So I came into the Barstarzz BTX on the back of years and years of different programs, self-designed, YouTube videos, Mad Barz and the Bar Brothers “System”, BTX, however, seemed different.
When I first came across the BTX program it looked highly polished, it seemed like good value for the money and most importantly told me what I wanted to hear, i.e. you will do a muscle up (that eluded me for years). So I plucked up the courage, paid the £60 or so pounds for it, and dived it.
Pace Of The Program
The pace of the program was just right I thought, with the Bar Brothers program, there is no room for beginners, after week five the sets and reps are crazy but with BTX, it was perfect. I went straight to the main program, avoiding the pre-program and could keep up well.
As the weeks progressed, obviously it got harder but not to the point where you felt demoralised and you genuinely felt stronger. Although I did not notice huge body gains or huge increases in my reps, I definitely felt stronger and healthier.
This trait of confidence grew through the program and I started working on the illusive muscle up. I managed to get this by week 9 of the program but I add that this was not solely from the BTX program but mainly the online community, but I will get onto that later.
By the latter weeks, I started losing motivation, mainly due to the repetition of the program and due to the eventual rise in difficulty. This is not purely down to the program, as we all have a life, work and family and these do impact progress in this realm. I kept up but eventually lost interest.
I finished the program but I did not have the huge gains I expected, I could not do a front lever and was not much closer with handstands etc. I did, however, feel strong, healthy and raring for my next challenge.
This was probably the bit of the program that most interested and excited me; I think this is why I signed up. I immediately took to this and whatever happens in my future training, the pre-routine skills work is something that I will take with me.
I found some of the skills harder than others, especially working on the tucked pushups, not being able to do these affected my motivation and I tended to skip them, on reflection I should have stuck with it as I saw lots of people getting positive results from it and I think I will restart them.
The skills section is definitely something that stands BTX out from the crowd and something that I think they should be proud of.
I felt that the routines were generally good and were progressive. Some of the routines got repetitive but there is only so much of that you can avoid.
I think when a program like this has some many people signing up, they try to cater to everyone, for example like me, I didn’t care about burpees and was not excited and enjoying the days when tons of these were added in.
There was always a serious guilt if I skipped something or did not hit the numbers but on reflection, I think the program is not an art but more of a guide and should have given myself less of a hard time with it.
Now this was what I wanted and it did not fail to deliver. This group was incredible, people really seemed to genuinely care about each other and some real life friendships developed. People asked for help, and got it and were always happy to give it when they felt they could.
However the more I stayed with the group, the more I clicked on to the fact that not all the help and advice was coming from Barstarzz like I might have expected but other BTX members who had experience outside of the program.
I understand what BTX tried to do but let us all talk but the group effectively meant that they did not have to give any input to us, apart from a single admin officer under the moniker of Joe Barstarzz. You could tell this user was not an advanced practitioner but instead an employee.
Knowing that we were getting short changed by Barstarzz when they promised input felt cheap and ultimately made me leave the group. Looking at the group now, after the initial six-month buzz ended and the input of certain people like Ian Zammit and Brian Hunter fell away, the group has effectively died.
Barstarzz has done nothing to reinvigorate it except trying to get more money for a 30 days program add-on, and even this has not worked.
Support from Barstarzz
This was poor from the start and never progressed. You knew when you messaged the BTX representative it was disappointingly not a Barstarzz genuine member, but an employee sitting in Germany.
They were unresponsive and unhelpful. For example, I got a free t-shirt and was sent the wrong one, I am trying to get the original one and five months on, no joy.
BTX was good, it was tough and it helped me develop more skills but ultimately it was not the enlightening journey I had hoped. I did come out with a couple more friends and more information as the further challenges but I did not feel motivated to chip more money into the Barstarzz kitty.
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You can follow Nick’s calisthenics journey on Instagram by following him @nick_walters_85