14622 Ventura Blvd , Sherman Oaks, CA 91403
Ooo Barry's Bootcamp. I've been dreading this day for a while. Everybody knows Barry's is no joke. And it lived up to the hype.
Barry's definitely has what I would call a cult following in Southern California. They have been around for a while, and have their solid fan base. Everyone in class was super toned, fit, and hot. You gotta be in shape to do Barry's, as well as have a lot of desire. Desire is important here.
I signed up for this class before my weekend camping adventure on Friday. I did this for two reasons, one because I knew after a weekend of booze and shitty camp food I would need a good ass kicking, and two the morning classes always fill up pretty early and I can't motivate myself after about 10 am. Short motivation window for me.
Everybody at the front desk was sincerely friendly and when they found out it was my first time you could tell they had a little bit of pity in their eyes for me. The friendly front desk man, who may also be an instructor there (fit enough to be anyways) introduced me to Martin, my class instructor for the day. Martin was also very friendly and explained how the class would go and where to put my things. I have been to classes similar to Barry's, so I kind of knew the deal but it was nice that they didn't just throw me out there to the wolves.
I was surprised to see that my class was completely full. Almost 40 people! There are two groups: a floor set and a tredmill set and then you trade off every 10 minutes or so. I was assigned a spot when I signed up. I had the floor set first. I wished for the treadmill set first to start getting the running over with, but you can't always get what you want. I would have asked to trade, but again, my class was packed!
The first set on the floor began with hand weights. He told me to grab a heavy set "At least a 12 to 15". I chuckled and grabbed an 8 pound and 5 pound set. I'm not even sure I could curl a 15 for more than, say, twice. We did lots of curls this round. Then it was time to switch to the treadmill.
Apparently it was "Monday Runday"- lucky me. I love running. While on the treadmills, Martin gave three levels of running speeds, which was always around 6.5, 7.5, or 8.5. I bet you guys can guess which number I typically took. We started with a warm up. Then we did this whole 5 minute get your best time running thing. Ugh. 5 minutes straight of running is a mile! (well not for me...but for some people) The distance I got to was 6.8.
Back to the floor and this time we used resistance bands. Despise resistance bands. We put them under our stackables. Boy, did this make arm curling incredibly difficult. I ALMOST grabbed my hand weights because I could barely curl more than 5 times.
Typically in classes, I think you do side runs, runs on inclines, and backwards, and all the wacky ways. But today, it was all about distance. Monday's are distance days. It included lots of sprints and long "jogs"- by jog I mean running at a pace of 7.5 or higher. I should have clocked how many miles I actually ran today but if I had to guess it would be at least around the 3 mile mark. I for sure was not doing the highest number that Martin always shouted out, but I wasn't always doing the lowest either. I never stopped to walk when it wasn't a rest period, so I can feel proud of that.
The plank series on the floor was pretty rough. I kept slipping on the mat because of how sweaty I was. Bring a towel. What an amateur move that was to not bring one. I removed the mat and my poor little elbows were screaming on the hard floor, but it was the only way. I had to push through. We had to smack our butt with on hands in the plank. Then hit our butt with our legs. Lots of butt smacking. Good way to begin a Monday.
We did a few more sets of switching back and forth between the floor and treadmills. I liked that each set wasn't too long. I have been to classes similar to this one before, and I thought we spend too much time running. Like it was never gonna end! This kept everything manageable for me. Still hard as hell, but I could do it since I knew we weren't going to be running forever.
At the end of class, Martin shouted out that he loves when he can't tell the difference between the newbies and the regulars so even if he wasn't talking about me per say, it made me feel neat.
With so many people in class, Martin only came up to me once, during weight kickbacks and told me I was looking perfect. He didn't hand out any adjustments to me, and I like adjustments. But again, with nearly 40 people in class I imagine it would be difficult to get everyone. I did see him working with the chick behind me once or twice. I am sure if I was a total newbie he would have been fixing me right up though.
Barry's Bootcamp is legit. If you want to incorporate some cardio into your life, like me, then this is a great spot because you also get toning involved and an excellent sweat. Ohh..it's also really clean! They mop and clean the machines between every class. Which is necessary- because you will sweat!