When we were contacted by Barrecore and asked if we’d like to try a class to celebrate the brand new studio in Harrogate, I was actually really excited. I’m a typical slave to Instagram, and on the run up to the Victoria’s Secret fashion show I couldn’t help but notice that ballet inspired exercises were popping up on the Angels’ profiles, so I’d seen classes like Barrecore before. Plus, how hard could it be? I used to do ballet and I’m not horrifically unfit, although I do tend to stick to cardio.
If, like me, you have some romantic image of soft lighting, gentle pliés and raising your arms in perfect dancer form while sweet Tchaikovsky fills the room, think again. The studio has just opened in Harrogate, above the Sweaty Betty store on Station Parade, and is beautiful. The room has a ballet barre running around the walls, with floor to ceiling mirrors making it very easy to check your form -it also makes it a little too easy to see all your chins when you’re concentrating on a particularly tricky pose but I digress.
The class lasts an hour, including a warm-up and cool-down to minimise damage. The warm up itself was relatively painless, but enough to get my muscles working, and by the end I was ‘feeling the burn’. I stuck out like a sore thumb though when it became clear I’d never done a plank before, and took proud position of being the first class member whose form had to be corrected by instructor Elishea. I’d have been embarrassed if my brain could register anything other than pain.
Moving to the barre, the hardcore, burning, thigh shaking workout began. With this class focusing on the seat area, promising to tone up and lift the bum and target the thigh muscles, expect a lot of squat type moves. The (evil) genius of Barrecore is that it focuses on tiny movements in poses targeting the different areas, so less strain is put on the joint, and muscle work is maximised. It is painful, and I was assured it’s perfectly acceptable to hate your instructor briefly, but persevere and you’re rewarded with a great sense of achievement.
I was pretty rubbish at Barrecore. Our springy instructor advised us to hold for just a little longer when we thought we couldn’t, to really work those muscles, as your thighs quiver like jelly. This isn’t wrong, and in fact the shaking is encouraged as it shows that you’re doing the pose right and really targeting the muscles. By the end of the workout it was very clear that my legs were no longer obeying me, and like ‘Bambi on ice’ is the best way to describe the walk back to the car. ‘You’ll hurt tomorrow!’ I was reassured chirpily by the Sweaty Betty sales assistant on the way out. Don’t worry love, I hurt today.
Ranging from £15-£18 per class, or £149 for unlimited classes over a month, I unfortunately can’t budget for the class regularly alongside my own gym membership. It’s a deceptively intense workout and I’ll be trying to add some of the moves into my fitness routine – maybe for a slightly shorter period of time than in the class! For fitness, and in particular, strength training addicts, I’d say Barrecore is a great workout to add to your routine in order to add a bit of variety and really feel a full body workout. I do feel a certain smugness in my achy muscles this morning, so who knows, maybe there’s a barre-babe waiting to break free after all?
Have you tried Barrecore? Can you give me any tips for next time?