The barre bro’s sweat diary!

My wife was recently featured in Phillymag’s ongoing “Sweat Diaries” series. Since they haven’t yet asked the barrebro to do a sweat diary, I decided to volunteer and write one up of my own!

Who I am: Hagana Kim, 35, from Lansdowne, PA

What I do: Paper pusher at Penn Law, owner at tuck barre & yoga

What role healthy living plays in my life: I married someone who does that

Health Memberships: I own a couple barre/yoga studios. I also own a jump rope, and recently bought a heavy bag on January 1st. I’m waiting for it to arrive before I really kick this workout thing into high gear.

Monday

4:45am – Callie’s alarm goes off. I ignore it and go back to bed.

7:45am – My alarm goes off. I turn it off, let the dogs out, and throw a few slices of Costco pizza into the toaster oven for breakfast.

8:20am – Walk half a block to my SEPTA bus stop, take three explosive steps upward to elevate my body mass into the transit vehicle while maintaining balance and form.

8:50am – Stop by 7/11, grab a spicy chicken biscuit for $1.29. Anything under $2 hardly has calories anyway.

1:15pm – Take a walk around work looking for free food – find an event that’s ending that had Garces catering, fix myself a plate

6:00pm – Get home to start cooking for Callie. She requests a wedge salad, and I oblige.

I don’t feel like a salad, and there’s a chinese place around the corner that does an awesome half-chicken, fried, with fries for $5.50. So I do that, like a fucking champ.

Daily total: $5.50

Tuesday

7:45am: Alarm goes off. Out of Costco pizza, so I fall back on Totino’s (loving the new square shape!).

1:15pm: Walk around work looking for free food – find a tray of turkey hoagies, and help myself.

6:15pm: Dinner time! Decided to make some pork belly lettuce wraps. Here’s a picture of one. I ate about 25.

10:00pm – Callie is safely asleep. I get hungry again, so I order a charcuterie/cheese board from Domino’s.

Daily total: $15

Wednesday

5:15am – Ugh, actually have to wake up early on Wednesdays to drive Callie to her 6am yoga. I take about 20 minutes of the yoga class, get tired, and leave to drive back home and let dogs out. On the drive home, I see that McD’s has brought back their 2 for 4 breakfast sandwich special! I get four breakfast sandwiches for the dogs, and a coffee for myself.

12:30pm – Callie is free for lunch! So we hit up Terakawa Ramen for their spicy ramen.

6:00pm – Wednesday is our takeout night! Also, we have time to walk the dogs Thursday morning, so I carb load with Thai food to prepare my body.

Daily total: Who cares, it’s Callie’s money

Thursday

7:30am – Heat up the daily morning pizza. I blot it, since I’m watching my figure.

1:00pm – I’ve been eating a bit unhealthy, so I opt for a salad for lunch.

6:00pm – Dinner time! Made some dukbokki (spicy korean rice cakes)

10:00pm – Callie’s safely asleep and I’m hungry again, so it’s taco time!

Friday

8:30am – Whoops, woke up late, no time for breakfast, heading to work!

11:00am – Appetizer salad at Goldie because I’m starving.

 

1:00pm – Real lunch – go to Shake Shack and get a spicy chick’n shack.

6:00pm – Dinner time! Korean bbq with traditional spread and miso soup. 

Total spent: Stop asking, you sound like Callie interrogating me about my debit card purchases.

Now that I’m at the end of this thing, I’m a little confused… why are these food logs called sweat diaries?

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Where to find the healthiest most delicious food in University City – according to the barre bro!

Phillymag recently asked my wife where to find the healthiest food and other things in University City. It’s a shame they didn’t ask me, because I’ve got the real inside scoop. Fear not – I will now happily share “The barre bro’s guide to University City food” –

Abner’s Cheesesteaks – it’s important to get ample protein, and Abner has been dishing up protein bombs for decades!

Zesto Pizza and Grill – hell yeah!

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Happy #nationalcheesepizzaday 🍕 #zestopizza

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Terakawa Ramen (she got this one right) – best addition to the U-City food scene since Magic Carpet in the 80s!

Pitruco Pizza (the truck, not in Franklin Table) – amazing, soft, pillowy crust.

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Happy weekend. Here is a Margherita pizza.

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Federal Donuts (the chicken not the donuts)

Dos Hermanos food truck – tacos and burritos for days

McDonald’s – don’t sleep on this classic!

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A pic so good, you could eat it.

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Back to the Barre!

squeaks
Welcome to tuck barre & yoga!

