As some of you might know, my boyfriend works for Men’s Running Magazine, so I have been fortunate enough to be asked to start blogging for Women’s Running Magazine and my first task was Barry’s Bootcamp. After seeing mentions of it flying around the Twitter world, the very talented Charli Cohen and I decided to have a sweaty girl date and head over there to see what all the fuss was about.
On Friday evening I thought it would be a worthwhile plan to have a little Google of Barry’s Bootcamp, the American fitness trend that I would be visiting at 11:15am on the Saturday morning, and it turned out I was in for a bit of a shock. Sometimes I question where my brain is, as I hadn’t realised that it is based around two 15-minute treadmill sessions.
Treadmill. Running. An actual treadmill. Oh crap! I haven’t attempted running properly since my knee reconstruction back in 2006, so needless to say, I got up on Saturday morning feeling pretty anxious!
Barry’s Bootcamp is located in a basement gym opposite Euston station. With the walls covered in army print and the lighting low with a red tinge, the loud dance music already pumping, it was only right that Olly Truelove (one of the instructors) walked in shouting motivational phrases through his Britney Spears-esque headset.
We split into two groups, one group starting on the treadmills and one on the floor. The first 15 minutes of running alternated between jogging, a strong run and sprinting and with Olly walking around checking your speed and telling me that he’s sure I can push harder, I really worked up a sweat. Olly shouted out which speed we should be on depending on whether we considered ourselves beginner, intermediate or advanced, so there was no need for me to feel worried after all. On top of this Olly also asked if anyone was new before the class started, introduced himself to any new individuals and ask about any injuries.
Tired and sweaty, we took ourselves over to the floor and did a number of arm, chest and leg exercises with including press-ups on a medicine ball. I was smiling like the Cheshire Cat when I actually managed them. Good to see that doing the 100 press up app is paying paid off. Back in January I couldn’t manage a single press up with good technique, but since working through this app, I can now do twenty in a row. Download it and get started.
Another rotation of the treadmill saw us bounding along varied inclines and finishing with a sprint – of course accompanied by “Push!” and “Give me MORE!”. By then I thought I was well and truly shattered, but with the motivation of the people in the class (aka my competitive nature) and Olly’s lively attitude I was able to get through the final 15-minutes of core work. Scissor legged sit-ups, Russian twists with weights and plank were all included and as the music tempo sped up for the last 30 seconds everyone pushed themselves to their absolute limit, as per Olly’s instruction.
The class ended with a lot of woops and cheers in a true American style and everyone walked away congratulating each other on a great class. Lockers and clean towels are given out on arrival, so you can head straight to the showers after, followed by a stop-off at the fuel bar, which sells protein shakes and other healthy snacks. Each class can fit around 40 people in it, so you can get away with booking a day or so before the class.
For high intensity training that’s fun and different, Barry’s Bootcamp is the place to find it. Sadly it’s doesn’t come at a cheap price, but I definitely walked away thinking my £20 was very well spent.
I thank Barry’s Bootcamp for getting me running again. I may have ached like never before the day after, but it was a great feeling and I’ve even been on a treadmill since! Times are changing… although a Skinny Bitch Collective Workshop is still my number one choice! Check out my blog post about it here. Charli actually did this workshop on the same day as Barry’s Bootcamp – how, I do not know! The girl is a machine!
Where: 16 Upper Woburn Place, London, WC1H 0AF
Entrance is on 163 Euston Rd, NW1 2BH
When: Every day, every hour.
Cost: £20 per class
Keep up-to-date with my running progress over at Women’s Running UK… I might be dressed as a tiger running through Whipsnade Zoo on my next adventure!