On November 16th, 2014, we released an article on The Sweat Life about “banning” within the fitness industry, and why I felt it was such a detrimental practice. You can take a look back at the article HERE, but in case you are not familiar with the term “banning,” it refers to banning an instructor who works at another fitness studio from taking class at your own studio.
In an industry, which, at the end of the day has a strong and common goal of simply helping people get healthier, such competitive practices feel not only unnecessary, but completely out of place, and, in my opinion, wrong.
The article gained such a widespread and strong reaction that I realized the issue was much larger than even I had appreciated. I quickly decided that instead of just being a whistle blower, I wanted to actually do something about it. I wanted to come up with a way to “force” the industry to work together, stop fearing the implications of their workouts being shared with other studios, and start appreciating and supporting the wonderful work their esteemed colleagues were also creating. Moreover, what if I could create a program that accomplished all of this AND supported a great cause? And thus, Sweat It Forward was born!
Sweat It Forward is a rolling challenge between New York City’s top fitness studios, sponsored by Reebok, Essentia Water, and benefiting Stand Up To Cancer, a charitable program of the Entertainment Industry Foundation. If you head over to our FITNESS section, I spell out the details of how the challenge is going to work!
In short, we are starting Sweat It Forward at The Bari Studio, who has challenged the trainers of Barry’s Bootcamp to come try their workout. So, on March 18th, the Barry’s team will head to Bari to go bounce it out in Tribeca. Yes, this means you will be seeing the likes of Joey Gonzalez, Noah Neiman, and Patrick Frost dancing on trampolines! In turn, Barry’s must “sweat it forward” and challenge another studio to come try THEIR workout… and so on.
Donations from each studio, as well as from trainers and readers alike will all go to support the incredible campaign, Stand Up To Cancer. I saw Stand Up To Cancer as the immediate perfect fit for this program, and am honored they will be working with us to support this meaningful program for our industry. Stand Up To Cancer has facilitated collaboration within the cancer research community, encouraging experts to work together to achieve their common goal — to find a cure for cancer. We must join them and collaborate together to help make a difference in the fight against this disease.
This program is so deeply meaningful to me on so many levels. First and foremost, as you well know by now, I lost my own mother, Vivian Teich, to ovarian cancer just a few short weeks ago, and, for me, every moment and every effort of this program will be in her honor.
Next, it is in this moment that I have never been prouder to be part of such an incredible community. While this program was sparked by a rather negative practice in the fitness community, that small bit of negativity is far outweighed by the love, support, dedication, and generosity I am able to witness through this community on a daily basis. There may be no greater testament to this than the response to my initial email proposing this idea to over 30 studio owners in December. Within a day, I had received an enthusiastic “YES!” across the board, which proved, banning or not, this community will always band together at the end of the day.
Lastly, THIS IS GOING TO BE SO MUCH FUN! I can’t wait to share all we have in store for you to see and be a part of, and we hope you, too, will Sweat It Forward along with us!
For now, we offer you a week of content filled with people and companies who are already Sweating it Forward. (Definition: Using health and fitness as a way to give back.) CNN Hero and former athletic trainer Ned Norton is sweating it forward with his Warriors on Wheels modified workouts for people with disabilities; Thrive Market is sweating it forward by donating a free membership to a family in-need for every paid membership to their healthy food market; Soulcycle instructor Jenny Gaither is sweating it forward helping teen girls embrace their body image with her Movemeant Foundation; and New York Health and Racquet Club is sweating it forward raising scholarship funds for college students at the Armory Track.
So stay tuned, get ready for some serious fun, and get ready to SWEAT IT FORWARD!
In the meantime, there is a donation button below if you would like to support Sweat it Forward and Stand Up To Cancer today. We thank you in advance from the bottom of our hearts, from me, from everyone on The Sweat Life team, for donating and for supporting us in this important cause.
Until next week,
Founder, CEO, and Host
The Sweat Life