A few people have asked me to write about some of the new experiences I am having now that I have relocated from the UK to the USA and so I have decided to add in some exercise class and restaurant reviews. Since this is a health food blog, I think this is within the scope and I hope you enjoy these as much as the recipes (which will still be the core of the blog). If not, feel free to reach out and let me know and I will find another forum for them.
Exhale Studios: Core Fusion Barre
How to go from this to this:
I used to do Barre in London, to be precise a Booty Barre and a Ballet Barre class once a week, so was excited to get to NYC and try some of the Barre classes out. In London not very many studios have classes and those dedicated to it are only in Chelsea and require a mortgage/selling of a kidney to afford it, depending on your credit rating. In NYC it is one of the core staples of the exercise world, which as I have come to find out is a big and prolific industry, ranging from doing aerobics on a trampoline (first class in a few weeks) to pulling a wheelbarrow of bricks (give me a few months for that one).
I decided to sign up for a week of classes at Exhale on the recommendation of my Barre teacher in London. A monthly membership is $275pm but a 7 day trial is $40, with Barre and Yoga included without restriction at any studio. I originally decided to do a Barre class in the morning and Yoga in the evening, until I realised that one class a day of Barre really is enough for any mortal soul.
In the UK, the class is 45 minutes, warms up with Pilates, warms down with yoga with 20-30 minutes of barre in-between. The exhale core fusion class is 60 minutes with 15 minutes of push ups, planks and weights before starting on the Barre and 5 minutes of stretching at the end, so that is 40 minutes of intense Barre, which you quickly realise is a mind over matter situation.
To start this is either an exercise class for models or this class makes you very lean and thin. It is no joke to say I was probably the largest (I am a size 4/6 in the US, a size 8/10 in the UK) in the class and by a few sizes.
The class uses balls, light weights, resistance bands and a ballet barre. The core fusion class works out your abs, calves, quads, butt, back, shoulders, arms (and some muscles I didn’t know existed), with a mix of sit-ups, push-ups, planks, squats (on your tiptoes) and a lot more using the barre.
The music is always fast paced and fun and different instructors like different styles of music. The instructor walks round with a headset microphone and adjusts your position, or just pops over to motivate you to keep going.
You do a lot of squats, so your legs tend to wobble walking home and hurt the next day, but that shows it is working, and the more classes you do, the less of a surprise it is.
These class is estimated to burn off 400-600 calories per hour and is anaerobic so you are expected to burn about 100 calories through the after burn effect (first time an after burn has been seen as a positive thing).
I would say Barre is definitely worth it for an hour of exercise, if it gets you looking anything like the instructors teaching the class (see above). You can also try out different studios around the country using introductory pricing and this should keep the average price point down.