I’m 16 days and 11 classes in to my 30 day Barrecore adventure and thought I’d give my honest opinions on the classes.
Barrecore is similar to the other barre-based classes in North America that promise to tone and lengthen your muscles using ballet & pilates-like exercises. It’s located on Kings Road in Chelsea in London. I am lucky enough to have an employer who contributes to external learning, so I figured I’d sign up for the 30-day challenge of unlimited Barrecore classes for £180. (on the not unlimited plan each class runs between £24-£28 depending on the package you buy – more on this later.)
(Standing pretzel: this may look relaxing but it HURTS SO MUCH)
Barrecore staff tell you that if you come 4 days a week you’ll see a 30% improvement over just coming 3 days a week, but upping that to 5 days a week only sees 5% more improvement. So, duh, 4 days a week sounded perfect. With a large selection of early morning and after work classes it’s never hard to find space in a class that suits my schedule. The 5am wake-ups take some getting used to, but are getting easier.
Now. The classes. They’re amazing. Hands down the best fitness classes I have taken. The instructors are incredibly talented at what they do and are clearly trained to a very high level. Every class I’ve been to the instructor does a great job demonstrating the move while keeping the pace of the class high, most aren’t incredibly cardio-centric but do keep your heart rate going. I also get major legging-envy everytime I’m there. It’s like they have an unlimited shopping budget at the coolest workout stores.
(“On to a high stiletto and pulse and tuck and squeeze and tuck and squeeze”…. I hear this in my sleep!)
Each barrecore class follows the same general pattern, and it’s a bit comforting to know what’s coming – but that said, my muscles and I have never been bored as within the sections you do many different styles of the exercises so while you may be expecting plie squats you’ll be hit with standing pretzl pulses. (ouch).
After the first class my body was exhausted. Thighs, bum and shoulders were just so sore. After the third class I started to get new pains that were clearly from my body trying to “cheat” and not hurt those already painful muscles. I really had to work hard in the next few classes to keep focused on doing the exercises the right way and not cheat. I don’t feel the classes get any easier over time. The moves are so small and controlled you don’t develop the muscle memory that usually makes exercise easier. Each thigh workout burns as much as the one before.
The instructors are also so good at giving you that bit of individual attention you need (but don’t necessarily want – higher? are you serious?) to correct your form during each exercise. Your flat back can always be flatter and your the back of your knee can always be stretched straighter. If I was arguing in favour of the high price of these classes this is where I’d say your value-for-money comes in as in other classes I’ve done the instructor is nowhere as tuned in to their clients as Barrecore.
(We’ve been offered a free breakfast from our instructor if we’re the first to ‘pop’ the barrecore ball with our inner thigh squeezes!)
I also love the way it complements my running. My legs and core feel much stronger and I’m not as sore after running anymore. Plus each class is like a massive stretch for my poor hamstrings and IT bands who never get any love on the pavement in London. Running also adds in that cardio element that the the regular Barrecore classes don’t focus on. I’ve even taken to running to class then barrecore-ing.
edit: Barrecore has recently introduced Barrecardio classes, I’ve signed up for one next week and am
scared out of my mind looking forward to seeing what they’re all about
So. Would I recommend it?
Yes – It lived up to the hype of every one of my friends who took it before. It’s such a good workout that challenges you to go outside your comfort zone and is lead by amazing instructors who know their stuff and will make sure you do to. It’s the basic quality over quantity rule here: Barrecore puts on high quality exercise classes. My arms have never looked more toned, I have an actual waist, my lovehandles have shrunk so fast, and first thing in the morning you can just see some 6 pack abs shadows!
Maybe not? (I can’t give an outright no) – Like I said above, I’m not paying for this month but if I was I don’t think I could justify it. Even with all the positives above (and I didn’t even go into how nice their studio is… heavenly) for a young professional like me, I don’t think I can spend that kind of money on exercise.
All that said, I’m not sure I’m Barrecore’s target market (who probably are in a position to spend that amount on exercise) but if you are Barrecore is totally worth it.
Summary: I’m obsessed with /addicted to Barrecore and need to find a way to finance it.