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Change your mind about what a tough workout is

What does a tough workout mean to you, is it sweating out half your bodyweight, is it physically collapsing afterwards or is it something more?

According to Dr Hugh Fullagar, a sports and exercise science lecturer at the University of Technology Sydney most people associate the term tough workout as meaning physical exhaustion. 

"Usually this term is associated with physical exhaustion, though it often gives us very little insight into how rewarding the workout was (physiological or psychological). 

"We should rather think in terms of a 'good workout' – did the workout fulfill the goals of the session," he said. 

This is where Barre Body comes in, it isn't a class that will necessarily leave you physically exhausted and sweating out of every pore. 

Rather each class has a specific goal and to achieve that goal you will work you harder than you thought possible.  

The studio is the brainchild of Emma Seibold who launched the workouts in 2012 following the birth of her first child and desire to gently yet quickly regain the pre-baby body. 

Ms Seibold has grown the classes to include 10 studios and she fully believes in the integrity and lifestyle that Barre Body promotes. 

"Mindful fitness is the way forward and I want to give clients a truly holistic, transformational experience at Barre Body," she said. 

I must confess, I walked into my first class at Barre Body rather arrogantly. I have attended a myriad of fitness classes over the years and the images on the Barre Body website did not lead me to believe I would be challenged or pushed. 

Suffice to say I was very wrong. I found this out during my first Barre class but it was really drilled into me during my Elements class. 

Elements was created by Ms Seibold to be a complete mind, body and spirit experience. 

"It's a class that has been designed to help our clients achieve their fitness goals, experience a physical transformation in their body and provide them with a moment for their mental health via meditation and mindfulness," she said. 

I cannot speak for the mindfulness element, but the workout was a killer, yet without the noisy grunts and puddles of sweat one might expect. 

Instead the class felt like a cross between an intense stretch and endurance session which basically equals burning thighs, at least for me. 

There were some poses that I physically could not hold any longer and the post class comedown was worse than any leg day. 

But that's what I was there for. I wasn't attending the classes to tone up or test my cardio, I was there to gain some flexibility but in a challenging environment where it still felt like a workout. 

It was also a change for me to had some variety to my otherwise 'weight lifting' fitness regime. 

According to Dr Fullagar, athletes should change up their workouts often to keep the body and mind fresh and active.

"Variety is great – both from a mental and physical perspective. This can freshen the mind, renew motivation and activate different areas of the body" he said.

So this change up really did help me and forced me to focus on my stretching and flexibiliy as personally I can't stand a stretching session, it seems like a waste of a gym membership.

Therefore, the classes combination worked for me, there was conditioning, and strength required so I could feel a burn but also the stretch that pushed my body into positions it isn't used to. 

Don't get me wrong there are things about Barre that don't suite my style, there are no showers in the change rooms and the classes are predominately female which did make me feel like I was encroaching on their space. 

I have been assured by their trainers that that is not the case at all and certainly the people I've done the classes with have been lovely and welcoming. 

I can see why the classes are popular as the environment itself is open and inviting and does feel like a posh day spa exercise class. 

There is a place for grunting and sweating heavily and this isn't it but that doesn't mean you won't feel the benefits from the classes. 

Rating: 4/5

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