Embrace The Shake At BARRE:toned

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Who doesn’t love dancing, shaking and sweating to pumping music in a beautifully air-conditioned, light and dreamy boutique studio?!

And that right there was the reason I jumped at the chance to review BARRE:toned. After attending a Barrecore class, I knew what to expect, which made it a whole less awkward. I knew it would be intense, that I would be expected to wear tight gear such as leggings and wear socks, to relax, have fun and, more importantly, to go at your own pace.

Last weekend, on a relatively sunny, fresh, late morning I was finally able to review BARRE:toned. I hopped off the tube at Notting Hill Gate and 10 minutes later arrived at the boutique. I was greeted by a lovely lady who, as it was my first time at the studio, gave me a tour around. Bright daylight floods into the almost all white rooms. There’s a very friendly yet calming atmosphere, it feels like you’re hanging out at a friend’s house, the staff are wonderful and instantly put me at ease.

You can chill-out easily before your class, or after even after, with options to perch on the mini sofas with cushions, sip chilled bottles of water and read Woman’s Health mag. Downstairs are well catered and thoughtfully decorated changing rooms, showers and lockers, with cute quotes like “embrace the shake”. To ensure I wasn’t late and allowing enough time to change into my workout gear and quickly refresh, I arrived quite early. It gave me a chance to soak up everything before my class with Catherine at noon.

 

Entering the upstairs studio with daylight flooding in (the roof is half glass) was lovely – I detest artificial lighting! The studio itself was fairly small, not necessarily a bad thing, it provided an intimate setting, fitting around 15 or so women comfortably. Surrounded by mirrors and of course the barre, it brought back memories of when I did ballet regularly. This particular class involved use of the barre, the ball and straps. Heart rate was instantly up thanks to doing the plank, thighs were shaking to their limits and my body was put through its paces. I was thankful for the stretches which signalled the class was drawing to an end!

It was a brilliant class with an awesome instructor who motivated everyone and ensured every member was working out in the correct form, maintaining the right posture by helpfully, yet subtly adjusting to achieve maximum benefit. I think this is a really good indicator of separating a mediocre class from a great one. In my opinion, this is an obvious aspect of workouts and classes, yet it’s surprising just how many instructors neglect doing this or have a bad attitude. Especially for first timers who are unsure of whether they are doing a series of exercises correctly, this is massively important!

Now it’s not a case of if I’ll be back, but when! I highly recommend the class, instructor, the studio and the facilities. Oh, and Sunday morning my body felt the wonderful effects of the workout. I definitely want to make this a regular addition to my fitness regime. With consist attendance I bet after a few month you can easily expect to notice tangible improvements in flexibility and stamina and achieve an overall toned body.

Have you tried out classes or studios like this? What would you recommend?

 

Love Career Girl

 

 

 

*This opportunity was gifted to me for promotional purposes but thoughts are mine!

Stay Hydrated feat. Audacious Rhino

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So, part of my New Year’s Resolution is to drink a lot more water than I usually do. As I work in an office job I drink copious amounts of caffeine but not enough water and especially whilst at the gym, there are so many benefits to maintaining hydration.

Call me fussy but unless water is cool, better yet ice cold, I find it increasingly difficult to drink the amount of water that we all need. My current Voss glass water bottle does the job just fine for stylishly holding water for when I need it most, such as after an intense boxing session.

I have tested a few water bottles in my time and find so many of them either leak, are too heavy, difficult to hold or just not practical nor aesthetically pleasing.

I was recently lucky enough to have the opportunity to review Audacious Rhino’s smart, sleek range of flasks. I choose this Black Rhino Vacuum Flask* and for the past week have been trailing it to see whether it does what it says on the tin (website). In a word, it does!

As a lover of black it was an obvious choice going well with all of my gym gear, but aside from that aspect there are a whole list of great features. It’s a 380ml vacuum insulated double walled, stainless steel flask, capable of maintaining both extreme hot and cold liquid for hours. Importantly for me, this product has an easy grip nonslip coating, perfect for sweaty classes like hot yoga! The flask is BPA free and has a wide mouth so you can add ice cubes or infuse your water with lemon easily and makes washing it much more hygienic too!

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Explore the full range by heading to their website

What water bottles and flask do you swear by?

Love Career Girl

xo

ps. the product marked * was given to me for promotional purposes yet views are my own.

My Gym Gear Feat. Daisy&Co

 

Now that I drive, you can find me hitting the gym 4 times a week, whether it be a relaxing yoga and tai chi session or a high intensity boxing class! And now, more than ever, I seem to live in gym attire, so it’s massively important I have clothes which fit, are functional for sweaty sessions, and, of course, make me look and feel great!

Following on from my ‘dress to impress & dress for success’ post with work-wear, I strongly feel it is paramount to wear whatever makes you feel not only comfortable, but good about yourself too. How can you push yourself and achieve your personal best, if you’re wearing ill-fitting see through leggings and a sports bra that offers no support?!

If you can afford it, I highly recommend getting the best that’s out there, but if not, I highly recommend H&M gym wear. Considering the price, they are surprisingly good, offering sweat-wicking running tops for approx. £14!

I’m always keen to try new gym gear and, recently, was given the opportunity to test out Daisy & Co London‘s latest range. Their new active brand was launched earlier this year I believe. New to the game, they have black sportswear with their logo, and outrageously bright purple options too. They are incredibly high quality and are lovely and soft against the skin.

