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Desert Companion

Sweat the technique: Fitness secrets from the pros

Your fellow Las Vegans - from police to performers to passionate outdoorsmen - share their secrets to staying in shape

Forget the exercise vids and pricey equipment. Want to eat better and get in shape? Take some advice from your friends and neighbors - your fellow Las Vegans. Whether they're performers, police or outdoor pioneers, they've got just what you need: straight talk, plain advice and a dose of positive thinking.

Sasha LarkinSasha Larkin
Sergeant, Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department; former dancer in "Enter the Night" at the Stardust

The body: "Running is my favorite thing to do. Aside from that, I train in the gym two to three days a week...I meditate every day and do a physical yoga practice five days a week." (Sasha had her first baby in July.)

The fuel: "I don't eat any red meat or pork, a little organic chicken and fish, and a lot of fruits and vegetables. I'm really lucky to be able to eat all the whole grains."

The attitude: "As a dancer, I had to come to the realization I was never going to be 5' 10", 110 pounds. I'm just not built that way. But I could be 5'8", 140 pounds and solid."

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Emmanuel KizayilawokoEmmanuel Kizayilawoko
Acrobat in Cirque du Soleil's "KA" house troupe, MGM Grand

The body: "Aside from work, I do parcours (French for 'free running'). I use what I have around me - like jumping from one obstacle to another, or jumping over things...I also do yoga twice a week, because I think, as a performer, it's necessary to be flexible."

The fuel: "I'm trying not to eat fast food at all...In the afternoon, I don't really eat, because we have training, so I keep my energy up by eating nutrition bars, bananas, apples."

The attitude: "Eat what you love, but minimize things like sugar. Keep your cardio up, because that will help you get thinner. You're your only obstacle. If you keep a good mindset, you'll definitely get to your goal."

Tara ReidTara Reid
Irish Dancer for the band Sin e Ri Ra at New York-New York hotel-casino

The body: "Krav Maga has been a very interesting exercise choice. It kicks your butt, and you get addicted to it...Someone might look at me and think I'm an easy target, but I could probably take them."

The fuel: "I try to eat a lot of small meals, four to five times a day, with more fruits and vegetables than anything else, and drink plenty of water. I'm a big red meat eater, so I have to watch that."

The attitude: "For me, going to the gym and working out on my own just doesn't work. You should move, but you should also have fun and meet people."

Jaymes VaughanJaymes Vaughan
Singer, "Show in the Sky" at Rio All Suite Hotel & Casino; dancer, Chippendales

The body: "I do an hour and a half of weight training four to five times a week at the gym, two body parts per day. So, say it's an arm day; I'll do triceps and biceps."

The fuel: "I take amino acids, all-natural vitamins, and I drink three protein shakes a day. I actually do carb and protein loading before I go to bed, so my body can use the fuel while I'm sleeping, and I don't wake up hungry."

The attitude: "You see the guy who's 80, working out, eating a banana and doing whatever he wants. Then there's the guy who didn't maintain his body, he's hunched over and using a walker. I wanna be the first guy."

Maythinee WashingtonMaythinee Washington
Lady Macbeth, "The Tragedy of Macbeth" by Insurgo Theater Movement

The body: "To warm up for Lady M, I do some Brahmeri. I assume different shapes and warm up my breath and my body through different kinds of buzzing (sounds). I also do calisthenics." (based on the Suzuki, Linklater and Slow Tempo techniques for stage).

The fuel: "I tend to eat more green and raw things. When I'm really in a crunch, I'll pick up a lot of salads from Trader Joe's. I do sometimes omit dairy."

The attitude: "It's important to have a sense of humor about the body...I don't know what I weigh. I'm proud of the things my body can do. Earlier this year, I was in 'Love's Labour's Lost,' and I had to pick up a guy."

Wendell BroussardWendell Broussard
Red Rock rock-climbing pioneer; craps dealer, Caesars Palace

The body: "I'm a skier, a climber, I used to run marathons. I've done everything. But at 70 years old, I'm mostly rock climbing and skiing now. I work nights, so I climb in the daytime."

The fuel: "I don't eat hamburgers or fast food. I actually cook for myself. I try to do steamed vegetables, fish and stuff like that instead of junk...For climbing, I'll eat a good breakfast, then take a can of tuna or Power Bar or some raw vegetables to hold me over."

The attitude: "Do something you enjoy, and don't do it (to the) extreme. Let your body tell you how far to go with it. The body will tell you everything you need to know."
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