What You Need for your First Barre Class


I started going to Barre class about a month and a half ago. A studio in my area offered 5 classes for $20 and I couldn’t ignore that kind of screaming deal. It only took me three classes to be totally hooked. I signed up for an unlimited monthly membership, and I am so glad I did.
What to Bring to your First Barre Class
It’s sort of ironic that I signed up for the monthly membership, because in May I cancelled my YMCA membership. I was a YMCA member for years, but when I moved I just wasn’t using it because the classes weren’t offered at convenient times for me, and I started to run outside. I was going to put that money toward my debt snowball, but instead it has transferred to my Barre membership.

The best part about my Barre studio is that you sign up for class online, and then you are held accountable to actually show up for that class. For example, last night I was registered for a class at 7 PM. I had a rough day at work. I mostly wanted to go to happy hour and drink wine with friends. But I couldn’t do that before Barre kicked my butt. As luck would have it, I made it to Barre on time and felt 1,000 times better after class. I’m sure that was significantly better than I would have felt after a few glasses of wine. Plus, I’d much rather be sore than hungover.

When I first started going I spent time googling, “What do I bring to Barre class?” Not much came up. So I wanted to share with you a few items that are key to your first barre class.

1. A Yoga Mat

You might want to call the studio you’re visiting to make sure this is true. Some studios have carpeted studios and they do not want you to bring your Mat. My studio has hardwood floors, which I prefer. My mat (photo above) is amazing. I just upgraded from the first mat I ever got in college (ahem… 2005), to a thicker quality mat. I prefer the thick quality. If your feet get sweaty, you might want to also get barre socks or a mat towel. I’ve never used the towel but a lot of girls in my class do.

2. Socks

This is the same as #1. My studio uses mats so we don’t need socks. But since socks are so small and easy to transport, bring them anyway. You can wear plain old socks, or you can buy sticky, barre socks. I’ve been seriously considering investing in some socks. I bought my mat because it’s pretty so I don’t want to cover it in a towel, but I’m curious if socks or a towel will make things like Ballet Burpee (ouch) any easier. These in particular look super cute!

3. A Bottle of Water

You will have time for sips of water, and I would strongly recommend bringing a bottle of water to class. I try to avoid single-use plastic bottles of water when I can. I love my Bobble water bottles. They’re cute and filter the water as you drink it. That way if you have to fill up in a water fountain or sink on your way to class, you don’t have to worry about water that tastes gross or has weird stuff in it. (“weird stuff” is very scientific phrase… haha)

4. Capris and a Tank or Short Sleeve Shirt

You will get SWEATY. It’s not like hot yoga, Barre does have air conditioning. But once you and your 10 closest Barre-savvy classmates get going, you’re going to be HOT. I went to a class about two weeks ago where my pony-tail was getting in my way. I put it in a bun. A few hours later, I took the bun out to get ready for bed and my hair was curled. I sweat so much during that class that I might as well have been junior-high-me, when I hated my straight hair and would put my wet hair in a bun before bed to hopefully get some curls in my hair for school the next day.

I LOVE Refresh Attire, but their shop is only open parts of the year. Their workout clothes have encouraging phrases and faith based phrases. You can follow them on Instagram, where they announce when they’re open!

I get most of my workout clothes from TJ Maxx. They always have great deals on yoga pants and workout tops. Finding a good sports bra is sort of hit and miss, but still great. I would strongly recommend tighter pants and a form fitting shirt. If you want to wear shorts, make sure they’re a bit longer or very tight so you’re not flashing the class when you’re doing squats or kicks. Getting dressed for Barre class shouldn’t be a huge investment.

5. A Good Attitude and No Ego

I have been running 5ks, but I had basically no arm muscles. The first class I had to “cheat” on probably 1/3 of the workout. I just couldn’t do it. It’s exciting to see my strength improve over time, but I still had to skip some of the sit-ups last night. Different instructors have different levels of exertion, so don’t be afraid. And remember, this isn’t a contest. Barre is about you feeling better about your body and yourself. There is no shame if you have to take a breather in between sets. Keep a great attitude and leave your ego behind when you step up to the Barre!

I hope this helps you feel more comfortable going into your first Barre class! If you have any questions, or tips/tricks for first timers, leave them in the comments!

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  • Reply
    Danielle Dortch
    August 3, 2015 at 8:26 am

    This is such a great list! I’ve been wanting to take a Bare Class for so long and was actually wondering what kind of things to bring. This is super helpful. Thanks a bunch!

