A good friend of mine became a Dailey Method instructor last year. I went to the grand opening free class last summer and really enjoyed myself but was pretty involved in P90x and had just started triathlon training at the time. I attended a few other free class events over the last year and was always sore the next day(a sign of workout success in my eyes), but as you know, I’ve been quite busy with the goal of crossing 140.6 miles in one day.
Last week I attended another free class and halfway through I knew I wanted to buy a package. With all this Ironman madness, I have basically ignored strength training. Even though I was fairly good at getting at least one core (i.e. Ab Ripper) workouts in a week and did yoga about every 3 out of 4 weeks, I really wasn’t doing it enough to build muscle. It was more like I was in maintenance mode. After I finished P90X last April, my legs, core and glutes were super strong and I really think that it helped improve my running. I want that back!
Although my eyes are now set on qualifying for Boston, I am still kind of in transition mode after the Ironman. I’m not quite ready to follow a strict running regime and I’ve been longing to get back into group fitness classes (prior to discovering running I went to group fit classes at the gym about 4-5 times a week!). I also think it will be extremely beneficial for me to focus on strengthening my core, glutes and legs before setting out on a super intense running program. Another added bonus is that I can workout with my co-worker & good friend who introduced me to The Dailey Method (TDM for short) AND we can carpool! It’s pretty hard to skip a workout and sleep in when you know someone is expecting a ride to work so it’s extra motivation to have her as a workout buddy.
About Dailey Method
According to their website,
“The Dailey Method® is a unique combination of ballet barre work, core conditioning, muscle strengthening, yoga, and orthopedic exercises.
This challenging one-hour class effectively strengthens, tones and lengthens the entire body. All movement is controlled and very focused, effective, and safe. Proper alignment is our primary focus. Then each set of exercises is followed by a series of active stretches to develop more sculpted and supple muscles. The entire body and mind is constantly working throughout class. Through this process ones body, posture, and physical awareness will be transformed.”
The class follows a general pattern, beginning with a marching warm-up, continuing into plank and core work, moving on to upper body lifting (with light weights), continuing to thigh work (usually on the bar), then seat work (floor or bar), then finishes with more core. In between there is a lot of stretching. Although the pattern never changes, the moves are always different and in my experience, no class is ever the same. Dailey Method is extremely effective because all segments involve flexing the muscle for the entire workout. Since the muscle never gets rest, you can get double the results in the same amount of time.
Because of the constant working of the muscle, I have yet to get through any 4 minute segment without requiring a break (or many). The moves are extremely challenging and often not only target one muscle group but also work the entire body. The core seems to always be engaged and posture is extremely important. I also find group workout classes motivating in general because I tend to work harder knowing others are possibly watching. One day I hope to get through thigh work (by far the hardest) without stopping!
So for the next month I’ll be doing it Dailey, but really just 3 times a week (Dailey is the name of the woman who founded TDM). Once my one month membership has expired, I plan to purchase a 10 pack and incorporate 1 class/week into my marathon training schedule.
Do you do any type of barre class? Why do you like it?