Downtown gym uses BMO steps to get fit for a good cause - WREX.com – Rockford’s News Leader

Downtown gym uses BMO steps to get fit for a good cause

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ROCKFORD (WREX) -

Here on 13 News Today we've shown you a lot of different ways to get fit, well this morning we've got one downtown Rockford gym that's using a local landmark to get in shape and help people along the way.

Maximum Performance and Rockford University are stepping up to the challenge. They're taking on the Willis Tower and they invited us to get in on a workout.

Check out how these two use the BMO Harris Bank Center to get in shape for Skyrise Chicago.

After a long workout at maximum performance most people would be ready to head home and put their feet up.

But one group takes off to run stairs at the BMO Harris Bank Center in downtown Rockford.

"It takes a while for your muscles to get used to this sort of thing. We go over there probably 2 to 3 times a week. I don't even think I could do it everyday. My muscles are definitely sore from it and it's not just your typical cardio where you're burning a bunch of calories. you're toning muscles, legs, butts, calves, all that stuff."

Lindsey Zahniser and her husband Mike own the gym. They're always looking for a new challenge and Skyrise Chicago definitely fits the bill.

"I have no idea what to expect. I've heard when you get near the top the air gets really thick, so running in the summer helps with the humidity and all that stuff to get your breathing techniques down. But I've also heard that there's fun stuff like they play different music and do different motivational stuff to get you going," said Lindsey.

The Willis Tower in Chicago is 103 flights of stairs with 20 steps on each flight. That's why they spend a few days a week putting in work at the BMO. A group from the gym is teaming up with one from Rockford University to make the climb in November.

"Usually Tuesdays, Thursdays, Sundays, or whenever someone has a some energy and says hey let's go do some stairs together that's been amazingly uplifting to know there's people training for the same cause with me and even folks who aren't doing the climb are running stairs to help with motivation and their own personal goals," said Rockford University Student Activities Director Jill Gates.

Hannah and I gave it a try and we were both worn down after a few trips up and down the stairs.

"About 70 up would equal the tower plus then you've got 70 coming down too. It's definitely a lot more so if you can get 70 going up, you'd be in great shape by then," said Mike Zahniser.

The hard work isn't just about personal goals but helping the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago reach a financial goal. Each team raises $2,000 dollars that helps the RIC provide treatment for things like stroke, brain injury, and other illnesses.

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