It only took me 6 months on Classpass to get into a Barry’s Bootcamp class but now that I’ve survived (yes, survived), I can see why spots fill up immediately.
For those of you not familiar with Barry’s, it operates a similar format as Orange Theory and other studios that rotate between high-intensity cardio and strength training. This particular class was broken up into 3 sets of treadmill work, and 3 sets of floor work. The class is set to a high-intensity the entire class, which Classpass categorizes as an “advanced” workout. They’re not wrong.
I took the class on a Tuesday which is Barry’s “Butt and Legs” day. The studio in Boston’s financial district is surprisingly small but the actual workout space itself was spacious enough to accommodate about 42 people between the floor and treadmill!
The room has gives off a club vibe with dim lights and loud music. The instructor Erin was friendly and motivating, helping to inform me of the basics before class even started.
I started on the treadmill versus the floor. The first round was 8 minutes long and consisted of some intervals between jogging, running at a “push” pace, sprints, and hill work. It felt tough but not impossible.
I then moved to the floor for 8 minutes of the strength portion of the workout. Our first set used a resistance band for butt exercises and heavy weights for squats and lunges. I didn’t find any of the moves particularly challenging, but the constant activity coming right off the treadmill kept my heart rate very high throughout the second set. Most studios offer strength as a recovery but I still felt like I was working hard.
The next two sets of floor and treadmill work were hard – like really hard. I would consider myself to be in “above average” shape overall and maybe just an average runner. Once I got back on the treadmill I started to doubt that.
The second sets were ten minutes each, our longest in the class, and the third sets were five minutes each. The ten minute treadmill workout absolutley killed me. I would summarize it as running fast to sprinting for ten minutes while continually increasing your incline. I was running at a level 8.5 pace at a 6% incline for the final minute of the workout (likely closer to 30 seconds – I had to take a break!). The tough treadmill portion left me absolutley breathless for the strength set and final third round afterwards – and that’s why the workout is considered “advanced” and is why people cite crazy results from the workout.
Barry’s is notoriously hard but here’s why: You never get a chance to catch your breath – you work at your highest possible intensity for 50 minutes straight.
There were moments when I really thought I might puke – it takes a lot for me to feel that way.
BUT – I’d still go back for a class (when I can get in). I don’t see myself buying a full membership since I felt the class was too intense to take everyday but it’s definitely a good class to throw into the mix for a nice challenge. It’s as much of a mental workout as physical.
Should you take it?
If you have been working out for a few months – including HITT and running as part of your regular workout regimen – you should take this class. You definitely don’t need to be “ripped” or “elite” to take the class as people of all shapes, sizes, gender, and skill level were present at my class. However, I would recommend to anyone new to exercise to hold off and build up cardio endurance so that the class is more enjoyable, as well as to avoid injury.
Have you taken a Barry’s Bootcamp class before? What were your thoughts? Share in the comments below!