Living in rural Canada means it’s a little bit more challenging to get those specialty trainings and certifications as a fitness instructor than it is when living in a big city. Getting a certification for teaching a barre styled class just hasn’t been an option to me until now, thanks to the Online Barre Intensity Certification.
I’ve loved barre fitness ever since my trip to New York back in 2012 when I went to a Physique 57 class. In fact I attempted to have a barre class here a few years ago but I was clearly ahead of my time as nobody a) knew what barre was and b) I couldn’t get anyone to come to a class. Whomp, whomp. It’s been about four years since those days though, and barre has definitely become more mainstream and is a type of class I’ve continued to hold dear to my heart. A combination of pilates, dance and functional fitness means Barre Intensity classes are well-balanced, challenging and extremely alignment and form oriented – as well as fun. So when the opportunity was given to me to complete the online certification to review here on the blog I jumped at the chance!
After enrolling, you receive a beautiful full colour manual in the mail. Mine arrived within about a week. The nice thing about the manual is that it follows the flow of the online course so you aren’t flipping back and forth and all around trying to keep up. In fact, I found I was able to make all my notes right in the manual alongside the section I was learning about so all of my information and notes are in one place!
Once you have your manual in hand, you can log into the course site and start reviewing the material. The course is laid out in a way that makes it easy to follow and understand regardless of your experience as an instructor. If this is the first course you’ve ever taken, or just another of your collection of teaching certifications, you’ll find all you need to teach a safe, effective class in the videos and manual.
The online course is broken up into different sections, and each section is then broken down into the different components of that section. This way, you can complete a few videos each day without having to set aside a lot of time, and can work your way through the course at your own pace. Some days I spent an hour or two doing the course, other days I only spent 15 minutes. It is so nice to be able to still feel like you are making progress even if you only have a quarter of an hour to spare.
I’ve taken many online certifications and courses and without a doubt, this is the best one I’ve taken to date. I’ve never been sent a manual (and certainly didn’t expect such a beautiful full-colour one), and normally the video portions of the course are videos taken of a live course so the trainers are talking to a room full of people, and not you. The Barre Intensity videos were recorded specifically for this course. The trainers speak directly into the camera and when demoing videos are doing so at the angle that will best display the exercise to those at home that they are training.
Another reason I loved it so much is because it is presented by both Stephanie and Elyssa who both lend their voices to the training allowing trainees to hear two different voices and different ways to cue a step or sequence. This is important because everyone learns differently, and since they are both following the same principles and alignment rules, it can be really helpful to hear different ways in which each may cue the same exercise so you have lots of tools when you teach, and so you can understand the exercise as well as possible.
After completing the online course there is a written exam for you to complete, once successfully completed you will be a “Barre Intensity Trained” instructor, but not yet certified. To become certified it is suggested you spend at least 10 hours observing classes, 10 hours practice training and 10 hours practice teaching. Then, when you feel you are ready you can submit a video for your practical exam. That video is of you teaching a full length Barre Intensity Class to at least one participant. That video will be reviewed and if you meet all the requirements you will then become a Barre Intensity Certified Instructor.
Currently, I’m hanging out in the Barre Intensity Trained camp, but do plan to finish off the certification to (hopefully) become certified. Because only one of the places I teach has barres, I can only play around with them on Friday mornings, and would really like the chance to have more regular practice before attempting my practical exam so have been looking at maybe getting a short barre installed in our basement where we work out. I’ve used the back of a chair or table in the past at home and that works for many exercises, but it would be so helpful to have a “real” barre!
Because there are no Barre Intensity (or any barre) classes in my area, I’ll be completing my hours of observation and practice via Barre Now their online class portal which will allow me to take classes and observe right from home (even more reason to get that barre!). And they offer the first 7 days for free so if you want to try it to see what it’s like for free you can!
As for the practice teaching, I think I will eventually run a few free “practice” classes in Kentville once I’m getting closer to taking my exam, but just between you and me, my Wednesday evening Body Sculpt Class is largely a barre class. Because we have no barre’s it’ll never be a real barre class, but I use all the same exercises and most of the principles (except of course those referring strictly to barre exercises), and even my leg sections are modifications or versions of barre exercises that don’t use a barre. So while I’m not technically counting those as practice hours, they still sort of are…
I’m a trickster I know 😉
I hesitate to call myself an expert, but I have been teaching fitness as my main career for nearly ten years and along the way have collected a large collection of fitness certifications, licenses and trainings. Many in-person, and many online. I stand behind my assessment that this is the best online certification course I’ve taken. The website and videos are professionally done, very clear and informative, and provide excellent instruction. The manual is wonderful and follows the online training perfectly. They give you lots of practice videos right in the training, and also have lots of other videos you can watch/do via Barre Now, they share playlists and choreography ideas, and once trained you can join their private Facebook Group.
Anytime I had a question and emailed Stephanie I received a fast reply, so I wasn’t left hanging wondering what I should do, and I felt very much like both Stephanie and Elyssa “had my back” throughout the videos.
I’ve already recommended the training to a few people in a private Facebook group and have no hesitation saying that if you are looking for a Barre Fitness Certification this is a great one. Keep in mind they also offer live trainings for those who happen to be in an area where those are offered. While I haven’t experienced a live Barre Intensity training, I’m sure they are even better than the online version, as live normally is. 🙂
DIsclosure: I was provided with a complimentary enrollment in the online Barre Intensity Certification in order to facilitate this review, but please make no mistake – I honestly loved it. If I didn’t, I wouldn’t have already applied many of the principles to a non-barre class I teach!