Why attend a fitness pop-up?

Fitness pop-up session

A couple of days ago I happened across a fitness pop-up that just so happened to be up my street (both literally and figuratively!). The Hard Yard holds various fitness events across London with a twist – all the trainers have previously been in prison and the workouts that they devise are all bodyweight based and ones you can do in a limited space (ie: a prison cell!).

But this isn’t a post about the Hard Yard, although it did inspire it. This is one about fitness pop-up events and why you should (and perhaps shouldn’t) do them.

I love pop-ups. In fact, my CV lists pop-ups as one of my interests. They can be a great break from the norm and can help you discover new things. That’s pretty much the benefits of a fitness pop-up in a nutshell!

But don’t go! I’ll explain both of those points further…

A break from the norm

We’re creatures of habit, and it can be very tempting to settle into a schedule very quickly – especially when you’ve got a five-day-a-week fitness routine. That’s no bad thing. Persistence is what causes progress and having yourself a workout routine that works for you is a great way to ensure you exercise regularly.

However, our bodies are incredibly smart. Once you’ve done a workout routine several times, your body gets used to it. That means you start to see fewer results and progress (which is disheartening, right?!). One way to really kick things up a notch is to do a random, one-off fitness event! I can tell you from experience that just one extra session that’s a break from your usual routine tends to really shock the body!

Plus, it keeps things fresh. A few months ago, after doing the same workouts and classes day-in-day-out, I was getting a bit bored and uninspired. Luckily, I had a couple of fitness events in the form of Rough Runner and the Balance Festival Revival that revved me up again. Sometimes, you need to change what you’re doing to re-ignite your passion for fitness. If you find yourself getting bored with the same stuff, switch things up a gear and re-discover why you started in the first place.

Discover new things

Hand-in-hand with switching up your routine comes discovering new things. You might be a HIIT hero or a functional aficionado! But how will you find this out unless you try out new things?

A fitness pop-up gives you ample opportunity to explore new exercises without the pressure of taking up a membership or making your excuses for never going again if you find the workout isn’t for you. I like doing fitness pop-ups as I get new ideas for my own workouts through taking part in them. I learnt some awesome (and odd) new bodyweight exercises from the Hard Yard that I can’t wait to try out myself. Fitness pop-ups also give you an idea of current and upcoming trends in the industry. You can suss out the next big thing!

You can also meet new people who might become your next #swolemate or, at the least, someone you can commiserate with if the pop-up happens to be a very hard workout.

Challenge yourself

Speaking of hard workouts, experience has so far taught me that pop-ups tend to be harder than your average group exercise class. I’m guessing that it might have something to do with the fact you pay extra for them, and perhaps it’s also because your body isn’t used to it. But if you’re looking for a challenge, a pop-up can be a great way to go.

Incidentally, some fitness events require a certain degree of training beforehand. So it provides you with a goal to work towards and a huge rush of adrenaline once you’ve achieved it!

Why not to do a pop-up

I’ve gone into the reasons why a fitness pop-up is a good idea…now, in the interests of balance, let’s discuss when they might not be that great.

First and foremost, unless you plan to attend a pop-up (or several) every single week, you’re probably not going to reach your fitness goals through them alone. Consistency is key, so pop-ups should complement a regular training schedule and not replace them. With pop-ups, there’s a lot of scope for you to not attend that day or to forget to purchase tickets or to leave it too late. Having a regular workout routine means that your fitness doesn’t suffer if you don’t attend a pop-up.

Go to a local pop-up first. Try out a few that are in your home city before you venture further afield. This allows you to decide the type of pop-ups that work for you. It also gets you used to talking to lots of different instructors and attendees because that can be a bit daunting to begin with! Likewise, you’re far more likely to attend a pop-up on your doorstep instead of one where you have to travel hours to get to.

Don’t just go for the selfies. Yes, pop-ups are great for exclusive content for your Instagram. They’re often very visual and create awesome photos that will hit your followers with a huge case of FOMO. However, they are a workout. That’s their purpose and it should be yours. If you’re going for the photos, you’re not going to be in a right frame of mind for the workout. That’s going to make it very shocking and painful indeed!

Following on from that, you should attend a fitness pop-up prepared to put your blood, sweat, tears and possibly your dignity into it. Pop-ups are a great opportunity to test and push your limits. But your post-workout photos might not be that Insta-worthy. As the saying goes, if you still look cute after your workout, you didn’t work hard enough.

So what have we learnt?

Fitness pop-ups are a great way to get out there, find new and exciting exercises, steal awesome exercise ideas to use yourself and it can help switch up your routine. If you’re prepared to give 100%, then a pop-up can be just the thing you need to supercharge your workout and results.


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