She played a key role in bringing Barry’s Bootcamp to London in 2011, and has previously trained Kim Kardashian. We speak with Barry’s Bootcamp Master Trainer (and Nike Elite NTC Trainer), Anya Lahiri, to find out more about this celeb-fave workout.
Please can you tell us about Barry’s Bootcamp – what can we expect from your classes and what makes them so special?
Barry’s is a mixture of high-intensity-intervals on a treadmill and resistance training on the floor. The workout in itself is special in that it combines elements that will give you optimum results; the treadmills increasing your cardio and respiratory fitness and the resistance (weights) turning your body into a fat-burning machine.
Every day focuses on a different body part and no class is ever the same, so your body is continually shocked and challenged.
The classes are set in an awesome, club-like environment with pumping tunes, red lighting and the most motivational trainers you will ever meet!
You played a key role in bringing Barry’s Bootcamp to London in 2011. How did you translate an American brand for an English audience? Were there elements that you wanted to retain or change? Any key considerations?
I fell in love with Barry’s over 10 years ago as a client in LA and it was key for us to retain the Barry’s magic that existed in their original location in West Hollywood in our London branches. The most important part was and IS the workout!
Barry’s in West Hollywood is no frills; it is literally a fitness space developed in 1998 without showers or shakes – and my love for the concept was purely based on an insane, incredible workout that provided amazing results, led by the best trainers in the business.
That was a key aspect that we wanted to replicate. As important – and another thing I feel we have definitely achieved – is creating a Barry’s family and community in London like they have in America. An amazing thing about any Barry’s location is that it feels like a home-from-home and means clients can get their favourite workout not only in London, but also in New York, LA, Miami and even Norway.
You have trained the likes of Kim Kardashian and Natalie Imbruglia – and Barry’s Bootcamp is known for attracting the fit and the famous. How have you managed to create an atmosphere in which celebrities and the general public can comfortably exercise side-by-side? Does it bring with it any challenges?
I was fortunate to start my Barry’s career teaching in West Hollywood, which has its fair share of celebrities. London has also managed to attract famous faces through its doors, which I think is due to the workout being so effective! All our clients tend to come through word of mouth or are brought along by other clients, which also seems to be the case with our celebrity clients who have already tried the workout at other locations or have been brought along by friends. People see results and that is why they keep coming back!
The challenges are the same whether someone is famous or not; you have to provide a successful workout for the client if they are an athlete or a complete beginner… that is part of the fun too… working with people from all different walks of life.
There are endless surprises with our Bootcampers; one client did a 24-hour burpee challenge for Cancer Research, another ended up representing Great Britain in the World Triathlon Championships in Chicago.
Are there specific people, trainers or fitness classes that prove particularly inspiring to you – and why ?
I am continually inspired by the trainers I work with, but most of all, my clients. There are endless surprises with our Bootcampers; one client did a 24-hour burpee challenge for Cancer Research, another ended up representing Great Britain in the World Triathlon Championships in Chicago and then there is the client who has managed to up their 30-second sprint speed from 5 miles to 12.5 miles in a few months… Barry’s is continually inspiring!
You’re currently 9 months pregnant (congratulations!). How has pregnancy and your changing body shape slotted in with being a personal trainer, and do you have any golden advice for other soon-to-be fitness mummies?
Yes – 9 months and playing the waiting game!
I think that is the biggest lesson of all – learning to really listen to your body and realise that you can’t control your pregnancy. Every pregnancy is different and comes with its own challenges. I have been very fortunate in being able to workout at Barry’s and maintain most of my fitness regime up until the end of my pregnancy but that is not the case for everyone and you should never judge yourself against someone else.
This also applies post-pregnancy as you have no idea how each birth is going to play out. As a result I haven’t planned anything and feel very lucky to be able to make the decisions about returning to work and exercise as and when I feel ready.
Being active has certainly helped me feel positive and physically prepared for labour and I am itching to get back under the red lights at Barry’s and get my sweat on properly once the baby arrives!
If you are pregnant, PLEASE always inform your trainer, get checked by a health professional beforehand and realise that this is NOT the time to be setting yourself insane fitness goals. It is a time to nurture your body, maintain your fitness and to look after yourself physically and mentally.
(Note: Anya gave birth to a little boy on Mother’s Day – 6th March 2016! Congratulations Anya from all at Green Contact Book.)