Want to make Barry’s Bootcamp harder? Take it in Norwegian.
Matt and I went to Norway and Sweden for 10 days of hiking and exploring. Our AirBnB in Bergen, Norway was around the corner from Barry’s Bootcamp. It’s just called “Barry’s” in Norway. I wonder if the word “bootcamp” doesn’t translate.
After a week of challenging hikes, Barry’s wasn’t exactly what we needed, but I couldn’t pass up the chance to take a New York favorite while abroad. Also, fun fact: Despite the fact that EVERYTHING is more expensive in Norway (compared to the US), Barry’s is cheaper!
We visited on a weekend, and Barry’s in Norway follows the same calendar as in the US, so it was a Full Body workout (the schedule varies by day of the week). My short vacation in Norway doesn’t make me an expert on it’s culture, but it’s hard to escape the view that Norwegians are fit. Here read this study about the culture of fitness in Scandinavia. Even in the US the Barry’s regular is a self-selecting crowd and the average participant is in pretty solid shape. I steeled myself for a tough workout and that’s what we got.
The class was very similar to classes I’ve taken in the US with a few key differences:
- The Metric System: The treadmill counted kilometers per hour which was not as easy to convert mid-run as I expected. The weights were also in kilograms
- The Language: Every Norwegian we met spoke English fluently. But you know, they also speak Norwegian and this class was taught in Norwegian save for a few instructions meant especially for us.
- The Lack of Humor: Not every US Barry’s instructor is a sass master, but my favorites are. Our class in Bergen was pretty straightforward. No one got teased. No one got called out. The instructor did not tell us what she did last night. While it’s not wise to draw conclusions after one class, I would guess this is a very Norwegian approach to group fitness. There is a clear preference toward privacy. As a cheery American, I do love a good fitness instructor overshare. (I once had a Physique57 instructor tell us every minute of her over-indulged Cinco de Mayo. I loved it.)
Have you ever taken a group fitness class in a foreign language?
(This isn’t my first time! I took a barre class in Panama.)
Want more tips on working out while traveling? Check out theses posts: