Taking Jabs and Sippin' Mimosas: The Old-School Approach to Fitness with The Duce's Steve Rosenstein

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Not all Phoenix fun comes with dim lighting and fancy cocktails. Sometimes, there's nothing better than endorphins, sunshine, and sweat. Lover of all things outdoors, The Outsider explores the more natural side of Phoenix.

Steve Rosenstein, co-owner of The Duce, is on a mission to revive some sweaty, old-school nostalgia. 

If you stop by the warehouse-turned bar/restaurant/music venue/boxing ring, you can catch his weekly Mad Dog fitness classes that feature P.E.-inspired workouts. It's like recess -- with a real workout. 

Just how nostalgic is a Mad Dog workout? Find out after the jump.

The backstory: Long before Steve Rosenstein and his wife Andi moved to Phoenix, the Chicago-based couple started a clothing line with a fitness flare called Fitigues.

"Everything we have done in our careers together has [had] that athletic spin on whatever we're doing. Even if it's clothing," Rosenstein explains. 

After years of success, the couple ended up selling their business to Chico's in hopes of pursuing a new dream: The Duce --  a one-of-a-kind bar, soda shop, clothing shop, restaurant, gym, and boxing ring. "This place is sort of an extension of us," says Rosenstein after explaining his love for all things "old school."

It wasn't long after opening that Rosenstein started sharing the gym with friends after work. They would meet daily and put together workouts and weight lifting routines. 

Drawn in by Rosenstein's slightly eccentric -- but completely endearing -- retro style, more friends started showing up, and Rosenstein established his first round of classes.

When asked why he is so dedicated to a more traditional style, he eagerly explains that old school is the best style of training. "I think now that everybody has done every type of training in every facility there is, they have started to realize you can get a better workout on a playground than you can at Gold's Gym -- and without all the froof," he says.

Froofy-free fitness? We had to give it a shot. 

The first half an hour was in the middle of Central Avenue -- literally. Participants were coached through squats, jumps, and sprints behind white line of the bike lane.

Our quads were burning in minutes, and our egos had dissolved after the second honk.

Rosenstein then lead his squad indoors for a 30-minute, circuit-training workout on his retro gym equipment. The workout included weight-lifting, crunches, pull-ups, boxing, and a few other unique activities including a fire hose (you'd have to see it). The highlight of the workout was the 60 seconds in the ring spent enthusiastically jabbing at Rosenstein's shielded hands to the tune of his motivational yells and Chicago accent. 

Attendees finally convened in the boxing ring for 15 minutes of push-ups, shoulder presses,

and curls. And to celebrate the finish, participants sucked down a freshly-squeezed, grapefruit mimosa (which might be why half of the participants show up).

The Duce is at 525 South Central Avenue. Mad Dog workouts are every Wednesday and Friday at 6 p.m. and Sunday at 10 a.m. and are $10. 

Email GetYourKicks@theDucephx.com to enroll. Click here for more information.

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