By Aly Teich
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, 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, kicking off on Wednesday, March 18th, between New York City’s top fitness studios sponsored by Reebok, Essentia Water, and benefiting Stand Up To Cancer. Here is how it will all work:
The challenge will begin at The Bari Studio, who volunteered to go first, and challenged Barry’s Bootcamp to come try their workout. So, on March 18th, the trainers of Barry’s Bootcamp will be heading to The Bari Studio to get their bounce on with Bari’s famous trampolines! In turn, Barry’s Bootcamp will then “Sweat it Forward” and challenge the next studio to come try the Barry’s workout. Then THAT studio will “Sweat it Forward” and challenge the next studio up… and so on. The events will take place once a week for as long as we have studios to challenge, and as you New Yorkers know - this means the challenge could go on for at least six months!
Studios will be announcing their nominations each week over social media after they have completed their challenge. While it’s up to the studios to choose who they want to challenge to come try their method, we encourage you to write in to firstname.lastname@example.org and suggest match-ups you’d love to see! We will pass all suggestions onto the studios, or you can comment on social media @sweatlife_nyc so they can see themselves!
As stated earlier, Sweat it Forward will benefit Stand Up To Cancer (SU2C), a charitable program of the Entertainment Industry Foundation, with donations from studios and trainers going directly to support their innovative cancer research programs. We ask for your support in our effort as well. You can donate directly through our Sweat It Forward page on the SU2C site HERE. Please know that every dollar counts. After five years of watching my beautiful mother suffer through, battle against, and eventually lose her life to cancer — there is not a day too soon when we can finally find a cure. It is in her honor, and in honor of all of our loved ones who have been touched by or lost to cancer, we ask for your support! You can also learn more about Stand Up To Cancer HERE.
We are thrilled to be working alongside our two amazing sponsors: Reebok and Essentia Water. They have already gone above and beyond a typical sponsorship, and become true partners. Look out next week when we tell more of the story behind these amazing brands!
So, are you ready to see your favorite instructors, who always push you out of your comfort zone, finally be pushed out of theirs? The thought alone of Alonzo Wilson from Tone House potentially taking a barre class just makes me giddy.
Stay tuned on social media and at sweatlifenyc.com/sweatitforward where we will be sharing all the latest and greatest of the program — and PLENTY of photos!
Founder and Host of The Sweat Life
Aly is a native New Yorker who grew up on the Upper West Side of Manhattan. She left Manhattan for Madison, Wisconsin to become a proud Badger for four years, and since then has lived on both coasts, traveled around the world…twice, and found herself right back here in The Big Apple.
Aly has always been an active kid, and now grownup (although she still acts like a kid.) She danced her way through the School of American Ballet until her teens, competed on horseback at a pre-Olympic level, lettered in three varsity high school sports, and completed three marathons and numerous triathlons. She’s also an avid skier, golfer, aspiring surfer, and can do a mean belly flop.
Following a ten-year career in television and media — including the Late Show with David Letterman, CBS Television, Tribeca Film, and Conde Nast — Aly switched her focus to health and wellness five years ago when her mother was diagnosed with stage IV ovarian cancer. Trading in her Late Show with Letterman badge for Nikes, Aly made it her goal to help people live healthier lives. In the fall of 2013, she decided to bring all of her experience and passion to one place, The Sweat Life.