It’s our pleasure to introduce a new member to The Body Barre team; we just know you’re going to love her passion and creativity.
It takes a certain kind of person to force yourself out of bed before 6am with the sole purpose of working out.
I NEVER (okay; rarely ever – and that was only if it was school holidays and I wasn’t going to be able to make the gym) used to be that person, and even when I opened the studio back in September 2018, I was in awe of those who dedicated themselves to getting up while I struggled to flop out of bed at 5am.
I’m not gonna lie, It’s been a slow start for us at The Body Barre at this time of day. Sometimes it’s just been me and 1 other training down there! But then something magical has happened – and it might well be down to the mornings becoming lighter, but 1 person has grown to 7 in the space of weeks, and we’ve gone from 1 6am class to 4!
The magic comes down to that special lot who get up and bring their A-game, their chat and their hangovers (you know who I’m talking about!!). We train hard, keep it fresh, and literally come out buzzing and ready to take on the day. Even me (who would rather sell a kidney to stay in bed for an extra hour) gets up and trains with the 6am Crew when it’s not even me instructing the class – WTF?! I get it now!
You might feel sluggish as you turn up, but you will leave feeling amazing (and smug, lol!) knowing you’ve got the rest of the day to yourself. The endorphins will set you up, and I promise you’ll feel better doing it this way*, rather than hitting snooze 15 times and scrolling through social media for 30 minutes before you finally drag your sorry carcass out of bed (*speaking from experience).
We kick off the week on a Tuesday with Circuits. It’s a 30 minute intensive class – no rest! It’s over before you know it, but I crack the whip just that little bit harder! Wednesday is Ted’s BoxCardio (45 mins) which consists of pad work, boxing drills, body weight exercises and core. Thursday is TRX and we take body weight training to a whole new level. You can duck out at 6.30am if you need to, or stay on for the finisher… And finally; Kettlebells with Ted on Friday – the best way to start the weekend! Weights, bodyweight, belly laughs (Sue, I’m talking about you!!!). I wouldn’t miss it for the world x
Our 6am Crew is amazing – and anyone is welcome to come along. It’s not a clique, it’s a movement. Come and try it out, and tag us in any social media posts for the chance of free coffees, class passes or branded merchandise #6amCrew #TheBodyBarre.
Tuesday: Circuits – 30 mins (Vix)
Wednesday: BoxCardio – 45 mins (Ted)
Thursday: TRX – 30 / 45 mins* (Vix)
Friday: Kettlebells – 45 mins (Ted)
I don’t keep my battles with mental health a secret. I’m kinda proud of it in a funny way – without it I wouldn’t have ended up where I am now with The Body Barre (see blog: A WHOLE LOT OF HISTORY). I accept I’ll never be free of it, and that’s okay.
But a blip is no fun, and a couple of weeks ago I took my eye off the ball a bit; ran out of happy pills but carried on anyway in my busy buzz of work and family. Never really a good idea, as along with the sudden stoppage of drugs, I had a heap of substantial, important, everyday life dramas I then had to deal with. Cue the physical symptoms of stress which then stopped me from training and made me feel really poorly, and then in turn the lack of my natural endorphins literally sent me into a zombie who looked like shite and all I could do was sleep at any given opportunity.
FFS. I’m no fun to be around when it hits me, and this was slap bang in the Easter holidays, so my poor boys had to endure me struggling (so then there’s the guilt of feeling like I’m failing them that follows like a vicious circle – gah!). I have to remind myself that it really should be no different to if I had flu…
We got through it though. My medication sorted, plus a week of rest (both mentally and physically), did me the world of good. Exercising again feels amazing and has brought me back to being me.
For help, advice and other mental health blogs & stories:
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Racer back: £19.95
Sizes: XS – XL
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How long has fitness been your thing:
Since I had my calling in 2012 (see blog: A Whole Lot of History)
Family, fitness, Ibiza, sunshine, skiing, raving
People taking advantage
You see the real me in classes. And even if I start a class in the worst mood, or feeling like total crap; teaching gives me the biggest buzz and you can bet your bottom dollar I’ll come out all hyper and giddy!
