‘Barry is an incredible person… This is highlighted by his love of musical theatre, his Disneyland season pass and his self-confessed addiction to the Golden Girls TV show.’
‘FROM LA TO THE UK, BARRY’S BOOTCAMP HAS ARRIVED!’ shrieked the press release that fell into our hazy, hungover post-weekend inboxes a week or so ago. Apparently it’s a long-standing favourite workout routine of Kim Kardashian which almost got it deleted straight away, until it also said something about ‘muscles’, ‘trainers’ and ‘photos’ and we sleepily clicked on the accompanying link in the hope of cheap visual gratification.
After looking through the photos of the trainers we decided maybe it would be worth trying it out after all, selflessly as ever on the behalf of our readers. Foolishly however we opted for a Saturday session, not taking into account the three or four parties and clubs we had to attend on the Friday night, and by the time our first Barry’s Bootcamp eventually rolled around we were anything but in the mood to do an hour’s physical exercise. Cue us groggily rocking up at the Euston HQ and stumbling bleary-eyed, five minutes late into the vast workout room.
But it was brilliant. And I’m not just saying that; I mean in all honesty of giving a truthful review, and despite the tongue-in-cheek tone of this blog post so far, I do quite enjoy my fitness anyway and perhaps I wouldn’t be quite so enthusiastic if I was out of shape. It was hard, damn hard, yet worth it for the flying euphoria of endorphins you walk out with, feeling the enjoyable ache of muscles rebuilding themselves bigger. I did have reservations about how the unfit would manage with the class, it being so intensive, but as trainer Shane says you can set your own limits, and there is a good, supportive atmosphere. If you’re the kind of person who goes regularly to the gym but doesn’t get enough out of it because you don’t push yourself this is perfect for you.
Oh yeah, and those cute trainers? Well, you can judge for yourself from the photo. So enough of my blathering and here’s our interview with the smiley Irish trainer who took our class Shane Collins, the real reason why you clicked on this link…
How did you get involved with Barry’s Bootcamp in the first place?
I found Barry’s by accident. I was in LA on vacation and I was looking for somewhere to workout while I was there, I searched for fitness classes and Barry’s was the closest studio to where I was staying. I had never heard of Barry’s and had no idea what to expect but from the second class I was hooked. I took Barry’s class and halfway through he kneeled down beside my bench and asked if I was a trainer and told me I could have a job anytime. I’ve been back to LA a few times since and when we knew London was opening it just seemed like the perfect fit, and so far it has been! I just got lucky I guess, but maybe it was meant to be.
You’ve worked with Barry himself, what’s he like?
Barry is an incredible person, his energy and his attitude towards life is infectious. He has just turned 50 and if there is a testament to how effective this workout is you need only look at Barry’s physique. Barry barks his instructions in class and his class kills me more than anybody else’s but away from the studio he is a much quieter, much gentler soul. This is highlighted by his love of musical theatre, his Disneyland season pass and his self-confessed addiction to the Golden Girls TV show! Barry’s Bootcamp is a big family, trainers, staff and clients included, and the head of that family is Barry. He genuinely cares and tries to get to know as many people as possible.The biggest compliment I can pay him is to say he has been a huge inspiration to me and I try to pass that inspiration on every day to everybody who steps into my class.
Tell us how the fitness workout achieves so much in such a short space of time.
The Barry’s philosophy is a simple yet hugely effective one. Each class is 60 minutes long and we mix 30 mins of treadmill based cardio training with 30 minutes of resistance weight training. This type of interval training really shocks the body and facilitates the amazing results we see in class. The treadmill element of the workout optimally burns fat whilst the floor based weight training works on building muscle. We focus on different body parts each day which allows us to fatigue specific muscle groups and then rest that muscle group the next day. For example on Monday’s we work Arms & Abs but Tuesday we work Legs & Butt so the arms can recover. The best thing about Barry’s is that no two workouts are ever the same. Each class is different and every trainer brings something different to the table: because it’s never the same your body is constantly being shocked and the chance of hitting a fitness plateau is hugely reduced. Barry’s works, that’s the bottom line. I sometimes get frustrated when people tell me that it works and is so popular because we get celebrities to come to our classes, but in reality the celebrities come and it’s so popular because it works!
Is the workout for anyone or do you have to have a certain level of fitness before you begin?
Barry’s really is suitable for everybody. We have a broad spectrum of clients from elite athletes to people who have never set foot on a treadmill before. Everybody works to the best of their abilities and we suggest different treadmill speeds and different weights depending on the client’s ability. We have some amazing stories from the States where people who could barely run on a treadmill twelve months ago have lost over 100lbs, and that’s an amazing journey to be part of. Then at the opposite end of the scale we’ve had guys who come and want to actually get bigger and add some muscle mass and we’ve been able to help them reach their goals too. I think that’s what sets us apart, we recognise that people have different goals; for some it’s weight loss and I truly believe there is no more effective workout to achieve this than Barry’s, but we also recognise that for many people its not about weight loss. It could be about increasing athletic performance or actually adding muscle mass and we can help those clients achieve their goals too.
And finally, do you do the workout yourself when you train? What are your favourite and worse parts?
YES!!! Like I said before from the second my first class started I was hooked. I’ve been lucky to train with some amazing people in my life, including Olympic athletes and some of the world’s most renowned trainers, but nothing gives me the same workout high as a Barry’s class. I think guys are often turned off by group fitness classes as they imagine it will be like step aerobics, I know I was slightly guilty of that, which is why it was a pleasant surprise when I walked into Barry’s and got handed nice heavy weights to do my bicep curls!
My favourite part is the atmosphere that’s created in class. When we turn the lights down and the music up it sets a scene that gets me in my zone like nowhere else. I also like that I never know what to expect when I go into class, the only thing I know is that I’ll reach a stage where I want to give up, but I won’t! Above everything else it’s fun and that’s why people come back.
The worst part? Burpees. I don’t know anybody who enjoys doing burpees! It’s an exercise where you repeatedly do a push-up, jump to your feet and explosively jump in the air then back down into pushups and you go again. If you’ve done them you’ll understand!
Barry’s Bootcamp is at various times all through the week, prices vary from £14-20/hour. 163 Euston Road, NW1 2BH. www.barrysbootcamp.com