After nursing a back injury that caused me to gain about 10 lbs. in two weeks, the barre bro returned to class! I took my wife’s “core barre” class this morning at our West Philly location. “It won’t be that bad, it’s just core!” she said. The lies continue well after the wedding, folks.

callie has a liar face
liar face

Callie started class by asking the group, “So what kind of class do you want today? Medium? Hard? Extra hard?” The problem with this question, of course, is that there is no anonymity in the answer. Of COURSE I wanted to say easy to medium, but then I’d get death glares from some crazy masochistic type-A barre babe (looking at you Rachelle) who comes to barre to wreck every muscle in her body.

I did pretty well for the first twenty minutes of class, but I was rudely called out by Callie – “Stop looking at the clock, Hagana – we’re not even done warming up.” Yeah, up yours, Callie.

There are so many things I hate about barre. Let me tell you about one. The cues in barre are set to the beat of the music, so when the barre teacher is counting down from, say, “10, 9, 8, 7” etc., each count is evenly spaced and timed to the music, which makes it fun. Kind of like dancing. You know what’s bullshit? When the barre teacher decides to intersperse the count with bullshit motivational cheering instead of a number, and then doesn’t skip the number!

Let me explain. Instead of counting down “10, 9, 8, 7” all the way down to zero, Callie will go, “10, 9, you’e got it guys, great!” after which, clearly we should be on #6. But NOOO, Callie will go “10, 9, you’ve got it guys, great, 8, 7” etc. so we end up doing MORE THAN 10 REPS YOU ASSHOLE! If you’re going to run your mouth during the count, include it in the count.

Another thing I hated today – we did these weird things on the floor/mat where I could barely get into the STARTING position.

weird1.jpg
this was the starting position i could barely get into at all

From there, she wanted us to do this –

weird 2
yeah my body doesn’t work that way, i’m not a fucking marionette Callie

And then the other leg!

weird 3.jpg
almost threw my ball at her face

And the worst words you’ll ever hear in barre class? “Now let’s do the other side!”

Believe it or not, I’m training to be a barre teacher this weekend. And you know what I’m going to do as a barre teacher? Because I’m a nice guy? No second sides. I’m going to assign the other side as homework.

Joy. Pain. Failure. Shame.

Joy – the first minute of every barre class, where you roll your shoulders up and back, and up and back. And then you roll your head from side to side. This is my absolute favorite part of barre class. I could totally do that for 45 minutes.

Pain – the rest of barre class.

Failure – Me, today, about twenty minutes into barre class. After going to three barre classes in a week to jump start my re-commitment to fitness and weight loss, my back gave out for the third time this week. From that point on, I laid down on a mat, and just… stayed.

I think the reason that live, group workouts at a studio are more effective than at-home video workouts is the peer pressure. We’re social creatures, susceptible to peer pressure, and when you have a teacher yelling at you and classmates working alongside you, it definitely gives you an extra boost of motivation.

To a point. I reached that point today. Once my back gave out, I decided to lay down for the rest of class. And I know everyone else in class saw me. But you know what? That’s okay! I’m sure I made them feel better. If my contribution to class is to set the bottom of the bell curve, so be it. I’m happy to play that role. I’m good at that role. Played it perfectly in law school, in fact. I have 3-5 years experience setting the bottom of the curve.

And man, back injuries are no joke. I almost named this post “brokeback bro” but I didn’t want to disappoint anyone who was looking for, uh, something not so related to barre.

Bunny says hi! I think the barrebro is going to stick to yoga for a week or two.

On the bright side, the barrebro threw a pretty baller korean bbq party for the tuck team this past weekend. 

Bring Your Betta Barre

We do some wacky events at tuck. We’ve done disco barre, pig yoga, and tomorrow night we’re doing “Bring your Bae to Barre. Why do I bring this up, other than shameless self-promotion and SEO?

Because Ann texted us at 10 FREAKING PM to tell us the dumbest story. We go to bed at 830pm. So, what was so important that Ann buzzed our phones 90 minutes into our REM cycles?

She was telling her friend about “Bring your bae to barre” and her friend, who is an enthusiastic owner of a betta fish, thought she said “Bring your betta barre” – as in a barre class. With fish. Okay, when she actually told us the story in person, it was kind of funny.

betta barre fish

Took another barreSHRED class this morning with Callie. It was pretty terrible. Exercises that I thought would consist of sets of 8 turned out to be sets of 20. The same voice that yells at me about laundry was yelling at me to do more pushups. I honestly had to tap out with about 10 minutes left in class because I was getting nauseous.

