With music pumping and the lights down low, it’s easy to lose yourself in the high-intensity world of a Barry’s Bootcamp class. News & Stories assistant editor Tom Hagues gives one a go…

After the excesses of Christmas I thought that an arms, chest and core class would be the perfect way to get back into something resembling an exercise routine. An hour in Eccleston Yards in Belgravia and I’ll be back into fitness and less inclined to lounge around eating cheese and biscuits, I thought to myself. Little did I know that the team at Barry’s Bootcamp aren’t messing around when they say ‘bootcamp’.

The class is lead by Tee, an energetic and enthusiastic trainer who doesn’t let you get away with taking the easy way out – something I found out the hard way. As the class begins, we each head to our chosen starting spot – either on the floor spots or on a treadmill – and prepare for our, to put it plainly, thrashing.

While Tee is the class leader and a personal trainer by profession, she is also, for the duration of this class, a life coach, a DJ and a lighting technician. The long, mirrored room is lit by red bulbs and Tee turns them off every now and then when things are getting particularly hard-core.

Shouting words of encouragement and playing the right music to keep us motivated, Tee puts us through our paces – intervals of sprinting, cooling down with a no less difficult run – until it’s time to switch positions. It’s a technique that works really well – just as your legs are about to give up it’s time to go to the benches on the floor, where you get to lie on your back. I like this bit.

Here we’re put through several core exercises – leg raises, sit-ups, crunches and push-ups – that are so intense I can almost feel my festive flab disappearing in an instant. Using weights works the arms and chests and, during one exercise, we’re asked to work the weights along our torsos with Tee shouting: “Imagine you’re spreading your favourite spread on you – Nutella or peanut butter!” I’m going to eat an entire jar of Nutella when I leave, I think to myself. It is the least I deserve.

After several bouts of more sprinting, running and weight exercises, it’s time to bring the class to an end. We all stretch out our tired muscles, breathing in deeply to calm ourselves down after such a frantic hour.

Leaving Barry’s, with endorphins coursing through my body, I am delighted that I’ve made it through and amazed at how great I feel because of it. It’s not an easy task, nor is it for the faint-hearted, but a session at Barry’s Bootcamp is a very easy way to make you feel fantastic.