Monday night, the possibility popped up on Facebook to join Joey Gonzalez at Barry’s Bootcamp for a class with Alycia Stevenin. I had heard some amazing things about her classes and immediately wanted in. So on Tuesday morning, I made my way over to Barry’s Bootcamp. It had been a few months since my last visit and I was a little nervous about it – plus, this class was going to be my first “Butt & Legs” session at Barry’s Bootcamp.
I arrived a little early and had one of those slightly awkward check-ins, you know, one of those exchanges that made me feel like I was wearing a big sign that said “does not belong”. Luckily, that has never stopped me, so off I went to the locker room to get ready for class and stash my stuff. Heading back to the front to wait for my class, I settled onto the bench, chatting with two of the other women who were also waiting for class to start. I always love those few minutes of people watching before a class, and this class was filled with obvious Barry’s regulars.
As we were finally let into the room for class, I got my first look at Alycia, the tiny spitfire who was going to kick my ass for the next hour. She is small but has this amazingly large presence about her and lit up the room. As we walked in and made our way to the treadmills she joked with one of the ladies I had been talking to about how she was going to “run that ass right off you!” It was funny, but also made me a little nervous about exactly how crazy hard this class was going to be! We all started on the treadmills, since there were only 20 of us in the class, we could all do the same thing instead of splitting into two sections, as is sometimes the case at Barry’s most packed classes. After a short warm up, the 1st round was a pattern of a running uphill at 3% grade for 1 minute, 6% for 45 seconds and then 9% for 30 seconds before going back to 0% for an all too brief 30 second walking rest for 3 rounds. It was about 10 minutes of hard, but it didn’t kill me. Then, we were off to the floor for a long session of deadlifts, squats and alternating lunges. It was during this part that Alycia totally won me over, though, because she was really watchful of everyone’s form and made some great corrections – ALWAYS a good thing. The reps seemed to go on forever and made the second treadmill section seem especially brutal. Also you know you are in trouble when the section is prefaced by the trainer telling you “I did this run with my friend the other day and it almost killed me! But it didn’t, so we are going to do it today to prove how strong you really are! Now, GO!” I don’t remember the specifics of that section at all since I spent the whole time thinking I really might keel over at any minute. Then, it was back to the floor for more killer moves with resistance bands, anchored under the bench and looped over our feet – so ridiculously hard that it was almost comical, and of course, I loved it! Then, it was back to the treadmill for our last running section, which was a full-on sprinting section. 45 seconds all out, 30 seconds rest until the last section where we got a minute rest, but then, Alycia told us that we all had to be at least a 10, which is SO MUCH FASTER then I think I can go. Anything over a 9 and I am pretty sure I am just going to shoot off the back of the treadmill. So, I was cranking it up and hit a 9.9, but at that point, I was just booking it and focused on not flying off. The guy next to me was flying at a 12.5, looks over and says: “You are SO close. COME ON! DO IT!” So, I hit the button one more time and actually finished at the 10 mark. I so needed that extra push at that moment! It was funny, he started to apologize for it at the end of the run, and I just stopped him by beaming and said: “Are you kidding? Thank you!! I so needed that!” Sometimes, you need others to help push you past were you think you can go.
It was a crazy good class – tough, funny, and joyful, just like Alycia. I can’t believe she only teaches four classes there a week, but I will definitely be back for another one. She was absolutely awesome.
I left class on a total endorphin high…the perfect start to any day!
(Image of Alycia from Barry’s Bootcamp NYC website)