Barry’s Bootcamp is a London fitness boutique where each hour long class is made up of half floor exercises (weight and strength training) and half treadmill exercises. You also have the option of opting out of the treadmill section and doing a Double Floor (DF) workout where you only concentrate on the floor exercises for the whole hour. On every month where there are five Monday’s they do something called Hell Week where the challenge is to do 7 workouts in 7 days. It’d been on my radar for a while now just because I’d seen so many people doing it on social media and when it turned out May was one of those months I decided to bite the bullet and sign up….
I was genuinely shitting myself in the days leading up to Hell Week – what had I signed up for? And more importantly why?
What no one tells you is that the whole Hell Week experience starts the week before when you try to book your preferred slots. Booking opens at 12.00 and by 12.05 the most popular classes are long gone. But as the week progressed I managed to book the classes I wanted thanks to fast reflexes and huge amounts of luck.
Then on the 26th of May, so only a few days before Hell Week started I saw an article on The Pool about Hell Week. The author had been asked to do Hell Week in order to get her body ready for summer. My heart sank when I read that because that isn’t the point of Barry’s at all. If someone from there is reading this, we all didn’t do Hell Week to get bikini body ready; we all have bodies and they are always bikini body ready. We did this because it is a challenge, a test of strength and determination. It is so much more than counting calories. Please, please change your marketing around this Barry’s – you are better than this and we, as your customers definitely are.
And now onto the week itself.
- £85 for the whole week of classes. Usually single classes are £20 each so this is a hefty discount (comes at just over £12 per class)
- £5 per day for the post-workout smoothies. Delicious as they are I only had two in the whole week so for me this additional cost was £10.
All of my classes were in Barry’s Central.
Monday – Hannah 12.30
My Double Floor Hell Week started at just after midday with an Arms and Abs class with Hannah. As it was a Bank Holiday I had more freedom with when I could book the class and decided to get it done much earlier in the day. Hannah was the perfect instructor to start with – friendly, brilliant, and very good at her job. As someone new she put me at ease and had me working my shoulders with the best of them. So much so that by the end of the class I thought my shoulders were going to drop off.
Tuesday – Anya 18.40
Double Floor Butt and Legs with Anya. I thought my butt was going to drop off. I thought that with my knee I would have to modify some of the moves but was able to complete everything without any pain (YES). Squatting, lunges, burpees, weighted squats…Anya had us doing it all. And she knew my name so every now and again there would be a personalised little bit of motivation which was so welcome.
Wednesday – Sandy 18.40
Chest, Back, and Abs was probably the class I was looking forward to the most. While injured these are the parts of the body I was concentrating on the most and wanted to see how much of the class I could do without dying in a puddle of sweat. By the end of this class I’d been able to hold a two minute plank and my push ups were much, much better (even with shaking muscles).
Thursday – Anya 18.40
Back with Anya for a Core and Abs class that had my stomach crying and shaking by the end. By Thursday I could feel my left knee and hip staring to ache. It was dull in the background but it was there. It’d been a long time since I’d pushed my body so much and I was glad that I was over half way and that the class being Core and Abs meant that my left knee had a little break.
Friday – Jay C 10.45
I had taken a day off on the Friday and like with Monday thought it would be brilliant to get the class over and done with in the morning rather than having to wait until the evening. However it meant that I was back in Barry’s in no time at all and this class marked the start of the Full Body classes – very glad to report that the knee was OK after this class. Plus I had a great time and the class ended with a two minute plank. Two. Minute. Plank.
Saturday – Tee 11.15
Full Body class number 2. By now I am used to an hour of weights alone and am enjoying it. Tee’s class used a lot more body weight too which was a challenge. My push ups are becoming pretty excellent. I left this class feeling on top of the world.
Sunday – Louis 11.15
Full Body class number 3 and workout number 7! This was it, the last class, and the one which as the week progressed I didn’t want to arrive because I’d been having such a brilliant time. Louis’ full body class was full of weight circuits, burpees, deadlifts, shoulder presses into squats, froggies, and of course push ups. I left feeling amazing and grinning like a lunatic. Hell Week was done and I had enjoyed it.
Every day had been a brilliant workout with instructors who knew what they were doing (I can’t stress how much I love that). I left every class sweaty, happy, and with tired slightly shaky muscles. But more than this there was this whole community on social media full of other people (women mainly) also doing Hell Week. Some of them I already knew and some I was lucky enough to meet as the week progressed. It was a club full of these amazing people who really wanted to push themselves.
I loved Barry’s Hell Week and I will definitely be doing Hell Week Round 2 later on this year….