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Must Love Dogs: The Bowwow Workout

Linda LaRue

I thought I’d give animal lovers like me another idea to get a great workout with a loved one—that is your 4-legged loved one. The Bowwow Workout is an outdoor, semi-private exercise class for your dog and you that was created by my friend, certified personal trainer, Bruce Gilbert.

Bruce is the owner of, whose primary focus is 1:1 functional training designed to help people regain their strength after injuries, and correcting muscular imbalances to prevent these injuries from reccurring. Bruce came up with the idea for The Bowwow Workout several years ago when on a surfing trip to Costa Rica. While there, he noticed that dogs and their masters were allowed to go everywhere together. The camaraderie and love between dog and master was the concept he wanted to duplicate. "I really love dogs. It struck me that there are a lot of overweight and out of shape people and their dogs that need to move, lose weight, and get in shape."

Since he was already bringing his border collie, Louie, to Runyon Canyon, a no-leash dog park, several times a week to hike, he thought, 'Why don't I have people come to the park with their dogs, and put together a program that's more structured than only hiking?”

The workout makes use of natural and man-made items scattered throughout the park using a versatile, exercise tube for resistance. Bruce has created a format of cardio-hiking/resistance-training stations for a total body, 60-minute, circuit-training workout. One station is an old tennis court, where Bruce has dogs and owners doing shuttle, running drills across the court. Bruce hands out no more than three gourmet dog treats for good behavior (it is a weight loss—not gain workout:) Here, it’s time for the dogs to shine.

The Bowwow Workout is a great, out-of-the-box exercise alternative for you and your cherished 4-legged loved one—especially if you hate being inside stuck on a treadmill going nowhere fast. There’s lots of chatting and social interaction for all. Plus, as dogs are pack animals, it’s the perfect mind-body canine exercise solution. What could be more healthy and fun than being outside in the sun, moving with your dog?

Linda LaRue is a Registered Nurse and Athletic Trainer with a Masters Degree in Exercise Physiology and Sports Medicine from the University of Virginia.


  • exercise outdoors

  • increase energy and coordination

  • reduce stress and body fat

  • make new friends



  • get exercise it needs outdoors

  • enjoy time off-leash

  • socialize with other dogs and people

  • love you for it!

Exercise with your canine companion in a
group setting

– 8:30 am –
runyon canyon (fuller entrance)
*subject to cancellation due to rain or extreme heat

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