to make sure that everyone gets a good workout, regardless of experience or physical abilities. You don’t need any ballet or dance experience or even the ability to stay on beat. Everyone is focused on their own workout and yet there’s always the feeling that “we’re all in this together.”
Barre is effective and inclusive because it’s low impact, but high intensity.
It’s hard, but it’s not overly harsh on your body. Without any jumping or running, there is less potential for injury or strain on joints and ligaments, but never fear – your heart rate will DEFINITELY get up there! It’s a workout that allows you to work in your most challenging position regardless of skill, injury, or strength. And yet although you continue to get stronger, it’ll never get easier or boring.
Barre is effective and inclusive of your whole body.
Proper alignment allows for full body engagement throughout class. We don’t do leg/arm/seat days. Every class is a full body exercise and just about everything we do in barre engages and affects the entire body simultaneously. We work on targeting those Type 1 muscles and working in isometric contraction as we embrace the barre shake. We stay in the position long enough to work the target muscles to fatigue, but it moves fast enough to cover every inch from the lifted crown of your head all the way down to your highest heels, especially as you continue to improve and learn how to better engage your core and maintain good posture.
Barre is effective and inclusive by allowing for modifications and customization.
A common theme at the Whole30 conference was a feeling of Imposter Syndrome. As I said, there was a lot diversity in terms of experience and expertise which made many of us feel at times overwhelmed or insecure. But the overwhelming message was one of collaboration and starting with what you have and where you are. The same is true at the barre. Everyone is welcome, we all start at different places and have different strengths. And yet there is endless opportunity for growth and improvement. Maybe when you start you’re just trying to make it out alive, but soon you’re able to make it all the way through your thigh sprints without taking a break. Before you know it your heels are a little higher, your seat is a little lower, and you’re deep into that signature barre shake.