Where: Barry's Bootcamp, 135 West 20th Street, New York, NY
Blast from the Past
Barry's Bootcamp... with Barry! First observation: I never in eight million years would have expected that Barry would be Barry. I don't know what I expected, exactly - but not a dude in a beater and jeans screaming along to classic rock. Anyway, all ye Barry followers: please don't hunt me down and murder me in my sleep for giving Barry a 3. It's actually a 3.5. K?
[Click here to review Barry's class yourself, or check out his RateYourBurn profile here.]
- Barry was a definite character - just not the type of character I expected him to be.
- So what did I expect him to be? I don't know... but to me, the institution of Barry's Bootcamp is: flashy, hard core, a little sceney and often a celebration of masculine homosexuality. I guess I expected Barry to be all of those things shoved into a high-pressure a supersoaker and sprayed all over my face. But Barry was kind of ... chill.
- Mr. Jay came has a unique, deep, smoker-y voice (this is for descriptive purposes only. I intend no innuendo that Barry is a smoker).
- Wore a wife beater, jeans, and donned a shaved head. It was sort of a mechanic-wearing-designer-jeans kinda style. Interesting.
- One thing Barry is not lacking: ENERGY. The dude was singing at the top of his lungs the ENTIRE time.
- Barry was funny - but I wish I had gotten to see that funny side of him earlier on in the class. He started cracking jokes at the end, and I thought - if he had cracked these jokes at the beginning it would have set a whole different tone. Queen came on and he quipped, "I was listening to Queen even before I was a queen!" Obviously this kind of humor is right up my alley.
- Eh, not so much. It was 100% 80's - Journey, Bruce, Aerosmith. There was a DJ there and there were a few cool transitions, but I couldn't really get into it.
- By the way, people (this is not directed at Barry, this is directed at the masses), "Born in the USA" is not a patriotic song. It's an anti-Vietnam song. Don't be Ronald Reagan. Read the lyrics.
- I am a massive Bruce fan and I get very sensitive about his songs, thx.
On the class.
- The most notable part of this class was that it was the first Barry's I've done where there was only one treadmill section and one floor section. For me, this was pretty negative - I hate the treadmill, and so I like to chop it up into manageable chunks. I started on the floor, and realized slowly with dread that I would be on the treadmill for 25 minutes straight. Ughhhh.
- The floor section involved an extensive step-up segment - like 5 full minutes. It's all about expectations, I suppose - I'm not used to doing anything for 5 minutes straight at Barry's (other than cry), and I have ADD, so I was getting a little angsty.
- For a "dance party" class, which is typically high energy with an emphasis on the goofy, this wasn't my favorite. Barry doesn't have the same outrageous silly party vibe that Joey does - and it's hard to fill shoes with that expectation.
- I feel like this section seems overly negative, which is not my intent. It was a Barry's class, and it kicked my butt, and I enjoyed it.
Barry didn't ask about injuries, or correct form very much. Recently Joey G was quoted in the New York Times about how they've made Barry's safer in NYC because New Yorkers are a "rare breed" - I think that is absolutely right, and I super-dig the changes that have been made (instructors are much more attentive to injuries and modifications, safety tape behind treadmills, etc.) So I wasn't surprised that Barry's LA schpeil was more lax on safety.
On travelling guest teachers.
I think it's a New Yorker thing that we are naturally pretty skeptical of visiting teachers, even when we've heard great things.
I always try to go in with an open mind, but I do think it's a tough break for these "big shot" traveling teachers - because they're used to teaching to a crowd where at least 50% of the class already knows and fawns over them. A teacher who is used to instructing to a loyal crowd is also probably used to getting away with certain things that you can't do with a new crowd.
I do have to give Barry big props for starting this method, and franchising the shit out of it. I love my Barry's.
Not my favorite Barry's class, but this dude doesn't need my approval. It was neat to take from the man who started the method.
From the Barry’s Bootcamp website: A native New Yorker, Barry Jay moved to Los Angeles where he fell into the “L.A. party scene,” living in a world of late nights and fast food. Barry found his calling when he took a desk job at a popular fitness studio in West Hollywood. Within a year, he became one of the top instructors at the studio. His revolutionary exercise program, combining drill sergeant tactics and a night club party atmosphere, would form the foundation for what would become Barry’s Bootcamp. Barry is now the Director of Curriculum at Barry’s Bootcamp, overseeing dozens of great instructors at our Southern California locations who teach “The Best Workout in the World” to thousands of enlistees 365 days a year.
Find out more about Barry’s Bootcamp at www.barrysbootcamp.com
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