The Workout Roundtable


Things people don't say but probably should: Teams that work out together, stay together. This is at least the case at Glossier HQ, where we've developed something of a buddy fitness system. It's not just that people here are active—they're often active together. (Just last weekend, five of us scored spots in a sold-out Skinny Bitch Collective class—and five of us showed up to work very sore on Monday.) Of course, not everyone is on that boutique fitness grind—or any fitness at all—so we figured we'd focus group it. Gather six of us in a room and talk it out. Thoughts, feelings, hopes, dreams, and alternative forms of cardio were all fair game.

The scene: A Glossier HQ conference room, a bottle of rosé, mood lighting, on a Friday evening. Curtains up...

Emily Ferber, Editor: Alright, working out… how do you feel about it? Let’s go round robin.

Eva Alt, Social Media Editor: Well, my experience in life has been that, every morning, I start my day doing something active. For most of my life that was ballet. It helps me think more clearly. It doesn’t even have to be a traditional work out—it just needs to be something physical.

Grace Pandola, PR Intern: That’s the same for me. When I think “active,” I don’t always think “workout.” I need to physically move. Because working out sounds like a requirement.

Kim Johnson, Community Manager: I definitely think of working out as a requirement. I did physical activities as a child but I hated all of them. At this point, I can’t get around how terrible it seems. It’s such a big thing to go to a class.

Brennan Kilbane, Editorial Assistant: It is a chore to me, but it does make me feel good when I go. I come from a fitness family—my mother is a Jazzercise instructor! She has been for 30-some years. She operates a franchise and she manages other instructors and teaches classes, which is why the 305 Fitness thing and Nicole Winhoffer Method are so funny to me. They are very chic, and Jazzercise is decidedly not chic, but it’s essentially the same. But even with that history, working out is not something that I look forward to ever. I did just join Planet Fitness, which is a fresh $10 a month. And I go with Sandra, our Senior Copywriter, who is not here, as like a social thing.

Jessica Sheft-Ason, Digital Product Manager: I will say that I also am someone who’s not physical by nature—my natural state of being is on the couch, on the computer, horizontal in bed. I was able to train myself to become a worker-outer so I could essentially live the life I wanted.

Emily: But how did you do that?

Jessica: So I actually did this by having an accountabili-buddy. Someone who’s accountable for you exercising.

Eva: I’ve never heard that phrase before.

Emily: Is that something you pay for…?

Jessica: No, you just sign one of your own friends up. Last summer, I decided I wanted to join Equinox because everyone in New York does it. My friend was really against it. She was like, ‘You’re saying you’re going to go to the gym everyday, but I know you, you’re not.’ And I felt a little bit challenged by that. They’re like, ‘How about you prove to me first that you’re going to go every day, by using ClassPass or something, and if you go five times a week then it does make sense for you to join Equinox.’ And lo and behold, I would have them mark down every time I worked out, so it became this system. And I then ended up not actually joining Equinox because I liked all these classes, and now Eva is my accountabili-buddy.

Emily: How many of you are on ClassPass?

Eva: I am, but I’m transitioning off. I just switched from the full membership to like five for $75.

Kim: I am.

Jessica: I was.

Emily: Wait, so we’ve got one former ClassPass user, we’ve got one transitioning ClassPass user, who is weaning herself off of ClassPass, and we have a ClassPass payer. Because I’m not going to say that you use it, Kim… Do you use it?

Kim: I’ve been to two classes in the two months that I’ve had it.

Eva: Oh, God!

Emily: Kim!

Jess: How much were those workout classes if we did the math?

Emily: $120 a class…

Kim: You guys, fitness pulls out my worst personal qualities. I pay for ClassPass to make myself feel good because I have ClassPass.

Brennan: I have a question for you, Kim. Have you ever, in like the history of your health, have you ever had any semblance of a workout that you’ve enjoyed?

Kim: I did play tennis. And I enjoyed tennis.

Emily: Does watching the movie Wimbledon count?

Brennan: No?

Emily: I have a yearly viewing of the movie Wimbledon.

