This weekend, Barry’s Bootcamp, an intense Los Angeles-based fitness program popularized by celebs like Kim Kardashian and Katie Holmes, opened its first dance-club-inspired doors in New York City.
But will New Yorkers go for the workout with its decidedly LA vibe?
The mirrored studio feels like a night club: The lights go down, the music goes up, and the hour-long class kicks into gear, alternating between intense cardio drills on a treadmill with strength training on the floor using free weights and resistance bands.
Because of the fluffy (albeit camo-dressed) wrapper, I wasn’t prepared for complete muscle fatigue from weighted side planks or utter breathlessness from sprints on a tough treadmill incline. “What we deliver is a boot camp experience in a dance hall-night club atmosphere,” says John Mumford, who founded the company in 1998 with wife Rachel Mumford and Barry Jay Stitch.
So maybe it’s fitting that instead of military-style derision, sexual innuendo was the motivating force of choice in my class? “Feel the burn between your legs—from the workout, not your STD,” screamed Martin George, my LA-based instructor, as well as: “If I’m not turned on, your ass is not high enough in the air.” Is this the fitness version of the casting couch? (The company has since put the kabosh on sexual innuendo.)
All the essential boot camp elements remain unchanged for the New York studio. Well, except the price: At other locations, a 5-class pack costs $85. In NYC, it’s $150, a figure based on what other boutique studios here charge, says Mumford.
So will New Yorkers be wooed by the shiny promise of a chiseled West-coast bod for $30 a class?
“My take is that New Yorkers are certainly more buttoned up, but the city is faster, and they’re into the new and the good,” says Mumford. “If we can provide that to them, I think they’re going to line up for it.” —Lisa Elaine Held
Updated: Wed., July 20, 2011
What do you think, New York City?
Barry’s Bootcamp, 135 W. 20th St., btwn 7th and 8th Aves., Chelsea, 888-619-0005, www.barrysbootcamp.com