Hello and happy Friday everyone! I’m fresh off the plane after a quick hop over to Boston this week. While I didn’t have a ton of free time during my stay, I made sure to get in at least one fit crash while I was there. To be honest with you, the idea of having to whittle down all of Boston’s fabulous fitness classes and pick just one was daunting. Intimidating. Perplexing, even. Thankfully, a few fellow bloggers and the kind folks at ClassPass came to my rescue, offering some suggestions: Btone (megaformers), Recycle (spin), Boston Body (barre), Flywheel (spin), Back Bay Yoga, and Exhale (core fusion).
If I had my way, I would have picked all of them. I could have used another day in Boston dedicated entirely to the fine art of fit crashing. Sadly, the world seems to follow its own schedule and I had time for only one. Specifically, I had time for one at 5:30ish p.m. So I did a little digging and found that the class with the most convenient time and location was none other than Barry’s Bootcamp. Something that has been on my “fit crash fantasy” list since I started the blog. Sold! After a few clicks here, a reservation made there, I was in.
This place is a SCENE. I walked in the door and felt immediately dwarfed by the sheer enormity of the brand. I have been hearing blogs and fitness outlets rave about Barry’s for years, and now by some sort of scheduling serendipity, here I was. I could go on and on about the atmospherics of the place before class, but I’ll cut to the chase.
The workout was fantastic. Basic. No nonsense. Full throttle. I entered the room and immediately got a high-five from the instructor. My internal dialogue was racing. What had I gotten myself into? Was I scared? I think so. Intimidated? You bet. Absolutely lost and praying to the fitness gods that I could somehow make sense of the chaos around me? You betcha.
Here’s the breakdown: you run intervals for 12 minutes, you do weights for 12 minutes, two times through. The instructor is a master in multitasking, yelling easy-to-follow commands into the chaos of a room filled with whirling treadmills and pulsating free weights. Oh, and did I mention the club-quality surround sound, mirrored walls, and weird red lighting (see above)? Yeah – it’s a scene folks. But it’s a sweaty mix of intense cardio and weights that I honestly wouldn’t have the chutzpa to do on my own. Worth it.
Now that I’ve had a day to stretch my aching muscles and reflect on the experience, here are my five key take aways from my first encounter with Barry’s Bootcamp.
1. Treadders = runners. Apparently if you are on the treadmill, you are a treadder. If the instructor yells out a command to the treadders, he or she is talking to you. Confusing for a first timer who may be a little slow on the uptake? Yep. But luckily I have excellent peripheral vision and was able to copy what the lady next to me was doing until I eventually figured it out.
2. There are two cardio segments. Not one. Not sure why I thought after only 12 minutes of running intervals I would be finished with the treadmill for the rest of class. Silly me. You get smoked during the first segment, then move on to 12 minutes of weights, and then move your sweating, panting, tired self back to the treadmill to do it all over again. Steel your resolve folks, this is not an easy transition mentally or physically.
3. Treadmills incline to level 15. I did not know this. I do now. Enough said.
4. The locker room products are fab. Use them. Trust me. I washed my face before class with a silky clean grapefruit face wash just to do it. Then I washed my hands with some fantastic herbal smelling soap. Oh, hello rich and luxurious body cream just asking to be slathered. Don’t mind if I do! Dry shampoo? Yes please! I was having a grand old time testing everything out. You should too. Hey, YOB(arry)O, right?
5. Put in your smoothie order before class. Barry’s has a first class smoothie bar conveniently situated mere steps from the locker room. Yummy flavors, lots of fresh ingredients, extra kale…the works. How do you say no? After ordering a PB&J smoothie (blueberries, strawberries, peanut butter, almond milk), I realized I was the only person lame enough not to have a smoothie order with my name on it ready to go after class. That’s when I realized the secret: put your order in before class, it’ll be ready as soon as you stumble out. Lesson learned.
After class, I took my wobbly legs and sinfully good smoothie out into the windy streets of Boston for one last little bit of sight seeing. Boston Common is a few blocks from Barry’s, so I made my way over there to check things out. Very pretty! But with crazy wind gusts and temperatures dipping below freezing, I decided to get my wet hair and tired body out of the elements and into the nearest cab.
Thanks Boston and Barry’s for the fun fit crashing adventure – hope to be back soon!