Barry's Bootcamp Fat BlasterBarry Jay, Cindy Whitmarsh
Year Released: 2008
Categories: Strength Training (Total Body)
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This is a system that includes 2 dvds, an oblong stability ball (the Transformer) and a light and heavy resistance band. One dvd has an upper body interval workout along with six Mission Specialist workouts- beginner & advanced abs, beginner & advanced upper, and beginner & advanced lower. The second dvd has the lower body interval workout and the same six Mission Specialist workouts. The format of both Fat Blaster workouts is the same- one minute cardio followed by one minute toning, with a short break between each minute. These two workouts are meant to be alternated. The cardio is pretty much all high impact and challenging. Modifications are shown. Each lasts about 21 minutes. Personally I found both the warm-up and cool-down insufficient. The Mission Specialist workouts are all toning and are each 12 minutes. The system comes with a schedule of how to add these to the Fatblasters.
I dislike band work, so I subbed dumbbells and it worked fine. I like the Transformer and found it useful for other workouts-until my cat popped it.
Cindy is the real lead and she is great. At first I found Barry annoying, but I learned to overlook him.
Barry’s Bootcamp Fat Blaster “Lower Body Emphasis”
This has already been thoroughly broken down by Yogadad (thanks Yogadad!), so I am just going to add my impressions here. The Lower Body Emphasis workout DVD is blue (easily confused with the red colored upper body emphasis, the upper/lower text is very small) and also includes six Mission Specialist workouts: abs (beginner and advanced); upper (beginner and advanced); and lower (beginner and advanced). The DVD menu claims that the Lower Body Fat Blaster workout is 21 minutes; upon consideration, I believe they mean that the meat of the workout is 21 minutes, but with a 4 minute warm up and about 4 minute cool down, the entire workout is more like 30 minutes. There are 14 1-mintue intervals (one strength and one cardio) with a 30 second rest and setting up for the next exercise in between, which make up the 21 minute routine. Thanks to the 1 minute intervals, the workout flies by.
Like all Barry’s Bootcamp workouts, this uses the Transformer (the army green oblong stability ball) as well as bands. I used the lighter resistance green bands for this workout, as does everybody in the class except for the advanced modifier, who uses the thicker black band. There was one background male exerciser who used the booty band; I was surprised that they did not emphasize this more given the lower body emphasis. I was disappointed that the Transformer was not used more in this workout (as compared to UB), overall I did not feel the workout was as creative as the UB. However, understandably upper body exercises are more easily adaptable to the Transformer than lower. The workout did pack a punch and I can feel the DOMS setting into my glutes already. The cardio exercises were almost exclusively high intensity (although there is a beginner modifier who keeps it low) lots of jumping and plyometric moves. The strength moves were all squat and lunge variations, except for the final move which was bridges with feet on the Transformer.
Like UB FB, I was quite pleased at the intensity and am looking forward to growing with this workout. I followed Cindy, who did all moderate workouts, but I am excited to work up to the advanced modifier. Thanks to the short one minute intervals (Cindy and Barry often remind you that you can do anything for a minute) the workout felt very doable even with the intense exercises. Like I felt with the Upper Body FB, I think this system will help me push past my current plateau of intermediate into higher intermediate or lower advanced; I am able to do these more challenging exercises for a limited amount of time, and likewise for the short period of time, I will not develop a dread factor. The strength work is clearly endurance based, so this system will probably be best for those seeking weight loss, not those seeking muscle gains. I used this workout in conjunction with Firm BSS1 Lower Body Sculpt I, and I got a majorly intense one hour workout for the lower body. Beginners could follow along easily (the beginner modifications are excellent) but I think the very advanced (Insanity, P90X, Cathe users, etc.) will bore of this, or not get an intense enough workout for it to be worthwhile, especially if done standalone, as intended.
As I mentioned for the UB review, the music was great and well synchronized to the exercises. Very fun and bubbly, just like Cindy and Barry’s instruction. I will definitely be returning to Barry’s Bootcamp for the FUN factor. The 60 second countdown at each exercise was also helpful for me to push myself to the end, especially with some of the more intense plyometric cardio exercises. Well worth the money, especially for as cheap as it is now at Marshalls/Ross, and a great investment for those who are anywhere from beginner through low advanced level, and are looking for an endurance strength plus cardio interval routine. All of the exercises have fun names, which I think is really creative and different from pretty much any other workout video that I have tried (and I have and use over a hundred). Great bang for your buck! Grade A!
