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Studio Spotlight: Barry’s LIFT Foregoes the Sprints for Strength

Studio Spotlight: Barry’s LIFT Foregoes the Sprints for Strength

Barrys E86th LIFT Studio
Barry’s LIFT is methodological and intentional, but still fulfills the brand’s promise of a challenging workout

Barry’s is best known as the pioneer of the treadmill-strength combination workout. Its 25-year-old Red Room workout put HIIT on the map. With strength workouts rising in popularity, particularly among female demographics, Barry’s LIFT, a strength class launched in 2019, focuses on form and building muscle mass. Barry’s LIFT uses dumbbells, resistance bands and Barry’s bench. Unlike the floor work in Barry’s, LIFT focuses on slower, more technical moves to work primary and secondary muscles to full exhaustion. There is also planned recovery in each session for muscle recuperation.

Athletech News went to Barry’s at East 86th Street in New York City to try out Barry’s LIFT.

Each 50-minute class focuses on a different part of the body, such as abs, upper body or lower body.

Although the LIFT room had largely the same aesthetic as the original Red Room, it felt different. The music seemed quieter, and the group seemed calmer. An original Barry’s workout has a palpable, busy energy, perhaps from the treadmills, or the switches between cardio and floor work. LIFT had a more grounding vibe.

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The class was challenging, but it felt relaxed, perhaps because of my instructor’s energy. She focused more on form and demonstrating proper techniques. We did a lot of deadlifts and squats at a slow pace. The smaller class size felt like a private group personal training session. This pace did not lead to an easier workout, however—I was sore for days after my LIFT class.

The LIFT workout was extremely effective, but lacked the endorphin rush of the original Barry’s workout due to the absence of cardio. However, for those who want to alternate it with the Barry’s Red Room workout or feel like they can do the original Barry’s treadmill sprints on their own, and need to focus more on building strength, LIFT might be the perfect fit.

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