As the thought of summer lingers, so do images of being confidently bikini-clad by the beach.
Let’s get one thing straight: by being ‘confidently bikini clad’, I don’t mean having the tiniest waist nor the largest thigh gap. By being confidently bikini clad, I mean being unabashedly comfortable in one’s skin no matter the shape or size.
While it’s innate for others, some may find it difficult to attain that next-level kind of self-confidence. As for me, I believe confidence is built when you feel strong and capable (in every sense of the word), and when you have an unwavering sense of what works for you and what doesn’t.
I believe self-respect is largely at play here, which has a lot to do with taking care of your body through proper diet and exercise. This is where Physique 57, a buzzed-about barre workout from New York, comes into the picture. A cult-fave workout supermodel Chrissy Teigen loves, it doesn’t only guarantee visible results, but promises to make you feel stronger and more energized after each class as well.
Physique 57: A low-impact, high-intensity barre class
Recently opened in BGC, Physique 57 is a barre class that targets various muscle groups with the use of hand weights, resistance bands, and playground balls. Founded by Jennifer Vaughan Maanavi and Tanya Becker with their vision to reinvent the fitness industry, the workout is an innovative take on the barre-based Lotte Berk Method founded in the late 1950s.
Making use of one’s own body weight as resistance for muscle toning, Physique 57 is a low-impact, high-intensity workout that promises results in just 8 sessions. Yes, you heard that right—in just 8 sessions, testimonies have shown people losing inches and visibly gaining lean and toned physiques.
The catch? Physique 57 stands true to the ‘no pain, no gain’ motto—if you do a quick search on the cult workout online, you’ll find that it doesn’t shy away from claiming that it takes a lot of tough work to get through a class.
Having done a barre class before and wanting to explore more workouts this new year, I decided to give it a shot. An effective workout that makes you feel incredible inside and out? All for it.
First-class jitters: Preparation before class
Despite not being a gym rat or someone who is always seen frequenting the latest hip and happening fitness studios, I would still consider myself moderately fit—I do yoga every now and then, I jog occasionally, and I make sure to reach a certain number of steps per week. Diet-wise, there’s still room for improvement but I do make sure to limit my meat intake and avoid too much sugar.
Yet the confidence I had in my fitness ability didn’t hinder my nerves from acting up. Prior to the Signature class I signed up for, I hit the gym for three consecutive days and continued reaching my steps per day. You know what they say: preparation is key, and with the first-class jitters I was feeling, I made sure to squeeze in some exercises a few days before class to make sure my body was conditioned enough.
The fitness studio: What to expect
Designed with lockers, floor-to-ceiling mirrors, ballet bars, and motivational fitness quotes, the Physique 57 franchise in BGC is a fresh, inspirational, and well-equipped space. Entering its spacious and well-lit studio—not to mention feeling its cool temperature and great ventilation—truly got me pumped to get sweating.
Make sure you’ve got your closed-toe socks with non-slip soles ready, a comfortable (and cute!) workout outfit on, and your trusty water jug. Lastly, don’t forget to be there 15 minutes before your workout since classes start right on the dot.
Physique 57’s Signature Class: A total-body burn
Each class is different, so expect something new with each visit. The Signature class I attended targeted the arms, legs, back, and abs—a full-body workout that even fitness buffs may find challenging.
The 1-hour class was a rigorous mix of strength training, cardio, and stretching, along with unique elements of dance. Prepare for a series of twists, turns, and pulses using resistance bands, weights, and a playground ball. Expect to be on the balls of your feet and feeling the fire in your muscles while trying to survive challenging reps—and boy, did I feel the burn!
With their signature thigh and seat sequences, and ab-centric exercises on the mat, expect your heart pumping, your adrenaline rising, and your body sweating. Sound tiring? Rightfully so, and I must say, well worth the money and pain. After overloading my muscles, I’d never felt more relieved to stretch in my entire life.
Despite being an hour long, I felt that time flew by quicker because of how dynamic (and surprisingly fun) the sets were, not to mention the exhilarating workout playlist blasting during class! Our instructor, Mia Cabalfin, was also incredibly motivating and pumped us up all throughout, making sure to correct our form and call out words of encouragement when needed.
The aftermath: A sore body and a newfound motivation to level up my fitness journey
The verdict? A body that is satisfyingly sore all throughout. The day after, I felt the glorious aftermath of the whole-body workout: from my core to my glutes to my quads, from my biceps to my triceps.
Seeing how effective the barre-based Physique 57 was in making my muscles work, it’s no wonder you can expect lean, sculpted muscles after just 8 sessions. I now understand why the workout has forged a dedicated community not just in New York, LA, and the Hamptons, but in Dubai, Bangkok, Mumbai, and most excitingly in Manila as well. Finishing a class endows you with a sense of accomplishment and makes you feel ready to take on the world.
Overall, Physique 57 is everything that a workout should be: effective, efficient, and fun. Come out of the class empowered and motivated, feeling stronger than ever, and radiating confidence inside and out.
Check out more fun, functional workouts at the best prices in our Fitness collection.
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