GoRecess Playground Pro: Joey Gonzalez, Barry's Bootcamp; New York, NY
Title: Celebrity Trainer & Chief Operating Officer of Barry’s Bootcamp
Background: One of the top Celebrity trainers in Los Angeles and NYC (and named NYC's hottest male trainer by Racked NYC), Joey Gonzalez has become a go-to fitness Guru in Hollywood and is regularly featured on television and in magazines. In 2006, he partnered with Barry's Bootcamp to help bring The Best Workout in the World to San Diego and New York City, in addition to becoming a founding member of the Barry's Bootcamp Franchise Co. While continuing to teach classes when he can, Gonzalez has dedicated his life to expanding the brand across the country and world!
Getting to Know Joey
How did you become an instructor and eventual “Fitrepreneur”? I've always had a passion for fitness and in 2005 I fell in love with Barry’s Bootcamp. The concept and brand seemed incredibly scalable and I approached the founders about developing a strategy for expansion. After working with the company for a few years, we put the wheels in motion and made it happen. It was a lot of work, blood, sweat and tears and worth every minute.
How would you describe your teaching style? Hard on the outside - soft on the inside. I don’t allow participants to slack off in class unless they’re injured or a beginner. I believe people come to us when they’re ready to start being held accountable and it is my job to provide that. I also challenge my most regular clients to continue to push past their normal thresholds because causing change requires change.
How do you spend your time when you're not busy with Barry’s? I enjoy traveling and do my best to spend time with family. At this point in my life, I have accepted that the balancing act between my personal and professional life does not often swing in my favor. Luckily, I love my job, employees and clients and it never really feels like work.
What's The Saturday Night Dance Party and why should we get involved? It’s your best alternative to a night out at the bars or a fancy restaurant. Try refocusing your social life one weekend and bring your friends along. Decorations, lights, disco balls, a DJ, crazy costumes, a door man and always an amazing theme. New Yorkers have fallen in love with it!
Favorite music/artists to workout to? I have a pretty broad range which can go anywhere from Kelly Clarkson’s newest pop anthem to a Boys to Men throwback and everything in between. I am definitely not as gangsta as I'd like to be. I just use music that moves me and I know I could run to. It’s all about the beat and the choreography of movement in my class. If your favorite part of the song is coming up, you can count on a sprint.
East Coast or West Coast? I’m actually on a flight from NYC to LA right now. This is a hard one to answer as I am a truly “bi-coastal” and there are things I love about each. The people and actual city of NYC are amongst the best on planet Earth. I have never been more inspired by ambition, drive and follow-through since moving there. But my dogs and I really appreciate the weather and space of Los Angeles. I have the best of both worlds between the two.
Your most memorable teaching moment? I will never forget hearing the rumor that our power was going to be restored in Chelsea that Friday afternoon after Hurricane Sandy. A group of us hung around the store waiting patiently to open the doors. Literally minutes from it switching on, we sent out an e-blast and began teaching almost immediately. People were so grateful.
If you could give GoRecess readers one piece of fitness advice, what would it be? Please do both cardiovascular exercise and strength training. Don’t be afraid of the weights, ladies. They will raise your metabolism, help reduce fat, fight osteoporosis and give you strength!
About Barry’s Bootcamp
What are Barry’s expansion plans (we hear rumblings of more expansion in NYC)? You gave downtowners in New York a location in TriBeCa; can we expect Barry’s to pop up in any other neighborhoods? Chelsea and Tribeca are both servicing the downtown area, so one would imagine Uptown would be next, right? We will see.
What gets people hooked on Barry’s and makes it the "Best Workout in the World"? Barry’s has always only been about THE RESULTS. We are the least gimmicky workout out there. In fact, our first location in West Hollywood is a no frills small studio with one bathroom that has been packed for 14 years. People appreciate the no nonsense attitude. Looking and feeling good is HARD WORK and there is no quick fix.
Barry's has fanatical following. What's the wildest thing that has happened at a Barry's studio? That would have to be Jamie Krauss’ engagement to George Hess. They’re not only devout Bootcampers, but also the cutest couple who ever lived. He proposed during the cool down stretch song as we snuck her family in and served "SHE SAID YES" protein smoothies!
The Barry's community does a lot to raise funds for charity and you were especially active giving back after Hurricane Sandy. Is there a specific charity you're considerably passionate about?All of the work has actually been done directly through us. We avoided donating money to any charity with an overhead and outside costs. The Barry’s Bootcamp donations we collected provided a hand-to-mouth type of service, which was rewarding for our members to see. Most recently, we bought 130 Thanksgiving dinners and 100 Christmas trees for the families in the Rockaways.
How do you choose and train your instructors? We occasionally scout talent around town, but usually our most successful trainers come to us. Whether they’re clients or professionals who show up for our auditions, they typically have a strong desire to want to work at Barry’s Bootcamp. People are always submitting resumes/photos to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.