As much as social media gets slammed, you gotta thank it for something. It;s one of the main ways I keep up to date with the new and ‘happening’ things around Manchester.
One of the latest of ‘hot spots’ has been Barry’s Bootcamp – already popular in London, and made its way into Manchester last year.
Most of you probably know I go to the gym. I work out around 2-3 times a week, sometimes less, never really much more than that, and I do enjoy keeping fit. But I’m pretty stale when it comes to getting out of a workout rut – do you know what I’m saying? Like, when you just repeat your usual routine because you’re afraid to push any boundaries?
I had a feeling when I booked onto the Abs and Ass class that it wasn’t going to be a walk in the park. I knew it would be a challenge, but I guess I didn’t realise just how much of a god damn challenge it was for little ol’ me.
I’m pretty feeble, to say the least. I’m around 7 stone wet through when I’ve not worked out in a while (I know, I’m underweight but I try everything I can to get this number rising), a tiny size 6 and skinny little limbs which make me look like a child.
But then I’m also what is known as ‘skinny fat’ – because I only lift 4kg weights (yeah, mock me all you like if you’re beefier and stronger than I!) and spend most of my time doing cardio. So I have wobbly bits everywhere.
Why do I spend most of my time doing cardio? Because I enjoy it! And I don’t enjoy weights. But working out and keeping fit should be able variety, so I went along to Baary’s Bootcamp for some serious exercise inspiration, and to bring newness to my working out regime. I’m more than aware I should be more versatile with my workouts. It’s just finding the motivation.
Well, Barry’s brought me the motivation for sure.
I brought along my personal trainer friend Charlotte. I know I know… when I’m already useless at working out, why would I bring a bloody personal trainer along with me?! I make problems for myself quite regularly, as you may guess. But I knew she would appreciate the class, and potentially spur me on a little too. And she’s one of my new bezzies, so it’s always nice to take a friend.
When we arrived, I spent a bit of time browsing the array of Barry’s Bootcamp apparel which is available to buy. I have to say, there are some really nice workout pieces, including joggers, hoodies, vests and leggings. A lot of grey marl and lilac shades, which are two of my favourites.
We were asked if we wanted to order a protein shake which would be waiting for us after out 45 minute class. Usually I would have said yes, but after walking to Barry’s with a large soya latte from Caffe Nero, I decided I probably should just stick to water.
And that’s when I realised: I’d forgotten my friggin’ water bottle! Luckily, I could share Charlotte’s, but massive errors on my behalf. I started to wonder if I should just stick to my comfort zone of cardio three times a week at Pure Gym. But anyway, lets see how the class was…
Firstly, lets just appreciate how amazing the changing rooms are. Beautifully lit with shiny grey and white tiles – kind of like an industrial feel. They have beauty and hair products available to use, straighteners, hairdryers…. pretty much everything you need on hand.
We were called in for a little induction on how to use the treadmills before the class started. So they basically have THE BEST treadmills I have ever seen, and I feel like I have the right to say that because I am the treadmill queen (as in, that’s my favourite past time when I go to the gym!)
You simply hit a speed number, so say 7 for example, and the treadmill just starts immediately at speed 7. You hit 5, and the treadmill slows down straight away to 5. None of that pressing upwards or downwards loads of time to get to your desired speed.
The same goes for the gradient. Just hit the number 4, and your treadmill slants up to gradient level 4.
The classes work by doing 10 minutes on the treadmill, 10 on the floor with weights, 10 on the treadmill, 10 on the floor… you get my drift.
I enjoyed each section – both the treadmill and the weights – but boy is this class hardcore. You literally run at one speed, then after a certain time period, you’re all ordered to hit the next speed bracket, increasing speed while always running to a pace.
Every now and again, we’d hit a softer phase and do a fast walk, but before you know it, we’re hitting those 9’s, 10’s and 11’s on the treadmill, and boy is it tough.
The floor exercises were great for me as this is what I need inspiration for the most. I always need new ideas for legs, arms, bum and tum work outs, and our instructor covered off so many exercises.
She was really clear and concise with each movement, walking around checking we were all doing everything correctly, but not being pushy if we were slowing down.
However, everything is fast. There is no time for stopping or catching your breath. That’s why it is called ‘bootcamp’ – it takes on the direction and order that a bootcamp does.
I left feeling the most worn out and shattered I have ever felt after a work out, but that made me feel brilliant. I felt like I had really worked muscles I have never worked before. I was out of breath but felt fabulous. The best part was, every time I work out now, I can hear the instructors voice in my head from the Barry’s class – “ready treaders, hit those high speeds, hit those 10’s, 11’s, 12’s…” and I actually start to push myself harder.
For more information on Barry’s Bootcamp, take a look at their website here.