OCEANSIDE — Every Saturday morning you will see them at the Oceanside Pier. Dozens of men and women carrying each other in runs across the sand and then heading to the pier ramp to wheelbarrow up it.
The workout is intense, the fitness levels are varied and the camaraderie is high.
Professional trainer Anthony Steel leads the group with the help of a few fitness leaders.
“I mix everything in it for a full body workout,” Steel said. “Core exercises, planks, abs, glutes. We’re really working on every muscle head to toe.”
Steel started teaching the group a year-and-a-half ago when the previous trainer, football legend Junior Seau, could no longer fit the Saturday fitness trainings into his schedule.
Steel and a dozen other locals would meet up with Seau on Saturdays for an intense and inspiring workout.
Seau took time at the end of each workout session to share an inspiring word.
“It was how simple he made it,” Steel said. “He would choose a theme like ‘it’s alright to fail, but don’t quit.’”
Steel said the themes helped him get through the workout and daily challenges.
“He inspired me in so many ways,” Steel said.
The Saturday Seau could not make it to the training session Steel took over.
Steel keeps workouts upbeat and inspiring. He said he sees fitness as a way to bring people together and enhance lives.
Participants are divided into beginner, intermediate and elite fitness groups to receive more personalized training. Then drills are held on the sand, ramp and steps.
“It’s fun and challenging,” Steel said. “We do drags where you hold your partner, they lay back into your arms and you carry them through the sand backwards. It’s fun. People are smiling, falling. You see that their response is getting right back up.”
Kids come along with their parents and join in or play next to the workout group.
The last 15 minutes of the session are used for participants to reaffirm their personal goals, share an inspiring story, and network with the group about their business. Steel said people are alert and ready to listen after the workout and it helps make the session a complete mind, body and soul experience.
Like the inspiration given by Seau, students of Steel take lessons from the workout and apply them to other areas of their lives.
“It increases my energy and positivity in every aspect of my life,” said Vernon Evans of San Diego.
Steel calls the group his family, and participants call each other friends. A strong sense of peer support is built between participants.
“He keeps pushing you in trying to reach your goals,” Sharon Garcia of San Marcos said. “Friends help you when you need it.”
For more information on Saturday workouts, go to steelsfullbodyfitness.com.