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Scripps News talks fitness with Barry's Global CEO Joey Gonzalez

Barry's Global CEO Joey Gonzalez tells us about the growth of the high-intensity fitness brand.

Scripps News talks fitness with Barry's Global CEO Joey Gonzalez
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Fitness studio company Barry's started in 1998 in West Hollywood, California, and has since grown to 84 studios in 14 countries and employs nearly 1,400 people. It has built a reputation for its guided high-intensity interval workouts, which involve a run on a treadmill followed by strength training exercises, practiced with a group of other patrons.

Scripps News spoke with Barry's Global CEO Joey Gonzalez about the growth of the company and its market, and the appeal of its offerings.

"We call it back to basics," Gonzalez said. "It's true HIIT training. You're doing interval endurance training on the treadmill and you're doing circuit training on the floor with the weights. And now we have more than one modality. We have Barry's Ride, where you're doing the same split but you're doing it on a cycle instead of a treadmill, and we do have 14 studios offering Barry's Lift, which is just a full 50 minutes of weightlifting."

Gonzalez says today's Barry's grew from the early days of home workouts and the Thighmaster.

"Barry's was a part of that movement," Gonzalez said. "We started in the 90s and we have some pretty 'incriminating' images out there of our own infomercial DVD. We've been through decades of fitness and I think what's kept us strong is our commitment to transforming lives worldwide. There's just this incredible transformation that most people who come to Barry's talk about, whether or not it's physical, mental or emotional — being a part of this global community and going into that red room and experiencing this immersive, really fun but challenging exercise. It's one of a kind."

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A studio owner said she’s received nothing but positive feedback from participants in the sold-out classes. One child said he "felt like Spiderman."

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"We're opening about a half a dozen studios over the next 6 to 12 months," Gonzalez said. "In 2025, we hope to be opening around 12 to 15, which is the cadence of new studio openings that we were at pre-COVID. So we're just getting back to our pre-COVID growth. All of our studios, thank goodness, have gotten back, almost all of them, to pre-COVID performance. We attribute that really to two things: Number one, I think when people are seeking fitness, they're looking to really improve their level of fitness. And so not only does the pie continue to grow with people seeking out fitness experiences, but those who maybe started to work out at home during COVID are flocking to studios because they aren't seeing the same results that they were seeing at home. The second piece is being a part of the community and having that human connection, which of course you can only really do in person as well."