Barry’s Bootcamp is (self proclaimed as) the “best workout in the world”…and we can’t say we disagree. The newest Back Bay location did not disappoint. Candice was a drill sergeant as we bounced back-and-forth from treadmill to weights. For an entire hour. By the end of class, we were absolutely gassed. And we loved every second of it.
The workout was split into three rounds – 2 ten minute sections and 1 eight minute section. Round 1 – For our first 10 minutes, we were on the tread. Candice didn’t start slow and warm us up. We spent the first 10 minutes of class were running at relatively high speeds (around a 7) and increasing incline (up to a 4). The floor portion of this section included lots of curls, overhead presses and some weighted Russian twists.
Round 2 – For round 2, Candice upped the speed and incline on the tread. No like…really. We were running at speeds as high as 8.5 and hit an increase of 8%. We literally wanted to die. But after 10 minutes, back to the floor. This time, we held an inverted plank, did tricep extensions and heavy Concentration Curls. You know, the type of curl Arnold would have done when training in the 1980’s. Our biceps were poppin’!
Round 3 – Finally. By this time, we were already toast, but Candice pushed us to finish the class strong. The final 8 minutes on the tread was all-out sprinting in 30 second intervals. Yeah. We could barely walk off that treadmill. The final floor series included curls with a band. We started off slow and then increased the pace. You know, just a final dose of cardio to end class!
We gotta say – it’s actually quite impressive how Candice can handle a room. Instructing a Barry’s class is almost like running two classes at once. You have a group on the treads and a group on the floor, both doing completely different things. Candice flawlessly and confidently barked orders and gave direction. She was very clear in her instruction and also provided demonstration for floor movements. She has a no-excuses attitude which kept us motivated for the full hour.
The third – and newest – Boston installment of the cult favorite Barry’s Bootcamp opened in Back Bay. The location is prime, nestled between the Pru and Back Bay Station. As expected from a national franchise, the studio is huge and gorgeous, equipped with a juice bar that would make Juice Press weak in the knees. The workout room itself is quite large, with over 20 treads and floor stations. You can also expect the classic Barry’s atmosphere -brick, mirrors and red lighting.
The women’s locker room offers tons of lockers, two bathrooms and five showers. They also have ample counter space and hair dryers, ideal for getting ready for work in the morning. And don’t forget to check out the two merch walls at the studio entrance. We’re eyeing a Barry’s cropped sweatshirt for fall 🙂
455 Stuart St, Boston, MA 02116 Back Bay HIIT $$$
Barry’s Bootcamp Back Bay
Back Bay Bootcamp, HIIT $$$
455 Stuart St, Boston, MA 02116
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Barry's BootcampBootcamp, HIIT
When Monday rolls around, Barry’s Bootcamp regulars rejoice. After the Friday-through-Sunday line up of Total Body classes, the Abs & Arms class proves to be a nice break for our legs. But don’t get it twisted–the sprint intervals on the treadmill still get us…every time!
We found ourselves digging deep to muster up the energy to tackle the 7:40 p.m. encore class. Literally though, we stopped at Dig Inn on Boylston before class to fuel up. In hindsight, this was probably a poor choice; should’ve opted for a post-workout smoothie from their in-house smoothie bar. The good thing was our instructor, Chris Mcclendon, was reared up and ready to go with all the energy we needed to get through the 60-minute session.
The name of the game was Arms & Abs. Sounds plain and simple, but that would be naïve to think. Surrounded by an army of seriously fit athletes, we knew the HIIT class would elicit just that–high intensity.
We found ourselves assigned to the floor group first, and quickly set up our bench with a pair of 12- to 15-pound dumbbells and a resistance band, secured underneath the bench for curls and such. Chris filled us in on the 15/9/6 minute class structure, hitting the floor and treadmill for 15 minutes each, before working our way further down the ladder. Mentally, we loved this approach; because after knocking out our first rounds, we were already halfway through the torture we willingly signed ourselves up for.
Our class’ floor session delivered more arms than the abs on this particular Monday, about a 75/25 split, with the majority of dedicated ab work coming in the first 15-minute segment. The remainder of class did somewhat engage our core, but primarily focused on arms with various bicep curls and holds, tricep extensions, push-ups and bodyweight dips. All in all, we’re pretty sure you’ll feel the repercussions of this one through at least Wednesday–a compliment to any good instructor.
