In NYC, gym classes free for those who lend a helping hand

By Tom | Small Business

Photo: Louis Lanzano/New York Daily Newsworktradegyms

Gym classes can be prohibitively expensive, meaning many people who would like to keep fit have to find other ways to work out or are even encouraged to forgo exercise altogether. In the past, we've seen schemes such as Fitmob, whose community sessions cost less the more often members keep fit, but now several New York gyms are offering work-trade programs, enabling cash-strapped customers to exchange volunteer work for workout classes.

According to the NY Daily News, one such scheme is currently being offered at Revolve Fitness, Union Square, where students and part-time workers are taken on to help tidy up the space, clean rooms and pack away equipment. In return, they can take spin classes that typically cost USD 25 a go.

Although the work — stocking toilet paper or wiping down bike seats — can be fairly unglamorous, programs such as the one at The Yoga Room in Astoria and Long Island aim to integrate the volunteer team among the community of paid staff, who also help out with the tasks. Part-time bartender Jason Rajib told the Daily News: "We take care of the studio and in return we get rewarded." The newspaper reported that at one point he was taking up to USD 720 worth of classes a month for free under the scheme.

Those looking to try the initiative for themselves can also take advantage at Real Pilates in Tribeca. Gym owners — could you set up a program like this?

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