How does a barre fitness pioneer prioritise her own fitness while running a business? We took five with Niki Rein to find out her health and fitness non-negotiables
On the cusp of opening her twelfth studio in the UK, it’s fair to say that Barrecore’s Niki Rein is a little busy. Having launched her first barre workout studio in London in 2009, both her business and her clientele have gone from strength to strength, with barrecore aficionados including Jourdan Dunn , Poppy Delevingne and Darcey Bussell , to name just a few regular barre-goers who’ve seen speedy results through the intense yet low impact isometric movement that barrecore is famed for. Keeping an award-winning business flourishing does, however, make for a hectic day job, so how does Niki fit in her own training and keep her health in check amongst the board meetings, business admin and teaching sessions? She shared her weekly fitness diary, along with her health must-haves.
My overall approach to health and fitness
“Everything I do is focused on hormone balancing . I make sure that I get enough good quality sleep, meditate, eat a hormone-balancing diet, take the supplements I need and workout for my body type and current level of stress.
Quality (not quantity) of sleep is the biggest hitter for keeping hormones, moods and energy levels in a happy place for me. Too many nights of poor sleep wreaks havoc on my nutrition choices, energy output (especially while training) and my (mostly) positive outlook. I also meditate every single morning without fail. Getting in 45 minutes before starting anything else in my day sets my focus, makes me a faster and clearer decision maker and a more compassionate communicator.”
“I eat a mostly ketogenic diet consisting of 70-80% fat, a tonne of vegetables and adequate protein. Adding what I like to call the 'sexy foods', such as grass fed butter, coconut oil , olive oil, avocados, marbled meats (grass fed of course) and extra dark chocolate has been a complete game changer for me and my battle against PCOS. Ketosis has regulated my menstrual cycle, calmed inflammation, cleared my skin, whittled my waist, boosted energy stores and completely curbed all cravings for unhealthy foods. I actually feel like I am ageing backwards! Daily supplements such as probiotics , a high antioxidant multivitamin, fish oil, magnesium and vitamin D are also imperative to staying healthy for me.”
My fitness priorities
“As founder of Barrecore, fitness is my life. I am lucky to have the opportunity to train on a daily basis and am surrounded by all the positive people within the business and industry all the time, which makes it an easy priority. I prefer to train five times a week on average, but if I am stressed out and have too much going on I will back down to three days per week and some might just be restorative classes. On the flipside, if I am energised, I will add in a run or yoga class on top. I think it can be too easy to fall into the "should's" of weekly routines, day in and day out, throughout the year. I have learned that it's important for me to take check of my current lifestyle and stress load and adjust my workouts to compliment and bring balance, not add more stress.”
Fitting fitness into my day
“Again, I am blessed to have access to Barrecore's strong and varied classes daily. There really is no excuse for me not to get a workout in. That said, I am busy, so it's easy to skip a workout and tackle my inbox instead. When my to-do list starts to outweigh my workout routine I just give myself the gentle reminder that I am ALWAYS more productive and efficient with my time when I exercise regularly.
The key is to make your workouts a non-negotiable appointment in your schedule. I know, if something is not in my diary, I won't do it. Even having amazing results-focused classes at my fingertips, I have to schedule class into my day or I just let other things slip in instead.”
My weekly workout schedule
“I usually do three Barrecore Signature classes and one of our specialty classes, usually either a HIIT (barre/cardio blend), Asana (yoga/barre blend) or Sculpt (insanely challenging class using a stretchy resistance band ). I am such a barre fanatic because I truly believe in the low impact interval training that creates remarkable results in a very short period of time which still seems like magic to me. It doesn't cause undue stress to the body by increasing cortisol levels, as too much cardiovascular work does, and the work you do in class keeps working for you, melting fat for the next three to four days.
Plus, I get bored very easily so the fact that no two classes are the same, the instructors are constantly educating you throughout class and there is no chance of hitting a plateau in barre fitness makes it fun, engaging and always a challenge. Besides Barrecore, I also like to do a short run in the park and a yoga class each week to make sure I get some training outside of 'work mode'.”
My motivational mantra
“Whenever I am feeling demotivated, insecure or low in energy, I just take a pause and say, 'You've got this!' It’s simple but it works for me every time.”