Barry’s Bootcamp: The Hardest and Most Effective Workout in the World

From a boutique West Hollywood fitness class to a global lifestyle brand

Stepping into Barry’s Bootcamp is somewhat comparable to walking into a nightclub with dark lighting and blaring dance music. Except the dance floor is filled with treadmills and floor stations, bars only serve healthy smoothies and bathrooms are clean with high-end grooming products. Barry Jay founded this fitness craze together with his partners in West Hollywood in 1998 [1] and has since opened 21 studios in 3 different countries (USA, Norway and United Kingdom) [2] and have seen the likes of Kim Kardashian, Ellie Goulding, Jessica Alba and Jake Gyllenhaal come through the doors.

Barry Jay founded Barry’s Bootcamp in order to ‘give people The Best Workout in the World so that they could quickly achieve their fitness goals in a fun, supportive environment’ [3]. With this mission in mind, Barry’s Bootcamp business model was designed to target customers who want to achieve clear results in an environment that allows them to effectively train. It is claimed that the 1 hour high-intensity interval workout in the nightclub-meets- boot-camp-style classes can burn up to 1000 calories [4]. At a hefty price of $30 per class (prices vary between locations), one may question why anyone would pay that price just for a tough workout? Barry’s Bootcamp business model is based not just on the tough workout, but through its operating model, Barry’s has successfully built a fitness community (in and out of the class) that is fun and supportive, and has converted the brand from being just a fitness studio into a lifestyle brand.

Barry's bootcamp 3

Training in standardized classes which are never the same

Each class is different. Joey Gonzalez, COO of Barry’s Bootcamp, highlighted that although each 1-hour class will consist of 25-30 minutes strength-training circuits on the floor stations and 25-30 minutes of cardio intervals on the treadmills, “you never know how it’s going to be laid out” [5]. The rounds differ by class (each round may vary from 5 minutes to 20 minutes) and each day tackles a different body part (for example, Thursdays are abs days!). One of the main benefits of this operating model for the consumers is that they know how long each workout is going to take and can effectively plan their workout accurately into their schedules; yet, each class is a new challenge. This is also enabled by Barry’s Bootcamp online reservation process that allows customers to sign up for a class up to one week in advance. The benefits for Barry’s Bootcamp here are that the throughput time for each customer will always be 1 hour (excluding time spent in the locker room and by the FuelBar) and they can see the demand for each class via their online reservation, enabling them to focus their resources at each studio around the class schedule and customer demand.

Building a fitness community

Barry’s Bootcamp only offers group classes. One of the main factors why many customers forego sessions at the gym is the lack of motivation [6]. An interview with a customer suggests that the effectiveness of group classes at Barry’s arises from “the energy in the class when a trainer shouts your name” [1] and the fact that in any given class, there are 20 other people going through the same routine as you are. Both of these reasons not only create accountability and motivation for you to push yourself harder but also help build a community outside of the class. Overtime, as Barry’s followers have grown from 3,000 customers per week in 2011 to over 10,000 customers per week today, the community outside of the classes has helped people to connect, making Barry’s not just a workout studio but also a fitness community.

Providing the best experience throughout the customer journeyBarry's bootcamp 2

The emphasis on high-end customer service is also part of the reasons why it is worthwhile to spend $30 per class. Barry’s treadmills that are custom-designed and patented by Woodway, advanced TRX ceilings that are featured in select locations and certified celebrity trainers that look like they have just walked out of a swimwear catalog are all part of what customers can expect at each conveniently located Barry’s Bootcamp studio. A customer can place an order of acai smoothie at Barry’s FuelBar before the class begins, so it’s ready right after the workout; then shower off with luxurious Malin + Goetz bathing products [2]. Furthermore, Barry’s Bootcamp has expanded into retail through collaboration and partnerships with brands including Nike and Nation LTD. The operating model of Barry’s that has created a complete customer journey has allowed Barry’s Bootcamp to be successful not only as the ‘hardest workout in the world’ but also as a healthy lifestyle brand that has attracted followers around the globe.









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Student comments on Barry’s Bootcamp: The Hardest and Most Effective Workout in the World

  1. Great overview! I totally agree that the amazing trainers, high-end workout equipment, luxurious bath product selection, killer smoothie bar, and great retail collection create a superior customer experience that is replicated across Barry’s studios nation-wide. It would be great to learn more about their franchise model and how they have effectively leveraged that to scale.

  2. Thank you Safiya! Although there is very limited information on their franchise model, they have been very effective in using the franchise model to partner up with partners in different countries and leveraging local connections and knowledge to tweak their business model to fit with the local market. This has allowed them to become a global brand.

  3. Really interesting post, thanks for sharing. One question I have on the model is how scalable it is to second-tier U.S cities where there may be more sticker shock to paying $30 for an hourlong workout class, when some potential consumers likely pay that much for monthly gym memberships. It would be interesting to know whether the Company has considered sub-brands with different offerings to appeal to these markets. Also, how would the Company acquire instructors, its key asset, to work in these second-tier cities? It seems like recruitment would become quite difficult, relatively fast, leading to growth constraints.

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