You know you have a problem when you actively seek out different ways to experience muscle fatigue, and I’ve found a new fix: the recently-opened Barre 3 in Montgomery, which offers a schedule of grueling classes boasting a mix of yoga, pilates, and barre. With a focus on building lean muscle through small, purposeful movements, it’s the perfect way to firm up your arms, tummy, and legs.
Owner Natalie Denka amassed a following via underground classes at places like the Evendale Recreation Center, building an audience while going through the lengthy certification process required for Barre3 operators (the franchise is based in Portland). The company focuses on a holistically healthy lifestyle, posting clean recipes online and selling an assortment of stylish workout gear. Denka says those resources are in place to encourage “whole body health to support those 60 minutes” spent in her classes.
I walked into the preview class a bit late, and the group of 8-10 participants was already in the middle of a rigorous plié routine. Denka deftly led us through rounds of minimal-movement squats, weighted arm movements, and core exercises that had my thighs and tummy burning for two days. It was a good soreness, the kind that reminds you that you worked hard and maybe shouldn’t screw it up with a(nother) cupcake.
The newly refurbished studio offers childcare during morning workouts, and plans to eventually have everything you’d need to get ready for work. While the class is open to all fitness levels, you’ll want to have some familiarity with yoga terminology in order to navigate positions like child’s pose and chaturanga. Really, Barre3 is for everybody: a gentleman who looked to be in his 60s raved about the classes, praising the activity as an antidote to sitting at a desk all day. By that point, he was already preaching to the choir. I certainly felt—and highly appreciated—the burn.