Chris’ teaching-style was refreshing, and a perfect fit for a Monday evening class after a long day at work. Think approachable coach meets kickass training partner. He provided motivation without having to bark orders like a drill sergeant and had us pushing past our comfort zones, especially on the treads. He was thorough in his demonstrations of the floor exercises, but then was quickly occupied with balancing sprint cues and simultaneously timing the floor segments. We’re guessing all of the studio mirrors are actually to keep us accountable for our own form, as that’s the one thing that Chris could’ve been more of a stickler on.
Barry's BootcampBootcamp, HIIT
Grab your heavy dumbbells and celebrate: It’s Butt + Legs day at Barry’s! The name of the game is moving below parallel and getting your butts low. If you don’t like to get low, perhaps you should stay home. But if you’re all about lighting your posterior chain on fire, this class is the place to do it.
The workout alternated between floor and treadmill, the typical format at Barry’s. We spent 12 minutes on the floor, 12 minutes on the treads, and then three three-minute segments alternating between the two areas.
The floor portion was filled with all the usual booty-building exercises: squats, lunges, hip thrusts, deadlifts and more squats. The treadmill portion was broken down into one long (12 minutes) segment composed of jogging, push pace and sprinting with a few inclines thrown in for good measure. The next three segments on the treads were in Dynamic Mode. Don’t know Dynamic Mode? You’re missing out! You use your own power to move the treads, like pushing a heavy sled down the turf. We combined skateboarding, side shuffles and all-out sprints to get the dogs barking…or more like howling.
There must be something in the water over there on Chauncy Street, as Christina worked us hard, a signature for all of Barry’s instructors. Christina gave us clear direction, firm orders and demonstrated all movements effectively. She was not a drill sergeant, which we appreciated on a day when we weren’t feeling 100 percent. She made sure to give encouraging words when the time was right. But there were a few moments when the energy in the room fell a little flat, and part of us wished Christina would’ve given us the soft kick in the butt we all needed.
Barry's BootcampBootcamp, HIIT
If there’s a weak spot in the Barry’s Bootcamp class line-up, we sure as hell can’t find it. Show up for class on Wednesday, and you’ll get a three-for-one workout. Formally known as Chest, Back & Abs, your upper body will thank you–that is, once it finally has time to recover.
This particular class was broken into four, 15-minute quarters; just like a football game minus the halftime or timeouts. Per usual at Barry’s, we alternated each segment between our designated floor section and treadmill. For the floor routine, we were equipped with a resistance band and a heavier set of dumbbells. A plethora of rows, lat pull-downs and push-ups ensued, with our favorite being the commando push-up. It’s not what it sounds like. Google it; we promise it’s safe for work.
The run portion of class started out at a relatively gradual pace, but quickly ramped up in the final rounds when we increased our incline at a rate of two percent while decreasing our sprint speed a mere 0.20. This was punctuated by a minute plus 15 percent incline jog. We were more than happy to lower our treadmills from the upright position when Chad finally called time on that round! The class spent an equal amount of time on each of the three promised areas–chest, back and abs–which was much appreciated since balance is key.
Any instructor that can flawlessly run a class like Chad Flahive and kick our butt (or in this case our chest, back and abs) all while finding time to dance a little while doing it, has won us over. For those that haven’t had the pleasure of taking a class with Chad before at Barry’s, Equinox or Public Body, you’re missing a gem. He’s sure to make you smile, correct your form, challenge you to bump up your tread speed and take on a heavier set of weights. That being said, if you’re looking for a class where you can fly under the radar, this might not be your match.
Following a 10/7/5 minute breakdown, we rotated through three rounds each on the treadmill and floor. While each routine was challenging, the overall combination was very manageable. There was ample working rest to balance out the workload. Our floor work was a combined ab work into all the exercises. Derek incorporated leg kick throughs in a plank position, with an opposite arm foot tap (yup, that’s all just one exercise) and “booty band” reverse lunges into a high knee kick. If you haven’t had a chance to use the “booty bands” before, be warned — they’re a killer, in the best way possible. After adhering the band to each ankle, nearly every moment helped engage everything from our abs, to its namesake, the booty. And as if these strength sectors weren’t dynamic enough, Derek had us put the treadmills in dynamic mode for the mid-way 7 minute section. What’s dymamic mode? Turn off the motor of your tread and power it with your own strength as if you are pushing a sled. Not easy, then again Barry’s never is.
We can assure you that the ease Derek exhibits as an instructor is the only thing easy about his class. He has a positive and calming demeanor that came through the mic clearly, as he guided a full class of 50 athletes. Derek’s prompts and demonstrations were thorough and timely. There was never a point in which we were wondering, “what’s next?”. His passion for teaching showed throughout class, and translated into a motivating and challenging workout.
