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Drop your pants and let's get physical.

That's right. Take it all off - at the gym.

It's dubbed cardio striptease, and it's the latest in fashionless fitness. Think Shakira meets Richard Simmons.

The buff workout was among the free classes offered recently at the fourth annual Paul Mitchell Miami Beach Fitness Festival.

"Touch your bodies and be proud of what you've got," instructor Sean Blay of Crunch Gym told the chorus line of boa-clad women who resembled Vegas showgirls in tennis shoes.

Once a week, Blay teaches cardio striptease at Crunch with sidekick Tania Amthor. The pair did some extensive research before choreographing the class.

"We rented the movie 'Striptease' and watched a lot of hip-hop videos," Amthor said.

What they came up with:

The thigh glide - in, out and up.

The caress and roll - butt to bust.

The hip flip - to and fro.

"Get rid of those ponytails because you're going to have to whip your hair. Pull up your shirt, slide on the gloves and do the sexy head roll. Come on, grind it girls," Blay told his students, a mix of newcomers and Crunch cardio striptease regulars. It was not that difficult to tell them apart - the seasoned strippers buy their gym clothes at Victoria's Secret.

The all-ladies group, with the exception of one gent, slipped off their tanks and swung them in the air lasso-style.

It made for quite the spectator sport.

"We're trying to promote self-esteem," Blay said. "People become more comfortable with their bodies and at the same time are getting toned."

Shy? Worry not.

"If you don't want to take off your clothes, you don't have to," Blay said. "But we try to get them down to their Speedos or bikinis."

But don't get the wrong idea. "It's not sleazy, it's sensual," said Patti Guadagno of southwest Miami, who started the cardio striptease workout a few weeks ago. "I go to clubs now and I have more confidence dancing. I never knew I could move like that."

If disrobing in the name of exercise is not for you, the event had kiteboarding, soccer, the Miami Dolphins quarterback toss, martial arts, boxing, yoga and the Fitness Challenge.

The challenge: half a mile on a treadmill, 250 steps on the NordiTrack, 10 push-ups, bike a mile, 20 sit-ups, 50 repetitions with a jump rope, 15 bench jumps and a run through an obstacle course - six times. The record to beat: seven minutes, 21 seconds.

"It's not for wimps," said a sweat-soaked Alex Rodriguez of West Miami.

Rodriguez's time: 10 minutes, 30 seconds.

There was even a chance to meet muscle man Darrem Charles. The 1998 Universe world champion signed autographs and answered questions for fans.

Most often asked: How many times a week do I have to go to the gym to look like you?

The bad news: "A lot of it is genetic," Charles said.

But wait, there's hope, he said. "Hard work, consistency and persistence does pay off."

Among the other competitions was the Viking Challenge. In plain English: the keg toss.

The United States was up against Iceland in the competition, which continues today.

How does it work? Simple, really. Take a 35-pound keg and chuck it over a bar more than a dozen feet up in the air.

It wasn't a problem for America's own Gary Mitchell, who donned a Big Bird-yellow shirt declaring "Size Matters."

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