Is this really one of the best workouts in the country?

Health & Fitness

Class Review: Brawl at The Barre Code

Self magazine named this one of the best workouts in the country. Did they get it right?

It should be noted, as I type this review, I am still sore. It has been approximately 65 hours since I took this Barre Codes class, and I’m still struggling with stairs.

The Class: Brawl at The Barre Code’s Design District Studio on a Monday night.

The Appeal: The hour-long cardio kickboxing class has been recognized by Self magazine as one of the best workouts in the country.

The Instructor: Julie Matusz (Barre Code Partner and Master Trainer). Even if I didn’t know she was a “Master Trainer,” I would have made the assumption. Her sculpted bod and cheery-but-firm disposition instantly inspires confidence in her competence.

Who’s There: Women of all ages. It was a very “girl power” kind of evening.

What to Wear: Leggings and shorts would have been suitable, and everyone wore socks. I personally wish I had worn footwear that was both cooler than plain white socks and matching.

How It Went: I’m not an experienced kickboxer by any means, but I have a feeling this class is unique. It’s part kickboxing sequence, part dance class, and a touch of ballet-esque bar work. It’s the kind of class where you probably need to go about three times to start anticipating the motions. Things started off a little rocky as I tried to learn the moves, but the party playlist and Julie’s clear direction made the struggle worth it.

The Aftermath: As I previously mentioned, by legs and my glutes are still sore three days later. Though this might be more of a reflection on me than the class.

Loved: I got 10,000 satisfying steps on my Fitbit toward the third quarter of the class, which was great. What was better was the effusive satisfaction felt after mastering a sequence. There was one particular kicky move that made me feel like Mulan while she’s training to defeat the Huns. A slightly more awkward Mulan, certainly, but with a few more classes I could get there.

Hated: This is absolutely a personal thing, but I kind of wish there were fun boxing gloves to wear throughout the class. I felt a little silly punching the air with my bare, unintimidating fists after a while.

Difficulty Level: It’s hard, but not so hard that I wouldn’t tell my mom to try it out. Most importantly, it’s a fantastic full body workout that’s fun and high energy, which isn’t always easy to come by. Somebody at Self certainly knows what they’re doing.