Unlike many other streaming sites, Openfit did not offer anything special when shelter in place became a thing. I was pretty disappointed because of all the streaming sites out there, I was most interested in sampling Openfit due to its Xtend Barre workouts. All it offered was its normal 14 day free trial. I almost didn’t bother because other sites were offering extended free trials to people due to the pandemic. But I changed my mind. However, once I signed up they added an additional week on, so I actually received a 3 week free trial.
Xtend Barre: Lean & Chiseled is my all time favorite barre workout. Andrea Rogers is the trainer of that amazing DVD workout. After discovering Xtend Barre: Lean & Chiseled, I was very disappointed to learn that there were no more Xtend Barre DVDs available. Back then, I wasn’t ready to start streaming like I am now. I’ll stream anything now. Openfit has 4 different Xtend Barre programs, all led by Andrea, totaling 54 workouts! That’s at my last count–every time I try to count them I discover more workouts, so there very well may be more than 54.
Like my Mini Burn review, I will not be breaking down each workout. I don’t have the time, plus I am doing approx. 6-8 Xtend Barre workouts a week, in addition to the other workouts that I am doing detailed reviews on. But I will give a summary and overview of what is contained in the Xtend Barre programs.
Here is a video trailer for the Xtend Barre workouts on Openfit. An Xtend Barre workout, in my experience (based on the DVD workout and the 29 OpenFit Xtend Barre workouts I have now done) is based on the barre concept but Andrea creates fast-paced barre and pilates fusion moves (she calls them flows) that not only completely burn out whatever muscle group you are working but they also elevate the heart rate so you are burning fat while toning your muscles. They are all high rep workouts. There are also plyometric moves in some of the workouts but Andrea always builds to the most advanced version of a move so you can remain with the version just before she adds the jump to keep your workout low impact. And trust me, low impact (which the majority of the workouts are anyway) does not mean low intensity. Also, just because there are multiple “programs” in OpenFit doesn’t mean you have to follow a program. You can do any workout you want in any order you want. They create the programs to help hold you accountable and to give you pre-made rotations. It takes the thinking out of it. Just open the app and hit play. I did not follow any of the rotations since my plan was to do as many Xtend Barre workouts as I could during the free trial.
Xtend Barre contains 39 thirty minute workouts, eight 15 minute express workouts and one 9 minute stretch. Of the 39 minute workouts, 9 of those are total body Signature workouts, 3 are cardio workouts, 2 are flexibility and balance workouts, 2 more are total body workouts titled Ballet Sculpt, 3 pilates workouts, 6 upper body workouts, 6 lower body workouts (3 for legs and 3 that focus on the glutes) and 2 core workouts. And each of the afore mentioned type of workout workout has one unique 15 minute express workout. There’s more! Three 30 minute Cardio Fusion workouts, three 30 minute Abs & Booty workouts, three 30 minute mat based pilates workouts and one 9 minute stretch workout. That’s 54 Xtend Barre workouts led by Andrea! What a treasure trove! (And as an aside, OpenFit has more programs than Xtend Barre–so there is a lot more than just Xtend Barre at your disposal.)
The equipment needed for these workouts is a barre or chair, a fitness loop (booty band), light dumbbells, a pilates ball, sliding disks and a fitness mat. The majority of the workouts do not have music but OpenFit has created playlists you can access through Spotify. Many of the workouts have their own playlist but not all. However, all of the Xtend Barre playlists are pretty interchangeable. I thought they were all good playlists that matched the workouts well. My husband even discovered a few songs he downloaded after hearing the playlists while I was working out.
Obviously there is no way I can do 54 workouts in 3 weeks. But I planned to try to do as many as possible of the ones that interested me the most. I started with the Signature total body workouts and the cardio workouts. And OMG. So much tougher than I remember the Xtend Barre DVD being. BTW–the DVD workout appears to be based on the Signature workouts. Do not let the fact that there are separate “cardio” workouts make you think the other workouts do not elevate your heart rate. The Signature total body workouts are frequently as metabolic as the “cardio” workouts. In addition, do not let the title “cardio” mislead you into thinking the purpose of these workouts is merely to elevate your heart rate. Nope, you will get strength work in the cardio workouts as well. When I did these workouts for my morning workout, I always did enough workouts to equal an hour. So two 30 minute workouts done back to back, or one 30 minute workout plus two 15 minute workouts done back to back. And I am literally worn out at the end of the hour. I get a great calorie burn (some of the workouts are bigger calorie burns than others but they are all metabolic), my muscles are burned out, I am sweaty and I am sore the next day. Or at least I was in the beginning. After more than a week of these workouts the DOMS stopped. Sometimes I even felt physically drained for hours afterward (again, in the beginning, within a week or so my endurance built). These are intense and advanced workouts!
