August 2011

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live on the move Rise and Sweat By Meagan Parrish Hello there, 6 a.m. It's been awhile since we've seen each other. You may not recog- nize me, but I'm the groggy woman who's infi ltrated a team of early-bird exercisers in a Madison park. And I'm the one getting ready to spend the morning pushing cars around with my bare hands. Wait…what? OK, let me take a few thigh-burn- ing squat steps backward and start from the top. I awoke at dawn—a time when the This early outdoor boot camp ain't no walk in the park Where to go: While many fi tness only thing I usually get out of bed to do is snap the curtains shut—for a 6:15 a.m. outdoor boot camp class that meets several times a week with Dustin Maher, personal trainer and owner of Dustin Maher Fitness, and his team, who are known for butt kick- in' workouts and inspiration. On the way, I decided two key factors would make getting up this early more bearable: 1. Down-to-earth (read: not overly perky) instructors and classmates, and 2. A fast-paced but achievable workout that would fi ll me with energy for the rest of the day. Luckily, this exercise experience had both. To begin, our class of early risers sepa- rated into two groups. I started with the half that sprinted into the park shelter for cardio and strength. Moving through a se- ries of rotating exercises that took us from hand weights and a yoga mat to leg-burn- ing moves on a park bench and back, we hopped, pressed, jogged (and occasion- ally grunted) for about 20 minutes as we worked every muscle. Sweating buckets Quick Tips What it is: The trick of the boot camp style is to work multiple muscle groups at once (which burns more calories) while doing cardio in short, explosive intervals. The result is a workout that really works in more ways than one. 14 BRAVA Magazine The appeal: Excellent for shedding a few pounds and getting into shape, boot camp workouts are also great for those who love exercising in a group, want to change their routine or desire the extra motivation of working under a trainer. August 2011 What to expect: Lots of sweating and the feeling of accomplishment before most people you know have even gotten out of bed. And if you get to their super early class (5:30 a.m.) you might get to watch the sun rise. What to bring: Always check with your instructor for specifi c needs, but if attending Maher's classes, be prepared to bring a yoga mat and small hand weights. And don't forget a water bottle! but feeling energized, it was time to push the van. "We're going to do this for about 16 minutes," Maher announced, explain- ing we'd be working in groups of four to take turns pushing a mini-van across the parking lot. Th ough not an exercise Maher uses in his boot camp classes every day, it's a trick Maher pulls out of his hat to push participants to truly overcome a larger- than-them challenge. And it works. As each team gave it everything they had, the effort was felt head to toe. When not pressed against the bumper, teams jogged around the crawling vehicle while Maher added a motivating (and amusing) touch by sitting behind the steering wheel, offer- ing words of encouragement and telling us when to switch. Yes, moving vans and doing sit-ups at the crack of dawn is the kind of habit that turns saggy butts into toned ones, fl abby arms into biceps (and triceps) of steel. If you're looking for a true change in your workouts, joining the dark side (er, sunny side) of the morning may just give you the fi tness push you need, and an en- ergizing way to start the day. clubs and gyms offer a host of boot camp options at all times of day, if you want to head outdoors for your workout, Maher hosts classes into the fall months. Orange Shoe Personal Fitness and Pinnacle Health & Fitness also offer outdoor classes at dif- ferent times of year. Photo by Shanna Wolf

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