Based in New York and LA, Barry's Bootcamp is dubbed 'the best workout in the world' and has a roster of celebrity followers including Jessica Alba, Jessica Biel and Kim Kardashian, who featured it during an episode of her hit TV series Kourtney and Kim Kardashian Take NY.
So when I found out that the exercise had arrived in the UK, I jumped at the chance to see what all the fuss was about…
Waiting in the reception area – a cool, underground space complete with couches and a protein shake bar for post-workout relaxation – I watched as the earlier class staggered out with bright red faces… Gulp.
The workout takes place in a dimly lit room to high-energy music designed to maintain motivation. And the routine is split into four sections – two 15 minute stints on the treadmill broken up by two sets of 15 minutes of floor work.
…Ouch. I have always been sporty and as an on-off gym goer for most of my life, am no stranger to the treadmill. But I wasn't quite prepared for the pain that the really lovely and highly encouraging trainer named Anya Lahiri, who is deceptively tough, put me through!
With constantly varying speeds and inclines combined with short periods of sprinting to the best of your ability, it's fair to say your body is pushed to the limit. But once you step off that treadmill and realise how far and how fast you were able to go, it feels really good.
The floor sessions are just as tough. To get the best results, you have to take yourself outside of your comfort zone. For most people, this requires someone pushing you, which is why I love sessions with Anya and Shane Collins, another trainer who is able to gauge your capabilities and encourage (or, sometimes, order) you to push harder.
Post-session, I was exhausted and dripping with sweat. Cue a much-needed shower in the gorgeous changing rooms that are fully stocked with lavish Malin & Goetz toiletries and scented candles. Towels, hairdyers and even straighteners are provided meaning you can spruce up before heading back out.
Several sessions of serious calorie-burning later, I am hooked. I can already see that my body is more toned and I fully intend on keeping it up – I plan to update you with my results in a month's time so stay tuned!
Classes start from £14 and Barry's Bootcamp London is situated on 163 Euston Rd, NW1 2BH. Call 0207 387 7001 or visit the website barrysbootcamp.com.