Barry’s Bootcamp: the full throttle fitness class, which I can liken only to the royal navy’s training, promises to whip you into shape with a combination of HIT cardio and intensive weight training, and has a cult following of the fitness conscious and boasts an impressive list of celebrity clientele. Having recently opened up a second studio in East London and with Millie Mackintosh, Ellie Goulding and the Beckhams all regular visitors, I knew I couldn’t turn down a chance to attend an ‘Hour of Power’.
Prior to the class I assumed I was fit-ish. Super fit no, but I can run for the bus without a full-blown heart attack – as I said, reasonably fit. To say it was intense is a gross understatment. At one point, I was sure the class would claim my life. Halfway through, I had decided I’d had enough and began devising my excuse to leave, because I was sure I would be sick on the girl beside me.
As I said, it was intense, but I have to admit, once I got home I felt fantastic, bursting with balls of energy. Fast forward two days later, and I’m in need of a wheelchair or at the very least a zimmer frame – but strangely enough, I want to do it all over again.
And it’s not just me who has the Barry’s buzz, this weeks cover star Ellie Goulding is a dedicated fitness fanatic and trains three to four times a week at Barry’s.
“Ellie’s work ethic is amazing,” says her go-to Barry’s trainer, Faisal Abdalla. “The training we do is dirty, hard and aggressive, but she always enjoys it. She is an athlete.”
“I love the atmosphere and energy of a bootcamp,” admits Ellie. “You can’t hide behind from anyone else and there is something really special and comradely when everyone is on the treadmill all together.”
Faisal mixes up their 60-minute sessions with a combination of punching (Ellie’s favourite), sprints, plyometric training and weights and all in one minute intervals.
“It’s important to keep the body guessing,” he says. “High intensity interval training of short treadmill sprints alternated with resistance work is a lot more beneficial than just doing a steady run because your body doesn’t get any recovery time. Your muscles are working much harder than they would if you were to sit down and rest between sets.”
And those incredible abs? Faisal says they’re all down to a special move called the ‘six touch plank’. “Get into push up position with hips forming a straight line from your shoulders to your feet,” he says. “Lift one hand off the floor and touch the opposite shoulder then back on the floor.” Ouch.
But while Faisal’s training methods are tough, it’s Ellie’s no-nonsense approach to the classes that has given her the body of her dreams. ‘She’s looking insane right now,” says Faisal. “But the credit has to go to her. She works hard and has a great attitude towards exercise, which makes her a pleasure to train.”
And she’s such a fan of the classes she even directed her own session at Barry’s Miami Beach in January this year – go Ellie!
Want to boost your routine Ellie-style? Here are some quickfire moves to try at home…
Hollow Rocks: Lie on your back, bring your straight legs up off the floor at the same time as your head and arms and rock backwards and forwards for one minute.
Tuck Jumps: Jump side to side, bringing your feet back to touch your bum as you jump.
Resistance Jumps: Place a resistance band around both your calves and do star jumps for 30 seconds followed by a rest period of 30 seconds.
Crawling: While keeping your bum low to the ground, crawl along bringing your elbow to your knee each time.
Curtsey Lunges: Step one leg back diagonally behind the other and bending both knees low to a curtsey position and do 10 on each leg.