The Ultimate Outdoor Fitness Experience With Dr. Laura Miranda

 Dr. Laura Miranda | Hair by: @easymanexcristina


Fitness Entrepeneur Dr Laura Miranda is changing the future of the work out. Her outdoor training program PURSUIT is spreading across the globe, challenging the traditional boot camp and taking the gym floor to the streets. Whilst conquering the world, one scaffolding post and subway step at a time, the CEO of Miranda Fitness Concepts Inc is also a Doctor of Physical Therapy, a Personal Trainer, has her own Supplements and Vitamin program, and is an Educational and Corporate Wellness speaker... and we thought we were busy!

We found out what inspires this amazing woman, as well as how we too, can see the potential around us everyday.

AM: Tell us a bit about yourself and your background

LM: I have a Doctorate of Physical Therapy, a Masters of Physical Therapy, and a Bachelors of Exercise Science. Besides a short stint in the bagel store in high school and the collection agency in college, I’ve never worked outside of the fitness industry or clinical physical medicine my entire life.

So this is not just what I do, it’s really who I am to the core.

The way I see it, ANY trainer can make someone sweat, sore, or push them to physically work harder than they ever have in their lives. To me, there’s a lot more to it than that. I feel that it is my responsibility as a coach to help my athletes connect the lessons learned “on the field” (in the workout) and apply them to all other areas of their lives. I work on instilling a powerful mindset, with solid set of tools and core values to guide it all.

A “trainer” runs you through a workout. A coach has the ability to upgrade your mindset, empower your greatness, and ignite the untapped potential that already exists right under the surface.

Based off of my decade long track record of running successful outdoor fitness programs in NYC, I recently launched PURSUIT. It is a licensed fitness business model for trainers to run their own “on the go”, urban-based PURSUIT program in cities around the world. (So far in the US, UK, and AUSTRALIA!)

So whether I’m focused on training busy NYC housewives, or coaching personal trainers to launch their own successful PURSUIT business, my mission remains the same. It’s all about opening people’s eyes to see the potential, and aiding them in the pursuit of becoming the best possible themselves.

 No obstacle is too much of a challenge for Laura! | Hair by: @easymanexcristina


AM: Tell us what inspired you to launch PURSUIT

LM: I launched PURSUIT, “the class” in NYC, really out of desperation. I was running successful outdoor boot camp in the park when one morning the park cops shut me down and kicked me out (no permit.)

Devastated and distraught in the face of what felt like a huge roadblock, I fought back and decided that I wasn’t going to let this stop me.
With 30 women in tow, I lead my crew on an urban obstacle course throughout lower Manhattan. We jumped from one major landmark to next. We utilized the steps of city hall, the fences on the Brooklyn Bridge, and just about every street corner and random piece of infrastructure in between. This “fitness flash mob” (as I came to affectionately call it), turned out to be even more popular than my workouts in the park had ever been. And like so many setbacks and obstacles in my life, I realized that I really had a choice. You can let it take you down, or you can use as a catalyst to help uncover my greatness.

This is my personal view on life/fitness/the world (learned through repeated experience), it is also one of the Core Values of that guide the PURSUIT program.
Then one night last year, I had a vision. I imagined how successful other trainers could be if they could run this type of class in cities around the world that are seemingly custom made for a PURSUIT program. Picture it…Philly, Miami, DC, Berlin, Dubai?! Do you see the potential?!

So from that moment, I literally sat down for one year straight and documented every one of my training, coaching, marketing, networking, and personal development philosophes that have made PURSUIT so successful. I partnered with NESTA, a well-known personal trainer certification organization, and I launched the licensed business for rebel personal trainers around the world.

 Laura's favorite past time... jumping major landmarks!


AM: PURSUIT encourages outdoor exercising and uses the city as your gym - how do your training sessions differ from those inside the gym?

LM: The “group fitness” concept is nothing new. When you are indoors, you typically are restricted to a 2 x 2 space in a studio, with dumbbells, a step, and a mat. This equipment is used not necessary because these are the “best” options, but more so because they are the only options that will work in that space.

Since space is limited, so are your movement options.

Here’s how I see it. Most of us live in small apartments, we commute in impossibly cramped trains, and work all day under the fluorescent lights of a tiny, soul crushing office space. Maybe going back indoors into the four walls of windowless studio or gym ISN’T the best method we can think of in order to move our bodies.

