Barrecore are challenging Londoners to a New Year refresh – four classes per week for a month for just £150. We accepted – here’s what happened

By Abbie Schofield

Barrecore is London’s pioneering barre fitness workout with ten studios across the capital. Its ballet-inspired workouts use low-impact and body-weight movements to target deep into the muscle, creating the famous ‘Barrecore shake’.

The idea is that by repeating tiny movements to work your muscles to exhaustion, and then stretching to release them, your body trains intensely but without risking injury. Quick results are promised – not just a more sculpted body, but a stronger mind, too.

Having walked past Barrecore’s Islington studio on my way to work for months, I finally took the plunge and signed up to their New Year Refresh Challenge – four classes a week for a whole month.

Week 1

I dragged my friend along with me for my first session, terrified I’d be entering a cult of fitness-obsessed robots re-enacting the horrendous ballet lessons of my childhood. Turns out, I had nothing to worry about – the group was small, and not intimating at all, plus Barrecore staff are super friendly and inviting. The instructor, Esme, gave us personal instructions and encouragement throughout the session.

There was a variety of people there, from a pregnant lady to someone with a lower back injury, which comforted me; no fitness-obsessed robots, just normal people looking for a one-stop-shop workout.

The session began with a warm up: gentle core exercises and cardio movements to loosen up the body. Then, we used some dumbbells to workout our arms, all whilst listening to upbeat, energising music. So far, so good.

But then we moved to the barre. And the burn began.

Barrecore New Year Refresh challengeHolding on to the barre for support, we worked on specific body parts and muscles: first the lower legs, then the thighs, then the glutes. I’m not going to lie – it burned like hell and I was shaking within moments. Each movement looked tiny but worked every inch of muscle, so it felt like my legs were on fire.

After each set we stretched our muscles, allowing us to release any tension and giving us a welcome break from the burn. We ended the class lying on the mats to work on our core before a final relaxing stretch.

I left the session feeling great and motivated for the January challenge. The workout was tough, but the post-class endorphins kicked in, leaving me feeling energised and ready for another session in a couple of days time.

Week 2

This was the week I really got into the challenge. I progressed from giving up during sets to fully completing them (even though it burned. A lot). Barrecore is definitely all about mind over matter – my body is a lot stronger than I gave it credit for and with determination, I could push through the discomfort and keep going. I felt a huge sense of achievement when I completed challenging sets and felt leaner and stronger by the end of the week. Forget the January blues – I had the Barrecore buzz!

Come back next week to follow Abbie’s progress with Barrecore’s New Year Refresh challenge.

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