Barry’s Chief Instructor Erick Wilson is known for his intensity in the Red Room, but he says finding balance through self-care and relaxation is critical. The revered trainer spoke with Athletech News about the importance of moderation and harmony in his exercise, nutrition, and life.
Although it’s a struggle to find any Barry’s class that doesn’t leave its attendees wiped, Erick Wilson’s seem to be in a league of their own. A Chief Instructor in New York City and on the fitness brand’s new virtual offering, Barry’s X, he’s known for his intensity (and his serious penchant for burpees), but Wilson also brings a unique strand of creativity to the Red Room, calling upon his former lives as a wrestler, football player, and professional dancer.
Athletech News (ATN): How do you start your day?
Erick Wilson: Most days, I wake up around 4:30am to make breakfast, drink some coffee, and go over my classes for the day. I add some last-minute touches to my programs and playlists to make sure my clients are getting the most out of their classes with me. My schedule usually starts early with a Barry’s X class or back-to-back Red Room classes. My early morning clients–in-person and virtual–are the most badass!
ATN: How many days do you work out?
Erick Wilson: In a typical week, I usually work out five days. I grew up focusing on heavy strength training, so my own workout plans typically mirror the concept of Barry’s: focusing on different muscle groups each day so as not to overuse any particular muscle back-to-back.
ATN: Walk me through a typical day-off for you.
Erick Wilson: I try to shut off on days I’m not working. A typical off day for me includes waking up without an alarm to catch up on my rest, spending time away from social media and my computer, and, ideally, doing the things that I love most, like fishing and hanging out with the people I love.
ATN: What do you do on your “off” day?
Erick Wilson: Since I work in the fitness industry and also spend time working on my own personal fitness goals, making the most of my “off days” has become a priority. When I am not working out, I try to get in some foam rolling, stretching, and light movement. I’m also human, so my “off days” include taking advantage of the extra time to socialize with friends or catch up on my favorite TV shows. It’s important to me to focus on all the things I love outside of the gym as well!
ATN: When can you actually “relax?”
Erick Wilson: I pride myself on bringing high energy to all my classes throughout the week, so finding time to relax can be hard but necessary. I give myself at least one full day to turn off from work and working out–really taking care of me.
ATN: How much sleep do you get?
Erick Wilson: On a good day, I get around six to eight hours of sleep. It can be hard to get it all in since I have to wake up so early, but I can tell you from experience, it’s not a pretty picture when my sleep falls short!
ATN: What does breakfast look like for you on a regular day? What about on your cheat day?
Erick Wilson: On a normal day, I start my day with protein oatmeal or avocado toast and eggs–something that will fuel my full morning. On a “cheat day,” I love to fill up on steak and eggs, or if I’m feeling really adventurous, some chocolate-chip pancakes!
ATN: Do you have a vitamin/supplement regimen?
Erick Wilson: I keep it simple when it comes to vitamins and supplements. I typically take fish oil, B12, Vitamin D, and a multivitamin in the morning and always fit in some added protein in my day. The Chocolate Simply PB shake from the Barry’s Fuel Bar is my personal favorite.
ATN: What are some of your greatest indulgences?
Erick Wilson: When it comes to self-care, my top two indulgences are hot showers and good food. When I’m clean and full, I am my happiest.
ATN: How many hours do you spend on social media?
Erick Wilson: I probably spend more time on social media than I’d like to admit, although I use it most to engage with my clients from all over the country and make connections that extend past the in-person Red Room and Barry’s X virtual Red Room. My clients are the best!