Sometimes a work out regime is called a ‘craze’ when one celebrity tries it. If that is true then what does that make Barry’s Bootcamp – a high intensity, sexily lit, sweat inducing power hour carried out in Barry’s intimate gym spaces? The list of beautiful people that have burned calories at Barry’s include Katie Holmes, Kim and Khloe Kardashian, Jessica Biel, Jake Gyllenhaal and Glee actors and actresses. This is more than a craze, it’s a takeover!
Without a doubt, the Barry’s bootcamp name is established in the States and now I am excited to share the news it has recently arrived in London. From a studio in West Hollywood, it spread to LA to New York and The Hamptons and now you can find it in Nashville and Norway too. Why? Because it has a reputation for getting people into shape fast. Next time you go to the movies and envy the figures of the actors and actresses, there’s a good chance you’re coveting the body they sculpted in an intense class at Barry’s.
But will it work for me and you? I’ll give it a go for one week and show you how I get on…if I get a part in Glee after this you know it worked. Only joking, I just want to drop a few pounds with minimal effort while having fun. Is that possible? I’ll give it a go and let you know…
Day One – Arms and Abs with Shane
I always want to keep things celebrity related so before I asked the class I grilled Shane on what celebrities he’d had in his classes before. Reluctantly, because he’s very modest, he told me the first ever class he did in West Hollywood was attended by Khloe Kardashian. Since then he taught the two cheerleaders from Glee, Stacey Kiebler, an actress from Scrubs, Kim Kardashian and lots more American actresses and actors (which I’m temporarily dazzled by so check the Barry’s website for full details).
At 7.10 in the morning, the lights went down, Britney Spears and Will.i.am was put on the stereo loud and it was warm up time on the treadmills. all next to each other so you get inspired by what your neighbours are doing.
The treadmills are the springiest I have ever used, which was a good start. And they’re also pretty simple to work (good at 7.10 in the morning). You control speed by pushing up and down arrows on the right side and incline by pushing up and down arrows on the left side.
Everyone starts walking at the speed comfortable to them for two minutes before Shane shouts ‘give me fives and sixes and sevens.’ It sounds like a Steps dance move. I’m confused. However, I find out its a reference to the speed. The class is given three options so if you’re new to working out you’d jog on a five, if you’re average fitness you’d try a six and if you’re really fit or have long legs you jog at a seven.
After that the speed gradually gets quicker, taking what we started with and adding 1 more to it. So if you started at a six, when Shane shouts give me one more you move up to a seven. By the time you get to 10 you’re sweating so much it’s dropping into your eyes (or is this just me)? Out of the corner of my eye, I look at the man next to me who is sprinting on 11.5. I manage to keep up the 10 for sixty seconds, and feel secretly proud that I am .5 faster than the girl next to me who is on 9 .5. Before I know 15 mins is up and we move to the floor.
The floor is where the weights and resistance training take place. We grab an rubber cord and grab a dumbbell. We’re told we’ll only be lifting one dumbbell so go as heavy as possible – at least 10kg. Then it’s abs workout time. We start easy with crunches. Then we grab the dumbbell at either end and make the crunch heavier. A sixty seconds exercise turns into another painful sixty seconds exercise and you use all your energy getting through to the end of each that 15 mins passes in a blur and it’s time for treadmill again.
It was a gentle start – for about a minute! Then into some hill runs. In the first session it was all about the flats but you need to run uphill to work out the calves. The whole class are ordered (and Shane came round to check) to get on the same incline then it’s up to you what speed to do. The super fast man next to me defied gravity but I tried to keep to 1 speed less than him for motivation and if really pushed me. And I was still ahead of the girl the other side.
I think we just did 12 mins this time but when I got off and had to go back to the floor and into some sit ups, my whole body was shaking. We did bicycle crunches, crunches with legs out and arms out and sit ups holding thedumbells before planks, side planks and other stomach fat busting exercises back to back until I actually thought I might die. Barry’s have their own branded water, which comes in 750ml and I drank all of it.
The class eventually ended with 5 minutes of stretching which I was very relived about as it gave me chance to get my heart rate down to normal levels.
DAY ONE VERDICT: I cannot actually remember the last time I worked so hard in 60 mins and I feel proud of myself for pushing myself! I loved the competition aspect of having someone tell you to run faster on the treadmill – I would never normally try such speeds. But how on earth am I going to do it all again tomorrow?
Visit the Barry’s Bootcamp website for more details