They arrived in the post and honestly, first impressions were that both items would be too big for me. I’m normally a size xs and these looked huge! However, I was wrong. After trying both on, I realised that the fabric was super soft and high stretch, perfect for sweaty hot yoga or even HIIT classes. The gorgeous detailing on the back of the black sports bra allows for extra movement, which isn’t always apparent in other brands. Often, most sports bras are rigid and thus, limits your movements. I tested these out last week and was really impressed by them!

The purple top isn’t something I would normally opt for, as I tend to go for blacks and greys at the gym, but they go really well with an all black outfit. They would be perfect for summer days, especially as I often do yoga outside when it’s warmer & sunnier!

What I’m wearing: 

Top: Daisy Pansy Print Keyhole Vest

Sports bra: Black Cross back

Leggings: Lululemon Athletic 

Trainers: Asics from Sweaty Betty

 

What brands do you wear to the gym? I hope you enjoyed this post & let me know what you think in the comments!

Love Career Girl

 

xo

 

PS items marked with * were gifted for promotional purposes yet opinions are definitely mine! 

 

 

Best Workout Classes You Need To Try!

aral-tasher-132714.jpgGym bunny? High five! With a background in dance and a self-confessed, amateur Yogi and Pilates lover, there is nothing I love more than kicking stress in the butt with killer workouts and seriously getting my sweat on!

The classes mentioned below are some of the best workout experiences, with some being completely free and others nearly breaking the bank, but, are guaranteed to make you work hard. I can’t recommend them enough! Whether you are a newbie to fitness or an avid gym-goer, these classes are fun and pretty intense too! This post is long overdue. I attended all these classes over the course of 2016, so let’s get started!

Breathe Studios – Farnham & Lululemon

There was a massive amount of buzz around the opening of this gym earlier this year and I was super eager to find out why. It’s considered a boutique gym based in the heart of Farnham. It doesn’t feel like a Gym in the sense it’s very open plan and cool. It’s hard to explain unless you see it! There’s also a super tasty onsite eatery ‘Nourish’ and snazzy showers, plus changing rooms. The classes are centred on essentially these 3 concepts, Move, Sculpt & Ride – the latter I am SO keen to try out!

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A while back I was lucky to attend the free Glowga event with the lovely ladies from Lululemon, held at Breathe Studios. Lululemon is a Canadian fitness brand which, in addition to making the best workout gear, also offer and organise free events for and within the community. Glowga (A glow in the dark yoga rave – pretty rad, right?!) was a blast! Lululemon organised shuttle buses to and from the event. As we arrived we were greeted by the instructors and Claire from Good Vibrations Yoga led the class – it was so much fun, a complete sell out! Afterwards, we were given free cocktails from The Botanist and dinner supplied by Nourish. If you want to start yoga or even running, in a relaxed fun environment, Lululemon offer free classes, which is a great way to try something new without a huge expense if you don’t enjoy it!

Red Hot Yoga

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Red Hot Yoga – (taken from website)

My co-worker, an avid red hot yoga goer, raved about these classes and how beneficial they were, especially if you want to improve your flexibility. *ping*On my birthday I receive an email from Red Hot Yoga, to try a FREE class of my choice. Normally prices are approx. £13/15 so I jumped at the opportunity. All I knew was that yoga would be held in a very hot room.

I took a small towel with me (idiot, the receptionist took pity on me and brought me a huge towel… FWI bring a full size towel!). Held in a room at approx. 38 – 42C it was seriously hot, in fact, as soon as you walk into the room you practically sweat! I found this class a very intense, hard class, but felt the benefits almost instantly. It was like having a mini detox, my skin felt better and my body was able to stretch more, yet definitely not for the fainthearted!

Barrecore – High St. Kensington

I had vaguely heard of Barrecore but wrongly presumed it would be just like ballet, (in ballet there’s elements of Barre work) but in actual fact, it’s a dance based workout using your body as resistance. The boutique Gym is beautiful! Complete with soft carpet (you wear socks to class) free use of lovely showers and air conditioning. Thankfully, because ten minutes in I was close to quitting!

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Barrecore – Kensington (photo taken from website)

This was by far THE MOST INTENSE class ever! Honestly. The instructors are great, friendly and really work you hard! You will be glad of the 5 minutes relaxation at the end. This class will guarantee every inch of your body aches the next day. Thighs especially will be on FIRE – you will seriously feel the burn! I highly recommend trying but classes are expensive, the first introductory class is £25!

 

Equinox ‘Bootcamp’ at The Mondrian

I booked myself in for this one off Equinox bootcamp class held at the stunning 5 star hotel’s Rumpus Room complete with insane views of London, overlooking the river Thames. The Equinox summer residency included, Boxing, Barre Burn & Bootcamp, the latter which I attended. The £35 ticket for the Bootcamp included a buffet style breakfast which was divine! The workout itself was great, a mix of mat workouts and crawling! The best thing though was doing the plank and squats with the most glorious, early morning view of London!

Next on my hit list is to try Frame studios and my goal is to get invited to the Skinny Bitch Collective classes. I’ll keep dreaming….

Let me know if you have tried any of these classes and if you have any insane fitness classes in London please let me know!

Love Career Girl,

xo