The mindset behind PURSUIT is to get out and adapt, innovate and reinterpret non-traditional exercise spaces in the city to turn it into our ultimate fitness playground. I encourage people to ultimately disrupt the fitness status quo by doing things differently.
I find that this training fosters a unique connection to our city, to our body, and the team, in a manner that is impossible to replicate indoors.

The cool thing that’s happened recently is that the mainstream fitness industry has taken note of this huge opportunity, and has responded. Hot boutique fitness studios and high end gyms are installing artificial turf, jungle gyms, hanging ropes and scale-able walls. There is an explosion of demand for back-to-basics and body-weight-only "athletic conditioning" classes and obstacle course/playground experiences.
They are trying to replicate in their gym, what we already have naturally occurring outdoors! But the thing is, when you are out in the city, it is a BIGGER AND BADDER experience than any gym could ever provide in the four walls of a gym.

 Laura says there is a 'demand' for 'body-weight-only athletic conditioning'


AM: What are the benefits of training outside without machines and weights?

Movements done outdoors consist of crawling, hanging, traversing, and climbing in/under/around/through various and ever changing obstacles throughout town. You are forced to control and maneuver your body weight efficiently through varying planes of motion.

This magical input fosters a synchronization of your core to your upper and lower body, and facilitates a mastery of your body in space. This input fosters an activation and integration of your core to your upper and lower body, is impossible to duplicate on a machine, and is severely limited, at best, when working within the confines of linear dumbbell/barbell based exercises.

Our bodies are not only designed to move in 360 degree patterns, but our performance and movement potential hinges up the ability to do so!

Forget training “muscles groups”, progressive body weight training is about training movement patterns! The benefits that your body receives though this type of training is the integration and activation of of your core to with your upper and lower body. This fundamental cornerstone of human performance is impossible to duplicate on a machine, and is severely limited, at best, when working within the confines of linear dumbbell/barbell based exercises.
Plainly put, you become a biomechanically intelligent, neurologically progressive, calorie burning machine!

Is one better than the other - weight training vs bodyweight training? No way. What I'm proposing here is that BOTH are necessary. The hard-core heavy lifting IS the training juice that will make you look and feel young! No one can deny that! But, what will allow you TO KEEP TRAINING for years to come is the incorporation of skill-based, progressive, body-weight movements!

It’s all about longevity and sustainability. I call it “training to last.” I mean, isn't that what we are all after anyway?


AM: Favorite city to work out in?

LM: Besides NYC, it would be Rome, Italy!

I fell in love with Rome while I was on a solo, two-month backpacking trip through Europe. Not only did I hit up 10 different countries, but I did it all while simultaneously training for the NYC marathon.

I basically ran 100s of miles and cross-trained my way through each city. To be clear, I wasn’t doing it “Forrest Gump” style. I actually flew or took a bus from one country to the next like a normal person. But the second I arrived in a new place, I was off on a fitness-running-tour of the city.

Rome. Picture the endless running with strength training stops at epic locations: “Box jumps” at the Roman Forum; “hill repeats” on Spanish Steps; “bear crawls” on the floor of the Coliseum! Just kidding. I tried, but they wouldn’t let me down there.
With a little innovation and adaptation of the typical “tourist experience”, I was able to keep up my training and visit some of the most iconic landmarks, ruins and monuments in the world!

Insider tip: for a more pleasant experience, go early in the morning, or later in the evening when tourist traffic is at their lowest levels.

Hair by: @easymanexcristina


AM: What 3 exercises are great for doing outdoors?

LM: In order to get the greatest results in the shortest amount of time, the goal should be to get as many muscle groups firing together in an integrated fashion, to move through multiple planes of motion, and to effect both the anaerobic (“strength”) energy system, and the aerobic (”cardio”) energy system.

Survey the land and see how many “Obstacles” you have available to you. The fun and creativity in the PURSUIT Training Method lies the way in which you combine the different exercises and obstacles together to create one massive put outdoor circuit to turn your town into your “ultimate fitness playground!”
Let’s say you have a bench, a staircase, and a line on the ground; all are about 50 yards away from each other.

