Barry Jay; Los Angeles, CA
The inspiration: Growing up the Bronx, Jay was an underweight, scrawny teen. In the 1980s, he moved to L.A., where he got into clubbing, partying too much, and not working out. "But on August 4, 1988—I'll never forget that date—I joined a gym and began to clean up my act," Jay recalls. He started working at the gym and took advantage of the free classes, which he fell in love with. When an instructor didn't show up to teach one day, the gym staff told Jay to lead the class himself since he'd taken it hundreds of time before. "I gave it my all, and it went so well that I started inheriting classes when other instructors left the gym. But I'd still have to lift heavier weights after I taught to stay in shape," Jay says. That dilemma led to his idea of combining heavy weights and cardio in one class for an all-in-one workout.
The workout: The bootcamps are designed to accomplish everything you need to do in one hour. Trainers can choose from different formats, sometimes splitting class evenly into 30 minutes each of weights and cardio, other times leading four 15-minute segments of the two. "We believe in shocking the body, so it's good to switch it up," Jay says. As for those dreaded incline runs, "They're great for burning calories, and provide a great butt and leg workout, plus slower runners can get more calorie burn for their buck," he says. While it varies per person, an hour-long class can torch up to 1,000 calories.
The name: "When I taught Body Sculpt at another gym, a student leaned over the bench, panting and exhausted, and said, ‘This isn't Body Sculpt—this is bootcamp!'" Jay says. "When I opened the first studio, I told my business partner Rachel this story, so she wanted to name it 'Barry's Bootcamp'—and it stuck."
The future: Jay plans to develop more DVDs with the current team of Barry's Bootcamp trainers in 2014. New branded clothing is also in the works, as well as new locations opening in Boston, New York City, Miami, Santa Monica, and San Francisco.