Meet Philly’s New Free Fitness Group: The Liberators 

The group, open to anyone and everyone looking to get a free workout in, meets on Monday evenings. 

The Liberators | Photo via Leanne Weiner

The Liberators | Photo via Leanne Weiner

If you can never, ever seem to get yourself up to make it to the November Project’s awesome twice-weekly free workouts (they go down at 6:25 a.m., so we understand), here’s a free fitness group that may work with your sleep schedule: They call themselves The Liberators.

The group was actually started by a November Project devotee, Leanne Weiner. She and another November Project friend were on the hunt for ways to cross train on their November Project off-days. They started working out together at a park last summer, with Weiner, a former personal trainer, designing the workouts. Their little workout crew grew to around eight folks each week, but then had to stop meeting due to Weiner’s work schedule. But then, this summer, the stars aligned and the group started meeting again at University City’s Highline Park every Monday at 7:30 p.m.

Now, The Liberators are around 20 to 25 strong (har har) each week, with Weiner often leading themed workouts. Think: Liberators Is the New Black, an Orange Is the New Black prison-inspired workout made up of calisthenic exercises that could be done in a small space. Next week’s theme? The Olympics, of course.

The all-levels sweat sessions usually kick off with a warm-up followed by an interval or circuit-based workout. The workouts are primarily made up of bodyweight exercises, but Weiner says they also use the trestle across the field to hang TRX suspension trainers from, and she managed to snag some old tires that were going to be scrapped that they sometimes work in, too. And folks who come to the workouts, many fellow November Project-goers, are also usually game for chipping in by bringing medicine balls and the like when needed.

So, why the name The Liberators? Well, the name stemmed from a dirty joke (if you’ve seen Master of None, you may catch on), and the group went with it, because honestly, Weiner says, they didn’t totally expect the group to turn into a thing. But now, she says, “I associate it with liberating yourself from the gym and liberating yourself from having to pay for fitness.” Can we get a hallelujah?

Weiner plans on continuing leading The Liberators workouts as long as she’s in Philly, and anyone is welcome to join in. She assures us that she always offers plenty of modifications for each exercise, so the workouts truly are for all levels of folks. If you want in on the free fun, just make sure join The Liberators’ Facebook group and RSVP to the Facebook events when you’re planning on attending the workout (Weiner creates a new event page for each workout) so she has a head count. Happy free sweating, people!

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