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Boot-camp workout at Rose Bowl keeps you fit

July 19, 2010 12:00:00 AM PDT
Boot-camp workouts offer ways to ramp camaraderie with friends while getting fit, but make sure you know what you're getting into before you jump in.One large open space, a few tough trainers and a group of enthused exercisers, are all the ingredients for boot camp.

"There are boot camps that are military style where they yell at you. Most of them aren't, and we're definitely not that way here," said David Liston, the owner of Stadium Fitness.

Stadium Fitness features cheerleaders - not drill sergeants.

"It's more like circuit training because we do exercises on the field where we run and do some sprints and some jogging and some lunges, some hops and skips," Liston said.

Liston's program is not just at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, but in it. It's pretty heady stuff for students.

"You're running down, and you think about the great football players and soccer players, and you get fired up. It's inspiring," said Darryl Dunn, the general manager of the Rose Bowl.

Dunn got the program started as a way to offer corporate and community wellness.

"It's great for morale. They do weight loss contests among themselves," Dunn said.

Rose Bowl employee Oscar Flores said he was 263 pounds when he started, but now he was down to 225 pounds.

"I'm hoping to keep on going. I've got the last 25 pounds to go," Flores said.

This a.m.-wake up call is complete with stretching, weights, drills and more stairs than you can imagine.

"To go from the field, all the way up to the top, and then the setting - this is the most famous stadium in America, and we get to run the stairs," Liston said.

Don't panic. Some run 76 flights per drill, while others run just 30 or 40.

"The stairs are really hard. They're killer every time," said student Lindsey Soderstrom.

"The stairs, bar none, the stairs," agreed Lindsey's mom, Terri Soderstrom.

Going up the stairs means great cardio, strength and power. But the descent is tough on knees, chins and calf muscles.

"My biggest concern is coming down. When someone new comes in, they're attached to my hip while we exercise," Liston said.

Keep in mind that the things you do in boot camp are not what you do in everyday life. Before you jump in, make sure you stop and ask a few questions.

"You absolutely want to make sure your trainer is certified. AFFA, ACE, the NSCA - those are three that I highly recommend," Liston said. "Make sure they have insurance and ask them how long they've been doing it."

Most new clients arrive with previous aches, so Liston gets injury assessments up front. Camp is broken into groups, so advanced and novice workout at the same venue without intimidation.

"It's camaraderie, a sense of unity and people just enjoy it," Dunn said. "It's just a great way to start the day."


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