Free Fitness in Philly All Summer Long

Philly is really blossoming lately, isn’t it? And I’m not just talking about the revolting trees that make me feel ill when I get a whiff of them. Nope, Philly has become a social butterfly’s dream, from street festivals to beer gardens to outdoor parties and al fresco dining, it’s clear that we’re all out of our cocoons.

Unfortunately, if I simply enjoyed every single one of these events willy-nilly, I could end up like a chubby butterfly who can’t get too far on her wings. Like our dear friend Heimlich, the star of A Bug’s Life.

Not getting too far on those wings, Heimlich.

Not getting too far on those wings, Heimlich.

Luckily, I’ve been squirreling away some information and compiling it into a list that’s perfect for anyone. ESPECIALLY:

  1. Folks who wanna save their hard earned dollars to spend on those super fun summer parties.
  2. Folks who wanna fit into their sexy summer swimsuits down the shore (or even just at North Shore).

I’ve been working on a Free Summer Fitness in Philly spreadsheet (that is definitely a work-in-progress) listing all the recurring summer workouts that you can join in for free (or, for a low, low, “pay what you can” cost) that hopefully can help all of you stay fit AND ball on a budget in your bitty bikini!!

Sure it’s a little run and yoga heavy…. but don’t we all wanna get sweaty and stretchy in the summer?

Weekday options are plentiful:

Click image for hyperlinked version

Click image for hyperlinked version

And, on the weekends, when you’re not playing dramatic games of beach volleyball in cut-off jorts and dog tags, you can check out a few of these:

Happily welcoming any more suggestions

Happily welcoming any more suggestions

Also, if you’d like to hit up a few workouts in the meantime, I’ve assembled a little pu pu platter of free introductory classes or trials at local gyms to investigate (I’m pretty sure most of them come with air conditioning, a bonus.)

Free Class and Trial Memberships

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That sauna at Weston is so clutch.

I invite y’all to share this list with your friends and family that’s trying to stay fit this summer, and welcome input from anyone that knows of run clubs, bootcamps, free intro classes, or anything of that nature. I’ll update the post if I hear anything from you. So, ya know, if you’d like to shoot me a suggestion or invite me to join your sweaty beach volleyball team, hit me up in the comments or Twitter!

See you on the sand, SUCKAS!

Every Iceman needs his Elsa, right?

Every Iceman needs his Elsa, right?

Rise and Grind: The November Project

As long as I can remember, I’ve been a morning person. Sure, I rely heavily on naps, but when it comes to being up with the sun, I’m all about it. That said, when my buddies began raving about this workout “thing” they did on the steps of Philly’s Art Museum, I was initially intrigued and then immediately lost all interest upon finding out the start time was 6:25 in the morning on a Wednesday. See, it doesn’t really feel like “morning” when the sun’s not up. Don’t tell that to the Project November folks!

But if old dogs can learn new tricks, I certainly could wake up at (UGH) 5:30 to see what the fuss was about. I hopped on my bike, scooted up to the Art Museum, and was shocked to find not only a healthy mass of people BUT a feeling of excitement in my heart for this crack-of-dawn sweat sesh.

Sun's not out. Guns still are.

Sun’s not out. Guns still are.

If you’ve never heard of the November Project, that’s probably because none of your friends are doing it. Because I can pretty much guarantee that, if they are, they’re talking about it. Probably all of the time. From their website:

November Project™ is a FREE fitness movement that was born in Boston as a way to stay in shape during cold New England months… Our members vary from Olympic medalists, professional athletes, marathoners, triathletes, current and former collegiate athletes all the way to complete fitness rookies and recent couch potatoes just looking to kickstart their healthy life choices. If you think that you’re not fit enough to join the group, stop thinking and come see what the fuss is all about.

So I did. Luckily, I wasn’t alone in this insanity, and managed to rope a few buddies in for the fun.

Brother and I, moments before we hit the steps running.

Brother and I, moments before we hit the steps running.

Part of the reason I was so excited to check out this November Project is because my friends that do it…. they’re like FANATICS. Seriously, I feel like the term “cult-like” has negative connotations but… you get it. They wear branded shirts, they call the entire group “The Tribe”, and there’s this genuine pride and love for the movement. That’s the kind of thing I love, so I couldn’t stay away forever.

After a little pump-up session with the group leaders, we did some a suicide run using the landings of the steps for “stops”. And the rest of the workout, I’ll let November Project Philly speak for themselves:

we threw a few decks at the bottom of the stairs, ran the stairs and flipped cards at the bottom.  Face cards required finding a buddy, running up the steps and squat jumping to the Art Museum door, Aces required finding a buddy and sprinting the loop, all other cards were a standard push-up/squat deck workout followed by running the steps.

HIT THE DECK!!

HIT THE DECK!!

Look at us go!

Look at us go!

And the view wasn’t too bad, either.

Oh, hey, there's my pal Susan!

Oh, hey, there’s my pal Susan!

It wasn’t easy. For this non-runner, running up and down steps, laps around the steps, and generally all running is…. less than ideal. But the energy was contagious and these fitness fanatics kept a smile on my face…. most of the time.

Photo Credit to the November Project blog!

Photo Credit to the November Project blog!

But then…. I felt great. I went into work sweaty and smiling, and though I didn’t rush back on Friday to join them again…. I kinda think I’ll be making a habit of setting that alarm for Wednesday mornings….

FIRST TIMERS!! WE DID IT!!

FIRST TIMERS!! WE DID IT!!

(Author’s note: Immediately after work, I rushed home and took a nap.)