I'm not one for group sport or physical activity. I never excelled in gym class or athletics. I like to think I can get by the same way as the celebs that claim they don't bother with exercise, it's a lie and I've only been lying to myself. I've recently been introduced to Xtend Barre class at Floreat and they've changed my mind on working out.
As I've never been one to partake in classes or fitness related activity I put off using my first free class for a few weeks as I was petrified, though I wish I had went sooner. The studio is in an unassuming building, and on first arrival you might be wondering if you're in the right place at all but once you walk up the stairs and in through the door you'll know you're good to go. For all classes each participant needs to wear a pair of grippy socks costing $20, for some this may seem a bit steep so you are welcome to bring your own.
Each class begins with a warm-up of different cardio movements. Admittedly in my first class I had no idea what was going on, the difference between a tendu and plié or how to do either. I was the lady at the back looking like she was lost on the dance floor at a wedding aimlessly missing the beat; no doubt I irritated the ladies I was beside. Once warm-up has finished its straight into an arm routine, take my advice unless you're super fit always take the lighter weights. Now it's time to face the barre, if you're like me this is when you'll really wish you had never come. Lifting onto relevé feels like climbing a mountain and don't dare to look around at the long graceful ladies in class high on their toes. After the barre series it is time for floor work which usually involves abdominal work and stretching. Depending on the moves used during class you may use all the equipment; rubber band, ball, weights, yoga strap and mat. Any of the instructors classes that I have been to have always been good, each have different styles of teaching so you can be forgiven for having a favourite.
After my first class it took me two weeks to forget the pain and book myself in for another class, opting for a two week unlimited trial for $49. The handy mobile app is a great way of planning classes in advance, though sometimes it can be slow to manoeuvre. What has sold me on Xtend is the little hint of commitment they request of each member. The $20 I spent on socks for my first free class worked as an incentive for me personally, if I'm spending $20 on a pair of socks I want to make sure I get full use of them. Once you're booked into a class you cannot cancel within 6 hours, if you do you will incur a fee or lose your class, this too always motivates me to go even when an hour on the couch sounds much more appealing.
Xtend Barre won't be everyone's cup of tea but it surprised me, the anti-workout warrior, and I think I'll keep it up. I'm secretly hoping that someday I'll eventually become lithe and lean like some of the regulars. The studio also offers yoga and pilates classes which are included in memberships, a great way to wind down is a yoga class after xtend. With a cup of herbal tea for each participant at the end of nearly every class, upbeat instructors and a gorgeous studio it always feels like a job well done once you're finished.