Barry’s X Is the Only Workout App That’s Kinda Sorta Made Me Become a HIIT Person
Hi, I absolutely hate being pushed out of my comfort zone when it comes to exercise. I like a slow, meandering daily stroll through the park or a chill pilates class where I nary break a sweat.
Basically, the idea of choosing to actively participate in a workout where the potential for sweat dripping into my eyeballs and being “pushed to your limits” is high, gives me hives. So when Barry’s Bootcamp (yeah, that Barry’s Bootcamp with the terrifyingly hardcore name and logo) offered me a chance to test their new app—Barry’s X— for free, I lol’d.
Then I remembered that my resolution for 2021 was to do things out of my comfort zone. So into The (virtual) Red Room I went. (P.S. The Red Room is the name of their studios where you actually take a class in a dim, red lighting sitch. It’s hardcore. And, as we’ve established, I’m not.)
But, reader, it turns out I love being pushed out of my comfort zone…in my own home with absolutely no one else around to see.
The studio’s new app features actually fun, engaging, high-intensity classes. All I had to do was choose which class I wanted to take, make sure I had the right equipment around me, and get ready to work my body in a way that I normally don’t. I’ve been using the Barry’s X app for a few weeks now, and it’s honestly, been the best thing to get me to keep up with my New Year’s resolution. Allow me to explain why.
Download Barry’s X for free with in-app purchases on the App Store or Google Play.
How it works
The Barry’s X App requires you to have 1) a smart phone (duh) 2) a membership or pre-paid classes and 3) some type of strength-training equipment, like a set of dumbbells or resistance bands.
More ~detailed~ deets on this later, but when it comes to the actual workouts, there are two options: live classes led by Barry’s instructors teaching from an actual Red Room in real time or on-demand workouts. So all you have to do is figure out what kind of workout vibe you’re feeling and you can easily access both right in the app.
Stream the sessions on either your phone, your computer, or on your TV (if you have a smart TV or Airplay capabilities—fahncy, fahncy!). Then sweat buckets for the next 30 to 60 minutes. Badabing badaboom!
There is literally no pressure at all. About anything.
Okay, yeah, barring the actual v intense workouts that Barry’s offers. I know that sounds counterintuitive, especially when you hear things like “The Red Room” when it comes to Barry’s general vibe. But it’s true. Let me break it down for you:
- You can keep your video OFF during the live classes so no one sees you accidentally kick your coffee table mid-plank step-out.
- The instructors encourage taking pauses when you need them, to prevent any injury. (Pssst, if you have your video off, no one can judge ya.)
- You can buy single class credits for $20 a class or a monthly membership with live classes and on-demand videos starting at $39 a month. The choice is yours!
See? No pressure about anything. Minus your muscles werkin’ hard. Heh.
Your classes sync up with your cal.
If you, like me, are a particularly scatterbrained person who hates being late to anything—I know, it’s a confusing experience—Barry’s has come through. When you book a live class, you can add it right to your preferred calendar. Pro tip: If you make your calendar alert loud enough on your phone, it basically doubles as your alarm to get up in the morning.
This was a particular saving grace for me, especially because I found myself (for some reason) booking 6:30 a.m. classes days in advance?
There are more class offerings than you think!
While Barry’s is known for their in-person classes that are half strength-training, half treadmill cardio, the Barry’s X app offers up a LOT more, while keeping the ethos of the program the same.
- On-demand classes featuring shorter, 20-minute sessions that focus on specific body parts
- Longer full-body classes
- Live classes with or without a treadmill component in a bunch of different time zones (I’m not not saying that I went out one night in my EST life, had a lil too much tequila, and fully took advantage of the PST class offerings for a “morning” class feel in the middle of the day. It’s called gaming the system.)
The music is unmatched.