Barry's BootcampBootcamp, HIIT
To start off the New Year on the right foot, we went straight to the top of the Barry’s todem pole, for a class with Co-Owner Dustin Martin. The verdict? He owned it.
Starting out on the floor for the strength portion of classes, Dustin had us kick things off with a brief stretch and mobility exercises. Out of all the times we’ve been to Barry’s and we’ve been a lot this was one of the only time we recall a dedicated time for stretching before kicking up the intensity. It was a welcomed change and our bodies enjoyed it.
The class was upbeat, challenging, fast-paced and set to a killer playlist. Dustin definitely knows his regulars, and if you’re lucky enough to one of them, you’ll receive a little extra push. The class included a lot of lunges; Forwards, side, backwards – you name it, we did it. Aside from a set of medium and heavy dumbbells, this was a no frills workout.
Dustin delivered a kickass workout that aligned with what we’ve come to expect at Barry’s. There wasn’t much that set Dustin’s class apart from most of the other instructors at Barry’s, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. It’s a testament to the caliber of trainers in which he and his team hire, and the consistency at which they are trained.
Barry's BootcampBootcamp, HIIT
It was Friday at Barry’s which means Full Body workouts. They roll with the traditional gym rat approach: Monday’s – Arms & Abs, Tuesday – Butt & Legs, Wednesday – Chest, Back, Abs, Thursday – More Abs, Friday – Full Body. The class is split between high-intensity cardio on a Woodway Treadmill and Floor. Floor consists of dumbbell movements, core exercises, squats, mountain climbers, push ups, planks (every variation) and lunges (lots of them). At some point we had to attach resistance bands to our ankles, cuff ourselves and do weird shit. It was hard.
Our time on the treadmill was interval based hill and sprint work. Although we did close out the workout with “”Around the World”” – side shuffles, back pedals and an all out sprint for a minute. We almost got shot out the back (use the rails if you need to, judgement free zone). Insider Tip: When the instructor yells out “”Treadmill at a 12 incline!”” that means 12.0 not 1.2. Yep.
The only complaint would be that there were too many variations on exercises on the Floor packed into a 1 hour class. Keep it simple.
Brian Weller is the boss. His outfit may just have been the best thing we’ve seen in weeks. He brings the heat right out of the gate. His tone is commanding with a sense of encouragement. He’s definitely not a softy, in the best way. He barks commands, you do it. No questions asked. His awesome pounding beats brought the vibe up and got us pressing the speed dial faster.
This workout pushed us to our max, but with a killer playlist and top-notch instruction we were able to power through. It was impossible not to feel confident under the flattering red lights at Barry’s. The entire experience had us fired up to come back again ASAP. That, and the Phat Dustin shake from the Fuel Bar.
Our workout took place on a Tuesday, which means we were focused on Butt & Legs. We started out on the treadmill with incline and speed work. Our steepest hill was at a 10% incline and it was definitely difficult to maintain the suggested pace, even as the incline was bumped down. Floor work included squats of every flavor (lateral, sumo, pistol), lunges, donkey kicks, and fire hydrants with resistance bands to add difficulty.
The middle round of class involved getting into “dynamic mode” – where we used only our legs to push the treadmill belt. Then, we got our cardio on with plyometric movements like jump squats, scissor jumps and up and overs. We were exhausted after this round, but finished with endurance and speed work. Plus sprints…lots of sprints. This workout was not for the faint of heart but we loved the variety in exercises and running routines.
Don’t let her sweet smile and friendly demeanor fool you – Kelly Whittaker is a true badass. Her style was an awesome blend of encouragement (“You’ve got this!”) and push (“30 seconds left, bump your speed!”) that got us pumped during even the toughest parts of class. Though she’s 100% high energy, it’s clear how seriously Kelly takes form. She demonstrated each move and offered modifications to make things easier if needed. She’s one of the best in Boston, we’ve already booked her class again next Tuesday.
Barry's BootcampBootcamp, HIIT
Kara is a firecracker that might like guac more than we do (probably not, but it’s a possibility). We’ve taken her classes at B/SPOKE and she’s just as spicy in the Red Room. She’s game for a back pedal with dance moves and she is really our type of gal. Our Chest, Back and Abs are still en fuego and we’ll be back to see what she pulls out for a Butt & Legs or Full Body day.
Chest, Back & Abs day at Barry’s is no joke. We went at a quieter time of day, so most of the class was starting on the treads. We began with an 11 minute round that included an endurance run (jog 1 minute, run 1 minute, push 1 minute + repeat) a minute of rest and then more running and pushing. Then, we took it to the floor for renegade rows, bomber push-ups, toe touches, side plank rows and bent over rows.