EXERCISE: Push-Up + 2 diagonal mountain climbers

OBSTACLE 2: Staircase
EXERCISE: Sprint up, jog down

OBSTALCE 3: Line on the ground
EXERCISE: Double legged mini-jumps forward over the line, turn, then jump back

Do it like this: 30 seconds of each exercise at each Obstacle, running from one to the next. Repeat the entire circuit 3-5 times! If you want to get competitive with yourself, count the number of reps that you can complete at each Obstacle. Try to beat your score each subsequent round!

AM: 3 of your favorite city obstacles to incorporate into a workout

LM: My 3 favorite Obstacles in NYC:

1) Monuments and Museums. Those in Fidi, in front of the New York Stock Exchange specifically.) They are steep, they are about 30 yards wide, and they offer an iconic view of Wall Street.
2) A well-designed pier. (Pier 25 in Tribeca, probably my fav.) This has everything a PURSUIT Street Athlete could ever ask for in a 100-yard radius. You’ll find a turf field with lots of white lines, endless rows of benches, fences, railings, sand volleyball courts, and a wood deck, to name a few.
3) Any subway line. (The uptown 6 train line works really well.) Go out for a jog and follow the subway line above ground. Each time you get to a stop, sprint down then back up the steps! Continue running on the street and repeat at the next stop!

 Monuments and museums are some of Laura's favorite obstacles


AM: The PURSUIT business model has spread across the globe! Do you get a chance to visit all of them? If not, where is next on your list?

LM: I am so proud that my message has resonated with so many coaches and trainers across the world. I can’t tell you what a true honor and surreal experience it has been to see other trainers teaching the mindset and the philosophies that took me 10 years to perfect and an entire year to cohesively get onto paper and video. It has really been like a dream come true.

I haven’t gotten a chance to visit them, yet! In the last two months since the launch, I’ve been focused on getting as many coaches as possible up and running!

The PURSUIT world tour is coming up in the near future, however. You can count on it!

 Scaling the walls... and the world, one step at a time


AM: Your motto is 'Do You See The Potential?' - what advice would you give to help people see the potential around them, both in fitness and and in life?

LM: The “Do You See The Potential” campaign is aimed at encouraging people not only to see the “fitness potential” of everyday objects in their city through a new lens, but to see the potential of their lives through an entirely new lens as well.

It’s about looking for different ways to experience life by adapting, reinventing, and innovating. There is magic in the act of simply asking yourself “how else can I look at this thing/person/situation.”

Very often our initial responses are just conditioned from our past experiences, and can be severely limiting. We get bored, plateau or become complacent.
But, imagine the possibilities that might exist for us if we moved through life with a little more of an open mind and heart to what is, and to what could be?

I believe that when you decide to see things differently, you start to experience them differently. The world starts to evolve and open up right in front of your eyes.
So I encourage people to not only use this tool in their workouts, but also to apply it to other areas of life as well – love, career, relationships, etc.

The ability to “see the potential” in ANYTHING, is a state of mind. It often doesn’t come automatically or even naturally to many of us. But it’s important to know that it can be learned, and it must be practiced, daily.

AM: What is the most random object you have seen potential in and used in your workout?

LM: While the objects around the city that I utilize for training don’t seem random to me, I am acutely aware that the average person doesn’t see what I see, yet. So maybe the most random thing would be something as simple as a curb.


However, there is one thing I used recently that even I would agree is random! It’s the water fountain at Washington Square Park...


AM: What does the future hold for PURSUIT and yourself?

LM: My ultimate goal is to change the way outdoor fitness is done on a global level.
While every PURSUIT business is independently run and operated, we are already working on a collaborative effort to expand this training concept to more people around the world.

I have big plans to change the fitness industry and the way most people view exercise, in a really profound way. It is my mission to help the average person start to see exercise not as something that happens just in that one hour in the gym, with certain equipment, or when the circumstances are right.

I believe in my heart that the more people we can teach to understand how to training using just their body and the pervasive nature of anything and everything around them, that we can be healthier, happier, and more fit world. 

That’s why I call PURSUIT a “revolutionary fitness movement.” Maybe it’s so basic, it’s revolutionary.

 Dr Laura Miranda with the lovely Ashley Chmelka of @sincerelyamc


Follow Dr Laura Miranda on Instagram for her 'Do You See The Potential' videos and check out her website here

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