Christine King, 31, an insurance adjuster, regularly drives 40
minutes to climb ropes and drag tires at MYLO Obstacle Fitness, an
outdoor obstacle course gym located on 75 acres in Austin, Texas.
“It’s personal training without the stresses of an indoor gym,” said
King, who added that she was “never very athletic,” but delights in
the outdoors, the laid-back vibe and the detailed instruction she
gets at the course.
“I was always kind of intimidated by the gym,” she said. “Here
there’s always someone telling me how do things correctly.”
Mylo Villanueva, the U.S. Marine Corps veteran who owns and operates
MYLO Obstacle Fitness, said mastering the course takes more skill
“Once they learn technique, they learn it doesn’t require too much
strength,” said Villanueva.
Most of his clients are women aged 22 to 50, who relish the
accomplishment of scaling an 8-foot (2.4-meter) wall as much as they
appreciate the ease their training brings to everyday chores.
“I hear things like, ’Before, I couldn’t load the truck with dirt,’
and ‘Now I’m able to lift buckets,’ said Villanueva.
The indoor obstacle course at Warrior Fitness Boot Camp in New York
City attracts a mixed bag of enthusiasts, from fitness freaks to
runners to “moms and pops” just trying to get back in shape,
according to instructor Ruben Belliard.
The course includes hurdles, walls and monkey bars. Everyone has a
partner and all the instructors are former Marines.
“We tell them what to do, how to do it,” said Belliard. “You pace
yourself, you do what you can.”
Most people, he said, are stronger than they think.
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“We designed the course so everybody can do it. Most people climb
over the six-foot (1.8-meter) wall on the first try,” he said.
Jessica Matthews, an exercise physiologist at Miramar College in San
Diego, California, said the obstacle course on her campus attracts
students, staff and faculty of all fitness levels.
The course changes all the time as new obstacles are added or
rearranged, said Matthews, who recommends varying obstacle course
work with flexibility exercises.
“You need the foundation of fitness to make it through whatever is
thrown your way,” she said.
Villanueva says he likes to put an extra, unexpected obstacle at the
end of a workout, on the top of a hill.
“I relate a lot of things to life. Life will beat you down. In order
to get up you have to push yourself,” he said. “So rain or shine,
we’re out there. And I know if I’m going to fall off a 12-foot
(3.6-meter) wall, there’s a guy there to catch me.”
(Editing by Patricia Reaney)
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