The inability to count your reps (or my own come to think of it). And don’t trust me to have started my stopwatch on timed sets either…
Which class types do you teach at TBB:
Erm, all of them! Luckily I have a brilliant team around me to take their classes as well, each with their own teaching style which keeps things unique and fresh.
Cardio or Strength?
Toughy! I used to just focus on cardio, but have fallen in love with strength, and how it’s changing my body.
Got any goss?
I kissed Harry Styles. Technically it was when I was heavily preggers with my Harry, so not as cougar like as I would prefer to remember it as.
Let’s face it, peachy bottoms are pretty much top of the list when it comes to training goals.
Here’s Vix’s top tips for building your behind…
Squats ain’t all that*. Oh my god, I said it out loud! I love squats; but see a lot of techniques that need either correcting or stripping right back to basics, so chances are you’re not squatting right. Make a few tweeks and you’re all good; but rolling onto your toes or leaning forward rather than lowering your ass down is going to result in a bad back.
*They are, but weighted squats are the game changers, and you defo don’t need to be doing that unless you know your technique is on point.
Let’s work our way through the butt muscles, and I’ll pick out my fave moves to sculpt, build and tone your tush. Aim for 12-15 reps, 3-5 sets depending on time available. Or set a timer and go for 30 seconds on each (increase in 10 sec increments if too easy – those last few reps should feel hard!).
1) Kettle bell swing. Good all rounder. Literally.
You don’t even need to go too low into this dynamic exercise – you’ll get more from the squeeze at the top. Drive your hips forward into it and clench your bum cheeks together (like you’re holding onto a £50 note). Go as heavy as you feel you can manage (6-8kg is a good start if you’re nervous) – we’re building butts here, plus the weight helps build momentum. Eyes up, squeeze your core, don’t let your shoulders roll forward (draw those shoulder blades together and show what your mama gave ya).
2) Glute Bridge. One of my all time faves. These will lift your bum cheeks higher…
Elevate your feet onto a step and push your hips high, raising yourself onto your shoulders. Squeeze and hold at the top, throw in some pulses, isolate by putting one foot in the air, pulse, switch, pulse! Add weights to your hips if you’ve got any handy.
3) Donkey kicks. The icing on top.
If you’ve got a squashy pilates ball (or a lightweight kids football), even better. Flip over onto all fours and tuck the ball in the crook of one knee. Squeezing it tight will activate everything before you’ve even done a rep (sweet). Push your foot to the ceiling so that your knee drives up past hip level, and then lower it back down. Make sure you keep your core engaged, and don’t over extend into your lower back. Throw those all important pulses in.
4) Bulgarian Split Squats.
Rest one foot on top of a step, gym bench or plyo box (or sofa, bed etc if at home), the other is a big step forward. As you lower down, make sure that front knee doesn’t push past the line of your toes. You’re aiming for an up/down motion rather than forwards/back. I like to put hands on hips (unless holding weights) as find it helps with a balance and also encourages drawing shoulders back to enable good posture. Drive up through the front heel, and squeeze at the top. Make every rep count, don’t just go through the motion.
We ummmed and ahhhed and oooed and errred about getting a sunbed at The Body Barre for a good few months, and it’s turned out to be a total winner.
Smash a class (or two) out, grab a Lavazza coffee, then hop in for a daily dash of Vitamin D to keep that good mood (and tan) going.
The tubes promote a deep developing tan, plus we’re one of the first UK suppliers of the Dark Sun sunbed waxes, creams, and oils – and boy are they good. They contain Hyaluron and Melanin, and as total sunbed lovers we’ve tried out most creams going but these are definitely the most effective in our humble opinion!
We’re keeping things as simple as poss here at The Body Barre; just 50p per minute PAYG or 45p per minute if you’re signed up to our TBB Loyalty Unlimited membership.
Learn more about our treatments on offer >> CLICK HERE
Get yourself on the list – this is more than just a class!
