Barry’s Bootcamp – London East

I’d heard of Barry’s Bootcamp, they call it ‘The Best Workout in the World’.  I’d heard it was popular with the A Listers over in Hollywood and New York.  I’d also heard it was pretty tough.  But hey, I ran 37 miles round the Lake District, I ran down a fell mountain in high winds and rain, I’ve pulled myself out of the darkest places just to cross a finish line – I’m tougher than anything Barry and his Bootcamp could throw at me.  Aren’t I?!  I thought it was time to give it a try.

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On Tuesday I headed over to the London East studio with a couple of girls from work, we I was really looking forward to it!  I have to admit, I didn’t really know what would be involved but, checking out the website beforehand, I was a little concerned that the first question on the FAQ’s was ‘Will I die?’ but, really, how hard can a 60 minute workout be?!

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When we got there (an hour early, we were a little keen!) so had plenty of time to have a look around and check out the selection of post-workout protein drinks available from the Fuel Bar.

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There’s only one room, it’s not a gym, it’s just one room where the bootcamp takes place with a row of 20 treadmills and 20 floor stations.  When you book your place (which you have to do pretty fast!) you choose to start on the treadmill, or on the floor, we chose the treadmill.

It looks swanky.  The lights are low with floor to ceiling mirrors on each wall, the trainers are all ripped and the other fitness fanatics all look like they know what they’re doing.  Still, I know how to work a treadmill and I remembered to pack my favourite lycra so I didn’t feel too intimidated!  Our trainer was Sandy, Sandy is is responsible for bringing Barry’s to London, so he must be good…

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You’re assigned a workstation at reception so there’s no fighting over your spot.  I hopped on treadmill 2 and waited for instructions.  We started with a warm up and were given 3 different choices for beginners, intermediates and advanced.  It’s running on a treadmill, clearly I’m an intermediate verging on advanced, right?!

Barry’s treadmills are set at miles per hour rather than the usual kilometer per hour and we were given the choice to start on 6, 7, or 8.  7 mph is 8.30mm (not that I could do that kind of maths at the time but I started on that pace anyway!).  Over the course of the next 8-9 minutes Sandy had me working up to 9 mph (errr, 6.40mm) on an incline.  I wasn’t sure I was intermediate anymore. Warm up over then…

We then moved onto our floor spot – Tuesday is ‘leg and butt’ day so we were in for 8-9 minutes of weighted lunges and squats.  This wouldn’t be so bad but the lightest weights they had left were 7.5kg, and I needed 2 of them!  Jess managed to get some 6kg ones, I didn’t like her anymore.

We were then straight back on the treadmill for another round of fast paced running, with the incline going up to 10% my pace dropped to somewhere inbetween the beginner and intermediate pace.  It was 8 minutes of solid hard work and I only made it up to 8.5 mph this time.  Back on the floor we did some weighted side lunges and box jumps before jumping back on the treadmill for round 3 (where I managed 9.3 mph without falling off!)

By the end we had done 3 sets on the treadmill and 3 sets of leg and bum floor work.  Honestly? I was knackered.  When we headed back upstairs our pre-ordered protein shakes were waiting for us, I went for Cool Runnings, a blend of pineapple juice, coconut milk and vanilla whey, it tasted pretty damn good.

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So, it turns out Barry’s Bootcamp is actually a bloody tough workout, the runs are pretty fast paced and the floor work is brutal.  As with everything, you get out what you put in, but I think you would struggle without a good level of fitness beforehand.  When I woke up on Wednesday I was quite pleased not to ache as much as I thought I would but, after a morning sat at my desk I quickly changed my mind…my legs were suffering post-Barry’s depression.  However, I loved it and I want to go back!

Whilst it’s pretty swanky, unsurprisingly, it also has a pretty swanky price tag.  For a one off class it’s £20.  There are savings to be made by buying packs of 10 if you have a spare £170, you can even buy a pack of 50 for £700 but, either way, it’s quite pricey.  Throw in a fiver for a post workout protein shake and you’ve easily spent £25 before walking out the door.

Is it worth it?  I’m definitely going to give it another go, maybe on abs day…

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I went to Barry’s Bootcamp as a paying customer.  All views are my own.

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