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Boulder Karate, 1672 30 th St, Boulder, 303-442- 4330, boulderkarate.comInstructor: For the past 18 years Boulder Karate has been going strong, and for 15 of those years Brad Randolph has been running the gym. He started training in martial arts at age 11...

Workout: Combat fitness at Boulder Karate

Boulder Karate, 1672 30 th St, Boulder, 303-442- 4330, boulderkarate.comInstructor: For the past 18 years Boulder Karate has been going strong, and for 15 of those years Brad Randolph has been running the gym. He started training in martial arts at age 11...

Workout: Combat fitness at Boulder Karate

Boulder Karate, 1672 30 th St, Boulder, 303-442- 4330, boulderkarate.com

Instructor: For the past 18 years Boulder Karate has been going strong, and for 15 of those years Brad Randolph has been running the gym. He started training in martial arts at age 11 and he says he "took to it naturally and found a passion for it."

Karate, like numerous other activities, including dance and gymnastics, is often associated with the young. So I was surprised by the number of adults in this fitness-based workout class, as well as the traditional martial arts class.

"I love seeing people get something out of it long-term," say Randolph. "I like seeing kids growing up through martial arts and gaining a certain confidence and discipline about themselves. I like seeing adults make that kind of progress. They need a coach, too. Everyone needs a coach."

What is the workout? This is a boot camp-style workout. Every week is different and even the layout of the class can change from week to week. Randolph had a whole binder full of past workouts. "No two weeks are the same. Every week has its own theme or focus," he says.

Some weeks it's stations. Other weeks there is a list of exercises that each person completes at their own pace. The whole class is very laid back and mostly includes students who practice karate at the studio.

The Combat Fitness class included 11 stations. Each person had their own station and after 50 seconds we would rotate to the next station. They included side lunges, jump rope, mountain climbers and lunge kicks. We went through all of the stations twice and then ended with ab exercises.

What's different? The relaxed nature of the class makes it enjoyable and low stress, lending to a more self-paced workout. You can focus on technique or speed, pushing yourself as hard and as fast as you want. That doesn't mean it's not a challenging workout. I was sweating up a storm by the end.

"We have a small enough group that we can keep it light-hearted. I think that fun component really keeps people thinking about something else besides the hard workout," says Randolph.

I also like the clandestine nature of this class. The only advertisement is a sign over the water fountain. Like unlocking a secret level in a video game, you have to play the game to find the secret gems in this studio. Boulder Karate holds all kinds of seminars and kids' summer camps. They also host free women's self-defense classes. Check out their Facebook page to unlock some of the secret rooms in this dojo.

Cost: $20 for a month subscription. You can't find a better deal than that.

Level: Randolph recommends a moderate level of fitness for this class. At the same time, he offers simple modifications that make the exercise more approachable if your level of fitness isn't there yet. "If someone is struggling I'll show them a modified exercise for each station."

When: 6 p.m. Wednesdays, 8:30 a.m. Saturdays

What to prepare: Workout clothes, but everyone was wearing a Boulder Karate T-shirt. If you decide to pay the $20 it would be worth buying a T-shirt as well.

Muscles worked: This class was full body. We worked arms, legs and abs. Other weeks the class can be more targeted to a particular skill or part of the body.

What I loved: Everyone was really friendly and welcoming. The exercises were tiring but Randolph was encouraging instead of demanding. He also fully participated in the class, which is an unusual sight when you're used to having the teacher dictate the exercise while they watch you carry it out. When the ab exercises got to be too much and he rested, it made me feel better about my own level of fatigue. It's easy to imagine yourself as wholly inadequate in comparison to an instructor, especially when they are pushing you from the sidelines.

What I didn't like: The class was at a great time, right after work and before dinner. It was fun and challenging. I have no complaints to register.

How I felt after the class: This class put me in a good mood. The attitude of the students and the openness of the gym made it feel like a family. As a Midwesterner with warm, fuzzy feelings toward family and friends, that goes a long way for me.

Know of any interesting workouts? Tell us about them so we can check them out: quentin@dailycamera.com.

Know of any interesting workouts? Tell us about them so we can check them out: quentin@dailycamera.com.

Our editors found this article on this site using Google and regenerated it for our readers.

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