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Rachel Miller, right, is among those who joins Deanna Giordano during early morning workouts this time of year in Mang Park, Kenmore (Photo by Karen Carney Fumerelle)


By Scott Scanlon – Refresh Editor

Most outdoor fitness classes in Western New York will end by Labor Day weekend, but not so for the small group boot camp classes Deanna Giordano runs on the tennis courts at Mang Park in Kenmore.

She expects to lead the hour-long classes – which cost $7 to drop in and run at 6 a.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays – until it’s too dark at that hour to move through all the exercises.

“Last year we had a cop go by and shine a light on us in late September,” she said. I figured that was our last time” for the season.

Giordano, 49, subject of today’s What are you Eating? feature in WNY Refresh, has a business administration degree from the University at Buffalo and worked several years as a personal trainer at Terri’s Workout Center on Hertel Avenue before opening Studio Sophia at 2852 Delaware Ave. in Kenmore three years ago.

She lives in North Buffalo with husband, Phil, and their children, Tony, 19, Frank, 17, and Sophia, 14 and the studio namesake.

Giordano specializes in pilates – she is certified in the Stott form – and has two reformers, a trapeze table and a stability chair in her small studio, which sits upstairs from the Fitness Factory near Kenmore Avenue. She trains one or two people at a time when it comes to pilates, and she and others at the gym also teach group fitness classes in pilates, yoga, boot camp and Booty at the Barre. Rachel Miller, who was featured last September in a Refresh cover story about how she lost 120 pounds, is among those who work with Giordano.

“The boot camp is the most popular, then pilates, then booty,” she said; about 90 percent of the studio’s clients are women.

Giordano also teaches a Saturday morning running class. She and several others are preparing for the Mighty Niagara Half Marathon, which starts at Artpark, on Sept. 20. For more info and to register, visit mightyniagarahalfmarathon.com.

For more information on the studio and classes, call 903-1009 or visit studiosophia.biz.

How do these outdoor classes differ for her?

“We don’t bring weights with us, so it’s all body weight,” Giordano told me. “We do a lot of sprinting, a lot of suicide drills, a lot of plyometrics, jumping up and down. It works the body differently. You burn calories after you leave.

“Inside, the space is smaller and we use some weights. Each Tuesday or Thursday, I change it up; it’s never the same class twice. You don’t need to lift heavy weights to get into shape. A lot of people would rather be thin and toned than look too muscular.”

Giordano has run five half-marathons and is considering a full marathon next year. She trains people of all ages and fitness abilities for these longer distance runs.

“The young girls don’t know if they can do it and I have to try to push them a little bit more," she said, “but the older girls, my age, want to cross it off their bucket list.”

Runners need to train 18 to 20 weeks before attempting a full marathon, Giordano said. She trained a dozen people who participated in the Buffalo half and full marathons this year.

Someone should be able to run at least 4 miles before they start training for a half marathon.

“So get yourself in shape for the Turkey Trot,” she said, “and you’ll be able to start training in January.”

email: refresh@buffnews.com

Twitter: @BNrefresh