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Wednesday, January 23 , 2019, 11:30 am | Fair 61º


The Working Life: Casey Gutierrez

The boot camp instructor at Fueled Sports Performance gets pumped up about helping others reach their fitness goals

Casey Gutierrez is a boot camp fitness instructor at Fueled Sports Performance on State Street, which utilizes climbing walls, artificial turf, medicine balls — even giant tractor tires.
Casey Gutierrez is a boot camp fitness instructor at Fueled Sports Performance on State Street, which utilizes climbing walls, artificial turf, medicine balls — even giant tractor tires.  (Jenn Kennedy photo / www.kennedypix.com)

Boot camp — just hearing the words makes me sit up straighter. For years, I’ve heard about people panting and puffing at various incarnations of this masochistic concept. With an eye on the looming summer sunshine and bikini season, I decided it might be time for me to join the ranks.

Casey Gutierrez’s class at Fueled Sports Performance of Santa Barbara came highly recommended by a friend who swore it was worth it.

Fueled Sports is designed as a training facility, instead of a gym. Staged in a renovated warehouse at 530 State St., it lacks the corporate culture and floors of cardio equipment of a typical gym. Instead, it has climbing walls, artificial turf, medicine balls and giant tractor tires, among other interesting gear.

Gutierrez said many of the facility’s members are training toward some sort of competition, such as a marathon or fighting challenge.

“It’s a unique environment — an adult playground,” he said.

Gutierrez’s boot camp is geared toward strength training. He has us warm up on the cardio machines in advance, leaving a full 50 minutes for his circuit-style strength training. While some pulley machines are incorporated, he typically has more functional training exercises, such as tossing the medicine ball, lunging with weights and doing crunches on the ball. All the while, music is blasting, and Gutierrez is keeping us laughing.

“I keep it light and fun,” he said. “Everyone works at their own level.”

Sometimes drill sergeant, sometimes cheerleader, Gutierrez says people need different approaches with training.

“Not everyone enjoys exercise, so my job is to understand their motivation and goals so I can tailor my approach and structure their workouts,” he said.

He said those who respond best to personal training are people who are fed up with their own efforts and are seeking the structure and guidance offered by trainers.

Asked for three basic things people can do for better health, Gutierrez suggested spending time outdoors, laughing and expressing happiness, and practicing good nutrition by cooking more meals at home to retain control over food preparation.

Originally from Visalia, Gutierrez moved to San Diego to play football and attend Grossmont College. After being sidelined by injury, he started volunteering at a local Boys & Girls Club and took a job in a gym. He noticed staggering obesity issues with children and became an advocate for health and fitness — particularly for youths.

Last fall, he and another trainer organized Transformation, a 12-week intense fitness program designed to improve health, reduce weight and build self-esteem for four significantly overweight, low-income participants. They trained five days a week at no cost and saw dramatic results. Gutierrez plans to structure a similar after-school program for obese children in the Santa Barbara community.

Gutierrez migrated to Santa Barbara from San Diego in 2006 after visiting a friend and falling in love with the city. Then a trainer at 24-Hour Fitness, he put in for a transfer and began training at the local location. In addition to his Apex trainer certification, he’s a certified EMT, with plans to pursue firefighting down the road.

The boot camp starts at 7 a.m. every Monday and Wednesday at Fueled Sports Performance. Gutierrez also trains clients in their homes or at several outdoor locations for varied workouts.

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Noozhawk contributor Jenn Kennedy can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Click here to see more of her work.

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