The #MiniMondayReview is a bite-sized, emoji-based class review featured on Instagram every week.
On the Detox|Retox blog there's a bit more room to give you the low down on the who/what/wear too.
This week = Barrecore: a low impact, full body interval training class using isometric exercises alternated with stretching, both on the floor and at the ballet barre.
The Barrecore crew are a feminine but fierce bunch (I have never seen a man in the studio) with great posture and thighs of steel, ranging in ages from late teens to early sixties.
Class-goers often include trained dancers, which says a lot about the quality of the teaching and is both inspiring and terrifying for those standing next to them at the barre.
A 60-minute combination of fat-burning moves like the 'Twisted Pretzel' and static stretches designed to exhaust all muscle groups to give you a longer, leaner shape, whatever your fitness level.
It definitely ISN'T a dance class. It definitely IS an incredibly tough workout with little let-up that you will feel for DAYS afterwards.
Expect small, controlled moves with high repetition: LOTS of squats (while standing on your toes), controlled glute work and every type of plank.
Barrecore claims to reshape your body, and I can confirm that it certainly did reshape my bottom ('lifted seat' being the technical ballet term) which, after going to class a couple of times a week for a month, was described by Mr Detox|Retox as 'peachy' for the first time, like, ever.
- Sweaty Betty everything
- Sticky socks with grip: no socks, no class (they sell them at the studio for emergencies)
- A medium-impact sports bra: the warm-up involves a bit of jumping around
- Leggings and a fitted top: you're likely to be upside down for a few moves
FITNESS LEVEL? 3/5
Classes have a small cardio section but mostly comprise of seriously tough static moves and stretching. Beginners welcome, but be warned, this will BURN.
WILL YOU SWEAT? 2/5
Not really, unless you are a total fitness newbie, but you will definitely glow. A quick spritz in the changing rooms after class and you're good to head back to the office.
STUDIO STYLE? 4/5
Simple but smart, in keeping with the pristine class crowd. The Chiswick location is a favourite as it features lots of lovely daylight. Shower facilities could be better but aren't usually too busy.
Standard studio club mix, not particularly good or bad, but does the trick.
FRIENDLY OR FIERCE? 50/50
Teachers are welcoming but just strict enough once the class starts (and the mirrored walls mean they see everything).
First class £20 (then £28 after). A monthly unlimited pass is £250 (just under £16/class if you visit four times per week)
Studios in Chelsea, Chiswick, Hampstead, Kensington, Mayfair, Wimbledon and Alderley Edge.