Barrecore I hear you say. The jungle drums have it that Barrecore is in Wimbledon. “Where in Wimbledon?” you ask. I haven’t seen it anywhere and I would love to have a go. “Aha!” comes my reply. “You have to go through Sweaty Betty in the village and down the stairs to their gem of a studio!”
HWG: What exactly is Barrecore?
LS: It’s supposed to be a mixture of ballet, yoga and a pilates-based workout that creates change in your body.
HWG: Wow! That sounds complicated?
LS: Not really! If you are new to Barrecore, you may be inclined to believe that you need to be a master of ballet or yoga, even pilates. That’s quite a tall order. It’s not really the case.
HWG: Oh! So how would you best describe Barrecore?
LS: Well, Barrecore takes place in a room where, indeed, there is a barre. But that is where the similarity with ballet ends. The same would apply to yoga and pilates. Barrecore is more about strength, toning and body resistance exercises. We like to think of it as dance-based toning classes. They’re definitely anaerobic moves.
HWG: So what are the benefits of Barrecore?
LS: Well actually, we best describe it as “creating change in your body’. We promise you’ll feel the change and see the change!
HWG: That sounds great. So anyone can turn up. It’s not dancey at all!
LS: No, absolutely not. It’s very important to stress that Barrecore is all-encompassing. Maybe the term Barrecore is not entirely clear but certainly, there’s no reason why anyone should feel intimidated. On the contrary, this is one place where your age or your fitness ability is of no importance. There are always challenges for the more practised and modifications for newcomers or more challenged clients.
HWG: I notice you have a few props lying around?
LS: Yes, we do. We use a core set of props, to help us challenge the muscles at their deepest level, to use them as aids in the trade. Using them is always your choice. They are by no means compulsory. You’ll find, during aerobic or anaerobic exercises, that using props and fitness kits enables specific exercises to target muscles more effectively. So we use what is called a soft pilates ball, a block, a long rubber band, small rubber bans and handheld weights. The bands and the dumbbells come in different strengths and weights and again the use of them is entirely personal.
HWG: What do you feel makes Barrecore stand out from other activities?
LS: Barrecore is a community. It is certainly something you feel when you join. No class is ever the same and that keeps the clients and the teachers happy. The Barrecore teachers are all loyal to the teachings of Niki (the founder) and all studios run based on the same ideals and the same goals, to create change and build a community!
HWG: Is it super hard being a Barrecore teacher?
LS: Well, we love it. Sure, I’ve just taught three classes in a row, have been speaking for three hours in a row (says she enjoying a cup of tea!) but that’s what makes every single class so special and individual. We get in the zone too but more importantly, we love seeing the clients (who soon become friends) progress and simply change in front of our eyes.
HWG: Tell me about Barrecore Wimbledon!
LS: Well, for starters, the Wimbledon branch is the only studio that goes through a shop. Sweaty Betty is very happy having Barrecore customers go through their shop! Nonetheless, that is the reason why the Wimbledon studio is the most affordable of all the Barrecore venues. There are neither showers nor changing facilities, only a cloakroom. Most clients tend to go home afterward, maybe via a coffee or lunch next door at the Light Café.
I loved speaking to Lotty and you could tell that she really enjoyed working in the Wimbledon studio. Easy access to work without the hassle and bustle of a central London commute! When she’s not at Barrecore, she’s either dreaming dance, setting out her lesson plans or baking healthy (or naughty) recipes to put on her personal blog @lotty_loves_ .
Do I love Barrecore? Sure I do! I’ve been to so many classes over the years. You tend to see the same people for the same classes. So many ladies love doing the different challenges and competitions organized by Barrecore. It focuses them and allows them to set their personal fitness goals! With the help of a prize to be won in the end! What fun!
My take on Barrecore? Well, one thing is absolutely certain! That every single person leaves the class feeling exactly the same way. We’ve sweated, we’ve worked, we’ve relaxed because our mind has been decluttered. You are so absorbed by the physical demands of the class that your mind becomes ‘chatter free’. You reach a peaceful state, making these classes the stuff of magic! You walk out, tall, strong, nimble, flexible, agile, decompressed and feeling like you can take on the world! Now that’s not a bad reason for taking up Barrecore, is it?