London boutique fitness classes are not cheap. Most will set you back anywhere between £15-30 for one class. I’m a huge fan of ClassPass (where you pay a monthly fee of £89 and can go to unlimited classes in London) however there are a few of my faves that aren’t on ClassPass…
Barry’s Bootcamp is one of them.
I bought a block of 5 classes a few months ago after seeing many of my friends plastering their Barry’s workouts (and smoothies)all over Instagram. Of course I’d heard about Barry’s Hell Week from these same friends, but didn’t really know what exactly it was all about…
Hell Week is 7 workouts in 7 days during a month that has 5 Mondays!
Sounds great, right!
February was one of those months, so I signed up for my very first Hell Week.
For those that haven’t been to Barry’s bootcamp, the formula is half treadmills, half floor/weights with about 40 people in each class. You can also opt to do ‘Double Floor’ where you skip the treadmill part and just do full on body weight and dumbbell exercises for the hour.
Let me tell you, the hell starts in the week leading up to the official Hell Week as you try to secure spots in your preferred classes. Slots open up at 12.00 – by 12.03 many were fully booked. To get into the coveted 7.10am or 6.40pm classes required an 11.55am reminder alarm, and very fast reactions on the website.
How much does Barry’s Hell Week really cost?
- £85 – this gets you the 7 classes, for a discounted rate of just over £12 a class (a solo class is usually £20) Plus you also get a free class for all those that complete the full week!
- 7 x £5 =£35 for your daily smoothie – trust me, you’ll want this to look forward to at the end of class
- £180 – fair warning, you probably will buy yourself another block of classes before Hell Week even finishes
Monday – Kicking off the week with a 7.10am East Arms and Abs class with Alex. My knee/ITB is feeling a lot better after a lot of rest, foam rolling and sports massage but I still played it safe with my speeds on the treadmill. Better not to blow out on day one, right? I left before the stretch part hoping to jump straight into the shower, only to make the rookie error of not getting changed in the cubicle and ended up waiting a while in the queue. Won’t make that mistake again!
Tuesday- Another early class, 7.10am at Central (and I managed to mess up the shower situation AGAIN – I was standing on the wrong side apparently, not in the queue). Double Floor for butt and legs – probably my best decision for double floor of the week. I had to modify a few of the moves for my knee but otherwise found it pretty ITB friendly. My legs and bum were sore for days after a lot of squatting, lunging, squat thrusts, burpees….
Wednesday – This was both my best and worst class. It was at 9pm Central- the only time I could fit the class into my busy schedule, and I hate evening workouts. I thought it was going to be awful, but was pleasantly surprised by how much I loved the Chest, Back and Abs Double Floor class. I felt so strong and like I was targeting an area that I don’t normally work on.
Thursday – I was back at Barry’s within 10 hours and it was brutal…hardest class physically and mentally of the week. Core and Abs at 8.20am East with Sonja Moses, despite her awesome class I found it hard to push myself as much as I usually do. Not sure how much this has to do with it being day 4 and my body feeling exhausted, the lack of rest between workouts or the fact that my core is my weakest body part but this workout was hard.
Friday – Fitting all these workouts in during one of the weeks while I was working at Women’s Health wasn’t easy – I only just made it for the 6.40pm East class on Friday night, running in and straight onto the treadmill. I was wearing terrible socks for this class and gave myself quite the blister during this full body workout. I was starting to question my choice in completing this challenge, given that I was running around London like a madwoman what with work, social plans, meetings and of course, my Barry’s classes!
Saturday – 10am central, a bit of a squeeze to get there after I discovered that the tube wasn’t running. Made it with minutes to spare for another Double Floor full body workout. We did a LOT of squats with Alex – it was tough. There was a heavily pregnant woman on the floor next to me which made me feel rather pathetic when I had to take breathers during the workout. I felt pretty lethargic for the first 20 minutes of this workout before hitting my groove. I realised I definitely prefer breaking up the classes with the treadmill sections, and hour of weights is a long time for me!
Sunday- The big one… Day 7, 10am Central! It was so fun having Fleur, Laura and the rest of our ‘plait crew’ in class with me for our final workout of the week, and it was an awesome one. Another full body class with an endurance 10 min run to start, and some full pelt sprints on the dynamic treadmill. I love the endorphins you get during a Barry’s class, not to mention the good sweaty workout. Muscle shaking seems to be mandatory!
So overall I loved Barry’s Hell Week, the camaraderie amongst those of us on Twitter/Instagram taking part in the challenge felt like a fun little club. It was also a great kick start after taking two weeks off because of my knee.
I’ve already booked in for Wednesday’s 8.20am Chest, Back and Abs class with Sonja…
Have you ever taken a Barry’s workout? Would you do a Hell Week?