Sunday 31 July 2016

BarreAmped - 4 Weeks Later

   I've been using BarreAmped now for a month, and, as I promised at the two-week mark, I have formed a solid opinion: tiny weights are like honey badgers.
   Seriously. I'm quite happy swinging 8kg, snatching 6kg, rowing and flying 4kg, but ask me to flutter 1kg or draw tiny circles with them, I believe I might cry. And it's not just the 10-minute light weight work segment. The whole thing is vicious.
   It's wonderful.

   Put simply, without colourful similies, BarreAmped is undeniably effective. It is simply not possible for it to not give results. Why? Because the movements are so concentrated and your heart rate stays so steady that you can truly put your full focus into the moves. And, better still, the muscles that are targeted are muscles that I, personally, never feel I give enough attention to.
   Light weight work lasts just 10 minutes (thank goodness) and I feel it most in my upper back, shoulders and triceps - muscles I feel I neglect.
   Seat work lasts 20 minutes and pays close attention to the glutes and hamstrings and lower back - your posterior chain - and trust me when I say your glutes will be transformed. I only wish I'd taken before and afters. It's also quite amazing how a slight and simple change in the rotation of your leg can dig into different parts of the glutes, too. It's a very well-rounded (hehe) structure.
   Thigh work lasts 15 minutes and is quite vicious, but there's simply no way it can't yield results. It is so hard for such small movements, and you do really need something to hold onto here - or, in my case, kind of dig my nails into. I'd by lying if I told you there weren't parts that were so hard, burned so much, that I actually found myself biting my fist.
   Mat work lasts 15 minutes and is, to my mind, the easiest section. But that's possibly because my core is stronger than I thought and I can hold a plank for a while. That's not saying that it was easy, just that, for me, it was easier than the other sections. I still struggled, but I impressed myself with the ab curls - in fact I think, in terms of ability, I grew the most here.

   I used BarreAmped for half an hour a day, every day - I paired light weights with seat, and thighs with mat - and followed it up with Jillian Michaels' Kickbox Fast Fix for 20 minutes of reliable, high-impact cardio. I've used the kickboxing DVD countless times, I know the kind of results it yields, and so I can easily discount that and reliably see what BarreAmped provided.
   And what did it provide?
   A bigger booty, leaner thighs, leaner upper arms and a general increase in leg and ab strength.

   And I did have to drop my weights in the first section during the final set of reverse flies.
   I did stand up more often than I was supposed to in thigh work.
   I did lower to my knees on the push-up pulses.
   And I use Jillian Michaels workouts on a very frequent basis.

   It's a deceptive workout, it looks so easy, there's such little movement, but it's one of the hardest things I've done.
   Why did I struggle so much? I can tell you precisely why: I'm used to big, powerful movements with heavy weights, and fully expanding and contracting muscles. BarreAmped, however, keeps the muscles contracted and that builds up a lot more lactic acid. You don't get the release of repping in and out, you hold a lot of the moves, and that's what makes it so horrible. And because it's so far out of my comfort zone, so different to what I'm used to, it has been a real challenge - and a challenge in fitness always yields results.

   All in all, a very challenging month that certainly yielded results in terms of muscle tone, and the use of Jillian Michaels' Kickbox Fast Fix afterwards contributed to fat loss. I'll have a DVD review up soon in which I'll talk about it all a little more technically.


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