Fitness Class Review: Barry's Bootcamp SW1
Updated: Feb 20, 2020
Hey guys, those who know me know that I love a sweaty circuit workout and that I also love to run. Barry's Bootcamp combine both these elements and for me really does make 'the best workout in the world', which is their slogan; funny that!
I had my first taste of Barry's Bootcamp when I did a taster class at Sweaty Betty Live 2017 with a friend. During the time, I must admit I was slightly confused what we were doing especially on the treadmills as it wasn't explained too well by the instructor, but after about 10 minutes I understood when the instructor says 'come to a 7, 8 or 9) she is asking the people on the treadmills to put their speed up to 7mph, 8mph or 9mph. I sound really silly writing this for not understanding, but I'm sure many other people have been there when they're trying out a new fitness class.
After this first taste, I decided I wanted to do a full Barry's class so when I went to London to visit some friends, I booked my first ever class at their SW1 studio. The whole experience at SW1 was amazing, Barry's Bootcamp is definitely what I would call a boutique gym with those little extras that make you wish all gyms had this. After signing in, being handed a sweat towel, ordering my post workout shake, I enter their changing rooms. The changing rooms are pretty plush with nice modern furnishing, lockers, GHD hairdryers and straighteners and MALIN+GOETZ toiletries to take advantage of. The changing rooms sort of remind me of almost getting ready for a show with lit up mirrors with complimentary deodorant and hairspray cans on the side.
So lets get the workout and why I love it so much. The workout consists of doing intervals on the treadmill followed by a circuit (or vice versa) and that is one round. I have been to Barrys a few times and it usually consist of 3 rounds; however I have had one class where it consist of 2 very long rounds, and one which consisted of 4, either way I have always had a good workout however many rounds the trainer makes us do.
The 'Red Room' where your workout takes places has treadmills lined up side by side along a mirrored wall so you can check yourself out while you run. You can also take a sneaky peak at the person next you and see what speed they are running on, to keep you motivated and pushing through class. On the other side of the room, individual elevated steps are set up for each person as their floor space to do circuit training, again towards a mirror. If class is busy or full, you will share a treadmill and floor space with one other person, taking it in turn swapping between doing 1/2 a round on the treadmill, then 1/2 a round on the floor. This means Barry's can fit a whopping 50 people into one class with the trainer being able to instruct both the floor and treadmill at the same time.
The red lights go down, the beat drops and you give all the energy you've got for that final minute in your round. With the lights and loud pumping energetic music, The Red Room does feel like a fitness night club. I personally do find when you have good energetic music for your workout, it does make me work out harder and motivate me. It sounds silly, but with the added effect of the lights, mirrors and having other people to work out with makes me push even harder. So far every time I have booked and done a Barry's class I have always looked forward to it and also definitely given it at least 100% which isn't always the case when I work out (being honest here).
Because there is a substantial amount of intervals on the treadmills plus a HIIT style workout on the floor, Barry's claims you can burn 1000 calories in one class. A class is 60 minutes long and with only rest when you swap over, I can imagine you will burn a lot of calories during class and carry on burning after class also. The intensity of this class is high and I would not recommend this class for people who are new to exercise. The intervals on the treadmills can get pretty tasty, followed by a HIIT workout on the floor will get even relatively fit people working really hard. That said, I believe if you came to class regularly you would definitely see your fitness level soar as you get used to the intensity of class. Speed options are given, and after a few classes you might be able to run on the next speed and push yourself a little harder.
While doing class I have seen people run at slower paces on the treadmills or even stop when it is too much. You can also pick a lighter weight than recommended for your floor work making the workout more accessible to beginners. The instructor has to queue both treadmills and the floor at the same time, which sometimes can be a bit confusing, especially if you are new to exercise and need a bit more instruction. However the instructors are very good at doing this and after a while you get used to hearing the queues for either 'Floor' or 'Treadmills.' Instructions are clear and can be heard over the pounding music as the instructors are mic'ed up.
People who enjoy running and HIIT style workouts/circuit training, I think this class would be right up your street. I also love the fact that class is 60 minutes long and you are working for the majority of the whole class, meaning its a great endurance class and endorphin rush.
OK so lets talk about price, it is £22.00 for a class at Barry's and there isn't any discount if you buy in block. They are also not on ClassPass. There are many similar treadmill workout classes in London however, I guess Barry's Bootcamp is the original so you pay a premium and they are probably the elite so you have to book directly through Barry's for exclusivity. For the workout and facilities, I do believe my class and experience is worth £22.00 however it wouldn't be easy on the pocket to be able to do Barry's Bootcamp consistently say 2-3 times a week.
Overall, Barry's Bootcamp is probably my favourite out of all the fitness classes I have tried in London so far. The SW1 studio is just round the corner from Victoria Coach station so it is very convenient for me to get to class either when coming in or leaving London. It ticks all the boxes in terms of a workout I really enjoy as well as having those extra luxuries which I don't get to experience back in Cheltenham or in mainstream gyms. Barry's have 5 studios dotted around London and also 1 in London. They are international and can also be found in USA, Australia, Dubai, Singapore, Malaysia, Norway, France and Sweden to name a few. If you love to run, a sweaty circuit, pumping music and a good endorphin rush, I recommend giving Barry's Bootcamp a go!