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City Work Out: The Coit Tower Multi-Press

Photo by Chad Riley

The Workout: The Coit Tower Multi-Press

The Expert: Keith Wohlwend, founder of Boot Camp SF (bootcampsf.com), runs boot camps in neighborhoods across the city and is an expert in urban terrain.

It’s no surprise that CBS’ Amazing Race leveraged Coit Tower for Season 16’s final challenge. Instead of using the tower itself, boot camp guru Keith Wohlwend suggested I use the terrain around it for the best workout.

I started at the Greenwich Street Stairs and jogged up the steep steps to the tower, visualizing Lillie Hitchcock Coit—the cross-dressing, gambling, sometimes fire-fighting woman who bequeathed us the memorial. She climbed this hill every day, probably wearing a corset, sometimes with fire hose in tow.

At the top, I navigated my way around a Segway tour to a gorgeous vista and a workout of 15 push-ups against the stone blocks that line the parking lot, followed by three sets of 40 crunches. The Segway group stared off, a teenager among them rolled her eyes, and I never felt more relieved to be a local.

Running down the backside path, I reached my next task: four sets of 15 pushups and reverse pulls on the railing. I climbed on top of the railing for the push-ups, careful to support myself on the crossbar. For the pulls, I lay under the rails with my feet on the steps and pulled up. By this point, I was the tourist attraction.

I jogged down Grant Street, part of the Barbary Coast Trail, wondering if the grisly gold diggers of yore would have ever been able to comprehend the idea of Spandex. Racing up the Pfeiffer Street stairs, I arrived at my own private turret. The uninterrupted view spurred me to do my next series—abs and push-ups, just as before.

For the final series, I did three sets of 15 tricep dips against the tree planter on Francisco Street and jogged down the narrow stairs to my last task: pull-ups on the trees. Poor trees. Out of the tourist zone, no one even gave me a second glance as, for a final round of pull-ups, I struggled to lug my tired body up and over the limb.

Check out our other workouts at San Francisco landmarks and add some of your own in the comments. Once we get enough, we'll publish a gallery of the best reader workout suggestions.