Quest for Tire

Written by Jamie Killin Category: Health & Fitness Issue: October 2013
Group Free

Get in advanced shape with paleo-fitness exercises at these Valley sweat spots.

This isn’t Sparta. While our ancestors had to hunt big game for food and fight with swords to protect their land, we have the luxury of drive-thrus and property deeds. We also have Nautilus machines and boutique gym technology to stay in shape – but who needs ‘em? Finding your inner Spartan with paleo-fitness exercises like tire throwing, rope climbing, and kettle bell lifting can be fun and effective.

At the South Central Gym inside Downtown retro-space The Duce (, self-proclaimed fitness junkie and former college wrestler Steve Rosenstein rules an old school gym filled with pull-up bars, squat racks, a fire hose and all manner of muscle-building blunt objects. Rosenstein says the facility has one hundred “South Central mad dogs,” as he calls frequent gym visitors, made up of professional athletes, Marines, and CrossFit trainers who work out by doing things like tossing tires, running, doing push-ups and beating on sand bags. It’s not all work, though – those who make it through Rosenstein’s Sunday morning class are rewarded with a complimentary grapefruit mimosa. Spartans should be so lucky.
Other Paleo Programs
Core CrossFit
Core CrossFit focuses on training that improves the ten fitness domains –  which include strength, flexibility, speed, and balance – through exercises like jumping rope and power lifts. Located in the heart of downtown Phoenix, Core CrossFit offers classes, small group training, one-on-one training and drop-in options. 825 N. Seventh St., Phoenix, 602-254-5301,

Smart Start at the YMCA
It’s fun to stay at the YMCA with Smart Start, a program to decrease stress and work muscles through a variety of exercises, including TRX suspension training, which uses cloth straps to work against your own body weight; “battling ropes” (picture people side-by-side heaving heavy ropes up and down); and ViPR, which incorporates a rubber tube to improve strength and movement.  350 N. First Ave., Phoenix, 602-688-5351,

Ready State Fitness
Ready State Fitness aims to eliminate joint and muscle pain through improved flexibility, and to condition the body for sports like football or other intense physical activities like CrossFit. Founder and owner Kevin Kula offers free consultations, and a variety of program packages. 400 W. Camelback Rd., Phoenix, 602-688-2528,