On a Saturday morning at 9am, Paola’s Body Barre class is completely full. This isn’t even the first class of the morning. Paola had been doing something to another class before I arrived, which left them revitalised and chatty. There were people walking out of her Fulham studio looking like they had the winning lottery tickets / snogged David Beckham / been told that chocolate was calorie free.
Naively, I assumed this meant the class would be simple. I’ve been to Barry’s Bootcamp before and nobody speaks before the class as they want to conserve their breath. With the gorgeous studio, which feels feminine and homely, and the happy class who didn’t look like they were about to suffer I thought that I would point my toes and stretch and then get to the Kings Road for when the shops open.
I think it was five minutes before I realised the class I had signed up for was called Paola’s Body Barre BURN. With lunges, jumps and side steps, your heart rate rises before you know it. Although, perhaps the cardio is the easy part as I soon found myself stretching muscles that I didn’t know existed. It was my lungs that started burning first, but this was nothing compared to the burn I felt in my thighs, followed by my bottom and abs.
The class is divided into three parts. After a warm-up on the mat, the class moves to the bar where we used a variety of weights and balls to isolate and work muscles. The final section is all for the abs, which is ideal if, like me, you need to get into a bikini for a holiday anytime soon.
I can guarantee that you won’t get a workout like this anywhere else as it’s not a traditional barre class – it’s a barre class with extras. The founder Paola di Lanza is a dynamic pilates expert and her classes have elements of this and of core fitness movements as well as the barre work. This reaches more muscles and improves strength as well as flexibility. The muscles you need to walk tall and elegant, the muscles you need to stay stable when you run and those troublesome bingo wings – they all get targeted.
If you don’t believe my word for it then the list of celebrities and VIPs that work out at Paola’s Body Barre are endless – Amber Le Bon, Millie Mackintosh, Madeline Shaw, Zara Martin and Lilah Parsons. All the gorgeous bodies I see so regularly on the red carpet were sculpted at PBB. Next time I see these people I’ll look at them with new admiration as I know how hard the workout is.
Will I be going back? Absolutely – I got a 10 class pack after the class. Here’s me smiling afterwards with Paola herself.
Visit PaoloasBodyBarre.com for more details about the trainers and to purchase class packs;. The more you buy, the better value it becomes.
Also, check out my article on post-workout skincare here.Read more »