Robbie Shine does pushup during a workout at Manic Training in Steamboat Springs.

Photo by John F. Russell

Robbie Shine does pushup during a workout at Manic Training in Steamboat Springs.

Rugby coach now offers high-intensity sessions at Manic Training

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Julie Wernig works out during a session at Manic Training in Steamboat Springs.

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Mark Hermacinski works out at Manic Training in Steamboat Springs.

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Graham Muir, owner of Manic Training, has brought his brand of fitness to Steamboat Springs and is developing a strong following.

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More information about Manic Training is at www.manictraining.... The gym is at Yampa Valley Business Park on Downhill Drive, Unit B.

Membership is $100 a month for three months or $90 a month for six months.

— Sessions at Manic Training start and end on time. There isn't room for lollygagging or chitchat, but owner Graham "Bushy" Muir still describes it as "low-key."

That's because the training is for athletes who want to come in and get down to business. Membership is open to anyone, and the fast-paced sessions keep participants panting and sweating. Muir started working out with friends and offered Manic Training in his Hayden garage before opening in Steamboat Springs three months ago.

He operates in a tan warehouse building in Yampa Valley Business Park on Downhill Drive. The brown garage door rolls up, and Muir keeps it open so his athletes have a chance of catching a breeze.

Nicole Williams has trained with him since February.

"It's not like anything else I've ever done," she said during a 90-second break Wednesday. "Boot camp is the best way I can think of to describe it - but harder."

Robbie Shine said he started working out with Muir about a year ago.

"I've grown up being a ski racer, so it's similar to dry land training : but more intense," Shine said.

Muir offers morning and evening classes Monday through Friday. He tries to keep classes to 12 people or fewer and has nearly 50 members who range from ages 18 to 53.

Muir said he hopes to run Manic Training full time but for now must schedule around his daytime job putting up fences.

"If it keeps going as it is, I'll try to get a few more classes in," he said.

Muir, a longtime rugby player, has been coaching rugby for more than 15 years. He guides athletes at Manic Training through full-body training sessions that focus on the core. The Wednesday afternoon group buzzed through lunges, squats, push-ups and weight training. The exercises change every time, Muir said.

His athletes have seen results. Some have dropped pounds; others have gained muscle mass.

"I've got some girls, some who came along and couldn't do a push-up," Muir said. "They can now do a pull-up."

He gives newbies a free week because Manic Training isn't for everyone. Some participants don't like the intense workout, and Muir isn't interested in serving once-a-week visitors. He asks people to come two to three times per week to get the full benefit.

That's why he does memberships rather than punch cards.

Participants can sign up for three or six months at a time, and Muir plans to offer free training to active military members home on leave.

One visit was enough to get Williams hooked, she said.

"I love it," she said. "It's totally addictive. It gives you a high. It's hard to explain; it keeps you coming back for more."

Muir works his group in 1,000 square feet of space. Rubber mats cover the floor, equipment lines the walls and heavy workout music thumps in the background. He shouts instructions as the workout switches every half-minute.

Muir said he was optimistic that Manic Training would grow enough to become his livelihood. He tries to keep it simple. After all, the whole thing started with a few friends in his Hayden garage, and Muir is just leading people through the training process he prefers.

"We're not pretentious; we're not doing anything that hasn't been done before," he said. "We're just programming workouts that are tough."

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