I really enjoy Cindy and have now used her Results: 10 Days to a Better Body workout as well as a selection of her Barry’s Bootcamp workouts. She has clear cuing and her form is great. She smiles a lot and is very encouraging. She is more serious than Barry, but she makes sure we get things done. Barry is wildly quirky and funny and adds an entertainment value to the workout. He also talks about the diet component which is very important. If they ever came out with a follow up system or their own videos, I would be very very excited.
Barry’s Bootcamp Fat Blaster “Upper Body Emphasis"
This has already been thoroughly broken down by Yogadad (thanks Yogadad!), so I am just going to add my impressions here. The Upper Body Emphasis workout DVD is red colored (easily confused with the blue colored lower body emphasis, the upper/lower text is very small) and also includes six Mission Specialist workouts: abs (beginner and advanced); upper (beginner and advanced); and lower (beginner and advanced). The lower body emphasis also includes these six add on chapters. The DVD menu claims that the Upper Body Fat Blaster workout is 21 minutes; however I found it to be more like 25 minutes. This included the warm up and the interval exercises, did not include the cool down chapter.
The Barry’s Bootcamp series uses the oblong stability ball (called the Transformer) as well as green (light) and black (heavy) bands which can easily be attached to the handles. The handles are large and very durable, I thought they were very well made! I plan to use these in other workouts as well. The oblong ball is also high quality. The ball takes about 10 minutes to inflate but upon sitting on, laying on, and otherwise handling it, it looks like it will be very durable and does not have a rubbery or plastic smell which was a relief. Upon purchasing, I thought the Transformer was just a gimmick (come on, why can’t we just use a stability ball?!) but actually the oblong ball was used pretty creatively. One could probably modify 80% of the moves using the stability ball, but the Transformer was effective and just easier to use (for this purpose), and for the price of Barry’s Bootcamp these days, I think it is plenty worth it. There is also a tool called the “booty band” which is looped around the ankles; I do not believe this comes standard with the basic kit and only one advanced exerciser uses it (at least in the upper body workout). It looks like it would be very effective and I plan to incorporate it once I get more accustomed to the workout.
The premise of the exercise system is to do an exercise for one minute (there is a countdown timer which I found to be very helpful) then there is a quick recovery period in which the equipment is set up for the next exercise, and another one minute interval. The one minute segments are used for both strength and cardio work. In Upper Body Fat Blaster, there is one strength interval followed by one cardio interval, repeated until the end of the workout. Upon previewing the workout, I was skeptical about how intense it would be just using bands and with one minute intervals, however I found the workout to be very intense indeed! I was pleased with the high level of intensity but also the “doable” factor. As an intermediate exerciser, I followed Cindy most of the time, but was able to work up to the advanced modifier at some points, and had to follow the beginner modifier at some points as well, towards the end of a tougher one minute segment. Cindy demonstrates the move at the beginning and really leads the class (and she does all of the exercises); Barry does not do the exercises, instead he walks around the room and points out form, and gives out tips including a reminder that “abs are made in the kitchen” and “don’t think, just shrink” which appears to be the Barry’s Bootcamp slogan.
There are some tough cardio moves including burpees and mountain climbers, but the one minute workout principle really helped me to push myself. I think this system will help me push past my current plateau of intermediate into higher intermediate or lower advanced; I am able to do these more challenging exercises for a limited amount of time, and likewise for the short period of time, I will not develop a dread factor. The strength moves included arm work with the band (I used the green band). Some of the moves were easier (like biceps curls) but many of them were challenging and creative: triceps dips off of the transformer (TOUGH), pushups off the Transformer, upper cuts with the band, delt work with the band. There was a bench press with the band encircling the Transformer, but the band did not have enough resistance. Only a minor complaint and easily modifiable. A second minor complaint (and also easily modifiable) are the standing cardio moves that have the Transformer held over the head. Unless you have very high ceilings, this is not going to work. I used a small medicine ball instead and it worked great.
The strength work is clearly endurance based, so this system will probably be best for those seeking weight loss, not those seeking muscle gains. This is perfect for me as an intermediate exerciser (I sandwiched this workout between Firm BSS4 Jiggle Free Arms to get in some heavier arm strength work, and BB Mission Specialist abs, for a complete upper body + cardio + abs routine in 60 minutes). Beginners could follow along easily (the beginner modifications are excellent) but I think the very advanced (Insanity, P90X, Cathe, etc.) will bore of this, or not get an intense enough workout for it to be worthwhile.
