What Makes Barry’s a Big Deal?

After almost a year since its opening, Barry’s in the North Loop has brought the beginnings of boutique fitness from LA to Minneapolis

After almost a year since its opening in Minnesota, Barry’s, the West Coast-based fitness chain with an avid following, has established itself in the North Loop of Minneapolis.

The opening of Barry’s NoLo was expected in 2020 but pushed back with the uncertainty that the year brought. It finally opened in July of 2021 and became popular among the majority-young, up-and-coming business professionals of the North Loop community. Minneapolis instructor Sophie VanSurksum explained that the clientele, the coaches, and the staff have grown over the past year.

What is Barry’s?

In 1998, Los Angeles-based fitness trainer Barry Jay opened the first Barry’s Bootcamp. This high-intensity interval training (HIIT) is one-part strength training, one-part treadmill—and it was a game changer in the fitness industry, helping to open the door to the now widely popular boutique fitness trend.

In 2009, Barry’s expanded outside of Los Angeles for the first time, opening studios in San Diego. Between 2011 and 2015, Barry’s opened studios worldwide, and by 2017, over 65,000 clients were visiting Barry’s Studios weekly.

The Workout

VanSurksum describes the workout as a party. “The lights are dim, the music is blasting, and everyone in the room is there for the same reason”—to work hard—“and that’s a really cool feeling,” she says. 

The Red Room is where the actual workout takes place. The backdrop, gleaming with red light that shines down from the ceiling, creates a club-like atmosphere. Half of the workout is done on the treadmill, with the instructors guiding participants through a run on Barry’s top-of-the-line Woodway treadmills. They give beginner, intermediate, and advanced speed recommendations, taking folks from 0 to 10 mph real quick. 

The other half of this 50-minute class is completed on the floor. They alternate the strength training (focused on a select muscle group) each day of the week, to maximize results and give enough time for muscle recovery. VanSurksum says this intentional programming is one of her favorite parts about Barry’s and sets it apart from many other fitness studios in the area.

Although the traditional Barry’s sweat is 50% treadmill and 50% strength training, trainers realize not everyone loves the run. So, the option for a double floor workout skips the treadmill and focuses just on strength. Whether on the tread or the floor, your heart rate is elevated for the entire workout; the goal is to increase your lean body mass, raise your metabolic rate, and burn up to 1,000 calories.


The Fuel Bar, Barry’s in-studio cafe, has performance enhancers, muscle recovery, and more. The menu offers shakes, available to pre-order, that vary from a post-workout snack to a meal replacement.

The men’s and women’s changing areas have high-pressure, private showers, each fully stocked with Oribe hair care, face wash, and body wash. In the spacious lobby, you can shop Barry’s latest clothing collection of tanks, tees, shorts, pants, jackets, hats, socks, and more.

Right now, Barry’s Minneapolis has a deal of one free class for first-timers, something you can’t find at any other Barry’s location. This deal runs through the end of August.

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