How to Get Fit For Free

You don't need an expensive gym membership to stay in shape

When some gym memberships cost more than your monthly car payment and boutique studios charge an arm and leg for fancy workout fads supplemented with smoothie bars and spa-like amenities, it might seem like getting a good workout is a luxury reserved exclusively for members of the 1%.

According to, an organization that collects data on business, consumer, sports, financials, and world news, the average monthly cost of a gym membership is $55. That’s about $1.83 a day; not such a bad trade if you pay a visit at least five days a week. But the thing is, also reports that 67% of people with gym memberships never use them. When it comes to committing to an exercise habit, clearly a monthly drain on the bank account isn’t enough of a motivator for many.

What makes this trend even sillier is the fact that a free fitness movement is currently taking the nation by storm. It’s called November Project and exercisers of all fitness levels are welcome to join.

The project’s roots trace back to 2011 when brothers Brogan Graham and Bojan Mandaric began running the stairs in Harvard Stadium as a way to stay fit through the harsh Boston winter. Through word of mouth their weekly workout quickly expanded into a group of 300 exercise enthusiasts who now congregate at various outdoor locations for early morning workouts every Monday, Wednesday and Friday at 6:30 a.m.

The movement doesn’t stop there, though. In just three years November Project has spread to 16 cities (including a chapter in Edmonton, Canada) and the founders have received such an overwhelming request for further expansion that they’ve currently put pledges for new locations on hold until they can gather more resources to handle the increased interest.

According to the November Project website, the movement’s main goal is to “motivate and encourage people of all ages, shapes, sizes and fitness levels to get out of their beds and get moving.” That’s a trend we can totally get on board with.

Wondering what a typical November Project workout is like? According to New York Daily News, a recent session with the New York chapter included stair sprints, tricep dips and relay running to the soundtrack of motivating 80’s music.

“No matter what you do for the rest of the day, your workout is done, you have a smile on your face, and got all your frustrations out by screaming, ‘F— yeah!’ ” New York November Project member Kathryn Griswold, told NY Daily News. “You’re ready to take on the day. All you have to do is show up.”

To us, that sounds much better (and more fun) than shelling out big bucks for a room full of treadmills and weights that you hardly ever acknowledge.

Curious about how you can become a part of this free fitness phenomenon (and finally plug up that gaping hole in your wallet)? The first step is to find out if your city hosts a November Project chapter.

If you happen to live near a local chapter, well then the next step is to just show up. “It’s really that simple. We welcome everyone and anyone regardless of age or fitness level,” the November Project website reads.

If you reside in a city that hasn’t joined in on the trend yet, well that’s no excuse for you not to workout. Check out some of our bodyweight workouts below. All can be completed in the comfort of your own home (or even outside) without any equipment. All you need is a pair of sneakers and the will to work up a sweat.

High Intensity Circuit Training Workout

Bodyweight Cardio Workout

Bodyweight Workout Basics

8-Minute Cardio and Strength Bodyweight Workout