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My workout with Richard Simmons

A friend has been pushing me for six months to go to Richard Simmons' workout class with him. Tonight I relented...and wished I'd done it six months ago.

Richard has been teaching workout classes at a studio in Beverly Hills in 1974. The studio, called Slimmons, is a big space that has held classes of over 100 people at a time over the years. Tonight it was about 40 people, mostly regulars, and me. As I walked around the room I noticed two things. First, it was 90% women. Second, everyone was smiling. People were in a good mood with a 75-minute workout ahead of them. When Richard walked into the room, it was evident why everyone was in such a good mood.

Richard has been a star for 30 years, and you can see why. He glows. He smiles. His energy level at age 62 is double that of any teenager I know. And he's incredibly welcoming. He went out of his way to make me, a new face in the crowd, feel welcome and part of the group. When he dropped his white coat to reveal the shortest shorts you've ever seen, covered completely by his black sequin tanktop, I knew I was in for a treat. He even pulled me out of the circle to work out with him one-on-one for a couple minutes. After the workout, he took a couple pictures with me and entertained my pleading that he go back on the Howard Stern Show sometime soon.

On top of Richard's bigger-than-life personality, the workout was great. The first 45 minutes were non-stop cardio, constantly moving with Richard's patented exercises. Then it was 20 minutes of light weight-lifting followed by 10 minutes of ab work. At the end of it I felt like I'd gotten a good workout, and I couldn't stop smiling for the rest of the night. He even gave a finger-wagging "lecture" about avoiding gravy and stuffing on Thanksgiving.

If you're in Los Angeles and want a great workout, or you just want to spend an hour with a superstar like Richard Simmons, check out his Web site and head to Slimmons for a great time. And big thanks to Jason Preston and Richard for such a great night!