After moving to London from the US in 2009, personal trainer Niki Rein quickly set up her dance-based fitness studio, barrecore, in Chelsea having recognised the demand. She fills us in on how to keep people inspired, motivated and loyal.
Can you tell us a little bit about barrecore – who you are, where you are located, what you do, and how long you have been on the fitness scene?
barrecore is a dance-inspired fitness method that strengthens, lengthens and tones all muscles by using small movements using your own body weight until the muscle fatigues and then we stretch it for relief. The results are noticeable in a really short space of time and clothes start to feel looser after just a few sessions.
It started small – I was offering private training in Notting Hill and teaching classes based on the US barre fitness phenomenon that I named ‘barrecore’ in 2009. We opened barrecore on Kings Road in 2011 and now we have six fantastic London locations, including our recently opened Hampstead studio, as well as a studio in Alderley Edge, near Manchester.
What was the inspiration behind launching barrecore, what challenges have you faced in building the company and how have you overcome them?
I’d seen how popular barre classes were in the US and wanted to bring something similar over to the UK and I had a lot of support and encouragement from my clients. I was happy with my small business of private clientele but my clients really pushed for more! I was also lucky when I started teaching barrecore as there really weren’t many boutique fitness studios in London and no one was promoting dance-based classes.
The biggest challenge I faced was finding the right spaces for our studios. Being new to London, I didn’t understand the commercial market but I knew I wanted the studios to be as convenient as possible and offer the nicest of environments to our clients. However, London can be very tricky due to the city’s strict planning permissions. To find our great spaces, I spent a lot of time pounding the pavements myself and constantly chasing agents to show me spaces. With enough phone calls and door-knocking, we found success. I guess, the short answer is, I had to be persistent! As with anything, you can’t always just stop at your first ‘no’. Keep going and another door will open… quite literally, in my case.
To find our great spaces, I spent a lot of time pounding the pavements myself and constantly chasing agents to show me spaces. With enough phone calls and door-knocking, we found success.
What do you think are the key components in making a fitness class interesting and enjoyable?
I think it’s very important that the class is time efficient. barrecore classes are only an hour long and you only need to do classes 2-4 times a week to see visible results. The next day you might feel it, but not overly, so you can energetically move through your day. You also get an amazing endorphin high that sets your mood to ‘positive’ for the rest of the day and keeps you motivated to coming back for more!
I also think it’s important to educate our clients on the anatomy of the postures and the movements they are doing, and tell them why and what they will do for their bodies, so they know which parts of the body they are working.
How do you get people walking through your studio doors, what do you think makes people repeatedly come back and how do you try to optimise this most effectively?
In my opinion, it’s our community that entices people to come in. People do not just workout for the sake of getting their exercise or just because they ‘know they should’ anymore. They want something they feel personally connected to that also creates a feeling of motivation, aspiration, as well as inspiration. We take the time to learn all of our clients’ names and their lives so it’s like working out with friends or as part of a team.
They want something they feel personally connected to that also creates a feeling of motivation, aspiration, as well as inspiration.
What strategies do you employ to ensure barrecore stands out from the crowd in the growing fitness industry?
Primarily, our community is what makes us stand out – we have so many wonderful ladies that help to support us and spread the word about barrecore. Our classes also give visible and dramatic results quickly so our clients can see it’s working, which keeps them coming back!