My best friend Jodi's sister moved to San Francisco a few months ago because her husband open a Barry's Boot Camp there. For those who don't know what Barry's Boot Camp is, it is basically a class of interval training in a group sessions. There are a few of these types of places around the country, and I have taken a few different classes either as gifts or to see what they are about. Typically, I don't enjoy the classes since I structure my workouts for whatever training season I'm in, but also I know how to kick my own butt, so I don't need someone pushing me. Plus a lot of these types of boot camp classes are in some kind of indoor gym style setting that mimics what it's like on the "battle-field". Not Barry's though. Not at all.
The weekend before I went out to San Francisco the wife and I were in Florida for Jodi's wedding. Knowing her family, it was great to be there and it was one of the best weddings I have ever been to. Talking with her sister and husband I told them I would be coming out to their area in a few days and was told to check out a class at Barry's. I was already planning on it since I wanted to support them.
So come middle of the week, I show up to my class and am kind of nervous. You have to realize that I know the owner (who happened to be filling in to teach this class), and was partying and drinking with him a few days earlier, so I didn't want to look like I can't hang. But I get there and say hi to Adam, the owner, and he shows me around, introduces me to his staff and tells everyone I'm a marathoner and triathlete so I should be a superstar. When more people show up, it seems like everyone knows each other and knows what to do, yet here I am anxiously waiting for class to start.
When we finally get inside the class, there is no bootcamp style obstacles. It's pretty simple. A row of treadmills on one side of the room and a bunch of benches, weight racks on the other. The class is split in half so one side starts on the treadmills and the other near the benches. What comes next is basically an hour of intense interval training that goes by in the blink of an eye.
Without giving away trade secrets, the time you are on the treadmill you are doing sprint intervals. My kind of thing since I do those anyway and the treadmill was limited at 12.5 mph so I hit the max and needed to increase the incline to increase intensity. The time you are on the bench you are doing a bunch, and I mean A BUNCH, of different weight exercises. The intensity is up and you are pushing your body as much as you can. My class was Back, Chest, and Abs and felt my entire body working. It was great.
The best part of the class was the instructor. Again, I'm biased here because I knew him, but he is so motivating and encouraging. It's actually a little disgusting how positive he is. There was no shouting at people negatively to get them to do more or push harder. He was coaching them and pushing them to push themselves but not once was there a negative word said in the class. He was high-fiving people, giving shout-outs to everyone, and yes, including me to which he told everyone about my workouts and how we were with each other the weekend before partying. I have never seen an instructor for any class I have ever taken been more engaged with each and every person, more positive, more encouraging, and just having fun. It felt like I was taking a class all by myself, and I know everyone else in the class felt the same.
So at the end of the day, my body was sore. But in such a good way that I haven't felt in months or years. Because I started my off-season a few weeks before, I haven't really had those types of workouts in a while so to push myself differently was amazing. I haven't felt that good in a workout in a very long time.
If you are in San Francisco any time soon and want to get a great workout in, check out Barry's Boot Camp. I guarantee you will have not only a great workout, but at great time.
Barry's Boot Camp
236 King St, San Francisco, CA 94107
|Me with Adam, the owner after he beat me up|