One of the things I really liked about this was the music. Like CLX, there is a different tune for each exercise. This is great, it gives me fresh motivation with each new tune! The tunes are upbeat and fun, just like the workout. Some of the tunes were P90X-ish, like hard rock. With the music and the countdown timer, this felt like a Beachbody production to me (which is a good thing): high quality and well organized. There are about 10 exercisers, most following Cindy but with one advanced modifier and one beginner modifier, so there is a lot of wiggle room here for beginner through low advanced. Once the 60 second countdown reaches 10 seconds, there is an alarm sound and then the whole team counts down.
Overall I am definitely very pleased with this workout, and am eager to try the lower body workout and the Mission Specialist workouts. Well worth the money, especially for as cheap as it is now at Marshalls/Ross, and a great investment for those who are anywhere from beginner through low advanced level, and are looking for an endurance strength plus cardio interval routine. The instructions are informative but jovial, constantly joking. All of the exercises have fun names, which increases my enjoyment. The overall system so far is well organized, high quality, and just plain fun. Great bang for your buck! Grade A!
I really enjoy Cindy – I have her Results: 10 Days to a Better Body workout which is laid out very similarly to Barry’s Bootcamp (I plan to use them together in the future). She has clear cuing and her form is great. She smiles a lot and is very encouraging. Barry is great too – he is hilarious and laid back, mostly there for entertainment which is great with me! He also reminds me of the diet part of weight loss (my Achilles heel) which I think will be very helpful. I can use all the encouragement that I can get. If they ever came out with a follow up system or their own videos, I would almost certainly buy them.
This along with the other Barry's Bootcamp workouts are extremely well designed and well executed. Cindy Whitmarsh does a great job demonstrating the exercises and leading the workouts along with Barry.
Barry’s Bootcamp Fat Blaster “Lower Body Emphasis”: Program Breakdown
Warm-up:March in Place/Jog in Place (first slow, then fast)/Jump rope (first regular, then w/ heel digs)/Jumping jacks
Do each of the following exercises for 1 minute w/ 30 second rest in between.
1. Buster-Resistance bands (lateral tube walks): Place feet on bands, cross handles and hold them by the hips. Step side to side. Modification: Hold bands lower to make it easier, hold them higher up for more intensity.
2. Knee Slammers-Bodyweight only: Jog while alternating high knees, bringing opposite hand to opposite knee. Hike knees up as high as you can with a slight jump Modification: Just march with high knees still bringng opposite hand to opposite knee.
3. Band Squats-Bands only: Standing on the bands, raise handles up to shoulder height and do regular squats (abs tight). Modification: Start w/ bands by hips and let them lower as you lower your hips.
4. Hop Scotch: Bands only: Place band on floor. Plyo hop side to side. Modification: Do fast step touch over the band.
5. Back Lunge:-Bands only: Step one foot into band, hold both handles with one hand. Lunge back w/ opposite foot (the one without the band around it), then bring back leg forward into hip flexion and balance on the opposite leg momentarily (only do 30 seconds per side) Modification: Do same exercise w/o bands and use a smaller ROM for the hip flexion part of the movement
6. One legged Death March-Transformer only: Holding transformer overhead (lengthwise) , Hop for 30 seconds on one foot. Modifications: a. Hold transformer overhead but just march. B. (my modification: alternate feet, hopping two times on each foot)
7. Slunge:Bands only: Keep front foot in bands holidng the handles by shoulders, do a stationary lunge downward, then as you come up lift the back leg up into hip extension, squeezing the glute (30 seconds per side). Modification: Do bodyweight only w/ hands on hips.
8. Compass Jumps: Bodyweight only: Keeping knees soft, jump forward-center, right-center, Back-center, Left-center Modification: Step right foot forward-center, step right-center, then step left foot back-center, step left-center
9. Transformer Walks (alternate reverse lunges): Transformer only: Hold transformer away from the torso with the length sideways. Alternate reverse lunges. Modification: Keep transformer on the floor and place hands on top of it. (you can also have booty bands on your feet)
10. Near Death Experience: Bodyweight only: Squat Jump w/ butt kicks (swinging arms back and forth), it’s not a low squat, just a slight lowering. Modification: Just squat while bringing arms forward. My modification: Squat jumps (not jumping too high)
11. Sex On The Beach (Adductor Squats): Bands only Place feet in bands, wider than shoulder width w/ feet turned outward. Hold handles by the shoulders. Modification: Bodyweight only w/ hands on hips.
12. Gorilla Walk: Start in plank position and alternate bringing one foot outside of hand, then the other. Modification: Hold plank position (on elbows, you can also be on knees). To intensify the main version wear booty bands around your feet.
