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Hup-Two: It's "Basic Training" in Silver Lake
By Laura J. Weinstock
Ledger Contributing Writer
[Los Feliz Ledger, Vol. 2, No. 10, April 2007]

SILVER LAKE - If you're an early riser, and you frequent the Silver Lake Reservoir, you've probably seen Steve Brown. In his camouflage pants and black Navy boots, he is hard to miss. Every morning at 6 a.m., Brown leads his Basic Training class - a rigorous, six-week, outdoor workout regimen designed to get its participants in the best shape of their lives - and keep them there. People can enroll at any time - provided they are screened by Brown for general fitness.
Capitalizing on the 300 days of sunshine Los Angeles enjoys annually, Brown uses his six years of military training to create this challenging workout. He choreographs each class to be distinct - choosing from sixty exercises - to keep everyone interested, encouraged and guessing. Participants speed up three sets of stairs, walk backwards up and down steep hills and intersperse these activities with exercises using different width bands (which work the arms, shoulders and legs).
The classes appeal to everyone, from 20 to 60 year-olds, from movie executives to police officers.
"I got a suit size smaller... I have more flexibility and much greater self-confidence. I'm calmer, " said California State Senator Gilbert Cedillo, a regular participant.
Melissa Cobb, who works in entertainment, joined the class because it's "good to have someone pushing you... It's inspiring and entertaining... and it helps me keep up with my six-year-old."
Natalie Placencia, a police officer, took the class to get back in shape after having a baby.
"The first week, I was so sore," she said. But, after she started she regained her muscle tone and strength. "If I have to chase someone, I have the energy," she added.
At 59, Suzi North, a parent educator and an asthmatic, is the oldest class member.
"It feels great to be able to keep up with 40 year olds," she said.
The workouts are peppered with jargon from the military. Double time means run. One of the exercises - where participants link arms and walk the hills in groups of five - comes directly from the Navy philosophy that no one is better than anyone else.
"People in Los Angeles are isolated," said Brown. "This exercise breaks down boundaries... Gay-straight, black-white, male-female, richer-poorer, we're all human beings. I treat everyone equally. It's how I contribute to the community."

Steven Brown has been a certified American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) fitness consultant for over 15 years. He served 6 years in the United States Navy. Steven also was the former owner of Matrix Corporate Fitness in San Francisco, California. With great success, this company was tailored toward the needs of the corporate community, helping their employees to stay fit. Now in Southern California, Steven's goal is to share that same success with the Silver Lake, Los Feliz, Atwater, and Downtown L.A. communities. Over the years, Steven has continued his education by attending various seminars held by the fitness industry. Being well versed with the gym environment, Steven felt it was time to get back to basics. With the knowledge he has gathered between his military and civilian experience, he has combined the two to form Basic Training. This combination has been tailored to be safe, effective and most of all, fun. His philosophy is, "get in shape, stay in shape."



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