    • Reply
      August 3, 2015 at 10:07 pm

      I’m so glad to hear that! You should definitely try it out! I’d love to hear what you think.

  • Reply
    August 4, 2015 at 6:36 pm

    I’ve always wanted to take a Bare class. I don’t even know if Cleveland has any, I’m sure they do but I’d need to look. I was thinking about getting a DVD or something. I need help getting more flexible!!!
    Ashley recently posted…July 2015 Blogging Report

    • Reply
      August 4, 2015 at 8:23 pm

      You should check out YouTube! There are several free ones and then you can see if you want to invest in the videos :)

  • Reply
    Danii Turnbull
    August 5, 2015 at 3:29 am

    Sounds fun. They have just started popping up around my area and wasn’t sure what it was. Might have to take the leap and try one!

    • Reply
      August 5, 2015 at 7:33 am

      It’s super fun, which I would have never said about a workout before I started going. Take the leap! :)

  • Reply
    Kat | curlsnchard.com
    August 5, 2015 at 6:29 am

    This is such a great post, thank you! I always wanted to try barre, but I’m really intimidated by it :D I have to see if I can find something like a total beginners barre class!
    Kat | curlsnchard.com recently posted…Cardamom Chia Pudding with Plum Sauce (vegan, gluten-free)

    • Reply
      August 5, 2015 at 7:34 am

      Oh my gosh, don’t be intimidated! Everyone has been so nice in every class I’ve gone to. We all have to start somewhere so it’s OK if you can’t do all of the moves! If you give it a shot, let me know how it went :).

  • Reply
    August 5, 2015 at 6:34 am

    I’ve been wanting to try a Barre class for so long. I started Aerial Silks this year but Barre classes are next on the cards so this list will be great when I start! x

    • Reply
      August 5, 2015 at 7:35 am

      Oh man! You’re so brave! Let me know what you think when you’re looking for some variety in your workouts!

  • Reply
    August 5, 2015 at 7:55 am

    This post was the kick-in-the-butt that I needed to get to my exercise routine today! Thanks! Found you through the Blog Engagement fb Group.
    Sarah recently posted…Blogger Brags No. 90

    • Reply
      August 5, 2015 at 8:21 am

      Awesome! You go, girl!

  • Reply
    August 5, 2015 at 1:53 pm

    I loved socks. And nice list even I want try bare….
    urvi recently posted…Starved rock state park

    • Reply
      August 5, 2015 at 2:24 pm

      You should give it a shot!

  • Reply
    August 5, 2015 at 5:47 pm

    This list is perfect! A good attitude and no ego is so true! I did Pure Barre for a long time and absolutely loved it, but it can definitely make you feel really uncoordinated when you are starting out!
    Jessica recently posted…Coconut Rum Punch

    • Reply
      August 15, 2015 at 1:03 pm

      Hey Jessica, Sorry this reply is delayed. Your comment went to spam for some reason! There are still times with a new instructor or new choreography where I trip over my own feel and just feel ridiculous! haha

  • Reply
    August 6, 2015 at 7:26 am

    I just moved to a new neighborhood and saw a Barre studio but didn’t know what Barre was. Thanks for the pep talk!
    Dorcas@feelgoodfoodblog recently posted…Banana Coconut Chocolate Bon Bons

    • Reply
      August 6, 2015 at 8:33 am

      If you like yoga, Pilates or ballet, you’d love it! It’s sounds like you picked a great new neighborhood!

  • Reply
    August 6, 2015 at 10:05 pm

    I have always wanted to try Barre. I took yoga where we used to live. I’ll have to see what’s available in our new town.
    Deborah recently posted…Our First Big Family Dinner in California

    • Reply
      August 6, 2015 at 10:11 pm

      Check it out! I love yoga, but I’m totally addicted to barre.

  • Reply
    August 17, 2015 at 12:45 pm

    I have friends who swear by these classes. I’ve never been but I loved yoga. Are they similar?
    Erin recently posted…Happy Hour: Jack Daniels

    • Reply
      August 17, 2015 at 12:52 pm

      Sort of, but not exactly. It depends on your instructor. There are yoga poses but everything is done in reps. It’s more about building and toning more muscle, and less about flexibility. I find it really addicting, whereas I enjoyed the relaxation of yoga, but never felt compelled to go all the time. Think hot yoga + Pilates I guess you’d say.

  • Reply
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    October 22, 2015 at 10:52 am

    Also how did I miss this?? Must have been when the emails weren’t sending. Thanks so much for the love, girl!!
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      October 22, 2015 at 11:45 am

      Yea it was! Dang user error on mail chimp. Haha

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