I often get asked why we don’t use light weights in a traditional BarreFlow class and my answer is typically… why do you want to?
The most common answers from students are “for strength training” or “to build muscle”, and my honest feeling is that we can do that just as well with out own body weight as we can with the small weights that we would be using in a barre class.
When I ask the same question to instructors, the answer is typically that they feel pressured because students ask to add weights. They hear that students want to “feel strong” or “are bored with the same old thing”. My answer is the same…. can’t we create a strong and empowering class with our own body weight?
I realize that this position may be unpopular, but take a moment to consider a few things:
– The majority of people that take group exercise classes still need help doing a true plank, push-up or squat. Are we really doing them a service by ignoring the flaws in the foundations and adding extra resistance?
– The basis of a weight training program is volume- so in a class setting where we are lifting 1-3 pound weights, how many repetitions would we need to do in order to REALLY make and impact on our muscle strength? Does it add intensity to the workout? Absolutely… but if we are allowing our students to believe that this is significant weight training, are we really doing them a service?
Please make no mistake about my position on weight training. Weight training is a VERY important component to every fitness routine. There are so many reasons that we should be lifting weights, but I don’t think that we need to everything in one class.
We all know that I am a firm believer in the benefits of barre- but I do not believe that it is the end all be all! I think barre once or twice a week is a great balance for a regular weight training and cardio routine.
I could go on for days about this stuff, but I’ll leave you to think about what I’ve already put out there.
Thanks for reading!