I wanted to love this program. As someone who spent their entire childhood in dance classes and ballet, and danced in a children’s ballet company, I really really wanted to love this program. I was excited to try it because I had heard so many great things about it from other people. And, across social media, everyone seemed to be in love with the creator of the program Elise Joan, calling her a ray of sunshine.
A Serious Workout
I powered through and completed the entire 8-week Barre Blend program and without a doubt, I can confirm that regardless of your fitness level, every workout will challenge you, have your muscles burning, and get the sweat pouring down your face.
Barre Blend is low-impact. You’re not jumping around or huffing and puffing through crazy cardio. In fact. at times, you’re not even moving very much at all. But before you know it, your muscles are on fire and sweat is dripping into your eyeballs.
“Barre Blend is a low-impact program with high-impact results. It’s not only effective, but it’s safe to do every day. It strengthens and tones the body while helping to prevent injuries and improve stability, mobility, and flexibility.”
— Elise Joan
When the program began, I saw the recommended weights were 1-2 pounds and my eyebrow raised with skepticism. I wondered, “How on Earth would I get a great workout with such lightweights?” I grabbed 5 pound weights the first time and almost died. I dropped to 2 pound weights and even then, at times, I dropped those and went to body weight only!
I couldn’t believe it.
When I shared my experience with the fitness community I’m part of, several others (all in better shape than me) said they experienced the same thing. The Barre Blend fitness program is no joke. It works your entire body and pushes your muscles to their limits, often in very small, tiny movements.
But I didn’t love Barre Blend… and before I explain why, you might be wondering…
What Is Barre Blend?
Barre Blend helps create a lean, toned physique through a fusion of ballet barre, Pilates, and cardio interval training. It also includes elements of dance, yoga, and strength training. The program focuses on high reps of small movements, compound exercises, core work, dynamic stretching, and isometric holds so you’ll feel the burn as you build core strength, increase flexibility, and improve balance all so you can feel graceful, strong, and gorgeous in just 60 days.
Barre Blend is an 8-week Beachbody fitness program with 40 unique workouts — 5 workouts and 2 rest days per week.
The program was created by Elise Joan, a former professional dancer who has taught barre-based fitness and yoga for over a decade. She’s an inspirational mind/body professional with multiple fitness certifications, and is the co-creator of the Beachbody program 3 Week Yoga Retreat. She has been a wellness expert and host with Lifetime Television, ABC News, E!, Extra, CBS News, and Amazon.com, among others.
The Barre Blend Workouts
Barre Blend was filmed in real-time. So while you’ll do the same five core workouts each week, Elise changes things up every week so every workout is different. The program is split into 4 phases, each 2 weeks long. In Phase 1 and Phase 2, the workouts are ~30 minutes long. They get harder, faster, and longer in Phase 3; and even harder, faster, and longer in Phase 4.
The core Barre Blend workouts are:
- Classic Full Body Blend
- Booty Blend
- Cardio Blend
- Core Blend
- Lean Legs Blend
In addition to the core 40 workouts, there are other workouts available too, including:
- 4 Barre Basics training videos
- 2 20-minute prep workouts — Full Body Blend, and Cardio Blend
- 14 10-minute enhancements that focus on a specific part of the body like booty, upper body, lower body, core, and cardio
- 4 Recovery workouts to stretch, relax, and increase mobility
Daily Motivation Cards And Meditations:
At the start of every workout, Elise chooses a Daily Motivation Card from the “I AM” card deck and it becomes a theme for the messaging throughout the workout. Each “I AM” Daily Motivation Card has a word of affirmation and an uplifting, motivating word and phrase such as:
- I am fearless — I dive into life with boldness and freedom.
- I am powerful — My thoughts, feelings, and actions create my future.
- I am focused — I devote my energy to what truly matters.
- I am committed — I understand the value of hard work and pursue my goals relentlessly.
- I am adaptable — I accept changes and can adjust to any situation.
If you’re into affirmations and meditation, the Barre Blend program also includes a collection 4-minute meditations that pair with every card in the “I AM” deck.
A Few Things To Note About Barre Blend
The workout lengths are not accurate. Nearly every video for Barre Blend is 1-6 minutes longer than listed. It may not seem like a big deal, but when trying to squeeze a workout into your day in a set amount of time, it’s frustrating.
There are no breaks. Once a workout begins, you keep moving and working until the very last minute.
There’s a modifier and an intensifier. Barre Blend is labeled on the Beachbody site as an intermediate program, but don’t let that dissuade you from trying the program.
- There’s a consistent modifier up front, who is with you for every workout and every move.
- Cast members also take turns as an intensifier, demonstrating advanced versions of the moves so you can level up if you want a way to push yourself further.
Do You Need Dance Experience?
You don’t need dance training, ballet experience, or Barre experience to do Barre Blend.
