◊ THE CLASS: Xtend Barre ◊
WHAT YOU NEED
Grippy Socks (Xtend Bare socks can be purchased)
Towel, if you tend to get a little moist!
XtendBarre is a breath of fresh air that blew into chilly Edmonton just over a year ago in the Old Strathcona area, and it’s been grabbing people’s attention ever since. With over 70 locations spread across the USA, UK, Australia, and New Zealand, Xtend Barre is one of the most successful and largest barre franchise businesses across the globe. Xtend Edmonton is their first and only locally owned Canadian location, with hopes to expand more in the near future, and we’ve got their back if they do. With its fresh décor and welcoming staff, the space easily transforms you out of the snowy streets of Edmonton and makes you feel like you’re in sunny California (even if it’s just for an hour). The Xtend Barre method, created by Andrea Rogers over 5 years ago, combines elements of Pilates and dance to create a dynamic and safe workout. Where other barre programs focus on the small movements, Xtend Barre’s diverse programs focus on movement of the whole body, delivering cardio, strength, endurance, and flexibility. Translation – it will kick your ass in the subtle, graceful way that ballet does. With a full class schedule ranging from classic Barre classes to Babies on Board, this studio makes finding a class for any level of difficulty an easy task. The range of instructors are key to Xtend Barre’s success and they’re who create the positive environment to move, stretch, and shake up your fitness routine. We big fans.
If you’ve ever been to Edmonton you’ll know that Whyte Ave is a hub for Edmontonians to revolve around. Whether it’s going to the market on the weekends, or shopping the small boutiques that line the streets; this is a perfect place for new fitness places to open up and thrive. Xtend is a short two-block walk south of Whyte making the studio approachable for anyone on foot or by vehicle. A large parking lot makes it easy for the drivers to park during their class, and frequent bus schedule on Whyte Ave can easily bring anyone traveling East, West, or North close to the studio.
Xtend offers 11 different styles of classes at the Edmonton location, all centered around barre, dance and Pilates. Their signature class, Xtend Barre – which we also attended, is the most similar to what you would find in other barre studios in that it incorporates dance, ballet and Pilates in an adrenaline workout designed to strengthen, lengthen and chisel your beautiful bod. If new to barre, the Xtend Barre Technique class is the best starting off point where they spend extra time teaching the articulate technique, which is key to the success of seeing results. Other variations of the Xtend Barre class incorporate equipment for an extra burn, such as Fitball, Stick, and Suspend. There’s also Barre Camp, Circuit 7, Ballet, Pilates and Dance classes to switch it up or get an even deeper cardio workout, and finally there’s a spot for the mamas with Babies on Board which is a baby included post-natal barre class designed to get your tone back. Xtend also has an online option that is AMAZE! With pre-natal class, post-natal classes, and tons of variations of their signature barre technique, this online hub has over 57 workout videos that range from 5-minutes to 20-minutes. There is literally no excuse to not squeeze in a 10-minute tone-up sesh if youre day doesn’t allow time to get to the gym or a full class.
Xtend Edmonton is open 7 days a week, and they provide many options for anyone working around their work or school schedule. Classes start as early as 6am or as late as 8pm during the week, and weekend days are shortened with the latest class starting around 10:45AM.
Overall their pricing structure is super reasonable and competitive in the barre space. Drop-in classes are $22 pre tax which is pretty standard for what we see in Edmonton, but if caught at the right time you can find bigger deals, such as their BOGO (buy one get one) deal happening rn. As per usual, pricing varies and becomes more discounted the more commitment you make, with class passes or membership options. If you’re interested in going to a few classes a month with your girlfriends before brunch; the ESSENTIAL might be all you’re after with 4 passes a month driving the per class rate to the cheapest at $17.25. The VIX FLEX pass has similar perks to the classic VIX membership, but doesn’t have the commitment requirement of 6 months tacked on. This membership would be perfect for anyone who travels frequently and would have to put their membership on hold while out of town. VIX FLEX rings in at $159 a month. For online prices, the 3 membership options follow the same naming convention but offer a sweeter deal at $15, $11 or $10 per month depending on how long you sign-up for.
