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There was a time when riding a stationary bike while reading a gossip magazine seemed like a real workout. That was before we discovered Barry's Bootcamp, the first East Coast outpost of L.A.'s beloved no-nonsense workout studio.

This recently opened Chelsea studio takes a back-to-basics approach with free weights, crunches and good old-fashioned push-ups. (There's no hard-to-use machinery or complicated poses to contend with.) Each 60-minute class combines strength training with cardio for a full-body workout that left us exhausted but totally invigorated.

Workouts focus on a different part of the body every day, so clients can target, say, their backs and shoulders, or create a well-rounded routine by alternating classes. We opted for a Monday arms-and-abs class and took to the floor with five-pound free weights while the other half of the class hit the treadmills. After 15 minutes of bicep curls, crunches and plank poses, we switched to the treadmill for 15 minutes of sprints at varied inclines. Then we repeated the whole circuit.

We were expecting a drill sergeant but were pleasantly surprised by our sweet, encouraging instructor, Joey Gonzalez (not to mention his killer playlist).

This is just the kick-start we need to face that Halloween candy.

Barry's Bootcamp, 135 W. 20th St. (between Sixth and Seventh aves.); 646-559-2721 or

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