Like personal style, I feel one’s exercise regimen becomes more refined and competent over time. I reflect on my early fitness game in the same way I recall my make-up/styling from 2009. Clip in hair extensions and Rimmel Soleil Bronzer are about as shudder-some as my 45 minute cross trainer sessions of the same epoch…and don’t even get me started on the concealer lip…I’m going to go right ahead and affiliate that with the ‘Hot Pant Work Out’ DVD of lower sixth.
Cardio – AKA the Von Dutch trucker cap you bought in 2004.
I think it was around the 2011 mark where I made friends with Squat and Lunge before finally making the acquaintance of Bench and Press in 2012. These unions are a life long commitment to my physical and (relative) mental stability to which I’m forever obliged. Despite my loyalty to lifting, my slutty side really wanted me to try something new, and that something was Barrecore – the ballet inspired workout that has CHANGED MY DERRIERE AND ALSO MY LIFE – Yep, consider those shouty capitals air lasso’s of glory, Barrecore is incredible.
Image via Get The Gloss
The Down Low
Developed by Nikki Rein, a master body sculptor who previously worked alongside Tracey Anderson (of the Gwyneth Paltrow body), Barrecore was born in 2011 to create long, lean feminine bodies in record time.
As someone with 20 years of ballet lessons under my belt, I did wonder how challenging I could really find it. My arrogance was swiftly quelled after a 5-minute planking combination (a warm up apparently) left me puce in the face and grunting like a troll. After a brief, albeit super-challenging arm series using light dumbbells, we were asked to take our positions at the bar. I was prepared to get showy and demonstrate my finest demi-plié though I was instead instructed to squeeze a small ball between my thighs whilst squatting in a seated position. Tiny, burny, HELLISH movements followed as we went through a series of tiny, intense exercises squeezing balls, lifting bottoms and tucking pelvises. This is all done with the feet in a ‘kitten heel’ stance before finally taking it up to an optional and more challenging ‘high heel’.
Though not appalling in a cardiovascular way, you will never feel like this in ANY other workout. I was oooooffff-ing and urrrrgh-ing in ways that were anything but ballerina-esque. In other words, this isn’t pretty and it certainly isn’t elegant – no one even looks around to seek the knowing ‘OMG’ gazes of their fellow classmates – they’re all too busy fighting back tears too.
image via Get The Gloss
A much needed leg stretch combo comes before the ‘seat’ work can begin – more calorie obliterating, mini-movements that require perfect form to execute properly. You do NOT do anything with a curved ‘lumber’ spine or an unengaged core – the movements are intense and vary between stretching, pulsing, lifting and bending style actions, all designed to shave down saddlebags and annihilate banana rolls (it’s an actual term – I googled it!).
Respite eventually comes when the lights turn off and the music slows down. Abs are up, but you best believe the mood lighting doesn’t mean it’s time to chill. This is 8 minutes of shake-inducing, pilates inspired core work and it definitely isn’t easy. As with all the exercises, there are variations for all levels of fitness and strength.
The Post Mortem
The class is over before I’ve really had time to acknowledge how much I’ve suffered and I’m feeling pretty exultant. It’s the perfect class to take during your lunch break because you won’t really break a sweat…a light bead perhaps and the six venues provide anything and everything you’ll need to freshen up afterwards. I’ve taken about 10 classes to date, but even after 3, I’ve achieved something resembling tone in my bottom – my ‘problem area’ and previously assumed lost cause.
What to wear?
I’m a huge fan of fat-shaming myself in classes– wearing the most unflattering thing possible to make you work harder. Think Addidas three stripe leggings and high neck baggy t-shirts. It sounds psycho (remember I said ‘relative’ mental stability above) but that’s just my chosen method of rolling. Most wear leggings, t-shirts and socks.
image via Barrecore
Anyone! I love this class because it’s an incredible mix of people from models to mums, girls in their teens and women in their 60’s. It’s as hard as you want to make it and it does get marginally easier each time.
All the trainers are outstanding but I love Rod, Suze and Charlotte Rose. I heard Rod trains Jourdan Dunn ( …in Japan…).
Good bums are just the beginning. Barrecore is a FULL BODY WORKOUT that’s ADDICTIVE with results that are FAST! I have never felt in such good nick and countless other journalists and models will testify the same. This is beginning to look like an advert for Raspberry Ketone Slimming Tablets so I’ll leave you with this:
Barrecore – Where change happens – Expect it.
(Another post, another unforgivable bikini selfie)
P.S – All venues offer some killer snacks. Stand outs are Naked Ape Biltong, Keen almond butter with vanilla and Primal Paleo Bars. Men shouldn’t be put off by the ballet vibes, this is a gender neutral space. 🙂