Hello, Austin Fit Fam! It’s AFM ambassador Billy Bosco again, and I’m here today to tell you about my experience at Barry’s Austin doing a boot camp!
As a trainer and instructor, I always find boot camp fascinating. On one hand, I know the blueprints to building a stronger body are progressive overload, proper form and proper rest time; boot camps are tricky. On the other hand, you want to help your campers lift heavier weights, but this isn’t always the “sexy” approach. People associate a good workout with how exhausted they are afterward. To do this, sometimes boot camps will minimize the rest and maximize the high-intensity moves to totally wipe you out. There’s a way to find harmony between strength and cardiovascular health.
I want to start out by saying that I went to the wrong Barry’s location at first. I had to actually sprint across the city to get there on time. I probably recorded the best mile time of my life with this run. Nothing inspires you to push yourself more than a little bit of fear and suspense! So, by the time, I got to the right location, I was already warmed up and adequately sweaty, and it was time for the workout!
Before we get into the workout, this month’s Ambassador’s Corner is supporting the Texas Parks & Wildlife Foundation, which has been advancing conservation in Texas for 30 years and counting. Thank you for your generosity and support in transforming Texas for current and future residents. Every donation goes toward caring for our state’s wildlife, habitat and natural resources.
Billy’s Chosen Nonprofit: Texas Parks & Wildlife Foundation
Click here to donate!
Barry’s is straightforward. They have two rooms for different kinds of classes. One room is much larger and has treadmills as well as benches for the weight section. The other room is purely for strength and just has benches and various strength equipment. Naturally, I chose the strength class because of my disdain for all things cardio. My instructor was Brandon who I actually worked with at a different gym. It was nice to see a familiar face as this makes the workout more fun and comfortable. He told me about how the class was broken down, what to expect and his recommendation for pacing myself. This was helpful as sometimes I can get away with lifting with my ego. Knowing what to expect helped me better select which weights I wanted to start with. Once Brandon told me what to expect, I got to my station and was ready to go!
The workout was leg day. We started out by stretching for 2 to 3 minutes, which I appreciated. It’s very common for boot camps to want to skip this part as some customers think it’s too slow and boring. The warm-up stretched out the legs, opened the posture and gradually raised the heart rate. My body was loose and ready to be used and abused!
The workout was broken into four timed circuits. Each move would be performed for a certain amount of reps at our own pace. The first circuit focused on the glutes and quads. We used a booty band and did nonstop squats, side steps and plank hop outs. I liked this a lot as the medial glutes help with stabilization and often get neglected! The next two circuits were focused on heavy lifting. I got to make use of their heavy dumbbells but with the same intensity and minimal rest time. Each circuit would start with a compound lift like a goblet squat or RDL. The following move would be a high-intensity move to burn the legs out. We ended the workout with a final circuit that focused on the core which, indeed, hurt so good.
Everyone has their preference for a boot camp. I was indeed sore after the workout, and at the end of the day, that is what most people look for in a workout. Nonetheless, there are the pros and cons I gathered from my workout:
In the end, it’s always good to ask yourself what you value more: pure strength and a chance to build community with the class, or a high-intensity workout that will truly challenge your physical strength and cardiovascular strength. Once you have that answer, you’ll know what to look for in a boot camp!