One of my least favorite things about taking classes at home (live or on-demand!) is that you can’t really queue up your own special workout playlist because you need to listen to the instructors or live in fear of doing a burpee when you only had to do a jump squat. ::SHUDDERS::
But each instructor clearly puts the utmost care into their playlist, setting the vibe for the entire session. It’s like if your one friend who always steals the aux cord curated the playlist: It’s good and it works and there are zero skips. And, turns out, starting a morning workout before the sun is up to Carly Rae Jepsen’s “Run Away with Me” is always the move.
You’ll feel accomplished as f*ck
I have never felt more amazing than I did after completing my first Barry’s X live class (Total Body, in case you were curious), and I once wrote a 35-page final paper on War and Peace in a single night my senior year of college and got an A. Please clap.
Seriously though. I’ve tried my fair share of fitness apps as someone who really, truly, hates working out, and I never got the “it makes you feel so good!” endorphins rush of it all. But, IDK man, there’s something about the gentle encouragement from instructors telling me to squat and throw a dumbbell into the air at the same time and actually doing it.
The TREAD classes are tricky at home
ICYMI, a staple of the classic Barry’s workout is that it combines both strength training and running for an, uh, very high-intensity experience. But unless you have a treadmill at home or you’re taking a live class in a gym, it gets a little tricky. Obviously, living in a smol barely-counts-as-one-bedroom apartment, I didn’t have easy access to a treadmill. For lack of a less-clichéd phrase, that sure didn’t stop me from signing up for a Strength + Tread live class at 8:30 a.m. one morning!
The good thing is that the instructors are super aware of the treadmill accessibility issue, so an option to run outside (or in place if you’re on good terms with your neighbors) was made available—with only a couple of minutes to actually get outside. So by the time the rest of the class was sprinting on their treadmills, I was waiting for the light to change en route to the nearest park.
Still, I did it! Like a goddamn superhero (IMO). While running outside def provided the heart-pumping, sweat-dripping experience I was promised as a Barry’s newbie, I don’t think I can get over the whole “sprinting while looking at your phone for the next move and trying to avoid dogs and families” thing.
Not everyone has the same equipment
Similar to the treadmill sitch, a lot of live classes rely on using hand weights. Kudos to the instructors who so kindly just gave ranges like “light weights” or “heavy weights,” but if you’re working with a set of two-pound dumbbells and resistance bands like me, sometimes it’s tricky to follow along! Especially when, up until recently (ahem, March 2020 onwards), a lot of “home workouts” really only relied on bodyweight exercises.
So if you’re someone who likes following along with *exactly* what the instructor is doing, maaaybe just stick to the on-demand classes where you can pick and choose what equipment is used. That said, my poor muscles still got the workout of their dreams (and my nightmares, in a good way!!) with my very lacking home gym.
Yeah. As mentioned above, each class credit costs $20, or you can buy a membership package. Here’s the whole cost breakdown:
- 30 classes per month membership + on-demand streaming – $175
- 16 classes per month membership + on-demand streaming – $130
- 12 classes per month membership + on-demand streaming– $105
- 8 classes per month membership + on-demand streaming – $75
- 4 classes per month membership + on-demand streaming – $39
- Single live class – $20
While the pricing is similar to an in-person studio structure, it’s still a tough pill to swallow when there are other at-home workout apps that go for a fraction of the price.
If you made it this for, thanks!! As I’ve said many, many times throughout this piece, I am not a HIIT, heart-pumping, sweat-chaser kind of person. Still, I f*cking loved this app. It gave me, a very self-conscious homebody, the opportunity to actually thrive in a live studio-esque class. Plus, the on-demand classes were just, ugh, chef’s kiss.
So if you’re looking to get back into the “real workout” life that you had pre-pandemic, I couldn’t recommend the Barry’s X app more. Especially because not everyone feels super comfy taking an in-person class—and might not ever again! The class and experience flexibility is there, and you’ll actually go “Oh, so this is endorphins???” at the end of every class.
I’m definitely not giving up my precious YouTube pilates or meandering walks outside, buuuut you won’t find me deleting this anytime soon.
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Published at Fri, 22 Oct 2021 19:29:00 +0000