Each workout in a series becomes more challenging/advanced (Signature 1 is easier than Signature 3 and Signature 3 is easier than Signature 6, etc; but I did not find any of these workouts (except the stretches) easy). On that note, Andrea always gives modifications. You can do the exercises without hand weights. She always shows low impact versions of any exercise that has impact, and she always encourages you to rest briefly if you are experiencing burn out. And I did experience burn out many times though I did always try to complete every rep. I also did these workouts as doubles/bonus workouts–another workout in the afternoon. In those instances I just did one 30 minute workout, which didn’t drain me as much as doing a solid hour of Xtend Barre.
I really like Andrea. She is cute, tiny and full of energy and enthusiasm. She demonstrates every exercise but she is also frequently in trainer mode. However, unlike some trainers who operate in trainer mode, she is actively correcting form in the background exercisers. I really like that. It’s great when trainers give form pointers using the background exercisers to illustrate but I think it teaches us even more when we see someone correcting improper form. She does that frequently.
As already mentioned, the Signature workouts are total body metabolic strength workouts. These workouts really showcase her barre/pilates fusion moves. You use the barre or chair, light hand weights and a resistance loop. The Balance & Flexibility workouts are deep and intense stretching. You use the barre or chair, resistance loop and a mat for these sessions. Andrea warms you up with dynamic stretching then ends with deep and sometimes uncomfortable stretches. The Sculpt & Define workouts focus on upper body though Andrea will also work the lower body to raise your heart rate. Impossible to use heavy weights on these. The heaviest I used was 3 pounds and several times I had to drop them and go to 1 pound hand weights. Since these are all high rep exercises you will feel the burn even with very light hand weights. The Booty workouts are obvious–they are going to hit your glutes hard. And just like the majority of these Extend Barre workouts there is a big cardio factor. So your heart is pumping and your booty is burning. You use the barre/chair and resistance loops. The Cardio Fusion workouts are very metabolic. Body weight strength work done to a brisk pace. She uses sliding disks for these to imitate a reformer. I have never done true pilates with the reformer so I have no idea how well this mimics that but I did feel the burn! You use a resistance loop for Cardio Fusion 3. The Legs workouts are brutal. You use the barre/chair, a resistance loop and a pilates ball. I wore a resistance loop around my thighs and my legs were burning! Ballet Sculpt is similar to the Signature classes with maybe more graceful moves. They were fast paced with a cardio factor, just like all the others, but not as intense cardio-wise as the Signature workouts. But you work just as hard! There were even planks–not sure what planks have to do with ballet, but they are included. You use the barre/chair and light hand weights. The 9 minute stretch is the gentlest of all the workouts and a nice way to finish off some of the more brutal workouts.
After 3 weeks, will I be subscribing to OpenFit? I think so. I still think Xtend Barre workouts are the best barre workouts out there for me. Maybe not for other people but I personally love them. They give me the barre experience while still delivering what I am looking for when I workout. I also really like the length of these workouts. I probably will not continue to do them in hour long sessions but I love these workouts so much that I want to continue doing them. Both as doubles workouts and combining them with another type of workout (rebounder! My new obsession) for my hour long morning workout. I will not be subscribing immediately tho. I have a line up of other workouts (and free trial periods to other streaming sites) I want to do first but when I do become a paying subscriber, I will begin to update this post with more detailed reviews of each workout I do. They still will not be as detailed as what I normally do but I will discuss each workout individually.
During my 3 week trial, here are the 29 Xtend Barre workouts I was able to do:
Booty 1-3 + Express
Legs 1-3 + Express
Flexibility & Balance 1 & 2 + Express
9 minute stretch
Sculpt & Define 1 & 2
Cardio 1-3 + Express
Cardio Fusion 1-3
Ballet Sculpt 1 & 2