Photo: ride North End
If you prefer green juice over Budweiser, you'll love the latest fitness trend: "sweat crawls"—fitness events that play on the idea of a traditional bar crawl. But instead of drinking your way through multiple bars, you sweat it out at different boutique fitness studios in your city, working through abbreviated back-to-back fitness classes.
Some events—like one in Boston this weekend put on by Sweat Concierge, a company that provides studio and class reviews for fitness classes in New York and Boston—also include salad bars, cold-pressed juices, and a braid and nail bar. So you can enjoy a bit of pampering after sweating it out in three 30-minute classes. You can also choose your preference of studios, with a long list of options including CorePower Yoga, Flywheel, and TITLE Boxing Club.
Sweat Concierge's Beantown crawl has grown a ton, too, from just 30 participants in its first year to being sold out with 450 people, says Tori Scott, the company's founder. "Community is at the core of group fitness and it's one of the primary reasons we have seen a huge spike in the boutique fitness scene," she says. "Sweat Crawl events give that community another excuse to get sweaty in a fun, social setting."
Similar events are popping up all over the country, too. Reebok (which is sponsoring the Boston event) has also sponsored crawls between Chicago-area gyms; and Lululemon has hosted on-the-move fitness events in cities like Miami, too. Sweat Concierge is planning to launch their first Sweat Crawl in New York City in the spring, and hopes to expand to other major cities across the U.S.
For those who prefer out-of-the-studio sweat sessions, in the same vein, groups like Midnight Runners, a U.K.-based company that sets up evening runs (think a nightclub for runners with glow-in-the-dark props, backpacks blasting music, and fun fitness-y pit stops), just had their first U.S. event in Boston last weekend. The group plans to start weekly runs around the city and expand elsewhere across the country.
And while the idea of going from workout to workout (to workout) can seem daunting, you likely don't have to worry about overdoing it, notes Michele Olson, Ph.D., an adjunct professor of sports science at Huntingdon College in Montgomery, Alabama—since these crawls are all about switching up what you're doing (e.g., spin then barre then yoga).
"This is the ultimate form of combination training where you mix exercise modalities to get cardio, muscle work, and mind-body activity," says Olson. "Usually, this type of format prevents injuries because you are not overdoing one style of exercise."
Just try to reset in between sessions. "If you become too tired and your technique is not on par, this is when things can go wrong," she notes. Her suggestion: After each workout, grab a water, towel off a bit, and then engage your best form throughout successive workouts. Do that and the results should be positive (plus, no hangover anywhere in sight).