The next round was slightly shorter and included chest presses, hammer presses, mountain climbers, sit up jumps, and planks with hip dips. The run included an 8% back pedal and run, side shuffles and ended with a series of sprints.
Kara’s fun playlist, impromptu dance moves and individual attention to people in class make her an awesome instructor. We also loved that she gave tactical, often unspoken tips which are actually key to a smooth Barry’s experience: grab a mat if you’re a super sweaty person (*raises hand*); organize your weights so that the person you trade off treads with isn’t pissed at you; don’t be afraid to bump up your sprint speed, you’re not going that hard the entire time because the treadmill gradually speeds up. PEARLS OF WISDOM. All of which we wish we’d known when we were newbies. First timer or seasoned vet, Kara is sure to bring the good times.
Barry's BootcampHIIT, Bootcamp
Come to Brittany’s class if you’re looking to grind out a serious workout. As Barry’s promises, it’s the “best workout in the world” and Brittany will GIVE it to you. Her class had our abs (and our lungs) on absolute fire. Come prepared, and get excited. This girl is the shit.
Abs day is the best day, don’t you think? As all Barry’s classes go, we spent half the time doing bodyweight exercises on the floor and the other half running, jogging and sprinting it out on Barry’s Woodway treadmills.
Brittany started us out with some planks and downward dogs to get us warmed up. People on the treadmill began with a light jog to get started before crushing a hill climb, with increasing speed and incline every minute. The next round on the floor included wood-choppers, sprinter sit ups, crunches, and leg raises. Runners ripped up sprints, side shuffles and back pedals. During the final, slightly shorter round, we did oblique twists, toe touches more sprints and mountain climbers while runners continued to run and sprint.
First thing we could tell right off of the bat – Brittany is an athlete through and through. If you check out her Instagram, you’ll easily learn that she was a college athlete. And it shows. As she demonstrated the wood-choppers she told us that it was the same motion as throwing a lacrosse ball. Brittany treated her class like it was her team. She provided all of the encouragement we could have asked for even when the sprints got tough.
Barry's BootcampBootcamp, HIIT
Emily knows her stuff and it showed throughout her class at Barry’s Bootcamp. Emily is a rockstar instructor with a focus on form and execution. We left this class having given it everything that we had. Come prepared to sweat and be supported by one of Barry’s best.
Abs at Barry’s is a surefire way to get your core into shape. During this class, we opted to take on a “double floor” spot, which means instead of alternating between the tread and the floor we stayed on the floor the entire time. This is a great option for people that really want to get that strength training in and save the cardio for later.
We started out with shoulder taps and planks which quickly transitioned into crunches, mountain climbers, hip dips and thread the needles. The next round on the floor was more crunches, cherry pickers, toe touches and side planks. The third and final round had us doing bear crawl push-ups, leg lifts on the bench and Spiderman crunches. All the while, the people that opted onto the treadmills jogged, ran and sprinted their hearts out. From the looks of it, we were glad to have picked “double floor,” the treadmill workout looked difficult!
Emily may be a badass, but she is also encouraging so don’t be intimidated. We’ve taken her class before, and every time we can see her ability to be motivational in many different ways. For example, one class that we took with her she was able to convince us to add .5 to our treadmill speed in the last 30 second sprint and made sure we knew that every second counted. We even saw her call out some people by name to cheer them on to keep going.
Barry's BootcampBootcamp, HIIT
We don’t take Butt & Legs day at Barry’s lightly, both in regard to weights, or how much we love the workout, and Alice didn’t disappoint. We’re excited to see how she tackles a Full Body or Arms & Abs day. Let’s be real, Barry’s isn’t cheap, but we promise you, Alice makes it worth your $$…we definitely recommend.
Alice didn’t hold back on this butt and legs day. We started on the floor which made the running portion that much harder. We began with “world’s greatest stretch” and from there, Alice turned up the heat with lunges, squats, and up-and-overs. We transitioned to the treads and started with a light jog which transitioned to an endurance run that maxed out in an 8% incline.
Our next round on the floor consisted of donkey kicks, fire hydrants, and more squats (including one-legged pistol squats). We jumped into a grueling dynamic mode circuit, which included “crawls.” S*** was HARD.
No Barry’s workout with be complete without a few sprints at the end. Let’s just say our quads were unwell once Alice was done.
We didn’t do the normal instagram search on Alice before we got to her class so we didn’t have any expectations going in, but we have to say that this girl rocked. She was so kind, friendly, and helpful. Accessible to newbies and seasoned vets alike, we really appreciated her vibe. Take her class. Really, just do it.