Barry’s Bootcamp Star Instructor Derek DeGrazio Shares His Fitness Secrets

There’s no better time to start a new workout regimen than the beginning of the year—and with world-famous institutions like Barry’s Bootcamp, it’s easier to do so now than ever. Everyone knows that BB’s classes incorporate a variety of weight-training exercises, coupled with a cardio burn on the treadmill. Though it’s tough, it’s doable (and fun). Each instructor offers a range of modifications for each exercise to accommodate all skill levels and has their own upbeat playlist to keep you motivated. And with superstar instructors like Derek DeGrazio, whose long list of celebrity clientele include Britney Spears, Adriana Lima and Kim Kardashian, it’s no surprise that Barry’s Bootcamp has garnered quite a cult-following. We sat down with Derek at his BB location on Miami Beach to discuss his fitness tips for the New Year.

What are some tips you have to stay on track for a new workout regimen?

Stay consistent. I know that sounds like a giveaway, but that’s really the key. There will be good days and not so good days in the gym, but don’t let the latter frustrate you—instead, ride the highs of the good days and constantly remind yourself that something is better than nothing.

What’s the ideal amount of times to work out per week and why?

Three times per week consistently is the magic number to start seeing results. If you are new to fitness, start with one-to-two times per week and ease into three. If you have been doing three times per week regularly, try four-to-five times per week to see even greater results.

What are some ways you can prevent injury when working out?

Don’t rush. A lot of people think that finishing the move faster is better, but it can lead to injury if you aren’t aware of your form. Take it slow and steady, and once you’ve mastered the technique, then you can speed it up if the move calls for it. It’s better to do something slowly and correctly, than quickly and poorly.

What are your thoughts on some of the health-related fads/trends, like waist trainers and skinny teas? Do they work?

Google says a fad is defined as ‘an intense and widely-shared enthusiasm for something, especially one that is short-lived and without basis in the object’s qualities.’ ‘Short-lived’ and ‘without basis’ pretty much sum it up. Just get yourself into the gym, eat right, and you’re good. There is no secret recipe or short cut.

How much of each type of workout per week is ideal, in terms of cardio and weights?

It really depends on your goals. If you want to build muscle, you’ll want to do more strength training each week and less cardio. If you are looking to lose weight, you’ll want to continue to strength train each week, but add more days of cardio as well. I’m happy with where I am now and on average, I like to strength train four-to-five times per week and do cardio three times per week.

What are some myths about weight lifting that you can dispel for us?

Everyone needs to know that heavy weights do not make you bulky. Yes, if you’re eating 5,000 calories per day, you’ll get thicker, but heavy weights don’t do that. Think about it this way: The bigger the weight, the bigger the change. You need challenging weights to overload the muscle, which in time, will result in changing your body. Eat properly and that change will come in the form of a strong, lean, toned and defined body.

If we don’t have time to hit the gym, what are some effective, at-home workouts we can do?

If you can’t make it to a one-hour Barry’s class, try and incorporate bodyweight moves like push-ups, squats, lunges, planks and burpees into your routine—you can literally take those five moves for 60 seconds each and three reps of each set, and you have a 15-minute, at-home circuit. You’re welcome.

Are there better or worse times to workout?

I’ve read like 100 articles on this and I can confidently tell you that what matters most, is that you make time to workout. Whether it’s in the morning, afternoon, evening or night, it doesn’t really matter. Just make it a priority.

To try one of Derek’s killer classes, visit him at one of his Miami-based studios in Miami Beach or Midtown Miami (Aventura opening soon).