13. The Longest Minute (stability ball hamstring rollouts):Transformer only: Place feet on transformer, extend hips and roll ball in and out while keeping hips off the ground. Modification: Keep torso on the ground and just roll the ball in and out.
14. Mountain Climbers: From plank position, run, alternating bringing feet forward and back (keep feet within the frame of the body). Modification: Step feet forward and back (instead of running).
Stretch/Cooldown: Low hang (wide stance forward bend w/ arms folded)/Lower into wide squat with arms behind calves/Cross leg forward bend (each side)/standing quad stretch (like “tiny dancer”)/hamstring stretch (one foot forward and dorsiflexed) repeat previous two stretches on opposite side/runner lunge/kneeling lunge repeat previous two stretches on opposite side/ Stand up and sweep arms overhead.
Barry Jay and Cindy Whitmarsh make a great team with completely opposite personalities. Barry is the hyper one and Cindy is more relaxed, articulate and in control. Cindy does a great job of giving instructions on how to perform each workout while Barry provides the energy :)
Barry’s Bootcamp Fat Blaster “Upper Body Emphasis”: Program Breakdown
Warm-up: Pull arms straight back/Torso Twist/ Alternate punches/Reach side to side/Alternate toe reaches/Jumping Jacks
Do each of the following exercises for 1 minute w/ 30 second rest in between.
1. Upper Cuts-Bands Only: Place both feet on bands, wider than hip width apart. Alternate uppercuts bringing arms forward and across the body w/ torso rotation (feet stay in one place).
2. Blowouts(aka Squat thrust/Burpees)-Bodyweight only: Bend over w/ bent legs, jump feet back to plank position, then jump forward and jump up. Modification: Bend over and just step one leg back and forward, then repeat w/ other leg.
3. Transformer Press- Transformer and Bands: Lie in a supine position with your torso supported from waist to head w/ the bands under the transformer. Keep hips raised. Modification: Support the body on the transformer from glutes to head.
4. Tap and Drop: Bodyweight only: Do quick feet until given the cue to do a squat thrust and back into fast feet.
5. Stretch and Flex-Transformer and bands: Sit on transformer with it perpendicular to you. Hold band in front of you with the handles in one hand, the tubing in the other. Pull the bands apart into horizontal abduction (basically a rear delt flye). Modification: Leave more slack in the band.
6. Death March-Transformer only: Holding transformer overhead (lengthwise) , Jog in place with high knees. Modification: Hold transformer overhead but just march in place.
7. Hell’s Delts:Bands only: Alternating front raise to alternating side raise. Modification (more advanced): Do both arms at the same time .
8. Flunges (Flying Lunges): Bodyweight only: Keeping knees soft, start in a halfway lunge. Then switch feet, hopping plyometrically (keep shoulders back and abs tight) Modification: Alternate tapping feet back.
9. Bi-Biceps- Bands only: Step onto band with feet wider than hip width apart. Curl both arms up in front of you, then curl them out to the side.
10. Jackclimbers: Bodyweight only: Do Jumping jacks until the cue to go into Mountain Climbers Modification: Do Half Jacks then just alternate tapping feet back on cue.
11. Death Ups: Transformer only: Place knees and thigh on the ball (perpendicular to ball) and do push-ups from that position. Modification: Knee Pushups
12. Dodge Ball-Transformer only: Start in a slight squat position. Alternate jumping feet (like jumping jacks), with hands alternating tapping the transformer (which is standing upright). Modification: Place hands on top of transformer and just alternate stepping each foot laterally back and forth.
13. Dips:Transformer only: Dips with hands on transformer (which is behind and perpendicular to torso). Modification: Bodyweight dips w/ hands on the floor.
14. Football shuffle-Bodyweight only: Start in bent over position. Quickly hop from side to side while alternate touching the floor down in front of you (tap left hand when you hop to the left and visa versa). Modification: Keeping hands on hips, alternate bringing the legs out side to side (w/ hip rotation).
Stretch/Cooldown: Upperback stretch (w/ hands extended out in front of body, clasp hands)/ Side stretch/Tricep stretch/Shoulder stretch/Bicep stretch/Side stretch on other side/Tricep stretch/Shoulder stretch/Bicep stretch/Bent shoulder stretch (w/ hands just above knees, rotate torso)/Chest stretch (w/ hands clasped behind)/Sweep arms over head
Same instructor comments apply as for the Lower Body workout I reviewed here. Cindy and Barry do a great job!
