Barry’s Boot Camp is conveniently located next to my massage spa that I go to for some R&R. This means that when I’m going there to get my lazy on, I often see the kind of clientele that goes in and out of Barry’s. I’m talking seriously toned bodies, women who look like they could lift a truck, guys who look like models. Lately as I’ve continued to lose weight I’ve had this inspiration to get fit and toned like them. It’s like, now that I’m what I’d simply label as ‘overweight’ instead of ‘obese’ (thanks BMI chart!) I can kind of picture what I’d look like as someone who is seriously fit and the idea intrigues me. So, I thought I’d check into Barry’s and see what it’s all about.
I read the Yelp reviews and they have a solid 5 stars with 108 reviews as of this writing. Most of the people didn’t look phony, they seemed like people who might actually be telling the truth. They kept talking about how addicting the classes are and how motivational the instructors are. Most of the reviews reference the hip music and the lights and mirrors as being a pretty awesome experience. All the reviews talk about how intense it is, and how you might vomit. Uh oh.
For some reason, I still decided it was a good idea to go and I dragged my friend Caitlin along with me. Every day has a different theme and yesterday’s was “Chest, Back, Abs”. The general format of the hour-long class is that you spend 50% of the time on the floor doing free-weights and body weight exercises or ab workouts, and 50% on the treadmills. The group is split in half and every 6 minutes you switch off between the treadmill and the floor. It was super packed and chaotic, which I didn’t enjoy. However, the receptionist said that the 5:30 class we attended is one of the most busy classes so we should try a different time slot next time. Lesson learned. The treadmill portion of the class wasn’t just setting it at 5.0 and running for 6 minutes. We were instructed to increase speed or inclines and ended up doing intervals with sprints & running up hills. Being way more out of shape than most of the clientele, I didn’t actually do any of the sprints. I alternated between power walking and jogging instead of jogging & sprinting. The floor part was pretty neat – we started out doing partner pullups (which I royally suck at by the way) and then moved on to a number of different lifting/strength exercises with free weights. We also did a bit of ab work at the end with crunches.
The workout was great. I burned over 700 calories in the hour, didn’t feel sick, really enjoyed the context switching because I never felt like I had to do the same thing for long. I personally loved the dance music (it’s EDM/electronic) and the colored “club dance floor lights”. It was kind of dark in there which I liked, because I didn’t feel like everyone was gawking at each other. In actuality, I’m not sure anyone would have had time to anyway — the exercises were thrown at us so quickly that I’m pretty sure that no one had time to check each other out.
Downside: the instructor didn’t have a ton of time for personal attention. With over 30 people in a class, it’s just impossible for him to worry about everyone’ s form. We were super grateful for learning form from Gwen at Mission Fit Camp — because everything we learned came into play here. I basically had to look at what other people in the class were doing and try to emulate them. It worked to some extent because the rows and stuff were not new to me, but making sure I had proper back form while doing bent over rows was kind of scary. I am going to try a smaller class size to see if I like it better. Overall though, I really loved the class. The format was great and I want to keep going to it.
However, I’m disappointed in the cost. It’s seriously fucking expensive. Each class is $22 if bought separately (compared to $11 for my spin classes). A 10-class pack is $190, so if I go 2 times a week and throw a couple of extra classes in per month that’s already $200. And if I’m into this, I’m not sure 2x per week is enough. You can make it as cheap as $14/class, but that would require a $700 upfront payment for 50 classes. Eeek. On the contrary, if I do this – it’s basically ALL the fitness I need. It will give me strength & cardio. That’s what I want right now. I could augment this by going back to running outside for free, but it’s gotta cool off for me to actually get my ass out there & do that.
My current plan is to go to a couple more classes at the $22 drop-in rate, and see what I think. If I want to buy a package, I’ll decide from there.---------------
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