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Get Fit Friday: The Richard Simmons experience, or OMG!

What exerciser over the age of 40 hasn't at one time worked out to a Richard Simmons tape? (And when I mean tape, I mean VHS, kiddies.)

So when Kenlie, who blogs at All the Weigh, suggested that we head over to Slimmons Studio yesterday to work out with the granddaddy of fun fitness, I immediately said yes.

The fam and I met Kenlie at her place and set out for a day of exploring Beverly Hills.

New balance shoes
We walked (samesies on our New Balance shoes we got at Fitbloggin).

Zoe saldana paps
We gawked (paps chasing Zoe Saldana at a salon).

Gail and kenlie
We talked (over lunch at Oliver at Sports Club LA).

Crumbs cupcakes
... and we ate cupcakes.

Those cupcakes were veering into "big as your head" territory, and I dreaded finding out how many calories each were (oh, around 700), so I passed off the last big chunk to everyone to taste (caramel apple, so it's fruit, right?).

Slimmons sign I took comfort in knowing that Kenlie and I would be burning major calories with Richard Simmons. I've done my share of Sweatin' to the Oldies so I know it can be a fun, effective workout.

This was most definitely NOT Sweatin' to the Oldies.

Richard appeared on the studio floor, a vision in I-don't-know-what. Some sort of mesh, applique and beading thing. He's smaller and much more fit in person than on TV -- really in great shape for a man of 63.

Richard ellens mom The workout, with his regulars (Ellen Degeneres' mom(!) at left), newbies and visiting personal trainers in town for the IDEA Conference, was an hour of intense aerobic dance, Richard Simmons style, plus 25 minutes of upper body work with hand weights and 5 minutes of abs.

Richard was literally screaming (in joy and motivation), a whirling dervish of energy, leading us in circles, pushing us in two big packs across the gym floor and having us hold hands as we lunged across the floor.

In the big circle, Richard stood in the middle, coaxing us to join him in leading the class, one and two at a time. Kenlie's aunt and I joined Richard, and when Richard points his finger at you, you step up your game and bring it.

Richard with us Ninety minutes later, we were all drenched with sweat, smiling and spent. Afterward, he posed for photos (that's my husband and I with Richard at right), hugged and kissed his fans and signed T-shirts (how can you not buy an "I Sweat With Richard" shirt?).

In the span of a week, I've had the opportunity to workout in person with Bob Harper and Richard Simmons -- could that be better than any cupcake?

After Kenlie's little "media moment," the first thing she did was fly to LA to workout with Richard. I can see why she wanted to return -- working out with Richard Simmons is a powerful experience.

Want to join a summer challenge?

I-Heart-Summer-SlimDown2 Just got some information on Everyday Health's “I Heart Summer Challenge,” a 2-week plan that begins Monday, Aug. 15.

It offers exercise and healthy eating tips through Social Workout, which has a phone app to keep track of your results.

Find out more info at