Let's face it, nobody finishes a pub crawl or a weekend at Coachella and thinks about: Man, I'm feeling so good with my health and fitness goals now. Super important (it's called "balance," people), but if you're like me and would rather dedicate your weekend to fitness and self-care, the latest social trend could be for you.
Yes, fitness festivals are one thing.
More and more 20-year-olds attend festivals or rallies where the headliners are celebrity trainers instead of pop stars, the lineups are training instead of bands, and not green juice instead of beer.
Last year I was the Propel Co: Labs Festival, the SweatCon Rally, PoPSugar Playground, Nicole Mejia's Women Empowered Tour and Limitless: Powered by Fitplan. Many of these events take place in different cities, including Miami, Chicago, LA, New York, Boston, San Francisco and San Diego.
What I've learned from my experience is this: Not all fitness festivals are created the same, but they can be very fun – you know if a full-time wellness shock is your style. Allow me to break down everything you need to know before you attend your first full-day fitness event.
Is this just a full day of training?
Yes and no. There are usually more than one training scheduled for the day, and depending on the event, the workouts can last from 30 minutes to a full hour. They can spread throughout the day, or they can be a rally of sweaty, challenging classes. There may be other wellness activities such as guided meditations, motivational talks, massages, facials and hair braiding (do not roll your eyes if you have never braided someone else's hair – it's magical), even if you do not When you train, you are embedded in everything that has to do with health.
Can I choose my workouts?
At some events, you have your day set for you and give you a schedule. When I went to SweatCon, I had to choose three fitness classes I wanted to attend. After that was decided, I got a schedule that told me where to go when and I could not deviate from my schedule. At Propel, I have selected my training courses, but I also had the freedom to change when I arrived.
Whatever the structure is, if you have an injury or unhappy a certain type of workout make sure that you sign up for a day, you can complete safely and happily. It should be fun!
Oh, it's … fun?
Suppose this is your cup of tea, most of the time it will feel like a big party. And do not forget to go out at night. If you sign up for one of these events, you should prepare to get started in the morning. You can expect to meet with like-minded people, sample free samples of healthy snacks, and go with some kind of prey. I'm definitely the girl who spends any spare time exploring the area, like a hawk for free rehearsals or other activities that I might want to return to after the exercises are over – I need to get the most out of your money, you know?
And Speaking of Bucks:
These events are not cheap, but if they are well structured and fun, they can definitely be worth the money. I spent between $ 50 and $ 100 on festivals and prices vary from city to city. But I see it this way: boutique fitness classes usually cost me between $ 35 and $ 40 (I have to love New York!) And if I'm allowed to attend an event where I take two or more lessons and go with a loot I think it's definitely worth the money.
In addition, some events have special guests that make it even more epic – Propel had Ludacris, IconaPop and Daya live on stage during this year's workouts, and PopSugars Festival included talks with Mindy Kaling and Kate Hudson.
That sounds like it could be a super clique …
Well. I've definitely noticed that some of the people who participate in such things are slightly more … intense . At larger events, there could be hundreds to thousands of people. So I would suggest bringing a friend so you do not feel overwhelmed. Apart from that, I also found some new friends on the way! That's why, at some events, you worked with the same group of people all day long – our first training at SweatCon was so intense that the entire group talked about what the instructor had been through.
What are the workouts like?
If you're at the top of your fit game, you can definitely expect to be challenged like a normal class. But if you're new to the fitness scene, you might feel a little lost. Since the training sessions are taught to a lot more people than a regular course, the instructors do not necessarily have the time to stop the movements or get around and correct the shape of the people. I also learned that trainers had to change the on-site training because things were disorganized or people could not hear instructions.
What about the food?
Do not go to these events and expect the best meals from you life. While you can try many trendy, healthy snacks, I have rarely eaten well. Mostly the actual meals are not free (at Propel and PopSugar I spent nearly $ 20 for lunch at each event), and the portions are quite small (ugh).
The only event I did not have to pay for food was SweatCon – they offered salads and wraps before we went to our training marathon. I was honestly very grateful for that, though I wish we had eaten after we had worked (because salad burps).
Would you like to join?
Then grab a buddy and plan your first festival trip! I've learned about many of these events by following celebrity trainers and gyms around New York on Instagram and Facebook. As soon as I hear about an upcoming event, I usually sign up for email notifications to stay up to date. And sure fitness festivals are high on the list of Most Millennial Things Ever. But if you're a total workout junkie like me, you might end up having the time of your life.
Alexa Pipia is Social Media Editor in New York City and received her Masters degree from the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism. If she does not write, she can improve her boxing technique or run a race. Follow her on Twitter or on Instagram.