STUDIO COMPARE: Xtend Barre + barre3
If you’re in a large metro area, chances are that you’ve got a handful of local studios offering barre workouts. But how do you find the one that’s right for you? Today, I’m going to be comparing Xtend Barre and barre3, my two personal favorite barre studios in the DC metro area. Both provide a great workout and community, but offer something slightly different. (Note that my experience is primarily focused on the specific Xtend Barre Arlington and barre3 Clarendon locations so experiences may differ slightly depending on which location you frequent.)
Check out the comparisons below to see which studio might be a good fit for you if you’re deciding which one to try first. And, if you’re like me, know that you don’t have to choose and can hop easily between the two depending on what you’re looking for!
Both studios offer barre classes that focus on low-impact ballet-inspired workouts. The barre workouts have set sections that focus on key muscle groups — arms, glutes, legs, and abs — but the exercises within each section alternate with each class.
Xtend Barre focuses on infusing cardio with ballet-focused exercises to get you a full body workout. In Xtend Barre classes, you’ll have more opportunities to add cardio into your barre workout (think adding jumping and adding high to low level changes to get your heart rate up). As a result, you’ll leave class pretty sweaty if you’ve elected to kick it up with their cardio bursts. I’ve also found that you do more work at the actual barre and replicate more ballet-style movements in Xtend over barre3. Xtend Barre requires sticky socks for class.
barre3 focuses only on low-impact moves so you’ll do more longer, slower movements in barre3. You’ll also find that in the place of cardio like Xtend Barre, barre3 takes more inspiration from yoga and pilates, incorporating things like warrior poses and savanasa into the hour-long barre practice. Don’t read that as this format is less challenging though. Since you’re holding poses for a while, you’ll experience more muscle failure (read: shaking) in this class, in my experience. barre3 does not require sticky socks for class and, much like yoga and pilates, you’ll find most people barefoot for class.
Xtend Barre: In addition to their traditional 55-minute barre class, Xtend Barre offers an entire variety of classes. They offer Barrecamp (a 70-minute cardio-intensive barre class), Circuit 7 (a high-intensity interval training class), Xtend Stick (think barre with a pilates stick), Fit Ball (barre exercises on a stability ball), Xtend Dance, Yoga, Xtend Suspend (a TRX-based class), and an Xtend Sweat class (a 30-minute circuit/barre blast). For those considering a membership to one studio, I think Xtend Barre is a great option because of the variety of classes offered — you can meet all of your cross training needs with one studio!
barre3: barre3 only offers its signature one-hour barre class.
XtendBarre has teachers with great energy though they don’t offer as much hands on assistance and name recognition in comparison with barre3.
barre3 teachers do a wonderful job of welcoming you at the start of class. Before every class, they come around and check in with you to see how you are and if there are any circumstances/injuries they should know about. In this way, they do a great job of knowing everyone’s name and checking in with you throughout class. (If you like this level of attention like I do - FlyBarre also does this!) Additionally, because they are focused on precise movements, they are hands-on to make sure that your body is in proper alignment so that you can get the most out of the exercise and avoid injury.
Xtend Barre always has super-fun playlists that fit the tempo of the class. Depending on the instructor, you might get more current pop or some old school Michael Jackson. Either way, you’ll definitely know most of the songs on a playlist and can distract yourself through a hard chair exercise with a good song.
barre3 has more instrumental-focused music that keeps the beat of the class. The music can lure you into focus on the exercises, but you won’t necessarily find yourself pulsing to the latest Ariana Grande song.
Both studios offer clean spaces with cute retail options if you need new workout clothes or accessories. Both studios also have lovely bathroom spaces with showers and nice products for freshening up after class.
barre3 sets itself apart by offering Play Lounge/childcare for members for purchase at select studios, which is a great option for moms looking to sneak in a workout without having to go through hiring a babysitter.
Xtend Barre: Xtend Barre has partnered with OpenFit to offer classes for online streaming. New members can try free for 30 days and after that it’s $39 for three months (or $13/month).
barre3: barre3 has a robust online offering with tons of free classes. They have a 15-day free trial and after that it’s $29/month for a membership.
After all this, if you’re curious to try one of these studios — here are your location options!
XtendBarre has 14 national locations and a number of locations internationally (can I go check out Xtend Barre Australia as a post?!). In the DC area, they have locations in Arlington (Courthouse) and Old Town Alexandria.
barre3 is much more prevalent with 136 locations. In the DC area, they have locations in Navy Yard, Georgetown, Union Station, 14th St, Spring Valley, Bethesda, Old Town Alexandria, and Arlington (Clarendon).
The prices between the two studios are pretty comparable and, it’s worth noting, that because these studios are franchises, the prices may slightly differ from studio to studio.
Xtend Barre: The Xtend Arlington studio is slightly pricier than Old Town with one class for $28 versus $25. A 20 class pack is $425 at Arlington and $400 in Old Town.
barre3: barre3 DC classes are $29 per class and it’s $440 for 20 classes. AND - If you haven’t been yet, your first class at their newest studios in Clarendon and/or Navy Yard are free!
ALSO! Both studios are on ClassPass so you can check them out there. You can try them both for free with this $40 ClassPass credit for new members!
If you’re looking for an energetic barre class where you’ll leave sweaty, try Xtend Barre. If you’re looking for a barre class with hands-on assists and low-impact moves that will have you feeling the burn in muscles you didn’t know you had, then try barre3. There are benefits to both so I’d encourage you to try each and see what speaks to you!