I am mostly amazed these days when a class really kicks my ass. Last night, I went to Barry’s Bootcamp with Joey Gonzalez. 15 minutes into the class, I knew this class was going to kick my ass but also that I was going to love it.

In the last week, Barry’s Bootcamp had popped up a lot on my radar, the most enticing of those being a video they had posted last week with Joey and Lacey Stone giving a tour of the space and showing a bit of the actual class. It was the first time that it sounded like something I would like. I have to say, I really hate the branding of Barry’s Bootcamp – it is very sexy starlet and buff action dude and in every other review it sounded like such an LA class that I had pointedly avoided it. It didn’t sound like a really challenging class to me but between that clip and a friend of mine raving about the class, I decided to go check it out. After a Facebook exchange with Joey on Sunday, he graciously (and awesomely!) invited me in the next night to check out a class at 6:30pm.

The studio, on 20th and 6th, is small but really nice. It was PACKED though when I went in, since it was a peak-hour class. I signed my waver and was pointed to where the locker rooms were.  The locker room is tiny but really nice, with actual showers – a weird thing that seems to be missing at a lot of NYC studios. I dropped off my stuff in one of the lockers and went to join the masses waiting.

Before class actually started, Joey called me in to introduce himself and give me a brief overview of the class. The class that night was focused on the Arms & Abs.  They also have Butt & Legs, Chest & Abs, Back & Shoulder and Full Body. He also took the time to tell me about the Woodway treadmills they use as part of the class. I have over the years heard others rave about Woodways before but never the WHY of what makes them better. The slatted belt, not a solid belt, with each tread covered in thick shock-absorbing layer, causes much less impact on the joints than traditional treadmills. Who knew? I can say I will be grabbing a Woodway treadmill from now on at the regular gym too…

The class of 30 or so divides into two groups with one starting out on the treadmills and the other on the floor with weights and a step. I choose the treadmill to start with since I am such a solid runner these days. I am not sure it was the wrong choice but damn, that was not an easy way to start a class! The light run pace was a 6mph, but we spent most of the time going between 7-8mph with inclines and speed bursts of 9mph. Oh man. By the time the first section was over, I was gasping and drenched already. The floor section with weights was seriously hard with each exercise going to failure, where you really couldn’t do one more before going on to the next exercise. After 15 minutes, we swapped again.

The second treadmill section started with a high knees drill on a 15% incline. It was a thing I would have never thought of doing on a treadmill and it was hard. We then went back to the running pace and did 15 minutes of alternating between a light jog and full out sprints with occasional bouts of incline runs.  By the time that one finished, I was a little concerned I might hurl and that if I did, they would never let me come back. Then it was back to the floor for a resistance band section. I chose the intermediate blue band and about midway through, I was kicking myself for not grabbing the easier red band. It was challenging in the best way possible but I think the red band would have not made me want to cry  the way the blue one did.

In the end, it was an amazing class that flew by, kicked my ass and made me feel like I should eat humble pie. It is a challenging, intense, fun workout and I am so glad I got to check it out.  I can’t imagine the Butt & Legs class though, my legs were so wobbly by the end of this class that walking home was a very slow process! I wonder if I could even make it home after that one? Or would I end up just sitting like a lump of jello in Barry’s juice bar?

(photo credit: Barry’s Bootcamp via Facebook)