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Let’s Get Physical

Midwest native Joey Gonzalez brings Barry’s Bootcamp to Chicago.

Barry’s Bootcamp’s CEO, Joey Gonzalez, takes a rare break from his busy schedule. 

While there are Barry’s Bootcamps all over the world, with new ones slated for Italy, Mexico and Dubai, United Arab Emirates, choosing to open a location in Chicago was a no-brainer for CEO Joey Gonzalez. “My family and some of my best friends live there,” says Gonzalez, who grew up in the northwest suburbs and studied at The Second City before moving to Los Angeles to pursue an acting career. Judging from the buzz surrounding the recently opened 6,000-square-foot Gold Coast Barry’s and a second one in Lincoln Park scheduled to open at the end of February, he’s being warmly welcomed home.

When Barry’s Bootcamp opened in West Hollywood in 1998, the boutique fitness facility’s intense hourlong workout combining treadmill-based interval cardio (on top-of-the-line $10,000 Woodway treadmills, no less) with strength training, all set in a cool red-lit studio, quickly earned a following with the celeb set and fitness aficionados. Gonzalez became a die-hard fan on his first visit. “It changed my body within a matter of weeks,” he says. “I became their biggest fan.” Boy, did he ever. He soon began working as an instructor before moving on to store manager and other positions before becoming the company’s CEO in the summer of 2015. 

These days, when he’s not traveling opening up new Barry’s Bootcamps, Gonzalez spends his time in Los Angeles with his husband, Jonathan Rollo, and their 1-year-old daughter, Francesca Isabella. But he visits the Windy City often. “I’m a sucker for Lou Malnati’s pizza,” says Gonzalez. “When I’m here, it’s rare that I don’t go there at least once.” At least he knows a good place to burn off some of the calories. From $30 per class, 11 W. Erie St., 312.202.0840