• Philippa Kartawick

The best workout hands-down: Paola's BodyBarre

Updated: Oct 31, 2019

Hands down this is the best work out.

There is no doubt that PBB will transform your body. I have done Paola's Signature and Burn class, and try to go weekly to one of them. Both are ridiculously hard, but OH so good!

I had heard of 'Barre' through the Instagram grapevine, but had never really given it much of a serious thought. I genuinely thought that a Ballet based 'workout' would probably be pretty feeble...I had only seen (on Instagram), sweat-less, beyond-beautiful girls posting about it, and because these girls didn't look very hardcore, I didn't think the workout would be...but oh boy was I WRONG!!

Now I know that those girls posting on the gram are, in-fact, just ridiculously fit. To not sweat in these classes and feel the burn (or at least only feel it, and not expire it), you have to have some serious strength. *an update on this*

I found the first few classes that I went to so incredibly tough, but by the 4th class and 5 home workouts later (I was away on holiday and used Paola's 1 and only youtube video), I can just about hold my own in a class, and don't feel like I need to be on catch-up. I know the moves now and have my favourite teachers: Danniella C and Shamin Walker.

The class, depending on which you sign up to (there's Burn, Signature, Cardio, and more...) involves a dynamic mix of pilates, ballet and yoga. The pace is fast and will raise your heart rate, so you can expect a low impact cardio work-out too. It works on your deep, stabilising muscles and posture, as well as your glamour muscles (the ones you can see!), so it really is an all-rounder.

I go to the classes on Fulham High Street, but they also have studios in Guilford and affiliated studios: Flex Chelsea and KXU.

So the workout is next to none (in my opinion), and most of the teachers are fab and lovely and friendly, and really know their shit...it's not a place to make your new BFF though, there's not really a reception so no place to mill about (not necessarily a bad thing) which makes it difficult to chit-chat (again, not always a bad thing!). There's also nowhere to fill up your water bottle up (crazzzyy!!!!!). However, the lack of reception and in-out approach really means that if you're time poor, and just wana get that bod, you'll get it.

So, take a big water bottle, and run/cycle home in your gym gear, to hop straight into that shower! No way are you going out partying straight after a PBB session.

The clientele is young, thin and fit women for sure. Instagram will have you believe that it is all super beautiful and famous women, but in reality, these girls are normal girls who enjoy looking after themselves. There are no men, which feels neither good nor bad. I quite like that it's a girl club, but equally, you don't really notice that it's all women, because everybody is so focused on their own workout. I think you would really struggle to keep up with PBB if you were new to exercise, but in a way...that's also quite nice. I'm absolutely sure that the teachers would modify exercises for people, but it's also quite refreshing to go to a class that you know is a challenge and the level ground won't change for you, YOU have to be the one levels UP! So it does create a great health/fitness onus on yourself.

If there is just one work out that you can do a week, I would choose PBB.

*update* After completing 7 classes (and a couple of at home PBB workouts), I can proudly say...my sweating has 'expired'. SO I HAVE GOT FIT QUICK! As I said, transformational!

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