Barry’s Bootcamp or 1Rebel?

My relationship with Barry’s Bootcamp started with love at first class.

I thought I was literally dying from exerting every last muscle in my body, until the very last sprint on the treadmill. Then, as soon as the class was over, a feeling of euphoria washed over me like the ones you get after you have just had a perfect first date.

What can I say?

It was the perfect combination of the flattering lighting, military training treadmills, boom box pumping the most motivating sound tracks mixed with the repeated cheering from an energetic instructor pushing me on. (One of them was even a Nike trainer by day and DJ by night. Talk about being multi-talented!)

Barry's BootcampPhoto: Barry’s Bootcamp

This was HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) at its best, and often there isn’t even enough time to think about how much pain you are under as you switch between the treadmills and the weights. On average, 700-1300 calories are burnt in just one session. That’s more than half of my daily calorie allowance!

Founded in 1998, Barry’s Bootcamp now has a loyal following around the world, and of course the move across the Atlantic to London was inevitable.

However, now there is a new fitness class kid on the block. 1Rebel‘s first studio opened near Liverpool Street earlier this year and I was keen to give it a try.

1RebelPhoto: 1Rebel UK

Perhaps, it’s a human condition that we all like shiny new things. And 1Rebel comes as shiny as it gets. Literally.

Its locker room has a glittering copper tone throughout, with the trendiest changing area I have seen. GHD hair straighteners line up in front of the Hollywood-esque dressing tables with flattering lighting for my post workout prep to look anew again.

Given my familiarity with Barry’s Bootcamp’s treadmill/weights classes, I opted for a 60 minute 1Rebel Double Shot of Reshape and Ride, which was 30 minutes of interval run/weights training with 30 minutes of indoor cycling.

So which is better you ask? Here is my verdict:

What are the studios and facilities like?

Locations wise, I’m closer to the Liverpool Street 1Rebel studio than Barry’s Bootcamp at Euston. However, I did hear that Barry’s Bootcamp is opening a second location at Liverpool Street later on this year. Inside, 1Rebel is much bigger in terms of changing space and more hair drying stations. Barry’s Bootcamp has better showers with no wait time, perhaps their clientele prefer to shower at home.

Inside the studios, both gyms use Woodway treadmills. These little daredevil machines give you a more intense workout than regular treadmills and are super comfortable to go for that speedy sprint. 1Rebel provided all of the weights needed under each bench stations, so that there were no back and forth to gather the weights; a very thoughtful feature. In the 1Rebel Ride class, we were provided with clip on shoes to connect ourselves to the bike. For those who never used this before, it was not an intuitive feature and took 10 minutes to get everyone ready to go.

1Rebel wins on the facilities for me given its size of changing room, and the equipments provided at each bench.

How was the class? Did I survive?

In Barry’s Bootcamp classes, the treadmills are situated on one side with weight stations on the other. So as instructors look around the class, it is easy to provide individual attention. I prefer this setup, as 1Rebel positions weights stations in the middle and treadmills line up along both sides of the room, it is difficult for the instructors to provide as much attention and encouragement.

On the treadmill, I prefer Barry’s Bootcamp various incline and speed combinations as we swiftly switched between them. While, at 1Rebel, the incline stayed the same with the different speed levels.

At the weight stations, 1Rebel had a great range of dynamic exercises which targeted the whole body, including some punishing bench jumps! Barry’s Bootcamp weight sessions were more stationary, with higher emphasis on core muscles.

Barry’s Bootcamp class was definitely harder at a level of 9/10, while 1Rebel was barely a 7/10 for me due to the flat run on the treadmill. But in my opinion, this may differ for various instructors on the day as well as individual preference levels.

Any extras provided?

1Rebel generously provides unlimited free water which is a great bonus. But Barry’s Bootcamp will happily refill your water bottle as needed. There is a great protein shake bar to get your after workout muscle building juice at Barry’s Bootcamp, ready to be picked up when you place your order before the class begins. At 1Rebel, a similar Roots and Bulb juice bar serves up a menu of cold press juices and protein shakes to refuel.

Why not checkout both? For me, Barry’s Bootcamp wins hands down on the quality of the workout despite 1Rebel’s attentive facilities.

Now, go on. Say goodbye to those calories! If you are like me, you’ll be working muscles you never knew you had 🙂

Want to try your own workout using Barry’s Bootcamp techniques? Check out the video below by Amanda Russell:

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  • Interesting. I went to my first HIIT class at Project Fit (near Bank) last week and had also been looking at 1Rebel when deciding on somewhere, Project Fit won for being closer, so it’s good to read something on 1Rebel. It’s somewhere I’m keeping in mind.

    In case it’s of interest, there’s a Timeout offer for Project Fit ending midnight 15 June – I don’t mean to spam or anything, I’m not linked to Project Fit or anything (or Timeout) but thought it might be relevant.

  • Ahh I am a huge fan of Barry’s too! No pain no gain, eh? Sounds like I should check out 1Rebel though as I live in Aldgate East and Euston is a pain! Thanks for the comparison 🙂 Lots of love, Andrea xxx

    Andrea’s Passions

  • I’ve been going to Barry’s since the very first class with Barry himself back when they opened! 1REBEL is pretty, but I agree, I don’t really think there is any comparison 🙂

    • Exactly! I think quality of classes is definitely better at Barry’s. But there aren’t enough lockers which is an issue sometimes. Do you go to the East London or Euston one? 🙂 xx