Blog by-Plaban Pratim Saikia
Barry Jay remembers the day that changed his life because for years he carried the membership card in his wallet. The date was August 4, 1988. The card is from a Los Angeles gym called Sports Connection. Five years of hard living in L.A. had taken its toll. Then‐25‐year‐old Barry started going to the gym, and soon he started working at their front desk. Next, he was an instructor. Then he was a sought‐after instructor.
The Bootcamp brand goes beyond the biceps on Barry’s trainers and clients — each studio has a lifestyle clothing boutique with Barry-branded workout apparel, a signature “Fuel Bar” offering “Barry’s own recipes of healthy and energizing smoothies and snacks,” and locker rooms stocked with Barry’s-branded water and hygiene products. When Barry’s started in 1998, it was a pioneer in boutique fitness. But as the concept caught on, and competitors popped up and hence Barry decided to do the best job they can at building a true lifestyle brand, and what that means is bringing all of these different pieces into one.
Barry’s the man behind an eponymous chain of boutique fitness outlets, with locations on the American coasts, London, and Oslo. His company is worth upwards of $100 million, about 20 years after its creation, and won a coveted private equity investment in 2015. The décor at Barry’s Bootcamp in the Tribeca neighbourhood in New York is downtown workout‐hip. In a nod to the loft spaces in that part of Manhattan, the ceilings are high, the floors concrete. The walls are painted in grey shades of camouflage, featuring the Barry’s Bootcamp logo, complete with the sergeant’s chevron.
Barry was not always a fitness freak. But once he got the compulsion for it, there was no looking back. Barry himself dropped 15 pounds by going back to veganism. He’d been vegetarian for seven years, vegan for three, and then experimented with paleo for a while. He used that diet to get to 150 pounds in honour of his fiftieth birthday, in 2013. He gained it back in the intervening year. In the summer of 2014, he was back to 150. Barry credited the dedication to the constant motivation from the people he surrounded himself with.
Growing up as a kid was tough for Barry. He had no certain desires in a particular field, though he had interests in Broadway. So he decided to take acting as a career. Three months of community college back in Rockland County didn’t give him much help and he pursued a more vocational route to acting through an acting school in New York City. Upon graduating, he landed a role in the chorus in a Broadway show; he quit when the show went on tour, to Alaska.
Soon he got embroiled in bad nights and most of the time it was alcohol or drugs. When he decided to change his life around, he joined an intervention. The intervening decade found Barry moving up the gym instructor ladder. He gathered a following as he honed his teaching style, an approach that borrows heavily from his theatrical history. In person, he’s lively and intensely engaged, a personality that shows through in his classes. He’s also, in his own friendly way, sort of mean. The bootcamp name came from the mouth of a weary client after a class he was teaching at a local box gym who said, “This isn’t body sculpting, it’s a bootcamp!”. When Barry told that story to his eventual business partner Rachel Mumford, she jumped on the name, and added “Barry” to it.
People often complain about the hard regimes of the Bootcamp. But Barry loves those complaints. For him, it means that the first step towards fitness. The only thing which he dreads is people eventually giving up. For him stopping the fitness regime is one that should come to a person’s mind even once. Barry faces tough competition from the ever-changing fitness but he always ensures to bring up a new style that goes well with fitness goers.
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BFY provides training for Personal Trainers and courses in Sports nutrition and Diet in cities like Mumbai, Delhi, Kolkata, Ahmedabad, Hyderabad, Chennai, Bangalore, Pune, Dehradun, Jaipur, Lucknow, Gurgaon.
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