Manic takes different approach to training |

Manic takes different approach to training

Graham Muir keeps the music and clock going during training sessions.

— Whether training for a specific race, sports, or life's everyday activities, dozens of Routt County residents have found Manic Training is helping them achieve their goals.

"They come in and know they have an hour, and they're going to work hard and get out," said Graham "Bushy" Muir, a longtime rugby player and coach who opened Manic in Steamboat Springs in July 2009.

He called the first year of Manic in Steamboat a positive start. In June, Muir expanded into a 2,300-square-foot space.

The facility still lacks the traditional exercise machines you find in most gyms. Instead, the walls are lined with Manic's tools, including a variety of bars, free weights, sand bags, kettlebells, medicine balls, rowing machines, ropes and boxes. Similar setups are becoming increasingly popular with training facilities across the United States, Muir said.

Names of exercises are foreign to newcomers, but after doing a renegade man maker, burpee or Turkish get-up just once, you will remember the exercise forever.

Training consists of two or three intense one-hour strength and conditioning classes each week. Muir offers multiple classes a day, five days a week.

Recommended Stories For You

The goal of Manic is to increase strength, power, endurance and durability, Muir said.

The program has attracted some of Steamboat's most elite athletes, those recovering from injury as well as people who have not run a mile since high school. Everyone attends the same classes because no matter what shape you are in, the workouts are designed so they cannot be beaten, Muir said. For example, if the workout calls for a set of 10 pull-ups, resistance bands can be used to get people through the set. Stronger athletes can strap on weights if they want to push themselves.

"The beauty of the workouts is being able to put the weight on," Muir said. "You can't really top out. Basically, anyone can do it."

Classes are limited to 12 people.

"With other people working hard next to you, you obviously pick up your own game," Muir said.

Women often outnumber the men at classes, which Muir attributes to a group setting where both sexes feel comfortable pushing themselves.

Carol Davidson, who works as the vice president of marketing at SmartWool, is one of the women who has taken up Manic. The active 50-year-old has been attending classes during her lunch breaks for the past three months and said she wanted to get back in shape "in a big way" since having a child seven years ago.

"I've never seen the results like I've seen from doing this," she said. "It fits into the lifestyle you want to live here."

Anyone who wants to try Manic can do it at no cost for a week. After the initial week, it costs $100 per month. Muir offers free training to active members of the military.

Manic Training is located at Yampa Valley Business Park, Unit B, on Downhill Drive in Steamboat. Call 773-729-0428 or visit

10 by 10

Graham Muir broke in the new Manic Training facility with this lung burner that he learned from renowned trainer Ross Enamait.

■■ 100 jump ropes

■■ 10 push-ups

■■ 10 squats

■■ 10 burpees (Kick your feet out and go into push-up position. Do push-up, stand and jump)

Repeat these four exercises ten times as quickly as possible. Aim to finish in under 25 minutes. Use poker chips or something similar to help keep track of sets completed.


Do each exercise for 20 seconds, rest 10 seconds and move to next exercise. Complete circuit a total of eight times with 90 seconds of rest between circuits. Start second circuit with exercise No. 2 and end on No. 1. Start third circuit with exercise No. 3 and end on No. 2, etc.

■■ Push-ups

■■ Squats

■■ Knee hugs

■■ Up downs (from standing position, kick feet in back of you and stand back up)

■■ Lunge jumps

■■ Mountain climbers (Keep your butt down and alternate knees, kicking them toward you elbows)

■■ Locomotive (knee to opposite elbow)

■■ Burpee 180 (Kick your feet out and go into push-up position. Do push-up, stand and jump while rotating 180 degrees. Rotate to starting position)