Image via Barry’s Bootcamp
In the fall, I admitted that I was intimidated by Barry’s Bootcamp because I had heard crazy stories about treadmill sprints and heavy lifting. After building up the courage to try a class, I found that Barry’s includes both of those things, which are two of the reasons it’s such an effective workout. I took a few classes at the beginning of my half marathon training, but it had been awhile when I walked into the studio on Monday morning. It was about time that I get some speed and strength work in during the same class.
I’ve taken a few different Barry’s instructors, but my favorite has been Rebecca Kennedy. Rebecca, a former NFL Cheerleader and USA Gymnast, is now a Wilhelmina Fitness Model and Nike Trainer. Her training style is the perfect balance between making the newbies feel welcome and pushing the veterans to work at their full potential. She also teaches at the perfect 7:10 a.m. time slot, which leaves me enough time to shower, grab a smoothie, and get to work. Follow along with Rebecca on Twitter and Instagram for daily fitspiration.
Image via Rebecca Kennedy
When Rebecca opened the studio doors before class, people swarmed the equipment to claim their spot. A Barry’s class is typically broken into four, 12-minute segments–treadmill, weights, treadmill, weights. While half the class is on the treadmill, the other half is on the floor. This format requires Rebecca to almost be teaching two separate classes at once. She flawlessly cues each group, while also shouting form corrections over a Top 40-meets-throwback playlist. I like to start my class on the treadmill to get it out of the way, but I wasn’t quick enough to grab one on Monday.
Image via Barry’s Bootcamp
Barry’s offers different classes each day that focus on specific muscle groups. Monday was Arms & Abs. For the first set on the floor, everyone used heavy weights to complete exercises like hammer curls in plank position and skull crusher crunches. We completed 12 minutes of weights in that first segment, but I tend to black out what’s going on to focus on form. The second strength segment used medium weights and included exercises like Russian twists and side planks with a curl. Again, more lifting took place, but I can’t recall it.
The treadmill segments are the more difficult part of the class for me, as I’ve grown to be a distance runner but am not incredibly fast. Before taking Barry’s classes, I had never exceeded Level 8 speed or 5% incline on a treadmill. Now that I’m a Shredder, what Barry’s calls the group on the treadmill, I’ve hit Level 10 and 13% incline–maybe every simultaneously. The 12-minute treadmill segments include intervals of 20, 30, or 60 seconds at different speeds or inclines. When it comes to speed, Rebecca calls out a range (i.e. Level 8-11), but everyone always hits the same incline. She’s also drastically improved my running form.
I’m not ashamed to admit that I feel like a badass walking out of Rebecca’s class. While there are more students in a Barry’s class than other boutique fitness classes, the workout here is tough to beat. I’m thinking about making Rebecca’s Monday class part of my weekly routine. No stronger way to kick off the week.
Locations: 13 studios
Price Per Class: $34 per class in NYC