I Tried Barry’s Bootcamp…Yes, Really.

I will be the first to admit, I am not fit; not by any stretch of the imagination. I go jogging sporadically every month or so, and that is about as far as my workouts go. So, what possessed me to say yes to a session at one of the world’s toughest fitness classes you may wonder? Honestly, I really don’t know. I thought, if anything, YOLO.

My friend and I headed to the “Abs and Ass” lunchtime class in the middle of Barry’s Bootcamp’s aptly-named Hell Week. We were at the Canary Wharf branch of the world-famous workout centre – loved by celebrities such as Harry Styles (who I was hoping to bump into pre-workout), Ellie Goulding and Jake Gyllenhaal – and we were greeted by a a lovely receptionist, who promised we would have fun despite the challenge. I ordered a Mocha Protein Shake from the menu he handed to me, which would be given to me when I finished the class (translation: if I made it out alive).

A rundown on Barry’s Bootcamp for those who have not heard of it: Originating in LA, Barry’s Bootcamp is one of the most sought-after botique exercise classes in the world. Barry’s came to the UK in 2013 and has branches all around the world, including Dubai, Paris and Melbourne. Each class combines 25 minutes of cardio with 25 minutes of weights in what will be the most gruelling 50 minutes of your life. The theory goes that each one burns 1000 calories – I sure hope this is true!

Ready to take on Barry’s Bootcamp

We entered the dark, treadmill-filled room after putting our stuff away in the luxurious changing rooms which were complete with GHD straighteners, dry shampoo and hairspray. Our trainer, Andre, gave us newcomers a quick induction and then the class began with hi-fives, loud music and a lot of shouting. I had been thrown into the deep end now and there was no (non-awkward) way out.

I was surrounded by a sea of muscles, toned abs and generally fit people. After a round on the treadmills, we hit the floor to work with dumbells, then it was back on the treadmill where our speed would be going up every few minutes. I was sure the 50 minute session was up as I, an aching body covered in sweat, searched desperately for a clock. As if he sensed what I was thinking, Andre shouted ” fifteen minutes in, great job everyone!” FIFTEEN? You have got to be kidding me!

The next 35 minutes continued with us running from treadmill to floor, doing squats, weight-lifting, stretches, runs, and various other exercises I did not know the name of. “Don’t give up” I kept telling myself as I rolled onto my back to do a version of sit-ups I had not known existed.

I have to say though, when Andre finally said “last 30 seconds everyone”, and Coldplay’s Paradise started playing on the speakers, I felt GOOD. Like really good! Don’t get me wrong, I was tired, aching and disgustingly sweaty, but I had done it – I had survived a Barry’s Bootcamp class, and best of all, I hadn’t stopped or given up at any point!

We did our final stretches and Andre congratulated each of us as we left, with a special well done to us first-timers.After the class, I had a nice chat with Andre, said goodbye to the receptionist, and walked out of the merchandise-and-motivational-quotes-filled lobby, protein shake in hand, not as achy as I thought I would be, ready to face the rest of the day.

Protein Shake: Snickers and Mocha 

My muscles do ache as I write this, the day after the class, and it was a struggle getting out of bed this morning (there was a lot of oo-ing and ow-ing), but I genuinely feel like I could do it again, and it has given me the motivation to do more workouts…let’s see how long that lasts!

With Love, Abi X

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