Barry’s Bootcamp: The Academy Final Update

I made it! I actually made it – I finished the four-week Academy, not missing one class so every morning, Monday to Friday I sprang rolled out of bed and made my way to the 7.10am class to be shouted at to run faster, push further and lift more for an hour… for four weeks solid.

But, the fitness kick didn’t stop there….

Barry's BC update

I thought four weeks of five times a week intense exercise (coming from a base on zero times a week intense exercise) might kill me, but it didn’t. Far from it – first week around, I was impressed at how much I could actually achieve and how quickly my fitness levels increased. It was intense, the classes leave you panting/sweating and exhausted – but also completely buzzing and exhilarated. It’s all really positive – the trainers push you that little bit further than you might push yourself and they manage to show you that you can actually do that little bit faster/more incline/more weight and overall, makes you feel pretty damn good!

There are two things that Barry’s has taught/shown me:

Firstly, you can do so much more than you may think – a lot of the challenge of the fitness/exercise thing is in your head. Your head will give up so much quicker than your body will – and in just the few weeks I’ve been doing this I can already feel the difference in my head as much as my body. When my legs are tired and aching and I want to stop and jump off the machine, something kicks in my head and pushes me that bit further, especially when the trainer are constantly reminding you how long there is left (20 seconds? I can do anything for 20 seconds – keep running!)

Secondly, I have really started to think about fitness and exercise as being a longer term thing. I’ll be honest, I went into this hoping to come out the other end having lost a decent chunk of weight. And whilst many do achieve amazing weight loss (one girl has lost something like 10kg in a couple of months since starting – and considering this type on intensity exercise is also adding muscle, that’s seriously impressive) but for me, the weight loss has been happening, but very slowly. I know that because I’m starting this from a minimal level of base fitness that I need to be building muscle and that might be countering it but I have been watching what I eat and doing other things like cutting out processed sugar and artificial sweeteners and drinking more water etc. But the thing Barry’s made me realise is that fitness isn’t just something you should do to fit into a bikini for a couple of weeks a year but more of a lifestyle and I started to notice my own goals change from wanting to loose ‘X’ amount of weight each week to wanting to run another point higher on the treadmill and feel proud of how much I can actually do! I really showed  myself this when at the end of the Academy in the weekend before Hell Week kicked off I went out for a run on my own (not forcing needed – this in itself is progress) and ran non-stop for almost 6k – this is something I have never done in my life, in fact – something I have never even gotten close to. The closet I have been is almost 5k, of which I walked over half. To go from this to running, without stopping the whole way in a month really does say a lot about what Barry’s can do.

Being totally honest, there have been times that the lack of weight loss has frustrated me to the point of tears but at the same time – and for the first time in my life – I feel like some sort of switch has been flicked and I don’t want to just give up, I am determined to keep working my butt off, until I *actually* manage to work my butt off – hence why I decided to shell out for the Hell Week classes immediately after The Academy and why I am very strongly leaning towards keeping the classes up on an ongoing basis until I reach somewhere I am happy with my body.

Now, before this turns into a dissertation-length essay I’ll finish rambling. Overall, Barry’s is an amazing place to go if you want to seriously take your fitness levels from zero to sixty in no time at all – you will be amazed at what you can do and it will leave you feeling exhilarated and ready to take on the world. I can’t promise any specific results as it will all come down to how hard you push yourself and what level of fitness you’re at and what your body is like already etc! But it is an intense workout!

For me though, this has been partly about the body and partly about my head – Barry’s has shown me that I can be one of those ‘fit girls’ who is happy to get up and go for a run, and break a sweat and push yourself in the name of fitness and not just loosing weight. Of course this is only the start, but I am feeling really positive about keeping things up, keeping exercise as a regular part of my life and making trips to Barry’s for a regular kick up the arse will definitely be a part of that!

If you have ever doubted yourself or what your body can do – get yourself to Barry’s, trust me – you wont regret it!

More info: Barry’s Bootcamp London

I was a guest of Barry’s Bootcamp for The Academy. Hell Week was paid for by me.



  1. Rachael Victoria
    May 7, 2013 / 1:07 pm

    Lovely post! Inspires me to go get that dream bikini body! I’ve just done a blog post on health and fitness myths you might find interesting!


  2. May 7, 2013 / 7:04 pm

    Great final post to your Barrys series Jen, I’ve really enjoyed hearing about your fitness journey and I’d 100% join a Barrys if there was one in Sheffield – I’ll just have to make do with my Virgin membership for now.


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