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

Class Review: Brawl at The Barre Code

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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.

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