It’s no secret around here that I’m a big fan of the weight room.
It’s also no secret that the only real conditioning I do are stadium runs and hill sprints.
I can’t remember the last time I went for a run, or, for that matter, attended a group exercise class. That’s not to say that there’s anything wrong with these things, they’re just not part of my usual routine. I used to go to a cardio kickboxing class when I was in high school that I loved. I went to group fitness classes every once in a while in my early twenties, and used to dabble in yoga (but haven’t been now in a couple of years). I have even tried a Zumba class.
Not my thing.
However, I was recently given the opportunity to team up with the New Balance Lace Up For The Cure program and attend a few complimentary fitness classes here in Boston. The first of those was Wednesday night, when I tried my very first Barry’s Bootcamp class.
I’ve heard of Barry’s before, and know that they have a very good reputation as a tough fitness experience. I have to admit that I was a little bit intimidated and nervous going into it… I can dead lift 1.5x my body weight and do stadiums every week, but the last time I did a bootcamp type workout must have been years ago.
Verdict? It. Was. Tough. It was a completely different style of workout than my body is used to, and for some reason I have a really difficult time working out at the end of the day (I usually train around 9 am, sometimes earlier). The class was broken into floor work and treadmill work, with groups alternating so that everyone did two 15 min floor sessions and two 15 min treadmill sessions.
It was Shoulders/Back/Abs day, so the floor sessions were broken up into what seemed like endless reps of push ups, rows, chest presses, and crunches. Even though I’m used to lifting much heavier weights, the high reps really fatigued me as I apparently have no upper body endurance. I’ve never been so humbled by a pair of 12 lb dumbbells, and frankly, it was almost kind of embarrassing. The treadmill sessions were a mix of interval runs and hill intervals, and that was definitely the part of class that kicked my ass the most. Yes, I run stadiums every week, but the last time I actually ran was back in June, and before that I don’t think I had run in about a year. I’m not lying when I say I. Dont. Run.
All in all though, it was a great class and I’m really glad that I was given the opportunity to go! It was also right around the corner from where I work, which made it super convenient in the middle of the week. I’m honestly not sure that it’s the type of workout that I would go to on a regular basis — I think I would enjoy an outdoor bootcamp a little bit more. Get me off those treadmills, ya know? For some reason, I also just didn’t feel as accomplished as I do after a great lifting session, but that’s just me. Over all, I’m so glad I was able to go. I had a ton of fun and got to meet some other Boston bloggers, which was awesome!
The thing that made the whole experience even better though happened before class even started. All of us that were there with the New Balance group got together, and three breast cancer survivors shared their stories with us. They all had incredible stories, one of them was even a two time survivor at the age of 43, but the thing that stood out to me was the positivity amongst these women. Their stories and experiences put that evening into perspective. As Dustin, the bootcamp leader told us all, no matter how much we were struggling in class that night, it was nothing compared to what these women and other cancer survivors have gone through.
A great sweat session mixed with a great cause? Sounds like a win-win situation to me! I’d like to send a huge thank you to New Balance for the chance to try this class out, the three amazing survivors for sharing their stories with us, and for Dustin and the rest of the Barry’s crew for making it such an awesome event.
Readers: Have you ever been to a Barry’s Bootcamp? What did you think of it? Are you more inclined to group fitness or other types of workouts?
Also, don’t forget that you can dedicate any of your workouts to breast cancer survivors by using #LaceUp365 on social media!
*Disclaimer: I was not compensated for this blog post, although I was given complimentary admission to the Barry’s Bootcamp class. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
*All photos are courtesy of the NB team that was at the event.