Barry's Bootcamp: Where a South Beach Club and a High-Intensity Workout Collide

Dozens of health enthusiasts enter a loud, sweaty, and dark room at all hours of the day. Instead of making lines for a famous DJ, gym-goers of all ages and sizes rush through its doors to get a front-row spot near one of its celebrity trainers.

What feels and sounds like a club is actually Barry's Bootcamp, an elite fitness studio with outposts in Miami Beach and now Midtown (3252 NE First Ave., #105).

"This isn't your typical boot camp," Derek DeGrazio says, managing partner of Barry's Miami locations. "A lot of people think its a military-style workout, but it's not. It's fun, but it's also intense." By intense, DeGrazio means HIIT, known as high-intensity interval training. Every class at Barry's follows a HIIT regimen, which combines high-energy bursts of activity with short periods of lower-energy activity, followed by a cool-down. The specialized workouts burn more calories in a shorter amount of time and boost metabolism hours after a workout.

With the New Year fast approaching, many find themselves looking into HIIT programs and gym memberships, while pledging an eternal commitment to working out and leading a healthier lifestyle than year's past. Everyone at Barry's, including DeGrazio, says that's not the way to do it.

"You have to keep it going year round," he says. "Changing your diet and lifestyle so drastically is not a lifestyle, and in a month or two, those people will probably drop out. The goal is to create a suitable lifestyle of eating healthy and staying active. It doesn't need to be seven days a week. As months go by, it will gradually grow more and more."

Though working out seven days a week might not be recommended, Barry's offers a unique workout each day, targeting different areas including arms and abs, butt and legs, chest, back, and abs, and full body. The hourlong workout includes 25 to 30 minutes of cardiovascular treadmill routines and 25 to 30 minutes of strength training with free weights, resistance bands, and medicine balls.

Along with training, there's a fuel bar, outdoor patio, and shower and towel service too. 

"The thing that sets us apart is we have the best instructors, hands down," he says. "They help ease the fears of newer people who haven't tried it before. Its their job to make everyone in the class feel like they can do it. We really cater to every level of fitness."

To no surprise, a class at Barry's doesn't come cheap. But DeGrazio says their classes should be compared to personal training, making it a much more affordable option. "When you pay for personal training, you're spending about $100 per session," he says. "We are that, but in a group atmosphere. A class might have 40 people in it, but we make you feel like you're in a one-on-one session by doing things like saying your name and correcting your form."

Trainers Sam Karl, Rachel Robinson, and Michelle Moore say consistency and the buddy system are the best ways to jump start a fitness program for the New Year at Barry's. "Even though it's the New Year and the holiday season, it is important to keep up with your fitness goals and stay consistent," Karl says. "If you need to wake up earlier, wake up earlier."

Many trainers at the Miami Beach location, which opened in January 2014, will be at the new Midtown location. The class schedule will stay the same, so clients can use both locations freely. An Aventura location is in the works too, with an opening date in late 2016. "With the success at Miami Beach, it was a no-brainer that we wanted more locations," he says. "We've been opened for five weeks now, and there's definitely a great buzz going around."

For more information, visit barrysbootcamp.com.

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