SAN ANTONIO – Step into the ring for a good workout and a cultural lesson. This summer, Lonja Libre Fitness promises to help shed some pounds and teach you lucha libre moves at the Texas Wolverine All-Stars wrestling ring.
Lucha libre, or Mexican wrestling, dates back more than a century and intertwines history from Mexico with over-the-top moves by luchadores, or wrestlers.
Lance Bazan, along with some friends, took on the challenge to put away their cellphones to try out the fitness camp and live out their childhood fantasy of being wrestlers.
"It's, like, amazing because it makes you feel invincible," Bazan said. "When you're wrestling, it's kind of like an urge, and then your pulse starts beating."
They're on a mission to be lonja libre this summer, a phrase that trainer and founder Anthony Treviño says translates to being fat-free.
It's about getting rid of "the gut we all don't like to carry around," Treviño said.
Participants will learn to lace up their masks if they decide to wear one, the proper wrestling ring etiquette and how to stay fit like a luchador.
"They basically run the ropes or do some obstacles along the way, which are also very common ... which is when you have somebody on the ground you have to hurdle," Treviño said.
Not only is it a high-intensity workout, but it also has historical context.
Julián Martínez has grown up watching the sport and identifies with it. "It's because it's part of the Mexican culture," Martínez said.
The exercises take a lot of work and discipline, but most participants forget they're working out the moment they put their masks on. Masks are not required, but Vincent Alvarado says it adds to the excitement of the activity.
"It makes you feel like you're actually the wrestler, me on here wrestling with another person," Alvarado said.
Treviño says it's the perfect opportunity to get the entire family and children involved in a healthy activity.
"You get them off the couch and out of your pantries," Treviño said. "Most importantly right now in the summertime."
The summer session of Lonja Libre Fitness kicks off Saturday, June 22, at 10 a.m. at Texas All-Star Wolverines, located at 1334 S Flores Road. Visit its Facebook page for more details.