6 Simple Ways to Save Money on Group Workouts in Philly

Staying on top of your fitness game doesn't have to cost you an arm and a leg — here's proof.

City Fit Girls on a group run  in Philly | Photo courtesy Kiera Smalls

City Fit Girls on a group run in Philly | Photo courtesy Kiera Smalls

The excuse for not working out often looks the excuse for not eating well: “It’s just so expensive!” But let’s face facts: Yes, group workouts can be expensive (after all, a SoulCycle or Solidcore class will run you around the cost of three Sweetgreen salads — with avocado!). But while boutique group fitness classes certainly have their perks — candlelight! A workout more intense than one you’d ever get on your own! Fancy orange water to rehydrate with! — getting moving with other fitness enthusiasts doesn’t need to be a pricey activity. And we’ve got proof.

Below, six simple tips to help you stay on top of your group-fitness game in Philly without crying every time you look at your bank statement, so that when you do treat yourself to a killer SoulCycle class (they’re opening in Center City very soon, after all), you feel nothing but great about it.

1. Pay attention to your local fitness store’s events calendar.
The fitness outposts in our fair city are wonderful for many a reason, but one of the biggest benefits to having some great fitness retailers around town — from Philadelphia Runner to Lululemon to Athleta — is the slew of community events they host, many of which won’t cost you a dime.

Philadelphia Runner has a handy calendar here where you’ll find tons of group runs to join in on, from trail runs to track workouts; Lululemon is known for teaming up with local yoga studios to host monthly community classes; Athleta locations are big on hosting in-store fitness classes; Lululemon’s new concept store in Fishtown has been putting on community events — from yoga to meditation to crafts-making — on the regular; Bryn Mawr Running Company hosts weekly groups runs; Conshohocken’s REI hosts tons of free outdoorsy informational events. Seriously, start paying attention.

2. Become an early riser.
Two words for you: November Project. The Philly tribe for this free grassroots fitness group — open to anyone and everyone looking to move more (and dogs!) — meets twice weekly, rain, shine or snow, for free early-morning workouts. Make hitting these workouts a habit, and you’re bound to step up your fitness game — for free.99! (Psst: Wondering how one wakes up before sunrise to work out? We’ve got those answers — straight from the mouths of November Project devotees — for you here.)

3. Join a running group (or two!).
Ah, running groups. First off, joining a running group (many are free) will keep you accountable week after week. And on top of that, you’ll make friends with folks who are just as interested in staying on top of their fitness game as you are. We’ve got a very long list of running groups for you to choose from here, but some of our favorites include City Fit Girls (ladies only — sorry, dudes), Chasing Trail (helloooo, weekends spent in the Wissahickon) and all the Beer Runners — Fishtown, Manayunk, Torresdale — because what better incentive to run than beer?

4. Don’t count out your favorite eateries for fitness activities.
Everyone is getting in on the fitness game these days, and that includes eateries: Honeygrow recently launched their fitness arm HgAthletics, which hosts pop-up fitness events, some free, all over town, from yoga to group hikes to run clubs (with discounts on noodles afterwards!). And Shake Shack has their Shack Track and Field group which hosts free monthly runs to — you guessed it! — Shake Shack, ending with a free drink on them. Yes, please.

5. Join local Facebook groups that align with your fitness interests.
Sure, Facebook can be the worst in that it’s full of old high school acquaintances you’d rather forget about — but it’s also full of people who are interested in the same things you are, whether that’s running (hello, Run215 and iRunTheHill), biking (lookin’ at you, Women Bike PHL) or refueling post-workout with vegan eats, there’s a group of people on the interwebs willing to chat with you about it. And oftentimes, folks in these groups end up organizing events real-life events, like for-fun group rides and runs.

6. Bookmark our weekly workouts. 
Not to toot our own horn or anything, but many of our Be Well Workouts of the Week make working out sans instructor (i.e. for free) super easy. So bookmark this page, and next time you’re contemplating how you can get your sweat on without sweating about shelling out tons of dough, grab a couple of friends and give it a visit. And BOOM: You’ve created your own group workout.

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