Sips alternative: Free Wednesday outdoor pop-up workouts

You can always go out for a rewarding drink afterwards.

Facebook/Erik Strassman

If you’re a weekday worker, Wednesdays can be tough. That’s part of the reason Center City Sips is so popular. But check it out: Instead of trying to forget the weekend’s still more than 48 hours away by dumping cash for barely discounted well drinks and basic beer, there’s a new (better?) way to get over the hump for cheap.

Philly natives and fitness trainers Erik Strassman and Guy Nanni have started a series of pop-up outdoor workouts.

Yes, we realize this is exercise, a very different activity than getting sloshed at a Sips happy hour. But it’s a worthy alternative to consider. The classes are in a different location every week — think Ben Franklin Bridge, Schuylkill River Trail, Penn Treaty Park — and are totally, completely free. They kick off at 6:30 p.m., and are an hour long, so you can always head out for a drink after (one that will be all the more satisfying for the work you just put in).

Also, the sessions are designed as networking events. Which might sound odd — do you really want to make new connections in your gym shorts? But per Strassman, that’s been one of the most successful parts so far.

“Some of the people who come have started doing other [workouts] together,” he said. “And a bunch of people have seen coworkers here and been surprised — like, ‘Oh, I didn’t realize you were into this kind of thing, too.’”

Facebook/Erik Strassman

Strassman, 32, and Nanni, 27, met at Optimal 1315 gym in Center City, where they both work as fitness coaches, and realized their workout styles were complementary. Nanni has a strong background in martial arts, so after Strassman sets up the free workouts with stretches, drills and core conditioning, Nanni leads the group through some more novel or interesting exercises.

The duo has also partnered with various local businesses to offer freebies to people who show up. Sweetgreen gave away coupons for bowls at one event, for example, and a coffee company is likely signing on for another giveaway.

Here’s the upcoming Wednesday pop-up schedule (keep checking back on FB, too, because more dates might be added):

  • August 2: Schmidt’s Commons
  • August 9: Liberty Lands Park
  • August 16: Dilworth Park
  • August 23: Art Museum
  • August 30: Penn Park
  • September 13: Drexel Park
  • September 20: Schuylkill River Trail

Or, you know, you could always just go to Sips, where the only exercise you’ll get is when you try to escape an errant punch the next time a bro fight breaks out.

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