When you hear the words "social workout" you probably think "group fitness". But I'm going to make you think something entirely different by the time you finish reading this article.
Social workouts are on the rise and extremely popular among women. They go beyond group fitness. They are experiential events where people actually socialize, network, exchange goods/information and get inspired. In many cases, the workout is only a small part of the bigger social workout picture. Why is this important? Because women are redefining what it means to live a healthy lifestyle.
A happy, healthy life is a balancing act of exercise, work, love, family, friendship, passion, inspiration, travel, food, drink and a million other things. Even shopping! So why not bring these things together especially when it comes to fitness? The Girls' Night Out New Balance (NBGNO) events that I host in New York City aim to ahieve this...and I think we do a pretty good job!
NBGNO events literally fill up in just a matter of days (3 days to be exact). It's unbelievable how popular these events are...but then again, it's not. Social workouts have SO MUCH to offer. Our last NBGNO event earlier this month featured a 1-hour workout with City Row, a boutique rowing studio in NYC with classes that start at $32. For all the women who signed up for the event, the workout was completely FREE!
From the minute Girls Night Out parties start, the ambiance is welcoming and fun. We have a DJ spinning music that gets everyone in the mood to workout and socialize. We provide energy bars, hydration and coaches on hand to make sure every woman's experience is a safe, guided and confident one.
Social workouts should take the edge off and make you look forward to exercising with friends. That's why we encourage women to bring their friends and invite newcomers. It's a chance to LET GO and be inclusive unlike many group fitness scenarios in gyms where members are clique-y and don't bother smiling at people they don't know.
Gone are the days of spot saving. I remember I once went to a kickboxing class at my gym only to be told by another member that I couldn't stand where I had planted myself in the studio because she had saved that unmarked spot on the floor for her friend that hadn't arrived yet. The "friend" never ended up coming but the gaping space on the floor remained between us throughout the class. How could I even go near it after she had so adamantly claimed it? This kind of stuff doesn't fly in the social workout world. It's not cool to be uncool. We're all in this together and want to be friends.
Ashley Petretti and Melodie Fratt (who became friends via Instagram through a shared love of fitness) are regulars at Girls' Night Out parties. They have an arsenal of fit girlfriends they've met from attending all kinds of fitness events. Ashley even started offering her own fitness meetups through her blog to bring her friends together on weekends so they could both hang out and train for the upcoming New York marathon.
Aside from making new friends and finding workout buddies, the women who attend NBGNO events get to try and work out in New Balance's latest shoe models (with no commitment to purchase). They get special event discounts on everything in the store and always leave with a gift bag.
Our last swag bag was a waterproof makeup bag that had full-size skincare products from Bliss and a free class voucher to City Row. (Between you and me, that's a value of over $85! Uhhh, I'd sign up for the next event if I were you...unless you don't like free stuff.)
Social workout events usually last for 2 hours or longer because there's a lot going on...kind of like a fair. For the City Row workout, the instructors really gave the women a full taste of what the workout has to offer.
The women loved it because for most of them it was something new...meaning it kicked their butts. I can assure you every woman went home feeling like they got a hard workout. These ladies below were FLYING!
If you've never tried City Row before you should know that the workout is a full body workout, not just arms. To demonstrate that, the City Row instructors had half the group on the rowers while the other half did cardio drills and body weight training exercises until it was time to switch. The only way for me to explain how fast this was all happening is for you to WATCH THIS!
Post-workout at social fitness events, there's always time for selfies and social media. While this might annoy some people, I find it really empowering when fitness lovers post their physical achievements. I happily bestow fitness bragging rights on anyone and everyone!
The best social workout events incorporate something restorative. Massage is the key word here. We had Bliss Spa massage therapists "on hand" to give mini therapeutic treatments to all the women who survived the City Row workout. They also went home with discount cards for Bliss. That's something you don't walk out of a group fitness class with ;)
Taking care of yourself and loving your body is a huge part of fitness. Maybe even the biggest part. At social workouts you're always adding a new piece to the puzzle you're constantly working on that is your health. As a serial marathon runner, I was able to share my best tips with all the women who were in training for the big race in November. I will even be there to cheer them on near the finish line.
I've personally learned so much about different fitness techniques from hosting Girls' Night Out events as we've featured many workouts and amazing trainers. I've also learned about all the other activities and groups the women who come to NBGNO events are a part of. For instance, I was psyched to find out about Black Girls Run and Latinas in Motion. Now I know where to find my homegirls that like to run!
For more pictures from recent Girls' Night Out events, check out my NBGNO Pinterest Board which I'm constantly updating. Or better yet, join us for the next event happening on October 2nd, 2014 at 6.30PM.
It's going to be a special event in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness month and New Balance's ongoing support of the Susan G. Komen foundation. I'll be leading a Pink Laces run and we have surprise celebrity guest attending. You can SIGN UP HERE but if the reservation link isn't live yet contact me with your info and I'll make sure to save you a spot.
Don't forget to wear PINK!