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I like to do workouts from home. Well, I do like to visit a studio and feel like I’m part of a greater collection of human beings in the world… but time is always tight as well. So I tend to lean toward runs I can do from my home and workouts I can do at home in my home gym. So I thought it might be kind of fun to document some of the programs I’ve tried, beyond just going out to run. In theory, this will become a series of posts. But if we refer back to the earlier statement about not having a ton of flex time, well… my blogging ambitions tend to fall a little flatter than I hoped. 🙂
In April I saw an ad online for one month free at Physique 57 online and decided I wanted to try it. I’ve been doing at least one barre workout each month since the start of the year and was looking for something with more barre options than what I had been using. So I signed up!
Of course, when I signed up the system immediately gave me 2 weeks for free, not the one full month it had advertised when I clicked on it. Kind of weird.
About Physique 57
Physique 57 was started in 2005 by Jennifer Vaughan Maanavi and Tanya Becker. I’m more familiar with Tanya Becker, as she is the instructor of several classes in the on-demand platform.
That’s Tanya, in the cropped top. This was my first class with the platform, their original 57-minute class. The class is a killer and you will fry out all your muscle groups. Tanya is an excellent instructor and she gives very clear directions. The only thing I don’t like is that sometimes she switches into a really weird, artificial voice and she talks about appearance things. Little comments like, “Looking slimmer, already!” and “No love handles here!” I love it when they actually mention things like “building bone density” or information about how this is functional in life, not just presentational. She does seem to tone down the crazy voice in more recent videos.
If you notice in the picture, the class is at barres and they have mats, weights, and a ball. This is the full class and it uses all of the various props. The barre is kind of consistent with a barre-type workout, but you can use a counter or a chair back. I did purchase a fairly inexpensive barre since I’ve been doing it so regularly this year. I liked the barre more in my last house (I moved in July) since I had a nice rubber gym floor in that house. My new house still has carpet in the gym area and the barre is wobbly on that.
On-Demand Class Options
The on-demand starting screen is organized by the duration of the classes, but then you can filter those more if you want to work with a certain instructor, equipment, body part.
You can do workouts that require very little equipment, like just a set of weights. There are even a few that don’t need any equipment at all. They’ve built out quite a large library too, so there are classes shot in several different locales.
There are beach scenes…
There are studio workouts
They even have some live workouts from a NYC studio location.
I did one live workout, and while I love the idea, I didn’t enjoy the execution. It always felt a little bit confusing because you don’t always have a good view of what is going on.
I really like the way moves that seem so small can really make you quiver and shake. My least favorite Favorite Move is the Pretzel. I always feel a little awkward in it, but I feel like it works the sides of your glutes and your thighs really well. If you’ve done clamshells, it’s like clamshells on acid.
My actual Favorite Move is what they call thigh dancing. You kneel on the ground and lift your butt off your feet, then you do different dance moves. It just feels like playing, but it also is very effective in working your thighs.
After having my membership to Physique 57 On-Demand for much of this year, I did decide to cancel it just recently so I could explore some other options. But I would absolutely come back to it. I’m just cheap and I’m not going to pay for a monthly membership at multiple websites, as it would end up being a waste of money. So while I explore other on-demand workouts available, I’m not paying for Physique 57.
Physique 57 is usually about $19.99/ month. That’s a good deal considering a barre class at a studio is going to cost about that much for one class. Mixing one or two barre classes into 4 days of running each week along with a day of strength training has worked out to be a nice balance for me.