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Harold Sanco at Results Gym introduces Lebert Equalizers into his group fitness classes

Jumps — straight up or side to side — while holding the Equalizer boost cardio and arm strength.

The exercisers who pack the classes taught by Harold Sanco, group fitness director at Results Gym, are never sure what he’s going to throw at them next. It could be a plank hold, the popular ’60s dance step “the pony” or even some combination thereof.

So when Sanco first told his students to each take one of the Capitol Hill gym’s newest acquisitions, called “Lebert Equalizers,” Sarah Robinson was nervous.

“It looks like a hurdle,” says the 27-year-old Kingman Park resident. “I thought, ‘Oh lord. What is he going to make us do now?’ ”

The answer was a whole lot of different things. Sanco had them lift the 8-pound prop and rotate their midsections, place it back on the ground and hold on for pushups and mountain climbers, clutch the top while jumping and then stretch with it.

But all of that was just a prelude to showing off why Sanco is really pumped for “our new toy.” He had his students lie on their backs with their legs bent and feet on the floor, grab the Equalizers and hoist their torsos as high as possible. Then he had them switch grips, from underhand to overhand, and do it again.

“We had never done a pullup in this class before,” says Sanco, who couldn’t figure out how to make the move work in a group setting. So when he spotted Equalizers at a fitness convention last year, Sanco was determined to get them to Results.
Over the past few weeks, he’s introduced his students to the Equalizers (or, “EQs” as he calls them), demonstrating several ways they can be of service. When the gym’s fall schedule debuts Monday, Sanco will start to teach several all-Equalizer classes.

Students, despite some good-natured grumbling, seem on board with the changes. Robinson admits her pullups are still “a bit rough,” but after struggling through them at just a handful of classes, she’s already seen a difference in the strength and appearance of her arms.

“I came home sore,” Michiko Bonawitz, 53, notes approvingly. She appreciates that the Equalizers give her a chance to work her muscles in a different way — and come in bright colors. At a recent class, Bonawitz picked pink to match her outfit. (Results also has them in yellow and lime-green.)

Can’t choose just one? Sanco has ideas involving multiple Equalizers — making a tunnel you can crawl under by cramming a few together, or standing between a pair and using them like parallel bars to hold tuck jumps.

Expect to see them pop up in other classes, adds Sarah West, Results’ director of training. She already has her bootcampers doing pullups with them, too.

“It’s hard to find a variety of ways to train the back,” West says. Or, at least, it used to be.

Results’ classes with Equalizers are at 9:30 a.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays and 6:30 p.m. Wednesdays. The gym (315 G St. SE) will also host workshops with master trainer Jenn Hall on Sept. 19 and 20. For more info, visit lebertfitness.com.

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