There is no complicated choreography, just low-impact, easy-to-follow moves, so you’ll be able to follow along no problem. I do have one word of warning though… Even with my ballet and dance background, I often felt awkward throughout these workouts.
Elise and her cast of professional dancers and yoga instructors (and a couple of “everyday” cast members mixed in) are incredibly strong and graceful, making the moves look easy and beautiful. I definitely wasn’t graceful and I didn’t make anything look easy or beautiful!
I was never so glad my workout space has no mirrors than the on the days I did Barre Blend workouts!
The Equipment Needed
I didn’t buy “Early Access” for Barre Blend because I was in the middle of other programs. Instead, I waited until it was released in the Beachbody On Demand library, which I already paid for. Win!
The Barre Blend website states that you need the following equipment:
- 1-5 lb. dumbbells
- A sturdy chair or ballet barre
- Resistance loops
- A yoga mat
- Optional: Beachbody Barre Socks
Here’s the truth:
- You’ll get a great workout with Barre Blend using body weight only and no dumbbells — and if you wanted to, you can grab some canned food from your pantry. I’m not kidding when I say even 1-2 pound weights will kill you in the program.
- You don’t need a ballet barre or special barre socks. I used a kitchen chair and worked out barefoot and I was just fine.
- The resistance loops are used to make some of the moves harder, so they’re not a must-have. If you want to use them, these resistance bands on Amazon are awesome.
- What I do think is an absolute must is a good fitness mat. I use this cushy, 1″ thick fitness mat that I snagged on Amazon and I love it!
Where I Struggled With Barre Blend
Clearly, Barre Blend is a killer workout program that requires almost no equipment. At the same time, there were things I definitely didn’t like about this program.
An Overdose Of Positivity
Where I struggled the most with this program is the non-stop talking and the over-the-top, borderline sickeningly sweet positivity that sometimes sounded a little like an adult talking baby-talk. Even my kids, when they overheard Elise talking, commented on how it was “too much and a little gross.”
- I don’t need to be told to smile repeatedly when I’m working out.
- I’m not huge of forcing daily affirmations into empowerment messages during my workout.
- When I’m stretching up toward the ceiling, I’m not reaching out and grabbing onto my dreams.
- I wanted to puke when I heard things like, “I’m going to grab my friend the towel to dab off some of my sparkle.”
Often I found myself just wishing that she would stop talking and let me work out.
Honestly, I found the program so much more enjoyable when I put Elise on mute and turned up some motivating music. Some people I shared my feelings with laughed and agreed — they all did the program on mute too, which made me feel better! Others, couldn’t believe her positivity didn’t resonate with me.
This is partly why I like Beachbody On Demand. There is a program for everyone. You can try different things and see what works for you.
I experienced one other weird thing in this program that I haven’t experienced with other Beachbody programs — except the Yoga workouts in the 21 Day Fix programs — the workouts dragged on and seemed to last forever.
- Focus T25: Workouts were done fast.
- 10 Rounds: Workouts were done in the blink of an eye.
- 21 Day Fix Real-Time + 21 Days Fix Extreme Real-Time: Workout length felt good but the Yoga Fix days felt repetitive and seemed to last forever.
- MBF + MBFA: Workouts were done fast.
- LIIFT4: Workouts were done fast.
The Barre Blend workouts, on the other hand, felt like they were never going to end. I often found myself checking to see how much longer I had to keep going, and because of that, I also didn’t look forward to working out as much as I did when following other programs. As someone who has danced for much of her life, this was super disappointing.
The only way I got through this program and completed it was by filling in the rest days of other programs with the Barre Blend workouts. With that approach, I got Elise in small doses only and it worked. It also meant, however, that it took me a long time to finish this program.
Should You Try Barre Blend?
The question isn’t whether or not to try Barre Blend.
If you’re looking for a killer, sweat-inducing, low-impact workout, look no further. You owe it to yourself to try Barre Blend. During this program, my strength, mobility, and flexibility all improved and I sweated my butt off. I’m glad I did the program.
The better question to ask is whether or not you’ll do the program on mute.
The non-stop talking and over-the-topness of the program messaging wasn’t a fit for me, but it may be exactly what you need. I say try the program and see what you think! If you’re like me, see it through on mute. If you’re like those across social media that love the inspiration the program delivers, you’ll be thrilled to have found Elise Joan and Barre Blend!
You can get started and see results with nothing more than the Beachbody On Demand (BOD) subscription that gets you access to a huge variety of Beachbody programs — including Barre Blend — for far less than a gym membership. Or, if you’re curious about Shakeology, what program would be best to get started with, how the nutrition programs work, or anything else, I’m happy to have a quick chat or answer questions with zero pressure, zeros sales pitch, and no obligations — I just do this for fun!