Plyometric playtime

Some education blowhards maintain that our nation's focus on "play" leads to our children falling behind, meaning they've clearly never heard of Dr. Dodgeball. For a training program that'll recall your most deeply recessed memories, check out The Lab.

Just launched by a former Fayetteville State O-lineman who spent eight years in the Navy rehabbing the wounded, The Lab's an unpredictable, circuit-based training program designed to simulate youthful playtime in order to get your bod back in natural, child-like balance, though not teen-like balance, as that'd consist of just gripping a Shake Weight, constantly. Working with a team of ex/current MMA fighters, footballers, and hoopstars, the regimen'll get you feeling (ski)kiddish with nostalgia-/pain-inducing exercises like swinging across zig-zagging monkey bars hanging from chains, playing double dutch with 25 pound ropes, and using a rope ladder to play heart rate-upping hopscotch, all of which'll be enough to get you ready to be outlined on the ground in chalk. Occasionally, things'll get excruciatingly playful with an "obstacle course" set up on their inclined roof (accessed via running up eight floors with an obstacle at each landing), which'll include "kick your ass", stationed activities like tethered incline sprints, kickboxing, and games of free-for-all "towel steal", which hopefully aren't played under a full moon.

On the whim of the trainers, you'll periodically hit the city to charge natural obstacles during parking garage-climbs and street-side shuttle runs, taking advantage of "any place to stop and play" -- a strategy that's clearly worked for our country, as it's not like China invented Foursquare.