THE BLOG

Day 72: Barre Fit

19/03/2014 11:40 GMT | Updated 18/05/2014 10:59 BST

We've tried (yes, we're all in this together) a couple ballet barre type classes at various places (Day 47Barrecore, Day 58 Xtendbarre) but they're all the rage now so when trusty My Fitness Boutique started barre classes, it seemed only right to try it. And it followed on perfectly from a Thai boxing (the future Day 79 Thai Boxing) class so I could make it a double whammy of cardio burst followed by some toning and elogation (as an aside, I'm thinking of trying a splits-in-80-days challenge - s.o. s.o. tired of being so inflexible).

A great idea in theory but sadly in practice, not ideal. Between a roasting hot summer's evening, a fierce thai boxing class and lack of towellage, I was sweltering and stil sweaty profusely when I rushed into the zen, calm, serene Barre-fit class. It wasn't great (me, not the class - the class was good). As we started on a gentle yoga-esque warm-up, I was concentrating on trying to control my breathing and stop dripping all over the mat (turns out no amount of concentration can stop that). Then, as we moved onto mat-based exercises with small handweights (your series of pulsing for 8s), I was concentrating on trying to make it through a set without breaking from the exercise to wipe my brow. My saving grace (and I was infinitely thankful for it) was that there was a giant roll of tissue paper at the back of the studio near my mat.

The lovely and friendly Instructor Siri kindly avoided pointing at staring at the over-sweaty, faffy and, lets be honest, mildly smelly student at the back of the class but continued to teach with poise and grace. And even better, she gave me a wide berth when going round the class to adjust postures and provide wee tips. The class was very smooth, Instructor Siri led the class with her soothing voice, demonstrating the moves with elegance and poise. After a short while on the mats, we moved to the barre. The moves were more in the flexi camp (versus pulsing till muscle exhaustion) and Instuctor Siri placed a lot of emphasis on correct posture. I enjoyed the barre section, despite only being able to reach/stretch/touch half of what Instructor Siri could although she did give alternative targets for the less flexible, which was rather nice. We finished with a short section on shoulder stands, either freestanding for the more advanced or against a wall for the less so.

This class is a solid ballet barre class but the best part of it is that the price is a fraction of many, if not most, other ballet barre classes. Not to mention that you have the added variety of many other classes at the same place. Perhaps just leave the thai boxing for a separate day.

The Need To Know:

- Where: My Fitness Boutique (http://www.myfitnessboutique.co.uk)

- Nearest Station: West Hampstead (8mins)

- When: Different classes 7 days a week

- How Much: Intro offer of £25/5 classes else £10/single class or various packages for 5 or 10 classes, monthly, 3-monthly and yearly.

- Special Note: You need to book classes in advance but there is an easy to use online system. Also, no contract and no monthly direct debits - you just pay for what you use!

The Want to Know:

- Who's it For: For those who want a part flexi part yoga-esque class

- Sweat Scale: 6/10. (if you don't do thai boxing before)

- Strength / Cardio / Flexi / Tone: Toning

- Complexity: 6/10.

- Fun Factor: 7/10

- Changing Facilities: Two shower rooms and toilets.

- Instructor Inspiration: 8/10. Beautiful!

The Stats:

- Total Time: 57mins

- Calories Burnt: 174. Just over 3 calories-burnt-per-minute

- Average Heart Rate: 97

- Max Heart Rate: 135

Full entry with photos can be found here.