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fitness reviews

Top 5 Reasons I Love Cardio Barre

As with most of my ideas, this one came to me in the shower.  I had just taken a Cardio Barre class, and I started thinking about the reasons that I love it.  And the reasons that I drive through LA traffic to get to it (seriously, though, so bad).  So as I was thinking about it I decided to come up with a list of the:

Top 5 Reasons I Love Cardio Barre
It makes me prettier.

I’m not saying it takes me from a 5 to a 10 or any nonsense like that.  But I can definitely see a difference in my face when I regularly take classes.  My skin looks clearer and more plump.  My eyes are brighter.  I look, in a word, younger, and I’m always on board for that, y’all.

Top 5 Reasons I Love Cardio Barre

It’s efficient.

This is a huge, huge, huge plus for me.  If you’re anything like me, you’ve put in hours and hours at the gym trying to run and stretch and lift your way to a better physique.  When I was a senior in college, I took around four hours of dance classes almost every day.  Four.  Hours.  And I smoked.  I would die today, I think.

The efficiency factor comes from combining both the cardio and the toning all into one neat little wrapper.  As far as I’m concerned, this is what sets the workout apart from other barre-based classes.  There’s usually a lot of toning and not enough cardio involved, so I’ve had to supplement when taking other classes.  But who wants to take class for an hour and then go running?  Better question: who would?

No one.  Crazy people.  Models.  I don’t know.  But the point for me is, what is the purpose of toning the muscles on your body if they’re covered in a layer of insulation that you’re not working off?  Remember the definition of insanity, folks. This class packs everything into one hour, and that’s it.  Best of all, I don’t feel like I have to go seven days a week.  If I make it to three, I feel like a champion.  Four, I might actually lose some weight.  Five and I’m having the pizza and the ice cream.

Top 5 Reasons I Love Cardio Barre - Beauty Chaos

It shapes your muscles in a specific way.

And that way is long and lean.  If you’re looking to bulk up, this class is probably not going to be your cup of tea.  Better to stay at the gym upping your poundage and drinking protein shakes.  Or however you bulk up; I’ve spent my life trying to do the opposite.

The use of low weights, specific ballet-inspired muscle sculpting moves, and good ol’ fashioned leg lifts produce results that I haven’t seen since my teen years.  Then, I was having a coach yell at me to work out.  Now I pay someone to yell at me to work out.  It really comes full circle, doesn’t it?  Seriously, though, the aerobics videos of the ’80s weren’t far off.  There are exercises that just simply work.

Top 5 Reasons I Love Cardio Barre - Beauty Chaos
Me, pre class. Hi! I was going to take a post-class photo but I was too sweaty.
Being in a class makes me work harder.

I don’t know if it’s an internal sense of competition or the instructors picking on me, but I definitely work up more of a sweat and feel different when I’ve been in a class than when I stay home and do a DVD.  Plus, there’s variety.  Fitness class instructors, no matter what your venue of choice is, put work into planning those classes so that their students don’t get bored.  Doing the same DVD every day is great and will probably help, but it won’t give the same results as an in-the-flesh instructor.

It helps my mood.

Now, this is not specific to Cardio Barre, at least not for me.  As someone who has struggled with depression most of my life, I rely on exercise to help elevate my mood.  If I don’t get some sort of endorphin rush every day, I can feel it in my psyche.  And I usually need a good boost of cardio to get that rush.

So there it is, my ode to Cardio Barre.  Seriously, though, any form of exercise is better for you than nothing.  Even walking around the block every day gets blood pumping, fresh air in your lungs, and can help with a myriad of health issues.  So get out and sweat.

Top 5 Reasons I Love Cardio Barre - Beauty Chaos
One Reason: No pointe shoes
Random Thoughts for today.

Insomnia.  Jesus.  I am having the worst insomnia this week.  I don’t know if it’s PMS or the moon or what, but my body will not let me sleep.  It’s the yucky kind, too, where I get right to the verge of sleep and then I can’t quite drive over the cliff.  It’s driving me crazy.  Hopefully by this time next week I won’t be a drooling mess, but no promises.

And raise a glass for my poor husband.  He’s so patient.  I’m sure I’m insufferable right now due to lack of sleep and he’s been babying me.  He’s been cooking dinner and being really supportive.

What’s your favorite workout?  Leave me a comment or message me here!

Do Yoga With Me Review

I love yoga.  Yoga might be my favorite form of exercise, even though I do cardio because I have to in order to eat more than celery all day.  But yoga is my workout of choice.  I was first introduced to yoga during a dance class my freshman year of college, and ever since then, it’s been a staple of my workout routine.

My problem is, I don’t always have the time (or funds) to get out and take a yoga class.  While I would agree with most instructors that taking a class is preferable so the instructor can offer corrections, et cetera, often I do not have the opportunity to get to a studio.  Even though there are a million of them in LA.

In 2006, David Procyshyn, founder of Canadian-based Do Yoga With Me, began recording his own instructional videos to put online.  The site expanded as more instructors became involved and more students found the website.  Do Yoga With Me lists as a commitment to the yoga community that they will do their best to maintain free access for the worldwide yoga community.  Awesome, right?  The website features classes ranging from Beginner to Advanced, with classes from 0 to 90 minutes.  The video page allows for searches based on parameters such as level, length, and instructor.

Just in case that isn’t enough, there are yoga challenges that are put together by the instructors.  I’m currently in the middle of the 30-Day Transform Your Life challenge, and I’m amazed at how much my strength and flexibility has changed in the last 22 days.  There are also specific pages on the site that have videos demonstrating Pranayama, or yoga breathing exercises; yoga tutorials, which focus on subjects like how to prevent knee injuries in pigeon pose and how to activate your pelvic floor; and a Meditation section which houses a score of meditation videos.

Yoga - Lotus Position - Beauty Chaos

First Impressions

I can’t remember how I found Do Yoga With Me.  Perhaps I was doing a search for free yoga classes or online yoga classes.  At any rate, this site has been a godsend.  The instructors are great, the videos are easy to follow, and I’ve learned a ton from making my own adjustments.  I’m not sure how good of a tool the site would be for someone who has never practiced yoga, as I think the classroom instruction is definitely essential.


I think for someone who has been practicing yoga for years, this site is an incredible tool.  Best of all, I can take it with me when I travel (which isn’t that often, but still, being able to take your yoga instructor with you wherever you go is pretty great). I love the backdrop of the outdoor videos, which are often filmed near the water or in lush, green parks.  I will continue to use this site for as long as they continue to publish videos!


Did I mention that Do Yoga With Me is free?!  Love.  That.  The site owners ask for pay as you can donations so that they can keep the site free, and if you join the Do Yoga With Me Plus Community, you gain access to more videos.  The Plus membership costs $5 a month, but the videos are plentiful and it’s a great option if you need more variety in your practice.

Summing Up

Overall, I’d give Do Yoga With Me a 9.75 out of 10.  The only reason I take of that 0.25 point is for those who might be starting out and need more individualized instruction.  But for someone who has enough experience, Do Yoga With Me is an amazing option.  Well done, guys!

Have a fitness craze you want me to try?  Message me here!