Barry's Bootcamp - Anything but Basic Training

October 20, 2014 | Posted by Stephanie Banyas

I first heard about Barry’s Bootcamp a few years ago when it seemed to be all the rage in NYC. Even though it debuted on the west coast in 1998 and has been the workout of choice for many celebrities (Kim Kardashian, Jake Gyllenhal and Jessica Biel) for years, it didn’t make its way to the isle of Manhattan until 2011.

I had taken many bootcamp-style classes over the years (and loved them), but I really had no desire to try another. I had moved on to cycling, rowing, weight training, TRX, etc. I mean, how much different could Barry’s Bootcamp be from all the others?

Well, I am sorry that I let 3 years pass before trying this class because it is truly different. Barry’s Bootcamp is an incredible workout in a class all of its own, and I am definitely a new recruit!

When Elyse (my co-worker and fellow B-Teamer) and I showed up for our early morning class at the Chelsea location, we almost turned right around and ran (out the door). I had never seen so many physically fit people in one place in all of my years of working out! The previous class was just finishing up, and the red disco lights, club music, sweating, and buff bodies made it clear that this class was no joke…

Our instructor, Niv Zinder (below), had movie star good looks and the physique of an Olympic athlete. His class is brutal but his teaching style is a pleasant departure from a typical boot camp class where you are humiliated into shape by screaming instructors blowing whistles and hurling insults. Niv was tough, no-nonsense and matter-of-fact -- his philosophy, judging from his body, appears to be if you want to get into shape, you are going to have to work hard. And so for the next 60 minutes, that is exactly what Elyse and I did: we worked hard (really hard).

Each class at Barry’s Bootcamp combines intense (and I mean intense) cardio with strength training. Our session was called Butt and Legs (there are many workouts to choose from). We started by jogging on a treadmill, and then we were told to increase the speed while we ran (faster than either of us had ever run before on a treadmill) at an incline of 10%. We huffed and we puffed and we almost fell down! Let me just say that this class is not for beginners.

Once treadmill time was over, it was onto the floor where weight training, lunging, squatting and resistance bands took over. Just when we thought we couldn’t take another minute, it was time to hop back on the treadmill where we ran at top speeds again. And then it was back to the floor; then the music got lower and it was time for planks and sit-ups and a much-needed round of stretching...

Elyse and I were a sweaty mess when the workout FINALLY ended but we were also grinning ear to ear because we pushed ourselves as hard as we could. We know that nothing good comes easy…and Barry’s Bootcamp is definitely not easy. But it will make you fitter and in our book, that is a very good thing! If you think you are over bootcamp style classes, think again and give Barry's a try...Trust us on this one.

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