For perspective I am a low advanced exerciser. Cindy Whitmarsh actually leads the workouts. I think she is a good lead-not too overzealous, not too serious. Barry walks around and says things like "great abs arent made in the gym, theyre made in the kitchen so be sure to eat right too" and he pushes down on exercises shoulders for added resistance. He is quirky and I liked him too. They show a beginner and an advanced modifier with Cindy doing intermediate.
The kit comes with 3 dvds. There is a lower body dvd, upper body dvd, and a code red (get fit quick in 6 days) dvd. The upper and lower body dvds each have a 21 minute w/o and 6 additional Mision Specialist w/o's on them. The MS w/o's are 12 min each and are: upper body-beginner, lower body-beginner, abs-beginner, upper body-advanced, lower body-advanced, and abs-advanced.
The kit also comes w/ resistance cord handles and 2 strengths of interchangable resistance bands. The green band is level 1 (beginner strength) and the black is level 3 of 4 (I believe). It also comes w/ a torpedo shaped ball, the Transformer. The transformer ball is used as a weight bench, stability ball, and a prop for cardio & strength moves. The resistance bands can go around the ball while you are laying on it-so you can do bench press for example.
There is a countdown banner on the bottom of the screen that counts down each minute. I find it less intrusive than the banner on the SS w/o's. A buzzer goes off at the 10 seconds remaining mark and Cindy, barry & crew countdown. This may annoy some (thinking of all those who disliked the Taebo counting). The music is good IMO, upbeat, not annoying or too loud. Its not super motivating but appropriate. I ordered this kit before seeing the infomercial. Before it arrived in the mail I watched the infomercial and thought I would find Barry annoying (I dont). I would not have purchased from the infomercial alone. I wasnt impressed by all the "hollywood stars" comments or the "dont think, just shrink" hoopla. But I am glad I ordered.
Here is a mini-review of what I did today:
Upper Body Fat Blaster: The workout is 21 minutes plus a short warmup. It is led my Cindy with Barry wandering around. There is a beginner and advanced modifier throughout. Each exercise is one minute with a 30 second "rest" inbetween that is used to set up the next move and get your ball or cord ready. She alternates strength and cardio moves. Some of the exercises include pec flys on the transformer ball using the cords, burpees (including a hop at the end-TOUGH!), fast run then down to a Mt. Climber on Barry's cue, upper cuts using the cords, jumping jacks pushing the transformer ball back and forth, tricep dips off the ball (TOUGH), etc.
M upper body is not as strong as my lower and I had a hard time keeping up with the advanced on all the strength exercises. On some I didnt make teh 1 minute and had to go w/ Cindy on the intermediate. I was dissapointed that the bands seemed too long when wrapped around the ball-too much slack to make the moves challenging. I ended up switching to dumbbells. You can use 2 bands in the handles at once, which would make it tougher but that seemed like a lot of extra work.
Mission Specialist Upper Body (Beginner): All strength moves in one minute increments. There are 9 (or 10?) exercises, most using the ball and/or the tubing. The w/o is 12 minutes total. The moves were different than in the main UB w/o and included push-ups off the ball, tricep extensions w/ the cord, bicep curls w/ the cord, etc.
Mission Specialist Abs (Advanced): This was mostly floor work on and off the ball, included Russion twists, jack knives on the ball, bicycle abs w/ the ball, V-sits w/ the ball, etc. They said there was an advanced and beginner modifier but I don't recall seeing anything done differently.
Lower Body Fat Blaster: it is 21 minutes plus a short warmup. The moves are typical bootcamp type moves and each exercise lasts for only one minute. Typcially alternating between strength and cardio moves. The moves included crabwalks w/ the band, mountain climbers, squats & lunges w/ and w/out the band, one legged hops, etc. It was tough! Because each exercise only lasts 1 minute it is very doable-but still tough. In between exercises you have 30 seconds to "rest" which is used to put down your band, get your ball, etc and introduce the next move. I kept my feet moving during the 30 seconds. My HR really stayed up the entire workout.
Mission Specialist Lower Body (Beginner): 1 minute segments, each one focused on the lower body. The exercises had a cardio effect but (I think) they were all toning exercises. It uses the bands and the ball. Some of the moves were done on the floor and some standing. The exercises were different than in the main lower body w/o. Both a beginner and an advanced option were shown.
Mission Specialist Abs (Beginner): Ab work done in 1 minute increments. Used the ball and the bands in some of the exercises. Most were done on the floor or ball. Both a beginner and an advanced option were shown.
This clocked in at just about an hour (including my own stretch). I feel like a I got a great workout! I burned alot of calories especially considering the last 24 minutes were strength only, 12 of which was ab work.