Brennan: I cannot think of a single sports movie that I’ve enjoyed.

[Remember the Titans banter that really wasn’t that interesting.]

Emily: Change of topic—who cycles?

Grace: Not me. People live and breathe it, and if it makes you happy and that’s your enjoyment, go for it. But I don’t want to be in a dark room being riled up in a "tribe."

Emily: See, for some reason, SoulCycle is the only boutique fitness offering that I’ve really gotten into.

Eva: It’s so funny because I would never think of myself as someone who would enjoy SoulCycle. I don’t like yelling, I don’t like dark rooms, but I think it’s the combination of it being movement to music that match up. In most workout classes, music is in the background and you’re doing random movements.

Emily: That’s a good point.

Jessica: I think SoulCycle is the McDonald's of fitness. You know what you’re going to get every single time. I could go to Miami and take a SoulCycle class, and I know exactly what it’s going to be like. I can also sign up real fast on their website or app. It takes two clicks. Two clicks.

Brennan: The bonding scares me, because I do find the whole SoulCycle thing a little cult-y.

Grace: Amen.

Emily: Is there fitness that’s not boutique anymore?

Eva: Gyms are not boutique.

Emily: But Equinox is kind of boutique.

Grace: I feel like it’s lost its buzz a bit. I don’t feel like it seems as bougie.

Jessica: Either I’ve gotten more bougie with time—which is very possible because I went to college, graduated, live in New York, work in beauty—or it’s gotten less bougie. It’s probably a combination of both.

Emily: I’m curious to know how else to get good cardio, because I hate running. But you have to do cardio—cardio is the most important thing.

Kim: Why?

Emily: Heart health, Kim.

Eva: Walking is technically cardio.

Grace: I used to do Tracy Anderson for three years, at home—her DVD set. She did a trampoline workout that literally was the most fun I ever had. I would wake up every day… The saddest thing was when the tramp broke!

Jessica: I need to order a trampoline on Amazon immediately!

Grace: I would do it for an hour. You only have to do it for thirty minutes, but I’m like, nope. We’re doing it again. I went nonstop.

Jessica: I want to do this!

Eva: Brennan and I did get Dance Dance Revolution for one of our happy hours.

Brennan: It was not a wild success… it was a mild success.

Emily: I was never able to do DDR to the point where it was like a workout.

Brennan: For the record, Emily is now doing a DDR demonstration. She looks like an ogre falling down, trying to stay balanced…

Jessica: I will say what is an incredible cardio workout that’s not dancing and not running…

Emily: Sex?

Jessica: Probably, yes. But also…

Eva: Swimming!

Jessica: Yes, swimming is dope. But want to know how you make swimming even dope-r? You buy these things called aquabuds that work with my waterproof iPod. They’re headphones that clip on to my goggles, so I can listen to Adele while I’m swimming.

Brennan: Can I share a quick fact that I think is important and relevant? Did you guys know—and this is true—that I was a competitive swimmer for eight years? I was the captain of my high school swim team for two years. Backstroke was my specialty.

Emily: Did you have to shave your entire body?

Brennan: No, I was never that serious about it. Swimming is a great workout, and the best part about it is that you can eat whatever the fuck you want. A high school boy, also a swimmer who has like two practices a day… I could eat six Domino’s pizzas and then wake up and like have a six-pack. That’s the workout that I would do every day if I had to pick one.

Jessica: I would do dance-cardio for the rest of my life.

Eva: I would have to say dance, too. There are so many different forms of it. I never take ballet class, but I’ve recently started going to a class called Moves every other Thursday with Jess and Grace. It’s a great time. It’s basically a sexy dance class.

Jessica: It’s really fun, we did a whole routine to Selena Gomez' “Can’t Keep My Hands to Myself.”

Eva: Jess and I have been practicing. I didn’t even know I could dance like that but…

Grace: I mean, I can’t really. But I like to think that I can… I learned how to sexily pull my thumb out of my mouth and down into my cleavage, which is something.

Emily: I kind of want to end on that note, because I want to see the dance so badly. Alright, audience, we’re done, because I have to watch this.

Photo via Getty.

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