B's Bae, Barry
It's about time that I introduce you to my 'boo', my 'better half', my 'main-squeeze', my 'bae': Barry, otherwise known as Barry's Bootcamp. Controversial, I know, because I truly am a Flywheel gal. But Barry, there's just something about you that I can't shake.
Let me tell you a little bit about Barry. He finally made the move to the windy city in mid-December last year. While he's originally from L.A., he has also spent a good chunk of time in New York (amongst a few other cities).
Barry, Chicago welcomed you with open arms.
I'll admit, he's a bit of a posh prince, so when he came to town, he moved into a brand spankin' new building in Chicago's River North neighborhood. Prime location and neighbs to True Foods Kitchen. Of course, Barry wouldn't settle for anything less. And although he has yet to wine and dine me at TF Kitchen - sore subject and a post we'll save for another day - he loves surprising me with protein-packed smoothies from his very own Fuel Bar. Ah, yes, Barry is my bae.
Barry loves bootcamp. He's a tough cookie. Don't cross him. Many say that he offers the best workout in the world. Really, Barry?? You sound like you're fibbin' - I must give it a try.
So, what is Barry's?: a 60-minute heart thumpin', music bumpin', sweat-fest. The workout incorporates high intensity cardio on a treadmill and weighted floor exercises. Class is split into two groups. One group starts on the treds; the other starts on the floor. Each group completes a circuit of exercises, as guided - simultaneously - by the trainer. They then switch places. The groups will continue to switch a number of times (normally 3), pending on how the trainer structures class. Class ends with a quick cool down stretch. It's killer.
The Barry's 'Experience': I want to touch on two topics here: the 'atmosphere' and the 'peeps' (Chicago, River North specific).
1. The Atmosphere: Lavish. The space is enormous. It's 2 floors. From the street, you enter into their 'cafe' area where there's space to hang out, chill and enjoy a smoothie from the Fuel Bar. If you proceed to the back, you'll see a staircase that takes you to the second floor. That's where the Barry's magic happens. Upstairs you'll be greeted by the front desk staff who check you into class and remind you of your starting tred or floor deck (each space is assigned a number that you reserve in advance). I like to start on the treds. There's also a row of lockers for general use and then additional locker rooms with bathrooms, showers, and changing areas. Everything is clean, organized and gorgeous.
The workout studio is dimly lit. There is this low, red-hue to the room which makes running on a treadmill look and feel uber sexy. Barry, you sly dog. A row of treadmills line the outers walls and the floor stations are staggered in front. The entire room is covered in mirrors. Uh huh, I caught you cheesin' :)
2. The Peeps: Fit & Fabulous. The people that come here are ready to get their sweat on, that's for sure. I've gone three times now, and I'd have to say that the weekend morning crew feels like the A-squad... Lots of mega-muscles and Lulu, but other night classes have felt more casual.
The Barry's Crew: Hot fire flames. The trainers are top-notch. They're poised, confident, and articulate in their direction. Classes are always well organized and challenging. If my arms feel like jello and my booty is burnin' then the trainer did their job. Yep. Check. Accomplished.
Barry, why can't I quit you?: Ah, there are just too many reasons to count. But here are my top 3 reasons why I'm a Barry's boomerang B.
1. The Challenge - Barry's is the ultimate challenge. I am always sore for at least 2-3 days after taking a class. But, along with that, everything is customizable to your own athletic ability. Coming from a gal who is not an experienced - or fast - runner, the treds portion is not as scary as it may seem. Just pace yourself. If you can't sprint at a 10.0 (geezy wheezy, this B can't), just modify the speed. Additionally, I love the floor exercises - either with added weights, or just with body weight. I wholeheartedly admit that I'm a cardio-spinning junkie who could benefit from a lil more weighted activity. And again, choose weights that challenge you, but don't kill you. I'm not the hulk. I acknowledge that. So I lift a lil lighter than some, and I'm OK with that!
2. The Pace: This class is movin 'n groovin from the time you hit 'start' on the tred, to the last second of the floor circuit. No time is wasted. I love that. Everything is interval and circuit-based too - so yes, while you may feel like you're dying at points, active recovery is also built in for relief.
3. The Beats - It's a 60-minute jam session. And it's LOUD. Drop them beats, move those feets! 'nuff said.
Not gonna lie, Barry's is pricey. I think classes run about $30 a pop, which is a little steep for this B. But, the Chicago studios (River North & LP) are offering some good deals and promos now. I've taken 3 classes now, all of which have been reasonable rates. And, as I mentioned before, it truly is a killer workout.
So keep a peep out. Try a class. I'll be back! Barry is bae... I have no doubt that you'll agree.