Crash Course: B.fit is a tiny boutique barre studio nestled into a Logan Circle loft apartment. It has a welcoming community feel and each class is kept small so instructors can focus on whipping you into tip top barre tending shape. The studio is not afraid to use and get creative with props like big/small bender balls, free weights, and resistance bands. Prepare to be challenged – classes aren’t just about looking pretty and playing ballerina for an hour. They’re about sweating, shaking, and relevé-ing your heart out. That’s a good thing! Click here to see the full schedule of beginner, intermediate, and advanced classes.[line]
[left]where: 1339 14th Street NW, 3rd floor
perks: beautiful space, props and mats provided
sweat score: 4 out of 10[/left]
[right]wear: prepare for leg lifts
cost: $22 drop in, buy one get one free for new students[/right][line]
According to their website, b.fit bases its barre technique on a blend of:
strength training, Pilates and ballet-barre work in a high-energy, core-strengthening workout that isolates muscle groups, using precise, targeted reps. The method is based on the concept that fitness-savvy consumers are constantly in pursuit of new and challenging, results-oriented techniques.
I found it to be one of the most targeted, challenging barre classes I’ve taken in DC. It was a quality 60 minutes of great music, high energy, and butt-kicing ballet moves.
The studio entrance is located on 14th street in-between Salon Blu and Churchkey. You would miss it if you didn’t know where to look – the only signage is that tiny orange “b” on the door. See it? Head upstairs to the third floor and enter this door with the cute orange rug outside.
The studio is very small and intimate without feeling too cramped. Sign in at the front desk area and head straight back to the galley hallway where there are storage cubbies for your belongings and one makeshift changing area. It can get tight back there, but luckily it’s bright and inviting enough to make up for the lack of space.
There are no showers at b.fit, and just one bathroom. I said it was cozy, right? It is located inside the studio area and is just as cute and clean as the rest of the space.
And the crowning jewel of the space is the studio itself, with its gleaming hard wood floors and stunning bay window. It has a very similar look to Biker Barre’s barre studio, actually. It feels like you are working out in a chic studio apartment, which I think helps make the environment more welcoming than if you were in a more traditional studio. I mean..just look at how beautiful it is. Drool.
As I mentioned, I found this class to be one of the most thorough and challenging of the four studios I’ve visited. Like other studios, we started with some aerobic moves to get the heart rate up and then picked up weights to work on the arms. Unlike other studios, the free weights were five pounders. I told you they mean business!
My arms were toast after just a few minutes, but I never felt that the weight was too much. It was just enough to make me sore the next day. We then moved to the barre to work on leg and seat exercises. You can’t see it in this photo, but we have rubber bands around our legs and are working inner and outter thighs. We did something similar at Xtend Barre and the bands are a guaranteed killer burn.
Okay here’s a better shot. See those elastics around our legs? My IT band and inner thighs are panicking just looking at it.
This leg-in-the-air move works the “seat” area and is really hard, no matter what class you take. I appreciated that the instructor walked around to make adjustments because at this point in the class, you just want to keep your head down, close your eyes, and breathe until it’s over. With one leg in the air, I had a hard time making sure my hips were level and was corrected more than once. It’s hard but I learned quickly to keep that hip in check!
After all of the leg and seat moves, I was more than ready to take it to the floor for abs. In every barre class I’ve been too, the leg lifts and scissor kicks on the floor are always the hardest. I’m just not that flexible and end up shaking like a leaf within 10 seconds or less. I definitely, definitely don’t look as cool, calm, and collected as our instructor. And my leg was definitely, definitely not as high as hers. But hey, a girl can dream.
We also used those evil resistance bands to do ab work. For one move, we tied them to the barre and used them as leverage to do leg lifts. This worked the arms, abs, legs….heck the whole entire body. Very awesome and something I have not seen in other barre classes.
And after a few last stretches – we were finished! I didn’t look at my watch once during the entire class. It was entertaining, challenging, the music selection and volume were spot on, and I had an excellent time.
Jenna teaches the “pre-brunch” 9:30 Sunday class. She gave us a disclaimer that she views the class as one last chance to work hard before the end of the week. So don’t expect to walk into a sleepy class. I appreciate that Jenna is approachable without being overly perky and in-your-face enthusiastic. She was obviously there to work hard and make sure we did the same. I loved that. She also had an excellent feel for when the music needed to be turned up to help us push through those final leg-shaking reps. I’d definitely go back to her class again.