Introducing Anya Lahiri
Introducing Anya Lahiri
Queen of Barry’s Bootcamp and Mum of one, Anya Lahiri, 37 is a face to know on the London fitness scene. An actress and singer turned master trainer, Anya is strong, balanced and has created an incredible community at Barry’s Bootcamp in London. Here’s why she’s rocking our world.
Describe yourself in three words?
Non-stop, happy, kind.
How did you first get into fitness?
I fell in love with Barry’s in LA as a client, one of my friends dragged me along and I had no idea what I was getting into. It was literally love at first squat (it was a bum and legs class), I was obsessed. You think you’re fit until you do Barry’s, but after my first class I couldn’t walk for a week. There were people from the retirement home down the street that could walk faster than me. It was the first time I wasn’t exercising for the way that I looked, it just made me feel amazing.
What’s your favourite way to keep active?
Barry’s Bootcamp of course! I love the combination of running and lifting. I can lose myself for an hour and get everything I need and it’s fun.
What can first time Barry’s clients expect from your class? We hear you’re pretty ruthless…
Barry’s combines running intervals with weighted and body weight resistance on the floor in a pumping night club environment. Your body is continually shocked as no class is ever the same and the high intensity intervals make it a huge calorie burner. It is incredibly fun, can be competitive if you want it to be and is like one big exercise party. I do have a bit of a reputation for being ruthless and recently got called ‘a devil in lycra’ but I will always make sure everyone is happy, I push people hard but within their limits.
What is it you love so much about it Barry’s?
The core of Barry’s is the community and people, I know every single person in that room and it’s so rewarding that every time I go to work, I see these incredible people achieving new things.
How often do you workout?
I train five times a week at Barry’s, I try and slot in a class between teaching. At the weekends I spend time with my son, so I stay active by chasing after him and long walks with my dog, Crusoe.
Is there anything else you'd recommend to get fit and healthy?
Weights! It’s a massive misconception that you will wind up looking like a female body builder from lifting weights; women don't produce enough testosterone to get really built. Lifting weights will tone and shape your body.
How has being a Mum changed you?
The amazing thing about being a mother is, you just make it happen. It’s given me this steely determination as you have to make it work. You have someone who needs you more than you need yourself and that has to be your focus. I’ve also learnt to be kinder to myself, nothing prepares you for those first six weeks but you do get back to being yourself again.
Has it altered how you train?
Oh completely! Though I still make sure I have that time to myself. Working out is my happy hour, it’s my sense of strength. It’s not just the physical benefits of exercise for me it’s the mental, so that when I come out I feel I have more energy for him and I can escape for an hour. Running around after a three year old is never calming and I’ve lost my Mum in the last year, so exercise has been a real saviour.
Top three tips for a balanced lifestyle?
Get a dog! It will keep you moving even when it is raining. Find a community of friends to work out with that will inspire you and keep you motivated and most importantly have fun!
It changes from time to time but right now I'm going with “If it doesn't spark joy, throw it out”, from the great Marie Kondo.
What does female empowerment mean to you?
Believing in yourself, in every aspect of yourself and having complete faith in yourself.
Can you tell us about a woman that’s inspired you?
My biggest inspiration comes from our clients. A lot of the time you don’t know what’s going on behind the scenes, recently one of our clients had breast cancer, but she always came in with a smile on her face and never let it stop her. It’s a real reminder that women do rule, we are incredible.
Any advice for other women?
Don’t try to be like anyone else, stay true to yourself and don’t worry about what anyone else thinks of you. To be honest, I could listen to my own words of wisdom sometimes! If you’re passionate about something it will pay off. If you put your heart and soul in to it how can it not?
What do you do at the weekend to relax?
I walk Crusoe my dog, I hang out with Finn and I pretty much do not very much. It’s the only time I try to switch off, as Barry’s is our business this is my off-time.
Chocolate Fingers. Or Jaffa Cakes.
Where’s your happy place?
At home with my family with my husband, son, dog and cat.
My son Finn.
Fun fact about yourself?
I used to be in a girl band who represented the UK in the Eurovision song contest (Precious), we had a top 10 single.