Sweaty Betty, Barrecore and the Fit Crowd

I was honoured to be asked to join The Fit Crowd, a new female fitness collective masterminded by Sweaty Betty with the objective of spreading health and fitness through our community and getting more women fit and active in the process. Last week we had our first meet at the Sweaty Betty store on Kings Road! I was really excited to meet the other gers (search #TheFitCrowd on twitter to find them!) and chat with some like minded lycra-philes. The Sweaty Betty team were so lovely and welcoming too and had laid on two of my favourite things – Zico coconut water and Nakd bars, including the Rhubarb and Custard flavour. These ladies know how to please!  

Two of the designers came to talk to us about the new collection, showing us mood boards and talking us through the inspiration for SS13. The mood boards had a beachy, surf vibe and it really showed in the collection. There’s a scuba/sports edge to the functional kit which shows through details like coloured stitching and bright piping. The cool down kit is surfy with the colour palette being inspired by driftwood, and I love the natural colours and soft cosy feel. If I could live in these Wipe Out tracksuit bottoms I would because they are softer than clouds and angel hair. Unfortunately they were too long for my ridiculous 27 inch inside leg though, which was devastating. 

Bangs and me picking out some pieces from the new collection to try on! Little did I know those long legged sweatpants would break my heart. Photo from Sweaty Betty

I love Sweaty Betty kit because the fit and quality are top notch and it’s definitely worth investing in because it lasts, and so it was an amazing surprise to be given a chance to choose some of the collection to take home and this was by no means an easy choice! That said, it was love at first sight for me with the Alaska jacket and I knew I had to have it. Cool down kit is something I always neglect to buy but it’s amazing what a difference a cosy jacket or tracksuit bottoms can make after a tough session and it’s so important to keep warm after bootcamp/swimming/track etc. I’ve worn it every day since I’ve owned it and it’s LIFE CHANGING. It’s soft and warm and snug and has thumb holes. What more do you want?! In the past two weeks I’ve taken it on six planes and it’s kept me cosy in Paris, Pakistan and Dubai. I am obsessed with it. 

Attached at the hip. You can still see the menhdi on my hand from the wedding in Pakistan!

I also went for this Finish Line run top, which I loved because it’s plain (so I can pair it with all the mental leggings in the world) but not boring thanks to the flattering ruches on the front. It’s also nice and long, which is perfect for a long bodied girl like me. I think this is a good cross-season piece which can be layered and worn with leggings in the winter, worn with shorts for a summer evening run and everything in between. I got the classic SB Athlete Vest in the sunniest happiest blue, which is a must own for all blondes in the world ever. I also grabbed myself a wide headband, which made it’s debut at the Paris half marathon (absolutely flouting the nothing new on race day rule) and I was ridiculously impressed at how well it stayed in place over 2 hours of running. I completely forgot I was wearing it, no headaches or red marks and my hair stayed perfectly in place. It’s the dream of all headbands. 

Ready to take on the Paris half in my super duper headband!

We then all went down to the Barrecore studio on Kings Road to try out the new ‘it’ class in town. It’s a well known fact that ballerinas are strong as hell and have banging bodies to match, and so an exercise class that takes ballet types movements and puts them in concentrated form is a winning formula for anyone looking for a tough class that promises results.

Looking tall before class! Don’t be fooled by the size of the weights, it’s tough! Photo from Sweaty Betty

The class focuses on small repeated movements activating major muscle groups as well as lesser known muscles, which results in some serious burn and a heck ton of groans and gurning from the Fit Crowd! The class is really varied and you move around the studio using different pieces of equipment. There’s an upper body section at the mats using weights, a leg section standing at the bar using a pilates ball and an ab section on the floor by the bar using a yoga block and a yoga strap. It’s an incredible conditioning workout that will activate (and torch) even the smallest muscles in your body, making you stronger all over. 

I’d been suffering all day with the worlds worst DOMS in my quads (long run + squats + yoga = burnt out legs of doom) and was in serious pain. I’d been hobbling around all day and several people had asked me at work what was wrong. If you are suffering the same kind of ‘hurts so much you may be sick’ type DOMS, I would advise NOT doing a barrecore class! It’s intense and has a lot of leg work (think squats, up on the very balls of your feet, whilst squeezing a ball between your legs, held for about a gazillion hours) and you won’t get the most out of it if you’re not feeling strong. I had to keep coming out of the squats because my hamstrings were cramping up so much and this frustrated me as I didn’t feel I was getting the most out of the class. 

The Fit Crowd at the Barrecore studio!

I would highly recommend Barrecore for an intense workout and all over body blitz. If you like Frame Method you’ll love this as I thought they were pretty similar in the elements they borrow from ballet and pilates. Their studio is over on Kings Road and you can get your first class half price! Has anyone tried barrecore or nabbed a place at a Sweaty Betty Get Fit4Free class? 

Thanks so much to the gorgeous ladies at Sweaty Betty for hosting such a fantastic evening and to Barrecore for having a load of excited gers for the evening – I had the best time! If you’d like to get in on the Fit Crowd fun then YOU CAN! Stayed tuned for details of their instagram competition where you can win some serious Sweaty Betty goodies.