The Handbook
The Handbook

If you are into your fitness and live in London you will almost certainly have heard of Barry’s Bootcamp, the popular fitness craze that first hit the UK 2 years ago. Originally hailing from the USA, the one hour classes are a mix of cardio and weight training designed to give you a full body workout. They recently launched their second venue in East London to join the original Euston location, both with matching art deco interior, and we headed down to check it out.
BarrysBootCamp_edits-144I work out most days but tend to stick to the same exercises and shy away from HIIT training so I was excited to try something new to challenge myself with. As I waited nervously while the current class made their way out of the studio I overheard one girl tell another she loved it and would definitely return so I felt somewhat reassured that it couldn’t be too torturous. Out of a class of about 25 I was 1 of 3 brand new people (another good sign that there were so many repeat customers) so we were given a quick explanation of how the class would work. You are assigned a number which allocates you a certain treadmill and weights space and that’s pretty much how complicated it gets.

The studio itself is dimly lit with mirrored walls and as we get started on the treadmill the music begins to pump out, the classes are described as “high-energy” and I’m definitely getting that vibe. I love how dark it is inside, like some kind of healthy nightclub which means you leave your inhibitions about how you look at the door, like they say “if you look cute at the end of the workout, you didn’t work hard enough” but that doesn’t mean you want a clear shot of your red, sweaty face staring back at you while you try to work out. The incline and speed on the treadmill changes depending on what the teacher is yelling out but you are given an option of 3 speeds depending on your capabilities. When you head to the weights you are also given an option of which weights you can pick up but the men’s lowest option is heavier than the women’s. In our class I spied about 4 men which is surprising as there’s definitely nothing girly about the gym or classes but I think males tend to shy away from group activities when it comes to fitness.
BarrysBootCamp_edits-64The classes are hugely popular selling out seven days in advance, often within minutes of going on sale so I was pleased to have snagged a space. The innovative technique used work to “shock” the body in the most efficient and effective way to improve your cardiovascular system, lose weight and build muscle. Upstairs you can recover in The Fuel Bar with made-to-order protein shakes as well as Ozone coffee and nutritious in-house food options.

I enjoyed my time there even though I am an avid treadmill avoider and had been dreading having to get on one. Only the last few minutes at the end of the class became a struggle which isn’t a surprise after all the weighted squats and lunges not to mention all the interval running we had done. It was definitely full body and my muscles felt sore the next day but nothing too strenuous and I would absolutely recommend trying out a class if you haven’t already.