London can be a lonely place, especially if you’re new to the city. Introducing ‘Friend-ercise’ – a workout class for those who don’t like awkward meet-ups, but still want to make new friends, launching on Thursday 14 November.
The ‘speed friending’ event focuses on bringing together like-minded people for a hardcore workout session but with the aim of building platonic relationships. It’s the first-ever friend-version of Personal Trainers Right Path Fitness’ ‘Date-ercise’ event (speed dating meets fitness), which launched in 2018.
After a quick warm-up and introduction, 12 guests will try on a series of exercises over 45 minutes, tailored for workout buddies and led by an experienced trainer. After each one is finished, the pairs get a few minutes to chat before moving on to the next.
Afterwards there will be some healthy mocktails, snacks and opportunities to swap numbers with new pals. This is a laid-back evening – so there are no awkward forms to fill out ‘dating-style’; instead, guests are encouraged to go with the flow.
The class is not about intimidating high intensity intervals for the super-fit; Friend-ercise aims to be as inclusive as possible, with a mixture of workouts to suit all levels, including team-bonding activities where you have to trust your new-found friend to help you complete the exercise.
“London is a great city, but it can be really hard to meet new people,” said Keith McNiven, founder of Right Path Fitness.
“I should know, I moved here from Leeds years ago without knowing anyone. Finding new friends can be hard when you’re in your twenties or thirties, because you can’t just walk up to someone in the pub and be like, ‘hey, wanna hang out?’ – and social gatherings organised online can be super-awkward if you feel uncomfortable in big groups.
“That, along with a recent fitness boom as more people embrace a healthy lifestyle, is how Friend-ercise was born. The class is a combination of a tough fitness class, but with enough time for you to chat, find a workout buddy or just have a nice time in a relaxed setting with new people. No stress, no pressure and if nothing else, you’ll walk away feeling healthier, with a nice endorphin boost.
“The class is also purposely kept under an hour and 15 minutes, to cater to busy London workers who struggle to find time in their diaries.”
Where: Right Path Fitness, 20 Gravel Lane, Spitalfields
Closest tube: Liverpool Street
When: 14 November, 7.45pm to 9pm.
Tickets cost £25 per class, which includes a complimentary mocktail and some healthy snacks. Guests are also encouraged to bring their own reusable water bottles to save on plastic usage.
The first event is for people aged between 22-35, but further age ranges will be added for future events.