WORKOUT: My Chest, My Back, Work My Gaydar and My Abs

Matthew Griffin’s boot camp-inspired class

By: Dan Welden

Sweat dripping, muscles flexing, hearts racing—you’ll experience all that and more in Matthew Griffin’s Chest, Back and Abs class at Barry’s Bootcamp in Tribeca. I recently attended the one-hour class, and here’s what to expect from the workout and the scene.

This class is intense! You’ll spend the first 15 minutes doing high-intensity interval training on the treadmill, which basically means you walk, jog, run, and sprint for various durations at various inclines. Already drenched in sweat, you transition to the chest and abs portion for 15 minutes. Some of the more fit male patrons may choose to take off their shirts, adding a sense of eroticism to the class and temporarily distracting you from your personal exhaustion. During the chest and abs segment, be prepared for a nonstop chest and abs blast using a combination of dumbbells and body weight.

This is a circuit-style workout and consists of little to no breaks. Just when you think you can’t handle any more, you transition back to the treadmill for another 15 minutes. It almost feels like a break from the chest and abs portion, but after two minutes back on the treadmill, you’ll wish you were doing chest and abs again! By the end of this second treadmill cycle, there won’t be an article of clothing not saturated in sweat. You’ll then quickly transition back to the floor for more back, abs, and a little more chest for another explosive 15 minutes that will seem to fly by when you realize this is the final stretch. Griffin’s energy level is at an all-time high and he expects you to put your all into the last few minutes. Once the time is up, you’re exhausted and energized. You’re also soaked from head to toe!

Needless to say, this class is not for an average person new to the fitness world. The intensity level is high and could turn off someone who’s just getting started. You’ll definitely want to consult your physician before starting a boot camp-inspired class like this, but if everything checks out and you feel up to it, this is a highly effective one-hour workout. Combine it with an appropriate diet and you’ll have no problem shedding pounds and toning up rapidly.

As for the scene, the class is about 70 percent women and 30 percent men, and many of them were very nice to look at. My gaydar isn’t tuned for the ladies, but I honed into a few gay guys, one of whom took off his shirt and made me look more times than I should have. It might make you feel more comfortable to know that Griffin, the instructor, is also gay—and easy on the eyes!