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Bond Over Bootcamp Classes

Bond Over Bootcamp Classes

How Working Out at the Restaurant Can Keep Your Staff Motivated

Bonding over barbells instead of beers and bubbly not only boasts health benefits, but it can also form a sense of camaraderie among co-workers. And holding these workout sessions at the restaurant—where you spend most of your time—means there are no more excuses as to why you had no time to exercise.

At Quality Eats, a casual steakhouse in the heart of New York’s West Village neighborhood, staffers practice vinyasa yoga classes twice a month. They’re led by a fellow employee.

Seafood-focused Seamore’s, also in New York, regularly hosts bootcamp and yoga sessions in the middle of the dining room before the restaurant opens. And fast-casual eatery Just Salad, boasting more than 30 locations across the country, encourages employees to work out by offering them free gym memberships as part of their benefits package.

Fitness professional Kate Lemere, who developed the “four percent” concept, says one way to stay focused on your workout is to think of it as a small piece of your day.

“It helps it seem more approachable and doable,” explains Lemere, who is also the director of Midwest regional marketing for Barry’s Bootcamp. “While it may only be four percent of your overall day, it is a meaningful part that can have a monumental impact.”

While Barry’s Bootcamp’s hardcore circuit training might not be for everyone, it’s the “we’re in this together!” attitude that would motivate a restaurant staff, says Lemere.

“Working out is an emotional experience!” she exclaims.

People who change their bodies together have a deeper understanding and appreciation of each other's dedication, work ethic and background.

“At Barry's, you never know what someone next to you may be struggling with. It's powerful to learn why people work out and how they overcome the obstacles in front of them. Plus, the energy is infectious.” 

Lemere offers additional advice on how to stay fit and healthy when working in a restaurant environment:

  • I would prioritize hydration and nutrition above anything else. Kitchens are hot and hectic; chefs need to ensure they're replacing what they're losing through sweat with adequate water intake. 
  • In between tasting dishes, meals of protein and fat should be consumed to stay satiated to avoid mindless eating or over-consumption (which can also happen when we are thirsty or tired). Honestly, I can't imagine how hard it is to be surrounded by so much delicious food and not go to town!
  • Regardless of where you work out, I always tell my clients to put their phone on “Do Not Disturb” mode, so they can focus on their workout. It's the only hour they have that is only for them.
  • People will always ask me how much time they should spend exercising. My response is still, "How much time do you have?" You don't need a fancy program, gym or a full hour to get your heart rate up. Do what you can, with the time that you have, and you will be successful over time.
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