Photo by Sonny Norton

Get in shape, boot-camp style, with Pittsburgh native Noah Neiman

Noah Neiman has been an athlete his entire life. Growing up in Pittsburgh, he had an interest in fitness and even gave friends tips and advice when it came to hitting the gym, but he never thought of actually training people as a job.
Upon moving to New York, he continued pursing work in the independent film scene, but one night, he went to a boot camp with a friend, though he was never really a fan of group training, and says his butt was whooped afterward. The class was at the celebrity-endorsed and wildly talked about Barry’s Boot Camp, and afterward, the owner approached Neiman. “He said, ‘You’re doing what our trainers do, and you’ve got the look.’”
Soon after, Neiman became the newest trainer at Barry’s, and is now a fan of the group setting. “I like it because for an hour, I am the leader. I’m Barnum and Bailey,” he says.
The popularity of Barry’s Boot Camp’s has risen greatly of recent with help from celebrity participation. Neiman just worked with fashion designer Richard Chai and has been seeing rap mogul P.Diddy around lately. He also says that the Kardashians and the entire production crew of their television show recently showed up for a Barry’s class. There’s a reason the class is so popular, beyond the draw of celebrity sightings — though Neiman says the paparazzi post up outside nightly. “Barry’s classes are five to 10 times more expensive than normal classes,” he says. “The people that pay that premium want to get what they pay for, so we make sure we deliver.”
Classes range anywhere from $30-$35 for one class, and can run up to $1,200 to $1,300 for package deals. Class size can be as large as 40 people. “It’s great because you do get that personalized setting, but everyone is feeding off of each other, and elevating each other to that next level,” he says.

Photo by Sonny Norton

Every day is a different set of workouts at Barry’s Boot Camp. Mondays are for arms and abs, Tuesdays, legs and butt, Wednesdays, chest and abs, Thursdays, back and shoulders, and the weekends are for full-body workouts. Each class lasts an hour: 30 minutes are dedicated to high intensity interval training, and 30 minutes are spent on floor exercises, such as bench pressing, or plyometrics. The hour might consist of 12 minutes on the treadmill, changing speed and incline throughout, and then going to the floor and immediately doing presses. “I don’t believe in sets,” Neiman says. “All the workouts are time based, changing from a jog to a sprint, going right to the floor, working in ab workouts. It’s all about changing quickly and shocking the body.”
“It really is a boot camp,” he says. “As a trainer, I want you to fail. I know that sounds bad, but if you’ve worked so hard that your body literally cannot go any further, then I’ve done my job.”
Of course, there are more benefits to the job for Neiman than watching people hit the floor in exhaustion. “The most rewarding part is those individual success stories,” Neiman says. “I’m training a guy who is 260 pounds overweight, and he looks to me to help manage that. Just to be able to have that impact on someone is great.”
Rewards like this one go beyond the hour of class, Neiman says. “You realize it when they’re texting you and saying how excited they are that they chose a healthy meal or drank water instead of soda,” he says. “It’s good to contribute to someone else’s well-being.”

Barry’s Boot Camp, 135 W. 20th St., New York City. 646.559.2721.

Currently, Neiman has talked to the owner of Barry’s and is getting investors together to hopefully open up a Barry’s Boot Camp in Pittsburgh! “Pittsburgh is becoming more health-conscious, and I can see a need for it,” he says.
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