When it comes to exercise, I am a creature of routine. I do about 30 minutes of cardio (either elliptical or treadmill at 24 Hour Fitness, or a good run if it’s warm enough outside because Austin has been chilly this winter – ugh!) and then follow up at home with toning routines and challenges on Tone It Up, supplemented with some Tracy videos when I want to mix things up. I used to do spinning and boot camp classes at my old gym in Seattle, but not so much down here in Austin.
Since New Year’s I’ve been thinking I need to bust out of the rut and try some new classes, and this past weekend I finally did it! Some of my friends have been getting into Todd Pilates off South Lamar and I decided to get in on the action! Your first class at Todd is free, so I figured I had nothing to lose. I accompanied my friend Ardis to Sunday’s 1:30pm Pilates Barre class and it definitely wore us out. I was sore for two days after – my muscles were feelin’ it.
I didn’t take my phone with me, so this photo is from the official Todd site 🙂
Our instructor’s name was Margaret and she was awesome. I loved her enthusiasm and gentle yet effective coaching. Even though it was my first time stepping into the studio, she was so welcoming (as was the dude at the front desk) and instantly made me feel included and at ease.
Since I had experience following the TA Metamorphosis workout program and I’m currently doing lots of TIU fine toning workouts (I love all of Katrina’s booty routines on the Beach Babe DVDs and Youtube, especially this one 🙂 ) I came into the class pretty confident in my endurance and understanding of barre/pilates style toning, but I will say… there is just something different about doing a routine in a class surrounded by other humans and an instructor who can observe and correct your form versus at home alone in the living room. I felt engaged, invigorated, and challenged the entire time.
The Pilates Barre class format was about 60% barre, 40% pilates. We started with some light-ish standing arm weights (you can use anywhere from 2-5 pounds, I used 4). Your arms get fatigued fairly quickly because you’re holding them up the same time, really toning and burning out the shoulders.
We then moved on to barre work, incorporating balls and stretch bands. My legs and butt were burningggg. Margaret did a great job of counting out our reps, encouraging us when we were lagging, and pushing us to get into relevé just when we were ready to give up. Her music choice also really helped. We were jamming out to modern beats (Ke$ha’s “Timber,” anyone?) – good music is a huge motivator for me when I’m working out, so I loved that.
After the barre, we moved to our mats for some additional core work, using rings and balls. You use a lot of core stabilization performing the standing barre portion, so this final mat portion was the cherry on top of my fatigue sundae. In a good way!
At the end of the hour-long class, there’s complimentary hot chai tea, iced hibiscus tea (my fave!), and even chocolate covered almonds! I’m 100% on board with any fitness program that rewards me with tea and chocolate after my sweat sesh. So on board, in fact, that I signed up for a 5 class package! I’m really looking forward to heading back to Todd’s for more Pilates Barre action; I’ll continue to do my Tone It Up workout schedule on a regular basis, but this is a fantastic weekend supplement for when I have more time to drive down to South Austin and I absolutely love the community aspect and the positive vibes in the studio.
Bonus: If you sign up for a Todd Pilates class package after your first (free) class, you’ll get 20% off. Pretty sweet incentive. With the discount, my 5-class pack was $44 – these classes are more pricey than my 24 Hour Fitness monthly fee (which is about $35/month), but they’re also a much more comprehensive, effective, and personal workout than running on the treadmill while watching TV or something.
You can check out rates here. Also take a look at the class varieties – I’m a barre person myself, but if you’re more into yoga or full-on pilates mat work, they’ve got you covered.
See you soon, Todd Pilates! I’m already looking forward to feeling the burn. xoxo