Last Thursday I was invited down to the BarrecoreBRISTOL launch event. Barrecore is the UK's leading ballet fitness brand and the beautiful new Bristol studio was the perfect place to try out this interesting new way of working out.
I love keeping fit and, whilst I dance, run, and enjoy yoga and pilates, I was really excited to try out Barrecore. Focusing on low impact, full body interval training, using isometric exercises paired with stretching, Barrecore aims to deliver the coveted 'barre body,' a long, lean, toned physique.
Located in the newly opened EF Medispa on Whiteladies Road, the Barrecore studio is carpeted (you're given special socks to wear when you enter the studio) light, airy and spacious. It accommodates 12 people per class, so despite the aerobic nature of a lot of the exercises, the instructor, Gemma, was able to get around to each individual to make sure that posture is correct and the exercises are being carried out to their full potential. High reps to tire the muscles are blended with stretches to lengthen and the pace of the class is therefore very intense, but still enjoyable. I couldn't believe how quickly the time passed!
Starting with a ten minute warm up, weights were used to fatigue the muscles and get the heart rate up before moving to the barre for more intensive work. Using the ball, we worked all of the major muscle groups before stretching once again and hitting the floor for abdominal work, with planks and more stretches in between. The class is all about feeling 'the shake' and fatiguing the muscles using multiple reps to the point where your legs, arms, and eventually entire body feels like jelly. It was a challenging but satisfying workout, and even though it was around an hour in length, I really felt that every muscle group had been worked hard.
I've taken part in circuit and HIIT style classes before but this was a different way of working out. I really liked the intensity interspersed with deep stretches to really lean and lengthen the muscles, toes were active throughout maintaining the stetch in the legs all the way through the class, and a lot of the squat and seat exercises were done up on the toes to tire the muscles further. Gemma was really careful to ensure that there were modifications to each move which made sure that whatever your level of fitness, you were able to take part in some way, which was excellent.
I loved the class, and the studio itself was such a beautiful environment to work out in. It was definitely 'different' to take part in an exercise class in socks, and on a carpet, too, but in a lot of ways this was really quite nice as it negated that impact that can be felt from higher intensity classes. At the end of the class I was very hot and sweaty and definitely felt that I had worked hard!
Have you ever tried barrecore? The Bristol studio is worth a visit, the staff are so friendly and the class itself (though challenging!) was actually very enjoyable. I took the barreMIXED class, which is the signature class on offer, but there will also be others to come, including barreFOUNDATIONS, for newbies, barreSCULPT which uses resistance bands to increase intensity, barreASANA, a more yoga inspired class, and HIITcore, which is a mix of barre moves and high intensity interval training. I would highly recommend it, and you can find out more about the classes on offer and studio times on the barrecore website.
This post is not sponsored, I was invited to attend the class for free for review but all opinions are my own.