Classes We Love: Barry’s Bootcamp

This half cardio, half weight training workout will whip you into shape—stat.

Barry's Bootcamp

A Barry’s class, complete with red lighting. Photos by Jamie Ducharme

What it is:

Barry’s Bootcamp is an international chain of fitness studios loved by celebs. The self-proclaimed “best workout in the world” is an hour-long, and your aching muscles and sweat-drenched clothes will make you believe it.

Each session is divided into four 13-minute rounds: two cardio and two weight training. The cardio portion of the class is performed on a treadmill, with the impossibly-toned trainers shouting out when to change speed or incline. The weight portion of the workout uses hand weights, resistance bands, and benches to target every muscle group until you feel like you’re going to collapse. By the end of the hour, you’ll be exhausted. And that’s not an opinion, either.

Know before you go:

This is not a class for beginners. While most fitness studios will tell you that their workouts are for everyone, we recommend at least a moderate fitness ability before trying Barry’s Bootcamp. Most of the exercises can be modified to your fitness level in some way, but don’t be mistaken: It’s an advanced class. You should be comfortable running at least a couple miles for the cardio portions of class, and be prepared to go straight from heart-pumping running to intense weight training.

The class is also an exercise in sensory overload. The room is lit with red lights, and Top 40 hits and remixes are pumped through the studio at full volume throughout the class. Essentially, Barry’s Bootcamp is the nightclub of fitness studios.

The vibe:

Swanky but hard-working. Yes, you will sweat your butt off and question whether you’re going to fly off the treadmill from sprinting so fast, but you can take comfort in the fact that you’re doing so in a modern, funky studio complete with a juice bar and retail section.

Plus, all the trainers and employees are upbeat and welcoming, and joke throughout class. When a ripped trainer encourages you to run faster so people will pay for your drinks at the bar, you do it.

The cost:

Unfortunately, like most boutique fitness studios, it’s not cheap. A single class is $28, and a monthly membership is $415. Yes, really. While the workout is intense, that is more expensive than our area’s most swanky gyms like The Sports Club/LA and Equinox. No wonder the celebs love it; they can actually afford it.

What to bring:

The studio provides all necessary equipment and towels, but definitely don’t forget a water bottle. You’ll need it.

The bottom line:

Barry’s Bootcamp has a cult following for a reason: It’s an amazing workout, a fun atmosphere, and an inviting community. If you can afford it, a monthly membership will absolutely whip you into shape; if it’s a bit too steep, consider splurging on a single class every now and then when you need to go that extra mile. It’s worth it.

Barry’s Bootcamp, 30 Chauncy St., Boston;

Barry's Bootcamp

The studio, pre-class.

Barry's Bootcamp

Participants take to the bank of high-tech treadmills.

Barry's Bootcamp

The aforementioned juice bar.