The Body Barre are honored to host Sophisticated Pole ; Sophie is an amazing instructor who immediately puts you at ease, and helps you achieve things you never imagined you were capable of.
Beginner classes are exactly that – you don’t need to be already fit or strong, you just need to be that little bit curious and you’ll be amazed what you’ll be doing by the end of each session!!
Any questions, give her a shout.
18:00 – 19:00 Beginner
19:00 – 20:00 Beginner
18:00 – 19:00 Beginner
19:00 – 20:00 Beginner
20:00 – 21:00 Intermediate
Mobile: 07585 115924
I’ve told my story a fair few times, so apologies if you’ve heard it before – but if you haven’t, and you’re new to fitness, it might help in one way or another…
How did I get to opening The Body Barre?
I was the girl who never (had ever) been to a gym, did nothing even remotely fitness related on any kind of basis, and pretty much rolled my eyes if anyone else did.
I also had PND after my first son, George, was born in 2009, although it wasn’t picked up until after the second, Harry, was born in 2011. I was in a pit of despair and dulled it with wine and Marlboro Lights.
My life changing moment was seeing Arg from TOWIE had run the London Marathon. If he could do it, I could surely do it too?
Long story short, I registered, joined the gym and realised how hard running 1 mile was. But once I was in, I was hooked. I spent every day in the gym, being super shy, and hiding on cardio machines that didn’t intimidate me. I lost weight, felt amazing and then looked at other ways I could challenge myself.
Next came classes – oh my god, the muscle aches and pains. Introducing bodyweight exercises, weights and plyometric moves was like nothing else! But working out in a group exercises atmosphere pushed me harder, and I loved the buzz of being with others.
Recognising people from week to week gave me something I hadn’t had since being in a work environment; as my social life for the previous 3 years involved babies and toddlers, and trips to the supermarket to fill my day. And my body changed again.
After 30 years of eating junk, drinking wine, and having babies – I looked the best I ever had.
Marathon training was still underway; I went from running a 10+ minute mile, to running 8+ minute miles. It was on a long run that I decided, for the first time in my whole life, I knew I wanted to do. Become a Personal Trainer and carve out a career in fitness.
So I trained over 6 months (man, it was hard learning something new for the first time since GCSE’s) and I passed, and then I started running Boot Camps in the pissy freezing cold weather! I also picked up some PT clients (my first client is now my best friend), and life was never the same again.
Fast forward 7 years and I’ve since had a fitness class franchise, which if nothing else, spurred me to seek out a commercial property to hold my own classes. The Bishops Stortford location for The Body Barre was found nearly 3 years ago, and since then I have worked my arse off to get it open (with the help of my husband Luke, and some of the best friends a girl could ask for).
It’s the biggest labour of love, but I wouldn’t have it any other way! This place is a true reflection of me, and I’ll always strive to improve it for every single person who takes the time to walk through the door and see what it’s all about.
Spinning. You probably either love it or hate it, or think you’ll hate it therefore will never try it! Right?!
So, the first time I did a Spin class, I couldn’t believe there wasn’t a health warning that came attached to it – I mean – as if the class wasn’t hard enough, I felt like my under carriage had been violated!! The good news is, is that our saddles are actually pretty comfy, plus you can always bring a gel cover for extra padding if you want.
The other good news is that it’s a frickin’ good workout and you can lose yourself in it, coming out the other side dripping in sweat, buzzing with all of those exercise induced endorphins, and about 400 calories lighter.
To the class itself. There are some die-hard Spin lovers who think that a class should only revolve around moves you would do out on the road. This is total personal preference, but for me (Vix) as an instructor I like to mix things up. Hand weights bring in an upper body element (or you can stick to cycling through if you’d rather). Sometimes the class is based around a HIIT session and isn’t choreographed. Keeping things mixed up means your body doesn’t adapt to a style of exercise that sees your results plateau.
The bottom (*cough*) line is; come and try it. Even if you hated a class from 2015, you might find you actually quite like my classes… And if you prefer a different instructor, we have the beautiful Rachel’s classes on a Tuesday evening at 7pm.