- Drop-in: $22
- 5 Class Pass: $99 ($19.80 per class)
- 10 Class Pass: $185 ($18.5 per class)
- Essential MembershipIn Studio: 4 classes per month $69 ($17.25 per class)
- Online: $15/per month
- Elite MembershipIn Studio: 8 classes per month $99 ($12.40 per class)
- Online: $11/per month with 6 month pre-pay
- Vix/Vix Flex MembershipsIn Studio: unlimited $139, Flex $159
- Online: $10/per month with a year pre-pay
The light fresh décor of this beautiful, small, boutique studio has a weirdly wonderful way of motivating you and making you actually want to take the class you signed up for. As the class before let out, students sat in the common area, chatting and laughing, creating the overall positive environment before the class even began. The instructor came out of the studio and welcomed us with a vibrant smile and everyone filed the room to claim their spots. Definitely catering to the female crowd, as most barre studios do, it was a wonderfully diverse crew with ladies of all shapes and sizes projecting their energies into the space and ready to sweat. There was a clear sense of comradery between everyone in the class, whether you were familiar with each other or not, as everyone joked and laughed about the mutual amount we were sweating.
As far as the layout, the space isn’t large and only has the one clean and polished studio with a capacity of ~ 20. There are 2 minimalist change rooms (with curtains and a bench) and a space for a baby changing station, however their aren’t a lot of amenities and no showers given the tight space, so it’s important to come prepared if your planning on carrying on after class. Depending on the type of class you take, you’ll probably sweat a fair bit, so pack your dry shampoo and a sweat towel.
- Two washrooms (One with baby changing station)
- Two changing rooms
- Free Lockers
- Filtered water station
- Fresh fruit bowl
- Plastic water bottles and fresh juice available for purchase
- Grippy socks available for purchase for $17-$20
Xtend Barre was first founded by the Michigan beauty, Andrea Rogers, a dancer and choreographer who after leaving the world of professional dance, struggled to find a studio that combined serious conditioning with artistic movement. Because she couldn’t find a solve, she created her own. XtendBarre’s franchise success has exploded over the last 5 years, with studios opening up across the globe with over 47 locations worldwide and a robust online community.
Hilary was our instructor for the Friday afternoon class and she was easily the biggest highlight. Period. She came into the room with the brightest smile on her face ready to make us sweat our derrières off. The studio played upbeat and dancey music before, during and after the class and Hilary had a headset mic that helped us follow along with the fast pace of the class. You could tell Hilary has came from a dance background in how she structured the class and she was very connected to each student as she often checked our postures and form, making sure we were getting the kick ass work out we deserved (but properly). Our favorite part of Hilary’s teaching method was how she described the movements. Using terms like “the size of a strawberry” or “no bigger then a golf ball” really helped to visualise the right movements and focus on specific muscles. A few times during the class she corrected our form and truly seemed to care that we were reaching the goals we set for ourselves. She also provided modifications for anyone with restricted movement or injuries with explanations as to why. The positive reinforcement to listen to our bodies and feel confident in the movements gave us #wonderwoman vibes in a room surrounded by fitness babes. Energetic and polite…Hilary, you kicked our butt and we loved every second of it.
LEVEL OF DIFFICULTY
WAY HARD | HARD | MIDDLE OF THE ROADSIES | CHILL | HELLA CHILL
We’re rating this class hard, almost solely because it made our legs shake for the next hour after it was over. Even though we did manage to keep up with the pace of the class, the sassy “Oh my god, Hil” coming from the out-of-breath ladies around us (which we later discovered were also teachers at the studio) proved we were all getting our booties kicked. The class moved at a brisk pace and high energy for the full 55 minutes, leaving little time to let our bodies relax. We started with a group warm up in the centre of the room, then we moved to our mats and began working targeted areas of the body using movements that are native to ballet, but in an amplified manor. Arms where up first, where we discovered that holding two-pound weights at shoulder height was more difficult then expected. For legs, we used a mixture of our own body weight, classic ballet moves like plies and tendus but with equipment like a small barre ball and tension band. The modifications suggested throughout the class, helped make it possible for any age, fitness level, or experience to be challenged but still feel accomplished in nailing the exercise. Coming from a dancers background, I found comfort in the class being speckled with technical ballet terms and the focus on keeping proper posture to prevent injuries. Because of the positive vibes that uplifted the whole room, even when every muscle in my body was shaking I felt strong and motivated to push myself!
To try this class or anything else on their schedule, see Xtend Barre’s contact info below.
Xtend Barre Web: www.xtendbarre.com E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org PHONE | 780.988.8815 Instagram | Facebook