There was only so long before I found myself at one of the ballet inspired classes that have become the talking point for so many fitness aficionados I have encountered of late. I spoke with several impossibly toned friends who had long been attending said classes and it was recommended that I book myself into BARREtoned, a haven for those wishing to strengthen their core, improve posture and transform their bodies a la Ms Paltrow.
Throughout my inaugural class, I watched the more seasoned BARREtoned regulars shaping their bodies into the required angles, while performing the most minimal of movements to perfect the positions. I, however, quickly came to realise that supple was not my leading strength when it comes to fitness (something I am determined to change with further classes!)
My tutor for the morning was one of the co-founders; an American who had obviously been conditioned the American way, meaning anything less than 100% in her class just was not going to be an option. Rather than barking, she encouraged and then aided my posture throughout the class, something that I was grateful for as this was to make the difference between slight toning or obvious results.
The class pushes you to within an inch of quitting (at least for first timers such as myself), then allows recovery through expert stretching techniques; another plus for the body, but for me, also necessary to perform the next harder-than-it-looks position.
I hadn’t expected the BARREtoned class to be something I would want to participate in again, believing I found faced-paced high octane exercise more suited to my ever-active mind, but the enjoyment and satisfaction upon completing the class was something of a pleasant surprise.
My entire body was worked and I could feel the pull in every muscle hours later, but this is not to say I was in pain, I was just very aware that with further classes I would be on my way to complete body conditioning.