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Bringing Recess Back to Fitness

Throwback Fitness brings recess back to fitness.

Throwback Fitness brings recess back to fitness.Remember the days of running around on the soccer field, playing tag, or capture the flag with your friends? You weren’t trying to be active and healthy, you were just having fun playing.

As an adult, working out can seem like a chore. Spending hours on the treadmill or elliptical, struggling to motivate yourself, can feel like a drag. Now, Brian Gallagher and Ryan Wilke are bringing recess back to your fitness routine with their unique gym concept.

Gallagher and Wilke met while working in the finance industry. “We would workout together and found that when we did, we were competing against one another and pushing one another,” said Gallagher. “We were doing fun, competitive workouts and we got better results than going to the gym and doing your normal body-building type plan.”

After doing research, the duo realized their concept had a place in the New York City fitness market. No other gym or fitness studio offered an engaging, competitive workout that incorporated teamwork. “There were group fitness classes, but they were still individualized,” explained Gallagher. “In a [cycling] workout, there could be 40 to 50 people in the room with you, but you are still working out on your own. You can get through an entire one-hour session without interacting with anyone. We didn’t find a place that did what we wanted to do, so we decided to create it ourselves.”

The result: Throwback Fitness. Each 45-minute class is broken into four parts: an interactive warm-up, phys ed, recess and a cool down. During the pays ed section participants will partner up and rotate between a rowing machine and an off-the-rower circuit. “It is a competition within the class,” said Gallagher. “We have the teams of two competing against one another to see who can row the farthest. We find that the competition really motivates people to give it their all so they can win.”

Next comes recess, which incorporates a game component into the workout. Gallagher and Wilke model the games off those played on the playground: dodge ball, tag, capture the flag, etc. “There is a school-yard style atmosphere,” explained Gallagher. “Our concept is trying to take people back to their childhood, the old-style games they would have played. We like to think that we can get people to leave covered in sweat with a smile on their face.”

So what can your club learn from the Throwback Fitness model? Offering a fun, engaging workout that adds a teamwork component can enhance your member’s workouts. Gallagher suggests setting up activities or exercises that involve some type of competition.

“Have people interact. It can get mundane if you are all in a group doing the same thing and it is similar each time you do it,” said Gallagher. “People that attend classes usually have a little more outgoing personality and want to interact. If you provide a team element on top of that, we have found that it can help push people even further than they are used to. Make it a non-intimidating atmosphere where people feel welcomed and they can have fun.”


By Emily Harbourne

Rachel Zabonick-Chonko

Rachel Zabonick-Chonko is the editor-in-chief of Club Solutions Magazine. She can be reached at rachel@peakemedia.com.

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