Barry's Trainer Chris Reid Just Wants to Make You Feel Good

Photo:  Ryan Forbes Photography  for Barry’s Bootcamp

Photo: Ryan Forbes Photography for Barry’s Bootcamp

In a world of larger-than-life fitness personalities, Chris Reid manages to stand out from the crowd—not just because he’s 6 feet 9 inches tall. Reid consistently pushes his clients to smash their goals, with a combination of smartly-crafted workouts and hilariously unfiltered commentary. The guy lives to entertain people.

Reid has made the rounds in the Bay Area fitness scene, teaching multiple styles of fitness including cross training, core conditioning, TRX, bootcamp, performance classes, and even foam rolling seminars. He got his personal training certification after wrapping up his basketball days at Purdue, and was working as a trainer at Crunch when fellow trainer Erica Stenz scouted him to join the original King Street team for Barry’s Bootcamp. For more than five years, he’s been helping San Franciscans run faster, lift heavier, and train smarter, and now South Bay clients are getting in on the action as Reid branches out to teach at Barry’s new Palo Alto and Burlingame locations.

The secret to Reid’s coaching success? He approaches his gig in the Barry’s Red Room as a performance, and spends hours planning the physical, mental, and emotional components of each class. Read on to find out how the city’s most irreverent trainer manages his own fitness routine while keeping his loyal clients motivated.

Rockyt: How do you prepare for the classes you teach?

Chris: I get to the studio 30-45 minutes prior to when a class starts to greet and chat with clients and coworkers. This starts to get my brain to fire on "socializing" mode, and also gives me an extra boost and sets my positive moral that I plan on giving to the class. I also get a pre-game stretch in the studio with the music I have planned for that class, and it completely warps me into instructor mode because it’s game time in there! I also take pride in being very comedic. I’ll purposely watch certain shows, listen to podcasts, or just search social media for current events, jokes, and memes—whatever is currently "in" with today’s society—so that I can let out funny rants, jokes, and comedic relief during moments throughout class to get clients to crack up while they are sweating bullets. Trust me: it helps and they appreciate it.

Rockyt: How do you cross train?

Chris: Three years ago, I suffered a traumatizing knee injury. I tore my patellar tendon and got reconstructive knee surgery on the right side. Before this injury I was a crazy athlete: you name it, I probably did it. After that, things really changed. My cross training program involves heavy weight and strength training, fast Spin classes for cardio, and as much yoga and flexibility work as I can do. Barry’s double floor is amazing since treadmill running is, unfortunately, too much pain on my surgical knee. My injury has gotten me back into the outdoors so I often hike, ski, and get to the water to swim. To all of my injured folks out there, keep your heads up and don't quit, there is always something you can do to release endorphins. 

Rockyt: What are your favorite studios for cross-training?

Barry’s for its effective, smart, and incredibly strategic weight training. I also go to Baptiste Yoga in San Francisco because of the quality of instructors they have and how efficient their studio is. They have helped me get through some incredibly dark moments through their wisdom and practice. I am a huge fan of SoulCycle. [It] always brings a smile to my face with its uplifting vibe, the fact I'm drenched in sweat, and the uniqueness of the brand that has an entertaining factor to fitness.

Rockyt: Are you training toward a particular fitness goal right now?

Photo:  Ryan Forbes Photography  for Barry’s Bootcamp

Photo: Ryan Forbes Photography for Barry’s Bootcamp

Chris: My personal goal is more spiritual than physical. I train to keep my health up, my surgical knee strong, and my cardio high. I used to train hard to try and look a certain way and it led me to an egotistical, judgmental moment in my life where I lost myself. So my biggest fear is returning to that.

Rockyt: How did you become an instructor?

Chris: Five years ago, I got hired at Crunch Fitness, and never even knew what group fitness was. I had never heard of Barry’s, SoulCycle, TRX classes, etc. I will never forget on the third day of working at Crunch, I saw one of our trainers on the fitness floor teaching a class of about 40 people and she was blasting her music and motivating her class. My mind was blown because I love to entertain! I knew at that moment that was exactly my gig. I emailed the manager, which led me to start teaching group fitness classes at Crunch and just fell in love with it. Soon after Erica Stenz, Barry’s Bootcamp Bay Area’s VP of Fitness Development and Recruitment, heard about me and took me to a Barry’s class. We both knew then and there Barry’s was the right fit for me! (This story is making me cry…)

Rockyt: What's the best thing about teaching at Barry’s?

Chris: Stepping into that red room knowing that in that hour we are going to have an amazing experience. What we have created in the Bay Area is a home away from home, not only for our staff but for our clients. I am a very unselfish person, so I get more pleasure from seeing our clients and staff smile, and I enjoy every minute of being in our studio. You have to be a people person to enjoy this job and you have to care about others. Teaching at Barry’s is sort of my therapy. Like many others, I have a lot going in life physically and emotionally. During that one hour with that microphone on, all the pain, hurt and frustration that might be going on instantly goes away, and when clients get to their tread and their floor spots and the music is on, all is right in the world. How special is that?

Photo courtesy of Barry’s Bootcamp

Photo courtesy of Barry’s Bootcamp

Rockyt: As an instructor, what are you known for?

Chris: If I have to be honest, I am known for the ridiculous things that I verbalize on the microphone. Like I said, I take great pride in humor mixed with fitness. I also love intense, hard-dropping music like trap, bass, rap, etc. I also come from a background of classic rock, so I will throw on some of that genre to add a different flavor. I purposely go to music festivals, concerts, and raves to explore new sounds and music that will transcend into the room and ignite my students even more. Since I love to lift, my biggest strengths are the artistry of my floor sets and training the body smart and effectively. I keep my runs simple and fast. If you take my class, you will have the time of your life in every single way a fitness class should be taught!

Chris Reid teaches at the San Francisco and South Bay locations of Barry’s Bootcamp. Follow his daily musings on Instagram.