Whenever there are five Monday’s in a month, most people sigh because it means that payday is far away but if you are a Barry’s Bootcamp goer, a five week month feels like Christmas because the 5th week is known as Hell Week. Seven days, seven workouts. Hell Week follows the standard Barry’s Bootcamp format; you book into a class and do a combination of HIIT training and weight training and you can read my full review of Barry’s Bootcamp here. It sounds like complete madness and trust me, it is. But after completing my first Hell Week I can say that not only is it doable, it’s actually enjoyable…Kind of.
Monday: Abs and Arms
I kicked off Hell Week with Olly True Love (yes, that is his name) who showed us nothing but tough love. His circuits were intense and so were the sprints but I left the red room feeling strong, fast and determined to give Hell Week my best shot.
Tuesday: Legs and Glutes
On Tuesday I made a huge mistake. I usually start on the floor (weights) when I go to Barry’s, which is fine unless it’s leg day. We did what is known as the Dirty Thirty, which meant that after working my legs for 30 minutes, it was time to run on the treadmill for 30 minutes. Do you know what it feels like to run after you have completed a leg circuit? Pain, that is what it feels like. Rookie mistake.
Wednesday: Chest, Abs and Arms
Wednesday’s session with Anya was my best work out at Barry’s so far. Anya has the ability to manipulate your mind into taking your body to places that you never thought it could go. And this resulted in me doing sprints at the usual 12.5mph, but this time I was on a 3% incline. I left the studio feeling like I had just won Gold at the Olympics, in the 100m sprint.
I am a strong runner but my core strength is poor, which meant that Thursday core session with Jemma had me wishing that I had paid more attention to my abs. I still can’t quite decide if the the core session was extremely hard or if I just have a really weak core. Regardless, I seriously need to work on my abs.
Friday and Saturday: Full Body
This is when my body started to tire. Friday’s session saw my body strength decrease and on Saturday my legs felt like concrete. Running at 12.5mph felt like 100mph, it was hard. Day six left me feeling defeated and cursing myself for not stretching the night before.
Sunday: Full Body
On the final day of Hell Week, the fear that I once had upon entering the studio had disappeared. The struggle of day six was pushed towards the back of my mind because my legs were feeling fresh, and my strength had returned. Instead of dragging myself up the hills like I had done the day before, I ran up them like there was a pair of custom made Christian Louboutins waiting for me at the top of the hill! I was determined to make my last session count and when the class ended, I was hit by a wave of achievement. I had completed Hell Week.
Hell Week confirmed that I am a strong runner but I really need to spend more time on strengthening my core. I should probably stretch more too. It was a challenging, yet empowering experience that helped me break through a plateau…just in time for my holiday! It wasn’t easy but it is doable and here are a few tips to help you survive Hell Week.
-Workout at the same time, every day. This will allow your body to recover in between classes.
-Foam roll and stretch.
-Push yourself. It’s Hell Week!
-Eat! Your metabolism will go through the roof so make sure you fuel your body accordingly.
– Cheat yourself. If you want to reap the benefits of Hell Week you need to give each session your all.
-Workout. If you can go to the gym alongside Hell Week, you are not working hard enough!
– Quit. It’s only seven days, hang in there.
The next Hell Week will be in November and I can’t wait to do it again! Hell Week hurts, it made my legs feel tight and my abs were sore but I am still in one piece.
It’s impossible until it’s done.