Barry’s Bootcamp Review

by Khushboo on September 19, 2016

Alternative blog post title: The time I worked out with David Beckham

There’s nothing new about Barry’s Bootcamp.  Although it’s been the rage for a number of years both in the US & London,  I’d never had the courage to sign up for a class myself.  I consider myself pretty fit but there’s something about the class that always seemed a bit daunting.  Since growth apparently only happens when you come out of  your comfort  zone, I finally ripped the Barry’s band-aid off.  As classes fill up pretty fast, I signed up earlier last week for the a Full Body class on Friday with my friend Nasiha. 

Located just opposite Euston tube station, Barry’s Bootcamp is fairly nearby to where I live in London (about a 20-minute walk away).  Fortunately when I walked in, the guy at the front desk was incredibly nice which put my doubts at ease.  In case you’ve never attended/heard about Barry’s, I’ll give you a rundown of the actual class.  

Comfort zone

Dimly lit & with music blaring, the room is filled with a row of 20 treadmills & 20 floor stations.  There’s more equipment in the back, including dumbbells of various weights, jumping ropes, medicine balls & mats. In this particular class, we only used dumbbells and mats.  A few minutes before the class started, our instructor Jay gave a quick induction to the newbies so that we were aware of the class’s format.  Once the workout started, we went to our designated starting point on the floor or treadmill – I chose to start with floor work.  The class was split up into 3 set of floor work & runs.

Class Structure

Set 1

Floor work for 7 minutes: This was circuit-based and we performed each exercise for about 45 seconds.  Some of them included squats, knee-ups followed by punches, lunges, rows, plank variations, mountain climbers & push-ups- all of which we completed with dumbbells.

Run for 7 minutes:  All of the runs were HIIT-based.  During the induction, Jay had told us that he’d constantly call out 3 different speeds (e.g. 5, 6, 7 miles per hour or 6, 7, 8 mph or 6.5, 7.5 mph, 8.5 mph or 8, 9, 10 mph) during the run portion and we’d need to choose according to our fitness levels (i.e. beginner, intermediate or advanced). 

Set 2

Floor work for 8 minutes: More strength training exercises including dumbbell clean and presses, swings, reverse lunges followed by knee-ups, Russian twists, shoulder press & a few more.

Run for 8 minutes: Same as above but with inclines added to the mix.  I tell you, running at 7 mph at 8% incline is no joke!

Set 3

Floor work for 8 minutes: The three main exercises for this set were chest press, seated rows & hammer curls followed by dumbbell side bends & plank twists.

Run for 8 minutes: Same as set 2, but it seemed far more challenging…probably as this was towards the end of the workout.  I do recall yelling out a few non-ladylike words ;).

Barry's bootcamp class


Final 3 minutes before cool-down stretches:

To round up the class, we alternated 30-second intervals of bicycle crunches & leg raises.

My thoughts:

I walked out of the class feeling both nauseated & high on endorphins.  Barry’s Bootcamp prides itself as being ‘The Best Workout in the World’ and it certainly ranks highly for me.  It was also one of the hardest workouts I’ve ever doneDuring some parts of the run, I could feel my heart exploding out of my chest and was so tempted to give up.  I’ve heard the instructors at Barry’s Bootcamp can be hit-or-miss but fortunately we lucked out with Jay.  He was the ideal balance of tough love & encouraging.  Although he reminded us during the induction that everyone’s fitness levels are different and to scale back the speeds at any point during the run if need be, he also called out a few brutal motivating comments during the workout.  One that particularly made me laugh was ‘You didn’t just come here for the selfie and shake…MOVE’!  Before heading out the door, I picked up a Barry’s Big Banana protein shake (unsweetened almond milk, banana, strawberries & vanilla vegan protein powder) from their Fuel Bar – it tasted like heaven & helped pep me right back up. 

Barry's Bootcamp shakes

Would I go back? Especially as we were constantly changing up the speeds, inclines and floor work exercises, the hour flew by.  I can see myself going back, but probably not on a regular basis. Given that It comes with the potential of working out with David Beckham, I have even more reason to 😉 .

Would I recommend it? If you’re looking for a high-intensity workout that has the potential to take your fitness to the next level, then yes.  It’s incredibly motivating to see other people pushing themselves to the limits, especially when you’re just about ready to quit.  That being said, everyone is also incredibly focused on his/her own workout and so there’s no room for judgement.  If you absolutely hate running and/or you are just starting off with exercise, I would say to hold off and try out another workout class instead.  

Have you done a Barry’s Bootcamp class before? Thoughts?

What workout last took you out of your comfort zone?

What workout are you currently loving?


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