For country bumpkins like me a ‘bootcamp’ still means getting up at the crack of dawn, heading outside, rain or shine, to swing a kettlebell, perform endless burpees and get shouted at like we’re in the army! Here in this review of Barry’s Bootcamp I describe what it was like trying out a world famous Kardashian favourite, 800-calorie-burning class at Barry’s Bootcamp in central London.
I logged on, paid some money into my account and booked my spot on a Saturday Full Body Workout class -their clever online booking system allows you to book 7 days before but classes fill up fast with dedicated members even setting their alarms to keep their spot so you need to be on the ball if you have a specific class in mind.
Once the initial excitement of a celeb rocking up on the treadmill next to me had worn off (the likes of Ellie Goulding, Harry Styles and even David Beckham have been here) fear started to set in. How would I know what to do? Was I going to survive? Could an exercise class actually kill you?
On my arrival I was greeted by two friendly faces (who were definitely more excited about my newbie status than I was) and shown to the swanky changing rooms -complete with free towels, Digilock lockers, Malin + Goetz beauty products and the all-important hair dryers and GHD’s!
Before the class started, trainer Faisal, aka Mr PMA took us newbies into a dark, fully air-conditioned studio complete with floor to ceiling mirrors complete with state of the art sound system. He briefed us on how the Navy SEAL approved Woodway treadmills worked, what to expect from the class and assured us all we’d be “fine”. At that point though I still wasn’t 100% convinced.
The full body workout consists of gruelling HIIT workouts on the treadmill with varying speeds and inclines. There’s even a session where you have to power the treadmill yourself, alternated with floor and bench work with weights; think squats, lunges, chest presses, bicep curls and some ab work thrown in for good measure. I won’t lie, it’s hard, really hard but at the point when you think you can’t give any more Faisal’s there making you feel like you can achieve just about anything.
The other great thing about Barry’s is that although the trainers give you expected levels to work towards; beginner, intermediate and advanced you can still drop your speed down a notch or two and work at your own pace if and when you need to.
At £20 the class initially seemed a lot of money (that’s four LTB classes at my local) but sixty very sweaty minutes later as I high-fived my way out of the studio I felt pretty darn epic! Even though two days later my whole body was still aching, if Barry ever opens one of his Bootcamps in the countryside, you can count me in as the first one through the doors!