At a Glance:
Address: 14622 Ventura Blvd, Sherman Oaks, CA 91403
1106 N. La Cienega Blvd, West Hollywood, CA 90069
Class length: 60 min
Price: 1 class/$24, 10 classes/$210, month unlimited/$325
Sweat Scale: high
Energy level: high
Barry’s Bootcamp is becoming a household name for butt-kicking…one that makes my legs shake just thinking about. I’ve peeked into a Barry’s studio before only to see the lights turned low, the music high, and sweat everywhere. It took me a while to get the guts up to register, knowing that this high intensity interval training class involves a treadmill (blech), but I knew it would be an amazing sweat.
Barry’s is on the second floor of a shopping center on Ventura Blvd. in Sherman Oaks. Although there is parking at the center, it looked expensive (I later found out that they do validate for two hours). I ended up parking around the corner on a neighborhood side street with no worries.
When you go up the escalators, turn left and you won’t miss the camo painted wall with a huge Barry’s dog tag. Inside, I checked in with the front desk, filled out a first-timer form, and was introduced to Courtney, my bootcamp instructor. I headed into the room where one side is lined with treadmills and the middle has staggered platform steppers on risers. After I closed my belongings in a locker in the back, I grabbed a treadmill and started walking.
Barry’s Bootcamp uses interval training to not only get your heart rate sky high, but also target specific muscles during strength training intervals. The goal is to “shock” your body and keep it guessing as you quickly change your intensity throughout the hour-long class. Each day focuses on a different group (Mon: arms and abs, Tues: butt and legs, Wed: chest, back and abs, Thurs: hardcore abs, Fri-Sun: full body). My class was on a Friday, which meant we were in for a total body sweat.
Although all classes vary slightly, during mine we did three 10-minute intervals on the treadmill, alternating with three 10-minute intervals of strength exercises on the floor. We sprinted, ran up hills, had an 8-minute timed mile, and used the treadmill in “dynamic mode”. Dynamic mode means that you power the treadmill yourself. While in this mode, we sprinted, side shuffled, and ran backwards. The treadmill portions of this class are definitely a killer, but it helped that you could turn the level down if the instructions were just too much. I don’t think I’ve ever sweated so much or pushed myself so hard while running, and I felt it the next day.
We spent each of the three floor intervals working different muscle groups. First, we worked our chest, back, and arms using a weighted bar and resistance band (the most inelastic band I’ve EVER felt). Second, we worked our butt and legs. We finished with core, doing a ton of different types of crunches. Each exercise was one minute with a 30-second pulse at the end. There were a few times that I had to drop the bar or band because the resistance was just too much. During the entire class, Courtney was extremely encouraging and always gave high-fives between intervals. When I walked out of Barry’s, I felt accomplished, strong, and soaked with sweat!
Craving a juice, smoothie, or acai bowl? Jamba Juice is in the same shopping center and Juice Crafters is on the next block. After (or, better yet, pre-sweat), definitely check out the Urban Outfitters Surplus store that is on the corner. Check out my Reforming Body Pilates post to see my amazing workout pants that I got for $20.
Tricks of the Trade
- The Sherman Oaks location does not have showers or towels and the West Hollywood location has towel service but no showers. You do NOT want to come here when you have somewhere to be right afterwards.
- The instructor will give you a range of where to be in regards to speed and incline but don’t feel badly if you have to tone down any of the exercises.
- If you have questions, raise your hand or make eye contact. When Courtney told us to move up “a point” on the speed or incline I didn’t know if she meant .1 or 1.0, but I asked and she clarified! (Unfortunately for me, she meant 1.0)