I have been xtending for approximately 18 months now and would consider myself OB-SESSED with the xtend lifestyle. I truly love it. And, I think the fact that I go between 4-5 times a week kind of proves that.
I initially tried a version of the ballet/pilates/dance workout while visiting a friend in California. Bored with my daily gym routines (as it had been same same for a good few years) and at the end of my food focused holiday, I went to an early class that she was teaching and… I fell in love. The music, the equipment and the routine were new, challenging and exciting. My legs we shaking (in the good way) and after the class I was buzzing.
Back in Wellington I found the Xtend Barre Wellington studio and I managed to convince my flatmate to come along and try it with me. Again, I loved it. It was challenging (more shaky legs) but also super fun. Despite my lack of coordination and almost zero experience in dance (seriously, I am not a dancer) I really enjoyed it.
The ballet vocab was new to me but it didn’t take me long to pick it up and it’s now probably my favourite part of the class. The elegance of ballet combined with the focused toning of specific muscles while dancing to your favourite beats really makes these classes the highlight of my day. I always walk away from class happy and satisfied – no matter how busy or stressful my day was (adrenaline anyone?).
Fairly quickly I was able to notice the muscles in my arms and shoulders appearing more toned and defined (be warned these can disappear way quicker than they come!) and over time my legs have become really strong. There are always modifications for exercises in class and I’m still working on getting to those advance positions but I like to focus on the smaller victories in particular exercises as I get stronger.
The wide range of classes does help mix up the week a bit too. There are circuit classes, Pilates classes, advanced barre fusion classes and even technique classes (for when you’re first starting out or wanting to know more about specific exercises). All of these options really provide variety for the week and you can pick and choose when you go as well as how hard the class is going to be on that day – always do what feels good for you and your body.
And, it’s not just the classes that I enjoy and make the xtend lifestyle, Kat and the instructors have created a really great xtend family in the Wellington Studio and the annual birthday and Christmas celebrations are a great way to meet/catch up with other xtenders – most of whom you spend a good few hours a week together. Xtend barre actively promote healthy eating and living but know that at times you will indulge and that there is no shame in that. Enjoy that glass of wine, enjoy that piece of chocolate, work it off at the barre – you’ve earned it (well, I know I have)!