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Thursday 14 February 2013

Burn away those love handles

So, I'm going to try to get through this post without mentioning the 'V' word once (is it today? I really hadn't noticed) and focus instead on another way to get your endorphins pumped up and burn away post Pancake Day love handles...

Barry's Bootcamp is the hottest celebrity exercise class to come to London from the Hollywood Hills and is hailed as 'the best workout in the world' - attracting the two Jessicas (Alba and Biel) and Kim Kardashian, who even featured it on her TV show.

Jessica Alba on her way to Barry's Bootcamp
image via courtesy of REX

A friend of mine had a free pass for a 'preview class' so (after a few glasses of wine) I agreed to give it a go....after all if Barry is partly responsible for 'that' bum he must be doing something right.

Having been a fan in LA my friend warned me it was going to be tough. She talked of a dark red room lined with unforgiving mirrors, pumping techno, sweat dripping off the walls and Army style instructors shouting at you to run faster and faster then hit the floor and do 50 burpees.  

So I was pretty terrified as I descended the stairs to the brand new studio on Euston Road...was I going to fly off the running machine? Did I have the strength to do the plank? And what is a burpee???

The first thing that hit me was that everyone had way cooler fitness gear than my faded Top Shop t-shirt and geeky running shoes. The girls were sporting uber cool neon cropped tops (showing off their super flat stomachs) and the men were rocking camouflage shorts and running tights (not such a good look for some.) They all looked super fit.

So feeling like a bit of a failure in the fashion stakes I ventured into the dark (thank goodness) chamber of the bootcamp. Lined with running machines on one side and free weights and steps on the other the format of the class was explained to us by our very bubbly and toned teacher.

Image via 

Barry Jay, who launched the workout back in 1998 explained in the Daily Mail: 'The class involves treadmills and free-weights and can actually take place of your gym workout. The weights get heavy enough for anyone to be challenged. We also break the workout up into body parts so you don’t over work any one muscle group.’

Image via 

And challenging the session was. Alternating between 10 minute sprints and climbs on the treadmill (I confess I did cheat and turn my incline down at a few points!) and 10 minute bursts on the step, using free weights I felt muscle groups I didn't know I had getting pummelled and pushed. 

After the hour was up my friend and I were red-faced, wobbly legged and in need of wine. Annoyingly many of our fellow bootcampers were barely breaking sweat (though some of the guys did take off their t-shirts off which provided a welcome distraction from the pain;)

I like the concept of the class - it's known that high-intensity interval training is best for boosting your metabolism - and the pace, music and enthusiasm of our instructor made the hour go quickly (especially as I knew a large glass of wine  was waiting at the end!) 

The next day I definitely felt like I'd pushed myself and I was sure my bum had a bit more Kardashian oomph about it.

Barry's Bootcamp is currently only open in London. Classes are expensive - at £20 per session - but there are discounts if you buy in bulk. It's tough but if Jessica and Kim's hot bods are anything to go by it's worth it!

Now where's that Sweaty Betty catalogue...

1 comment

  1. Thanks for sharing about your experience it inspires me to exercise and get a fit body.