Food & Drink | November 4, 2022 7:00 am

Former Pro Soccer Player and 54D Creator Rodrigo Garduño Shares His Favorite Spots in Miami

These are the Miami-based entrepreneur’s favorite places to eat, sleep and play

Rodrigo Garduño
Rodrigo Garduño
54D

Rodrigo Garduño will make you believe you can take on the world. The former Mexican professional soccer player is a motivational dynamo whose infectious energy has helped thousands get fit through his tough 54D fitness program. 

After being sidelined by an injury, the athlete founded 54D in his hometown of Mexico City in 2012. 54D (the actual program is 54 days) is an intense, nine-week boot camp that combines vigorous workouts and strict nutritional guidelines, and the results are hard to deny. I joined the program and lost six pounds in my first week — spurred on by Garduño’s encouraging coaches and the family-like atmosphere that the program inspires. 

Currently, there are two 54D studios, one in Coral Gables and one in the Design District, and the in-person program requires an hour-long workout six days a week. Participants can also use the 54D ONLINE program and get Garduño’s trademark optimism and quips (in Spanish and English) while sweating through a set of burpees. 

Garduño’s energy is palpable even through a phone screen as evidenced by his impressive Instagram following, which recently grew to over a million followers. In order to stay active during the pandemic, the trainer started live-streaming workouts daily, attracting thousands of viewers including former Yankee baseball player Alex Rodriguez and model Adriana Lima. 

Recently, I caught up with Garduño between workouts to talk about the philosophy behind 54D, his favorite spots in Miami and why fitness is the key to success in other areas of life.  

InsideHook: What was the motivation behind starting the 54D program?

Rodrigo Garduño: I’ve always seen that people want to do more with their lives, but they get into a comfort zone. They don’t want to push themselves anymore, and they stop dreaming and fighting for what they want to do. For me, that’s sad, but I’ve found an amazing way to motivate them through training. As a former professional soccer player, training was everything to me. I know that when you’re in a state where you’re pushing yourself and trying to do your best, your problems start to look small. When you start moving and start understanding the value of commitment, discipline and will, it’s going to change you. 

You grew up in Mexico City, but you’ve been living in Miami since 2017. What’s your “go-to” restaurant in Miami? 

I love Oja de Agua in Brickell. I’m very disciplined with my food intake, but it’s a place where you know you can find healthy food that tastes good. Sometimes people think being healthy means that the food can’t be tasty, but this restaurant has it all. 

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When you’re looking for a staycation, what hotels are you checking in to?

My top picks are Faena and Soho Beach House and The Standard. These three are my favorites because they are beautiful hotels with a nice focus on health and wellness. They’re places where you can relax or get healthy all while enjoying yourself and getting some sun. 

You’re always on the go. Do you have any places in Miami where you grab a pre- or post-workout snack?

You know I don’t eat a lot of snacks, because I’m very disciplined with my food, so I prefer a good cup of coffee. One of my favorite places is Bachour. It’s a restaurant where I also eat a lot, but I also love the coffee there, and my favorite is a cappuccino with oat milk. Panther is very good as well, and I usually go to the one in Coconut Grove. 

What are some great spots in Miami for outdoor workouts? 

I usually do all of my training in my studios, but when I decide to do an outdoor workout like running, I’ll go to the beach or head to Crandon Park near Key Biscayne. But I’m also a big skateboarder, and I’ve been skateboarding since I was six years old. Right now I have four different skateboards, and I love to go skateboarding with my daughters. Every time I have the chance, we’ll go to places like South Pointe Park or this skatepark in Coconut Grove. I’m there with my skateboard, and my daughters are there with their rollerskates. 

On a rainy day in Miami, what are you doing?

If it’s raining, there’s a 90 percent chance I’m staying in my house watching a good movie. But if my daughters want to, we’ll go out in the rain. One thing that I believe is that it’s important to live life. I’m not the kind of dad who’s always telling them no. On the contrary, I’m always pushing my daughters to do things that others won’t. I’m the guy that tells them, “Let’s go skateboarding right now — even if it’s raining.” 

You’ve had great success with the 54D program. What’s next?

We’re getting ready to open a new location in Chelsea, New York. It’s in an amazing location — two blocks from Madison Square Garden. I think 54D is going to explode in New York because we can really create a community where people feel like they are part of something. We’re also opening one more location here in Miami, which is going to be in Aventura. We want to grow but not lose the principles or philosophy of the company. 

What’s one piece of fitness advice you have for men?

I think sometimes men pretend that they don’t care [about their health] until life hits them. Sometimes we neglect taking care of ourselves, and we don’t pay attention to our energies or attitudes. It happens to a lot of people after 40. They get used to what they have, they surrender, and they start living in a comfort zone. 

So something I would tell people, especially men, is that life is so good, and they should start working and investing in themselves. If men start switching the way they feel and the way they look, they are going to be more successful in anything they want to do. When you look better, you feel better, and that will translate to success in other areas of your life.