NYC FIT SERIES: Dr. Laura Miranda

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Meet Pursuit Founder, Physical Therapist & Trainer


We’re so excited to get to experience the city through one of your workouts.  Can you tell us about  PURSUIT, and how you came up with the idea for this training method?

PURSUIT is an on-the-go, hybrid conditioning workout that takes place in, on, around, and through all aspects of the cityscape.  PURSUIT unhinges the idea that fitness has to take place in a gym, or even in a park for that matter. Our mantra is that “NYC is your ultimate fitness playground where anything and everything is possible!” I’ve been an athlete my entire life but due to a severe injury, I was unable to play soccer in college. I was forced to reinvent what movement and pushing myself in a competitive way meant to me. I lifted weights like the best of them, but it never really matched up with what I had done for years out on the field. I knew there had to be a better way. After my undergrad degree in Exercise Science was complete I simultaneously worked on my Masters in Physical Therapy while I was working in NYC as a personal trainer.  Again, the work that was being done in the gym didn’t match up with the hardcore science that I was learning in school. I knew there had to be a better way.  Finally, I was out of the gym and running one of the first “boot camps in the park” in NYC back in ’07. THIS made sense to me! All was going great, until… the park cops kicked me out for not having a permit.  Instead of shutting down my business, I took my crew out through the streets of lower Manhattan. As it turns out, there are endless hills, stairs, ledges, curbs, and green space that made for a more challenging and effective training session. Barreling through the streets also became more FUN than anything we could ever do in one patch of grass in the park. So, from this potential business ending run-in with the cops, PURSUIT was born.  I have been lucky enough to spread this concept to trainers around the world so that they can empower their clients with this as well. I currently have PURSUIT locations in Australia, the UK, and over 13 states across the US. My goal is to change the way outdoor fitness is done on a global level. And I am honored to say that… it’s happening! PURSUIT is all about this main concept: 

“keep innovation in your head, adaptation in your blood, and a desire to disrupt in your heart.”

How do you begin your day?

 I teach PURSUIT at 5:30am in lower Manhattan. So My alarm goes off at 4:24 (that’s not a typo), and I shuffle right out the door to go walk my dog, wolf. Then it’s on to a breakfast of coffee, steal cut oats, and a vegan protein and spinach shake.

Can you give us a breakdown of how we can apply your method to a quick workout?

The idea is to first survey the cityscape and see what Obstacles (as we call them in PURSUIT) you have available. Start looking at NYC through a new lens and the potential of your body through a new lens as well. The success of a PURSUIT based workout hinges on a few things. To sum it up:

Reinvention. Adaptation. Innovation.

  1. You must look for the Obstacles  that you have available in the landscape. Think about traditional exercise spaces (like grass, ball fields, courts), but don’t forget about the non-traditional spaces and locations like cross walks, stairs, building walls, cones, and scaffolding.
  2. Think about the potential of how athletically creative and innovative you can be with using even the simplest piece of the cityscape.
  3. Next you must layer your moves together in such a way that challenges as many muscle groups as possible, through as many planes of motion as possible, all in ways that tax your different energy systems.
  4. Challenge yourself to cover as much ground as possible thereby exploring more areas of the city, increasing your mileage, your exploration and your connection to this concrete jungle!

How about an example PURSUIT CIRCUIT to get us warmed up ?

Let's go with the path along the Hudson River, anywhere from the George Washington Bridge, down to the bottom tip of Manhattan. 

  1. START at 14th St and 9th Ave. After a dynamic warm-up, jog west across 14th until you come upon the steps up to the Highline.
  2. Run 3 fast laps on the steps to the Highline.
  3. When at the top for the 3rd time, do 10 push-up to side plank rotations on the bench at the top.
  4. Jog back down the steps and back across 14th towards 9th Ave (where you started). When you hit the orange traffic cones, do an agility zig zag shuffle straight through, 2 times.
  5. Hold a wall sit on the outside wall of the Gaslight x 1 minute! Repeat this circuit one more time from 1-5. THEN, jog up or down 10th Ave and seek out your next Obstacles, making as many “HIIT stops” as you can!

Can you recommend some workout essentials for the Urban Athlete?

  • Garmin Vivoactive watch to track all of the meticulous details of my training.
  • 361 sneakers –for their rugged durability and flexibility that is necessary with an urban obstacle course method of training.
  • Previnex Vegan Protein  - since I’m on the go in the city during all hours of the day, I must have to have clean source of fuel as a backup (and because stopping into a bodega last minute just doesn’t cut it!)

 You have a distinct style, how would you characterize it and what are some of the key elements that make up your style?

Distinct… ha, that’s so true! Well, along with my coaching and training philosophy, my outlook on clothing is much the same. I don’t follow the “status quo”; it’s just not me. I would say my style is “anti-establishment-chic.” I just made that up. But I know that I feel the most comfortable in a snap back hat, black. A loose cut off shirt with a motivational quote on it, black. Drop crotch sweats, black. If I am in shorts or leggings, I usually wear mid-calf socks, black. That’s the soccer player in me.  For years, I tried to fit in with what my colleagues in the industry were wearing. But in that gear, I was always felt like my foot stomping, defiant, 7-year-old self when they tried to make me wear a dress. There’s nothing wrong with dresses, obviously.  But for me, when I’m not living in my own skin, or my own style, I can’t be the most authentic version of myself.  I have found that by being my authentic self, I am better able to help others in their journey towards becoming the best version of their truest selves.  I know you didn’t intend for this question to be so deep!   Sure, on the surface it’s just way easier to follow along with what everyone else is doing. It takes a brave person to live exactly the way you want to live and feel exactly the way you want to feel. “Just be you”; who knew the formula was so simple!

Laura Miranda will be leading a PURSUIT CLASS at PARAGON SPORTS at 9 am on Saturday 7/30. More info here.   You can follow Laura on instagram @drlauramiranda and twitter @drlauramiranda to READ MORE visit her site

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