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Beauty, Inspiration

How Barre Transformed my Body

October 16, 2014 | 15 Comments

six packUm, so this post is a bit scary for me because well, here I am in a bikini. I’ve been wanting to write something on the wonder that is En-Core Barre but I haven’t, because I’ve been shy. But seeing similar brave posts from other bloggers (thanks Keri!) has given me the confidence to share my story with you, so here goes.

I’ve had two babies now and anyone who’s been through it will tell you that your body gets seriously streeeeetched by carrying a human inside it. I don’t have those regular “before” inspiration shots because you just don’t take photos of yourself in a bikini regularly do you? As a blogger I really should have known to take “before shots” but I didn’t, so you’ll just have to imagine a pregnant belly stretched like there was a beach ball inside it and me with three chins caused by all the water retention.

Anyway, after having Ben I knew that if I was going to make any attempt to get my “old” body back, I’d need some help. I’m just not disciplined enough to exercise all on my own, I need someone watching over my shoulder and I need to make a commitment that means I’ll show up a few times a week. Luckily, our company Black Mountain was approached at that time to help write some new copy for the En-Core website and before I knew it I was signing up for my first (free) introductory class to find out more about it.

Let me just say from the start that any organised “aerobics” type classes have never been my thing. It always made me think of 80s g-string leotards and Jamie-Lee Curtis wearing a sweatband and hundreds of people doing routines to cheesy music. But things have obviously changed in the exercise world because this type of small group exercise is really awesome. This is what you need to know about En-Core:

  • It is a unique mixture of ballet barre (cardio, based on the disciplines of ballet and dance) and Pilates, designed by two experts in their field.en-core barre
  • So you get to work up a sweat but still build your core and tone the rest of your body.
  • You don’t have to have done ballet in the past! I am a serious klutz and have managed to get the hang of it.
  • Just like with Pilates, you use balls, rubber bands and a few other things to tone and strengthen. And there are some steps around the barre that you need to learn (but are super easy to get the hang of).
  • It’s called En-CORE for a reason – you do a lot of stomach work and it’s for this reason that I’m pretty sure I can see the beginnings of a six pack in that bikini shot. I don’t know if I’ve ever had a six pack?! So I see this as a serious result.
  • Classes are only 45 min long, which suits my busy lifestyle.
  • Classes are small, never more than 10 people (and often closer to 5), so you feel like you’re getting a personal training session each time.
  • Besides all the endorphins, I find that the class gives my mind space to think and me time to just breathe. I need this.
  • I went two times a week after having Ben, then went down to once a week and am now back to twice a week as we approach the summer holidays.
  • They play really cool music while you exercise, which motivates you and makes the time fly by.
  • This isn’t the cheapest form of exercise you can do, but to me it feels like money extremely well spent. Your health and your body are the only one you’ve got and the older you get, the more you need to take care of it.

full lengthI feel really strong after doing these classes for over a year now and it’s given me so much more confidence in the way I look. I was never overweight or seriously unhappy with my appearance before, but I can honestly say that En-Core has given me a better body than I had BEFORE I had kids and I think that’s pretty rare.

In terms of diet, I don’t follow any particular routine,  I eat in moderation and I treat myself when I feel like it. I’m lucky enough to have a pretty uncomplicated relationship with food in that I like it and I eat it when I’m hungry and I enjoy cooking. I’ve never been scared of fat and we don’t tend to eat a lot of bread or rice or pasta, but we don’t avoid it completely. I don’t have a particularly sweet tooth but I enjoy the odd slice of cake or piece of chocolate. Mostly, we eat pretty healthily though.

I’ve never been a runner (I get bored, then I stop and walk). I tried cycling but that lasted all of three weeks. And I find the gym mind-numbingly dull. So I’m really chuffed that I’ve found an exercise that suits me, suits my body and is actually fun to do. If you’re in Joburg and wanting to get into better shape, I’d suggest giving En-Core a try.

P.S. This is not a sponsored post.