Workout Review: BarreAmped Fire with Suzanne Bowen

BarreAmped Fire Extreme Sculpt | Fefferfit

This BarreAmped Fire Extreme Sculpt DVD showed up in my mailbox a couple of weeks ago, and I’ve been so excited/nervous to try it!

I don’t know whether any of you have ever been to a barre class before. I was trained in ballet–both classical and lyrical–and I’ve gone back, a bit, as an adult. I love ballet. I knew barre would be a little different, but when I went to a class last winter, I figured I’d be able to pick it up pretty easily because of my training.

UHHH NOPE. NOPE I DID NOT. In fact, despite my pretty excellent general health and conditioning level, I literally almost passed out in class. I had to sit down for a while and just watch, like a dummy, and drink some water the studio owner got for me (because, like a klutz, I spilled mine). I sat there thinking “HOW am I so bad at this?! And how is it so much harder for me than actual ballet classes?? Aack!”

Soo. I’ve put off using this video, because I am a big big chicken.

Don’t do that.

TV screen shot Suzanne Bowen | Fefferfit
Starting some thigh exercises (barre not required)

Suzanne, the instructor, tells you right from the start that these moves might be difficult and take some time to master, but I found that they weren’t overly difficult at all. I felt comfortable and capable throughout the whole workout, and even though I did modify one of the ab exercises, Suzanne makes it really easy to do that, seamlessly. No feeling stupid and lost! Hooray!

Here’s what else I liked:

  • The workout was tough, but a good kind of tough. My muscles were definitely burning and shaking, but Suzanne’s are, too! You can see it! I burned 215 calories in 30 minutes, which is just slightly less than I burn when I lift. My heart rate was right in the same zone as when I lift, too. Good stuff!

BarreAmped Fire calorie heartrate | Fefferfit

  • Suzanne is fantastic at working you just hard enough, and then throwing in a break before things get too hard.
  • She’s excellent at cueing, so you know what’s coming next seamlessly and without big breaks.
  • Suzanne’s really pleasant to listen to: not too perky or at all obnoxious–just encouraging. She’s good at explaining where you should be feeling an exercise, what good form looks like, and sympathetic about which parts are difficult, even for her. I appreciate her authenticity.
  • I love how the stretches she incorporates release the exact muscles that were flexed and are tight. That deep tighten/release pattern is something I love about yoga, and it’s nice to find it here in a barre workout. (It probably has a technical name, but I have no idea what it is.)
  • The flow of the work through the muscle groups is awesome–nothing feels overworked, but everything gets worked nicely to exhaustion. I was particularly impressed with her innovative exercises for glutes and obliques. I’m gonna feel those tomorrow!

I was really pleased with the whole BarreAmped Fire DVD, and I’m recommending it wholeheartedly. I’ll be looking for more BarreAmped workouts by Suzanne Bowen, and I’m actually really hopeful that I’ll enjoy barre this way: in the safety of my own home!

A free copy of this DVD was provided to me for review. All opinions are my own. 

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