Founder Focus: Barry’s Bootcamp
Unlike our other Founder Focus’, this one was born out of a chance encounter with Barry, the real OG, in the States. So smitten with the class and concept was Sandy Macaskill, that he and his brother James quit their jobs and set about bringing Barry’s Bootcamp to British soil.
Known as the ‘Best Workout in the World’, it’s fair to say Barry’s has a cult following, something Sandy was banking on when he brought the franchise to London in 2013. Since then, Sandy has trained supermodels, A-list celebrities, Special Forces Soldiers and, well, us.
We caught up with Sandy about where it all began…
WHAT WAS YOUR EUREKA MOMENT?
My brother (and co-owner) James took me to my first ever Barry’s Bootcamp in the States with the main man himself. At one point, I was doing push-ups and Barry literally sat on me. I was like, “WTF is this place!”
An hour of that later and it was all I needed to know that I had to quit my job and bring this thing to London.
WHAT WAS YOUR ELEVATOR PITCH?
That Barry’s Bootcamp would not just change the way we work out in London, but how we think about working out.
No more boring, solitary, soulless gym sessions. Instead, we were out to build a community that would inspire each other and bring the best workout there is – running, weights, red lights, pumping music – with the most skillful and inspirational instructors.
HOW DID YOU KNOW BARRY’S WOULD BE A SUCCESS IN LONDON?
We didn’t really! We just built our first studio in Euston and fortunately, people showed up!
WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE SOMEONE THINKING OF STARTING THEIR OWN BUSINESS?
There are people who think about starting their own business, and then people who start their own business. In my experience, what tends to separate the two is whether someone can accept not having a safety net. Most people like the idea of being their own boss. They also like the idea of making a steady and secure wage. My advice? Don’t let the latter get in the way of the former.
DO YOU HAVE A BUSINESS MENTOR?
I think James and I, being brothers, sort of bounce off each other and that helps us work out where we need to be going, what needs to be done, how we want to get there. Am I a mentor myself? I try to be one to my 16-year old stepson, but you’d have to ask him how successful I’m being!
WHAT IS THE BOOK YOU WOULD RECOMMEND THAT EVERYONE READS?
One of my favourite books is Watership Down. I know it’s about rabbits but it’s about a journey into the unknown and pretty damn inspiring.
WHAT IS THE MOST WORTHWHILE INVESTMENT THAT YOU’VE MADE?
Easy peasy – bringing Barry’s to London. That took up all of our time, all of our energy, and all of our money! But six years on, it’s been more than worth it.
WHAT ONE FAILURE ARE YOU GLAD YOU EXPERIENCED?
My last job was as a Sports Journalist. I was offered a promotion to Golf Correspondent but before that happened, my boss left and a new guy came in. He appointed someone else, without telling me and the first I heard of it was an internal email introducing the bloke.
I was around 25 at the time and right then I realised that I needed to be in control of my own destiny and never let someone else call the shots on my future again.
WHAT PIECE OF INDUSTRY ADVICE DO YOU OFTEN HEAR BUT DISAGREE WITH?
You read about fitness “hacks” and how to get abs in 10 minutes all the time. I wish people would just accept that if you want results you have to show up day in, day out and make it part of your lifestyle.
TALK US THROUGH YOUR MORNING ROUTINE?
I’m not great at routines, my morning changes every day. My only consistent is my daily 9:30 AM class at Barry’s Central. It’s the best part of my working day and I basically get to hang out with 45 friends.
I’ve just been to Africa for ten days and honestly, I missed those classes. How lucky am I to be excited about teaching my classes and seeing my clients, even when I’m on holiday!
WHAT IS YOUR PLAN B?
I’ve never had a plan B. Focus on making plan A work instead.