Barry's Singapore fitness review: When running and strength workouts come together
The lowdown: It's been settled that Barry's isn't a walk in the park. Even if it's no longer associated with the method of bootcamp. But it works — so we've heard — because instead of being a mere fitness fad, Barry's scientific backing to its foolproof workout won't fail you or your weight loss plan. Breaking down the class in halves: Running on the treadmill and strength-based workouts executed on the floor. While this format is true to the approach of Barry's, there are different classes to choose from like 'Total body', 'Full body (Upper focus)' and 'Abs & Ass'. The difference between them, would generally take place within the variation of floor-based workouts that target selected parts of your body. Every class starts off with two groups stationed on the treadmill and on the floor; after 15 minutes is over, the two groups would swap. Subsequently, after another 15 minutes, the exchange happens again, followed by the last swap. Essentially, you'll be doing two rounds of running and two rounds of strength-based workouts.
Our Abs & Ass class started off with a jog-sprint-jog-sprint pattern; instructor Beth led the class by calling out three numbers (meaning miles) that range from beginner, moderate and intermediate. You'll make the call on your own to see which category you're most comfortable with, by controlling the speed of your treadmill. The rest of her attention went to the other participants on the floor, which naturally needed more direction and demonstration. But while you're on the floor, it can be slightly confusing to catch the instructed workout especially in a big class. What you'll probably be doing most of the time, would be to imitate the person next to you. With a class that's full in attendance, perhaps a second instructor could make the entire experience better — especially for first-timers who aren't familiar with group-based workouts at all.
What I loved about the class: It didn't feel like 50 minutes. The pattern of the class divided each round into 45 seconds of intensity training, 30 seconds of active rest etc, so much so that time flew by just like that. The red room's setting also dimmed down any self-reservations, alongside Beth's jovial and positive energy that had zero inclinations of coercing the class to push themselves beyond what they weren't comfortable of doing.
What to bring: Towels are provided by Barry's (and you'll get chilled minty wet towels after a class), so all you need is a bottle of water and your trusty running kicks. Oh, and your Apple Watch and fitness tracker just to make a good documentation of how much calories you end up burning at the end of the class.
Good to know: Don't just run off after your session. Barry's is known for its signature Fuel Bar, where they serve delicious and healthy smoothies. Their shower facilities are also top-notch — read: Oribe hair and body products to lather yourself and Dyson hairdryers to render a decent blow-out.
Name of session: Abs & Ass
Try it out here: Barry's Singapore
Duration of session: 50 minutes
Difficulty: If you're not a runner, keeping to the beginner speed can already be a challenge. At the end of the day, stick to a speed that's comfortable for you and your body.