What it is: TRX Barre, an intense full-body workout that combines TRX suspension training exercises and ballet barre techniques to improve endurance and work big and small muscle groups.

What’s new: TRX, which was designed by the military, hit the fitness scene a few years ago. Studio ME’s innovative TRX Barre class incorporates ballet barre moves such as toe lifts and plies to elongate and strengthen muscles. You won’t be in the same pose or exercise for long, and you definitely won’t get bored.

Trial run: I had no idea what to expect, but the instructor warmly welcomed me to the class and showed me how to adjust the seatbelt-like TRX straps hanging from the ceiling. After a brief lesson on modifying movements to fit our fitness levels, the 12-person class began with a few minutes of intense cardio that left me gasping for air. As promised, the class was designed to work us to our limits. I did squats, toe lifts, plies, biceps curls, crunches and more with the aid of my TRX. The 45-minute class flew by, and my whole body felt like it was made of Jell-O by the end.

Whom it’s for: People who aren’t complete newbies to fitness and are looking for new endurance and strength challenges.

Whom it’s not for: People with shoulder sensitivity or injuries. There’s room for modification in most moves, but it still could aggravate injuries.

Do: Arrive early and tell the instructor if it is your first TRX class. He or she will show you how the straps work and how to modify exercises before the class starts, which will save you pain and embarrassment later.

Don’t: Forget to listen to your body. TRX Barre is meant to challenge you, but that doesn’t mean you have to end up collapsed on the floor. I consider myself to be pretty fit, but I had to step out of some exercises early and felt absolutely no shame or judgment. Everyone goes at his or her own pace.

Cost: There are several package options; single classes are $25.

Would I do it again? Absolutely. I was pleasantly surprised by how quickly I caught on and how supportive the instructor was. I felt like I really accomplished something.

Location: Studio ME, 219 SE. Main St., Suite 115, Mpls. 612-656-9306, ­studiomefitness.com.


Madison Bloomquist is a University of Minnesota student on assignment for the Star Tribune.