This is where I went wrong. I thought 2lb. weights would be safe. But every exercise we did, we did with both weights in one hand. Why are only the 1lb. weights pink? Are they trying to shame you into avoiding them? It worked today, but it won’t work again. Two of the pink, so your form don’t stink.

I’m grateful I didn’t throw up. Had i had anything other than iced coffee in my stomach, I would have had to mop after class. One unexpected benefit of barre – whatever muscle you use to hold in farts, barre definitely makes that  muscle stronger. I held back a chemical weapon in my bowels for the full 45 minutes of class.

Also, Bunny is the cutest dog ever.

Ann is short for Annihilate

ann lies

This is Ann. Her American Gladiator name is Annihilate. She looks like a sweetheart but her looks are a lie, just like everything that comes out of her mouth during barre class.

In fact, I’m quickly learning that barre class is mostly a series of lies. One lie after another. So many lies, you start questioning your reality. A good motto for a barre studio would be “Gaslight that ass tight”

Here are Ann’s top 5 lies from class today:

    1. You’ve got six more!
    2. Last two!
    3. 5 more minutes then we’re done!
    4. Other side and then we’re out!
    5. It’ll be fun!

Any reasonable interpretation of “Last two!” would indicate that there are two more whatevers before there are zero more whatevers. “Last call” doesn’t mean last call for drinks this hour, until we start serving more drinks next hour. But in barre class? “Last two” really means “last two of this really painful thing until we start another set of twelve of some other painful thing.”

carly help

We spent the first half of class in some variation of this position. Lots of weirdly modified pushups, tricep things, and leg things, all with this giant rubber band around your thighs. This class could have been called “thighs and lies” because it was us being forced to work our thighs while Ann lies to us about how many we have left.

socksBy the time we got to the bar, I was pretty toast. The motto on my socks, “be present” wasn’t really helping. If anything, I wanted to mentally check out while my body continues to follow directions. A better motto to put on a barre sock would be, “What’s for dinner tonight?”

ann flex

Ann’s new bio: She lies like 45 for 45 minutes. Also, class was totally like 48 minutes long today. One last lie. Not cool, bro.

First barreSHRED class…

I’ve taken barre before. Hell, I’ve even taken 75-minute barre. But barreSHRED? Nah. Why not? Because it’s supposed to be fucking hard! And this bro doesn’t like to try hard, at anything really. He’s more of a chill bro. And barreSHRED has no chill.

But his wife just wouldn’t stop nagging him about taking class. She’s always like, “Stop eating. Work out. Go for a run. Put that burrito down. If you’re gonna sit, sit on the spin bike. Don’t eat all 20 McNuggets,” and on, and on, and on, and on… just, so many words. Words all day. An all-you-can-listen buffet of words from the wife.

The all-out nagging assault had worn me down, and then our girl Cassie surprised us by showing up for class. Cassie’s one of our barre teachers, and she’s super chill. Especially about stretching. You should take her class just to see how she “teaches” stretching. Cassie’s all like, “I guess you can stretch like this if you want, or not, I don’t really stretch, so you can just do whatever.”

Cassie also loves dogs, especially our dog Bunny.

And then, SHE gets started with a whole bunch of, “Oh, are you taking barreSHRED? You should totes take class!”

Christ, alright already. I’ll take stupid barreSHRED. What. A. Mistake.

Class started out alright. We started doing these squatty side to side things that honestly felt pretty good. “Felt pretty good” didn’t last long, though. You know shit is not going well when the first time you look up at the clock, only seven minutes have gone by.

Much of the class is a blur, but I do remember some lowlights. There were some pushups, but not normal pushups, because Callie was all like “normal pushups are for girls. You guys are my basic barre betches.” And so she made us do pushups with one hand on the ground, and the other hand on a fucking foam roller. The instability was crazy. Imagine trying to do pushups with one hand on an alligator, on a waterbed, and you get the idea.

Still, as much as the class sucked, the mirrors kept me going. Because man, when you see 25 lbs. of weight gain that went straight to your cheeks staring back at you as you sweat profusely, that shit will motivate you. So I pushed, and pushed, and pushed some more.

Class was two days ago. The next morning was a shitshow. My abs were so shot (we didn’t even do abs!) I couldn’t sit up, so I had to roll over and off the side of the bed to get up. Then my glutes gave out. The underbutt was insanely sore. Why do people pay money to do this?

I can’t wait for my next barre class.