I went to Barry’s Bootcamp hell and back

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Barry's Bootcamp West

It’s the 7-day challenge that could make grown men cry. Yes, we’re talking about Barry’s Bootcamp Hell Week: 7 days and 7 savage workouts. Sam signed herself up for the mighty feat. Did she survive? Just about…

For those of you who don’t know Barry’s Bootcamp is a high-intensity workout that takes place in their signature ‘red room of pain’ – think dim lighting, big beats and an army of hot trainers.

The 60-minute sessions switch from treadmills to resistance floor exercises (or double floor if you prefer) and each day there is a focus on a different body part from your abs to your ass.

I popped my Barry’s Bootcamp cherry a couple of months ago and I’ve been hooked ever since. So, I thought why not give their ultimate challenge a go?

Here’s five things I learned during Hell Week…

I have a love/hate relationship with the ‘dreadmill’

I’m not a natural runner and running with (big) boobs is the absolute worst. Make sure you get a good sports bra and strap those babies down! Also, I’d advise booking a spot on the treadmill first to get it over and done with.

Photo: Barry’s Bootcamp Canary Wharf

Barry’s trainers are super encouraging

The instructors know you’re doing Hell Week and tell you not to knacker yourself every day. They keep you going with their high-energy and motivational spiel but leave you to test your own limits. The speeds they call out are only a guide (thank god!) so you can decide whether to run, jog or walk. Shout out to my favourite trainer Sarah Mariko who has the best playlists and will be your biggest cheerleader.

You must pace yourself

There were days when I was dragging myself to the studio early in the morning with very puffy eyes, however, I left every class feeling as high as a kite. I started slow and lifted lighter weights and by day four I was feeling fitter, faster and stronger. My top tips: carb load, drink protein shakes and get lost of sleep.

Photo: @barrysbootcampdubai

Foam rolling is worth the agony

It hurts like hell but foam rolling is the only thing that saved me. Stretch before and after every session without fail and have a bath with magnesium salts at night to sooth aching muscles.

Don’t let fear stop you from doing great things

I’d been terrified of Barry’s Bootcamp for years thinking it was some kind of exclusive club for the chiseled elite. I worried would be fit enough? And would I be judged? I’m pleased to say it’s actually quite the opposite – it’s a really welcoming community. And as for Hell Week, honestly, it wasn’t all that hellish…

By Sam

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