For 43-year-old Dominican Republic native and former professional baseball player José Lara, exercise has always been a priority. Having recently opened Get It Done Fitness studio in Osseo, Lara now aims to help others get fit, too. With kickboxing, resistance training, heavy bags, kettle bells, body weights and more, a fitness session with Lara guarantees members will, in fact, “get it done.” “It” being—your heart pumping, your blood flowing and your body sweaty and toned.
Lara’s lifetime love of exercise, especially baseball, led to a career playing professionally for the San Diego Padres for a few years in his twenties. “I was good at it with hard work," he says. "I learned how to train my body and I wanted to help others as well.”
After an injury halted his baseball career, Lara began teaching French and English in the Dominican Republic. A few years later, he applied for teaching jobs in the U.S. Within a week, he got a call from Prior Lake Senior High School, where he taught Spanish for three years.
“But my heart was into fitness,” Lara says. “So, I decided to become a personal trainer, got certified and started training at Life Time.” Lara worked at the original Life Time Fitness gym, which opened in Brooklyn Park in 1992.
While at Life Time, he learned much about anatomy and how to train the body. While there, he developed a unique kickboxing program combined with body weight training. “Life Time Fitness opened the doors for me and I am grateful for it,” Lara says.
Now, as a trainer he aims to help people achieve a healthy, high-quality lifestyle at Get It Done Fitness, a practice he’s established with area clients over the past 15 years. But Lara had always imagined a storefront for the training he did, so five months ago, he took the leap and opened the Osseo-based studio.
It seems that area residents are glad Lara is here. “The response from Osseo, Maple Grove, even Brooklyn Park, so far has been very welcoming,” he says.
The “fitness is life” philosophy permeates the studio. “Our main focus is to understand first this is not a sprint, but rather a marathon,” Lara says. “We focus on weight loss and weight management to make sure that you not only lose your unwanted body fat, but keep it off.”
Members accomplish this with 45-minute kickboxing cardio workouts combined with resistance training. “The kickboxing is great because it gets your heart rate up where you need it to be based on your fitness level, but also helps burn body fat quicker,” Lara says. “So, no more spending hours at the gym. You burn more calories here in 45 minutes than most do in one-and-a-half hours at the regular gym.”
Lara claims to see major transformations in his client’s bodies and in their health by using the kickboxing and resistance training program; and it is for all fitness levels.
Lara advocates kickboxing as an effective workout regimen for women. “Since women carry less muscle mass by nature, their bodies’ anatomy is different than men,” Lara says. “Women have to exercise ten percent harder than men to get the same results—not fair, right? But on the flip side, women have a lot more endurance and it gives them an advantage to go longer in any physical activity session. There is a reason why women are the ones having the babies and not men,” he says.
“I train men and women on a daily basis, but women really push and give all they’ve got in every workout session and that impresses me every time,” Lara says.
Looking back, Lara can see that fitness has always been his calling in life, and the most rewarding aspect is seeing his clients’ lives transformed. “When they tell me how great they feel, how they stopped taking meds, and now they don’t need it anymore because fitness took care of it,” he says, “fitness literally saved their lives. The feeling is incredible.”