How to Barre, Bar and Balance it All

Gina Gretta is a Bar Method instructor, a personal trainer at Redux in NYC, an actress and just a generally all-around hilarious and funny woman, and she’s here today to talk about having fun while staying (reasonably) healthy.

Forewarning: This article was written for the party-going go-getter. Please proceed with caution if you are under the age of 21 and/or do not love barres and bars.

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Let’s be honest, us fit freaks tend to be active adrenaline junkies, and adrenaline junkies tend to love a good time, whether it’s working at the barre, or out at the bar! What I’m saying is I, for one, will take my activewear like I take my drinks – in excess.

Work hard play hard, right? The problem lays in the simple fact that if you’re hitting happy hour, the caloric burn rate of 60 to 90 minutes of exercise a day does not surpass the caloric intake of 60 to 90 minutes of drinking.

A wise one might say, simple solution: stop hitting happy hour so hard.

Have you taken a barre class? Did you adore your instructor? We’re mostly all entertainers, or entertaining motivators, to say the least! I can speak only for The Bar Method, personally, but we truly want you to get an amazing workout that satisfies every single muscle group in your body, making you feel insanely stronger and better than you did 60 minutes before you came in. The change isn’t only physical but it’s mental.

If you’re a regular, you’re used to the fab, funny, fit instructors running around the room adjusting your “seat” (aka your ass), giving you stern “tuck” commands and adjustments, saying things like:

“Tuck it like you mean it!”

“Drop down low”
“Get lower!!!”
“Tuck deeper. Tighter!”
“Grip your seat even harder to finish!”
“Pull in one inch, then out”
And my recent favorite was, “Perky butts, brave hearts!”

We want it to feel like a party! At the very least, we make you want to burn calories so that you can party later. And if you don’t, well, maybe this article isn’t for you!

But what do we do if “no parties’” isn’t an option, but neither is “go all night all the time”?

BALANCE.

It’s a skill I’m still trying to master. It’s tricky to moderate every indulgence even those that are favorable. Stuff like:

  • barre class
  • healthy eats
  • naps
  • shopping
  • activewear
  • having fun (aka party time)

So here’s my actionable advice on how to maintain a hot, healthy mind and body at the barre AND bar without “overdoing it.”

  • Red wine and dark chocolate. Just say yes. They’re heart healthy and endorphin releasing, so the guilt isn’t as strong when you indulge.
  • Vodka soda all day. Clear liquor has less calories than dark, and mixers can creep up the calorie count if you’re not careful.
  • Workout 4 to 5 times a week, minimum. If you’re going to be putting in the calories, the’ve got to come out somehow!
  • Less is more. And that includes:
    • Foundation and makeup
    • Botox
    • Spray tans
    • Kettle Bells
    • Reality TV
    • Carbon38 pieces in the same outfit
    • The number of Animal-style items in an In-n-Out order
    • Vodka
  • Meditation. I recommend pranic healing and ho’oponopono personally, but no matter what you choose, learning how to be present and grateful is immensely helpful. You can silence those self-involved and over-analytical thoughts, and it will help you connect to the deeper purpose in your life. Relinquish the need to control everything. It helps.
  • Sex. Have it. Scientific fact: Sex has similar benefits on our minds as meditation. Love and connectedness are a necessary part of being a human being. To stop with the slut shaming and judging other’s sexual behaviors, embracing and accepting your own sexuality can go a long way. Don’t dull your desires, embrace them!
  • Bar Method. Not only because I work and teach for the company, but because it’s changed my life. I believe our struggles determine our successes. With 4 other jobs, I fought like hell to get certified and study each and every technique, the manual, the anatomy exam; it was a lot of work, but all that work made me respect my mentors, trainers, and fellow teachers and employees with all of my heart. It taught me about focus, mental stamina, and knowledge on spandex brands I could have never gotten elsewhere.

There it is! A few tips on how I figured out how to balance life, including those occasional (or frequent) trips to Happy Hour. Hopefully you can learn a bit from them and find your own balance.

So I hope I’ll see you at the Barre! And if I see you at the bar instead, then remember to always do as I say and not as I do! 😉

Keep on tucking!

You can find more from Gina on her Instagram!

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