Once again, the conversation is getting louder regarding men working out like women….or, let me rephrase that, men choosing to take a class or do a workout that might traditionally be thought of as ‘exercise for girls.’ These are men that aren’t afraid to challenge themselves, that aren’t afraid to admit that what women are doing is excruciatingly hard sometimes, and that what women are doing just might be a better workout than what they’ve been doing all along.
The class that everyone’s buzzing about these days is Barre Class – Booty Barre, Bar Method, call it what you want, but basically, it’s a combination of Pilates, cardio, weights, and yoga. And it’s killer. The classes are heavily populated with women, but the men who show up are usually surprised by how challenging the workout is.
The typical man goes in thinking it will be easy, but to his surprise, it’s a whole different story. ‘I was in the most exquisite pain,’ says Peter Shin, a mountain climbing model from New York. ‘The program works the little muscles you don’t think about, and it hits them hard. It gets you long and lean….that’s the type of body I want to keep, the one I like. Plus, lifting weights is really boring.’
So, basically we’re saying:
These days, a slim, rangey shape – the kind you see on every Calvin Klein billboard in New York, is not a tough sell. Lots of guys are learning to appreciate the stretching and toning workouts that women have been using for years to sculpt their bodies. Unlike the old-school regimens of Muscle Beach, exercise-studio routines give you that kind of physique. They’re for guys who want to look like swimmers, not UFC fighters. And they get quick results while increasing flexibility—the side of physical fitness that men most often overlook.
Here at Studio Be we’ve got our group of guys who know what Pilates and Barre can do for them – they’ve been whittling away their waists and showing off their washboard abs for quite some time now. Many of the exercises in the Barre class, like squats done while leaning back from the barre, force your midsection to work in concert with your legs, so you’re strengthening your trunk. The exercises also help prevent that lower-back pain you get from sitting at your desk all day long. And the stretching, improves your cardio workouts, letting you run or cycle with less fear of pulling a muscle or tearing a hamstring.
The routines also ease tension. Most men view stress relief as an ancillary benefit of going to the gym, but they don’t realize how much they tax their bodies in return. Your basic hardworking guy is sitting at a desk eight to ten hours a day and then going to the gym and running on a treadmill or doing bench presses. That’s loading the body back up with stress. Yoga and Pilates and barre classes relieve the body of it. That’s because these techniques—unlike, say, biceps curls—work the muscles through their full range of motion.
Still, whatever the benefits of the exercise studio, some men think it’s not a workout if it doesn’t happen in the weight room or they’ll be put off by walking into a room full of women in their socks. They don’t like the idea of standing at a ballet barre. They think it’s not a workout if there aren’t heavy weights to pump. They feel like they have something to prove for the whole hour rather than really concentrate on their bodies…..there will always be something. But we challenge you to just get over it.
One student, David Barrett, 32, who works in finance in Manhattan and regularly runs and lifts weights, started with 12-pound hand weights at his first barre class, but soon realized they were too heavy. “Next thing you know, the instructor was bringing me six-pound weights,” he says. His trunk is now the strongest part of his body. “There are usually only about two guys a class,” Barrett says. “I don’t care, though. I’m not there to make friends. I’m there to kick ass.”
Calling all guys….visit us at Studio Be for a workout that will change your life. We promise you’ll be a hot sweaty mess by the end….and you’ll thanks us for it. 🙂
11881 Grand Commons Ave, Fairfax, Virginia
703 222 0122