President Barack Obama was caught on camera pumping iron at a hotel gym during his trip overseas.
Obama, wearing a dark track suit, white T-shirt, and headphones, lunged, lifted dumbbells, and pumped up his heart rate on the elliptical at a Warsaw Marriott Hotel in Poland. At one point, the president stopped his routine to yawn before starting a new rep.
Secret Service agents told The Hill that he was safe, despite fellow gym users capturing him in photographs and on video. They compared it to a dining experience when other customers ask to take a picture with him.
But Heather Colanero, a fitness professional based in Hoboken, N.J., thought the video was an invasion of the president’s privacy. She believes Obama probably wanted to avoid public scrutiny.
“I felt bad, but he should have a personal trainer. I feel like he should have someone with him to tell him what to do. He wasn’t very structured,” she told msnbc.
Obama’s “simple movement” routine looked “OK” to Colanero, but she said his lunges scared her. Instead of spending 45 minutes to an hour at the gym, he should work with a personal trainer for 30-minute, high intense workouts that include jumping jacks, quick push-ups, high-knees exercises, and body weight reps, she said.
“He should be yawning because he should be tired, but he really wasn’t into it,” she said. “[But] good for him for making time. It’s kind of endearing because it lets us see how normal and real he is.”
Colanero once participated in a fitness class with Natalie Morales, news anchor for NBC’s “TODAY Show.” But she said she wouldn’t film the president if she saw him working out. Rather, she would offer him exercise tips and advice.
Patience Sanusi, a personal trainer at Equinox in New York City, offered her assistance to the president “so he can be George Bush-ready in case someone throws a shoe,” she told msnbc. She was impressed at his efforts to visit the gym, but noted that he needs guidance in strength, balance, control, and form. And to reduce the weight of the dumbbells, which she said appeared in the video to measure between 7.5 and 10 pounds.
“It doesn’t look as if he has a routine. To me, it just appears that he wanted a workout and went in there and did the best he could,” she said.
Obama, 52, seems to focus more on his passion for basketball than for visiting the gym. He is a former high school basketball player and avid fan of the sport. He has been photographed playing pickup games with athletes from the NBA’s Washington Wizards and the women’s University of Connecticut basketball team.
Obama visited the capital of Poland earlier this week to confirm America’s commitment to the security of the country and its allies. After he met with Ukraine’s President-elect Petro Poroshenko, Obama called on world leaders to help the country defy threats from Russia. Both leaders were in Warsaw to celebrate the 25th anniversary of Freedom Day, which commemorates free elections in Poland. Poroshenko will be sworn into office this weekend.
Obama’s four-day European itinerary also included stops in Belgium and France for G7 meetings.