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Game Changers 2014: Ryan Sheckler

The fearless skater is using fitness to set a new standard for extreme athletes.
Arto Saari

The arguably crazy kid skater who made his name hurling his body down stairs, over rails, and across countless other civic obstacles for your viewing pleasure has defied the odds and managed to survive into his 20s.

Now he’s leading a push to make sure that the younger skaters taking after him do so as well. Sheckler is at the head of what can fairly be described as skateboarding’s fitness revolution. “Everything I do right now, it’s all preventive measures,” he says. “If I do get a really hard slam, my body can handle it; I’m strong enough to get back up and try it again. I roll with the punches.”

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After a decade of punishment from the pavement, Sheckler has created a skateboarding workout program based on his own training. He hopes it will not only help other skaters stay on their boards for longer, but also improve their performance overall.

“Everything we do is for the core, for heart rate, and for speed and power,” he says. “There’s a little bit of weight training, but it’s mostly body weight.”

Now, thankfully, those who live by the adage “skate or die” actually have the choice.

FIT FACT: Sheckler often Skypes with his trainer during workouts.

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