Class Review: Barbell Club

21st December

I’ll be honest, weights used to scare me. I was very much a cardio or nothing type of person; it was only diving headfirst into the classes at Gymbox that gave me the courage to pick up a bar and get squatting. Whilst I’m now happy doing most things at the gym, I still shy away from using barbells on the gym floor. Therefore, I figured it was time I take a class devoted to it: Barbell Club.

Barbell Club teaches you how to clean, squat and press in the confines of Gymbox’s world-class conditioning studios, a pro instructor making sure you don’t slip up. Obviously being Gymbox the class ends with a metcon finisher guaranteed to get your heart rate up!

Having fought off the wind and rain one miserable Wednesday lunchtime, I arrived at Old Street Gymbox promising myself I’d come out of the class having gained some confidence with the bar.

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Our instructor was Andy, who told us to prep our bar before launching into a quick stretch and warm up. Although I was slightly intimidated by the muscly men to the right of me, it turned out that a few, like me, had never been to the class before. Andy promised he’d give us extra help as we went along, something I was very grateful for.

Once I’d lunged and stretched my way through the warm-up, it was time to load up my bar. In this class, we would be practising our clean, squat and press. I’d actually never done this before but, thankfully, neither had my fellow newbies. Andy took us through the steps, instructing us to practise and perfect our deadlift first. After we’d gone over this for a few rounds, he gave tips on how to progress into the squat, clean and press.

I’ve never had a personal trainer, so it was nice to do a class where the instructor helped everyone so individually. As a result, I was able to get the advice I needed and move into the clean and press. It’s a lot harder than it looks, but with Andy’s help, I was able to get the gist of it after a few rounds.

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With the ability to clean, squat and press under my belt, we moved on to the metcon part of the class. Partnering us up, Andy set us the following combo: we would be deadlifting, then moving into a clean, squat and press, before transitioning into a bent over row. Once we’d done that, we were to carry out a burpee (yay) before doing the set for four more rounds. Our partner was then to take over.

Of course, I was partnered with an absolute pro who looked like he’d been deadlifting since birth. Typical.

Once I got the hang of the combo, it was actually pretty fun, and rewarding too – it was working my whole body, and I could tell that my muscles would be aching the next day. It was also nice to see that I wasn’t the only one in the class who looked like they were melting – whilst the set wasn’t an obvious cardio burner, it was pretty strenuous and had given me the complexion of a burnt tomato.

Before I knew it, the class had ended. I used my last bit of strength to put the equipment back and mercifully collapsed onto the ground to go through a few stretches.

Barbell Club had definitely been the confidence booster I had needed. It turned out my general technique was pretty strong, and I’d officially learnt a new skill. The one-on-one help of a skilled instructor had been really beneficial and made my journey in the rain all worth it.

If you’re a fan of lifting weights or, like me, want to learn a new skill, then I would definitely recommend Barbell Club. Not only is it a great workout, it’ll make you look like an absolute pro when you’re out on the gym floor.

You can follow Kat on Instagram

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