Winter cycling in Montreal

A portrait of three winter cyclists who share the little-known facets of this underrated means of transportation in Montreal.

We all pass by them once in a while in the busy streets of Montreal. It does not matter whether we’re driving a car or getting off the bus — seeing them face the snow, the wind, and the cold always leaves us quite stunned. What can motivate these cyclists to pedal in sub-zero temperatures?

The Concordian spoke to cyclists Juan Pablo Lugo, Cynthia Venessa, and Mike Muchnik, detailing the experiences of these three daring cyclists.

Portrait of Juan Pablo Lugo. Photo by David J-B/THE CONCORDIAN

It was seeing his newly arrived friends from France start to practice winter cycling that pushed Lugo to start too. His first impression? It’s not that bad. There might be only a two-week span of time where it’s a bit harder.

“Most of the winter, it’s really practicable,” Lugo said.

He spoke about the surprising easiness of winter cycling. The cars go slower, biking paths are plowed, and physical effort keeps you warm. Provided you dress accordingly, it doesn’t seem to be that difficult to practice.

Portrait of Mike Muchnik. Photo by David J-B/THE CONCORDIAN

Muchnik is a winter cycling veteran. When he began to brave the cold more than a decade ago, biking paths were not as common in the then-car-dominated Montreal. Winter cycling was very marginal and the handful of daredevil cyclists of the time recognized each other in the busy streets of the city chatted at red lights and called themselves by their first names. 

Today, Montreal markets itself as a bike-friendly city and now has a lengthy network of biking paths that are still being developed. But this mindset change did not appear magically. Instead, it gradually took place — thanks to many motivated cyclists like Muchnik.

Having no choice but to cross the Jacques-Cartier bridge to go to work, Muchnik faced the absurd closing of its biking path during winter. The stubborn administration of the time even went as far as contradicting its own studies which proved the bridge safe for cyclists.

But that didn’t stop him and a dozen other cyclists from crossing the bridge anyway in a show of civil disobedience, facing the only danger of a ticket. Then in 2017, with the help of the Coalition Mobilité Active Montréal and a few other cyclists, Muchnik founded the Association des piétons et cyclistes du pont Jacques-Cartier to pressure the administration into opening the cycling path.

After many public sorties, protests, debates, and discussions with representatives, the cycling path of the Jacques-Cartier bridge is now accessible during winter, although not all day. This policy change was a victory and concrete proof that environmental civilian mobilization can work. Behind physical progress for greener cities and more accessible active transports such as the Réseau Express Vélo are dozens of passionate and committed cyclists. 

Portrait of Cynthia Venessa. Photo by David J-B/THE CONCORDIAN

Venessa is also a fervent adherent to winter cycling. To get started, she recommends gradually pushing back the moment when you would have normally put aside your bicycle. What motivates her? The feeling of freedom and autonomy from being able to cycle whenever, wherever without having to rely on public transit.

Another facet of winter cycling that surprised me was the unexpected enthusiasm of the cyclists spoken to. Cycling in the winter looks fun. It’s healthy, faster, ecological, and very active.

This example of community organization also reveals the fabulous community of winter cyclists in the city. The Facebook page Vélo d’hiver – Montréal gathers 16 thousand followers and is very prolific in its content. The topics of equipment, cycling paths, and different challenges the cyclists encounter on a daily basis are discussed in a friendly and positive atmosphere.

Winter cycling is not only possible and accessible, but it can also be fun and easy.


The health benefits of spring

Spring offers people fresh ways to stay healthy after a long and cold winter

Winter will always hold a special place in Canadians’ hearts, especially because of traditional northern activities like skiing and skating, but the season’s harsh weather and shorter days can mentally and physically drain even the best of us.

With spring officially underway on March 20, people can finally wave goodbye to a long winter unlike any other. As the last remnants of snow and ice melt away in the coming weeks, a fresh open-air canvas will once more be at everyone’s disposal.

Amidst troubling times, it’s important for people to take advantage of the rejuvenating weather that is upon us and reap its rewards on our overall health.

The beginning of spring means the return of outdoor workouts

Fitness enthusiasts, who have been largely confined to home workouts for months, finally found something to look forward to when the Quebec government announced gyms would be permitted to reopen on March 26.

For those who are not so eager to resume regular indoor training in public spaces, spring will allow for several outdoor activities to start anew.

Running and biking will continue to serve as accessible and effective workouts that can be performed anywhere, anytime. Alternatively, golf and tennis, both of which saw an uptick in popularity last year as relatively COVID-safe sports, will again serve as viable fitness options for those who want to best shield themselves from the virus.

Finally, calisthenic workouts and yoga routines that require minimal equipment can now be performed outside, providing some much-needed variety to these exercises that often get tedious from home.

Spring can also have a lasting effect on one’s mental health

The “winter blues” is a common issue that affects people’s mood and energy levels that stems from the short and cold winter days, which can lead people to spend unhealthy amounts of time indoors. Over the course of a few months, the negative effect on people’s overall health can be drastic.

Mixed with the limited in-person interactions with family and friends in recent times, the strenuosity of this year’s winter on people’s mental health has been amplified. Fortunately, the warm weather, sunny days, and fresh air can help dispel some of these common problems.

Spring gives people new opportunities to alleviate mental stress by socializing with their loved ones. People who are less fond of working out can still reap the health benefits by simply basking in the sun with others and absorbing vitamin D, which can go a long way when climbing out of an extended wintertime rut.

More daylight means more time when we need it

Having to set the time forward may leave you waking up exhausted the following day, but the long-term benefits of an extra hour of sunlight easily make up for the minor drawback.

Humans are unconsciously inclined to rest when it’s dark and be productive when it’s light. As the spring steadily dissipates into the summer, the amount of time we get to spend in the daylight will only increase.

Being able to shed layers of clothes lets us feel the sun directly on our skin, which can have a long-lasting, constructive effect on our overall health.


Photos by Christine Beaudoin

Collage by Kit Mergaert

Owning your dream amid a pandemic: the hard way up to a functional rock climbing gym

A look at new bouldering gym/cafe Café Bloc on Saint-Laurent Boulevard

The story of Café Bloc begins with a dream about comradery, a sense of community and a tasteful amount of the main ingredient: a passion for rock climbing. After two years in the making, what started simply as an ambitious concept has recently turned into a reality for young entrepreneur Sébastien Aubé. Alongside his now-business partner Jean-François Gravel, the duo managed to pull off a fully functional bouldering gym in the heart of downtown Montreal at a time that does not respect any uncalculated boldness in developing new business models. Some may call it a shot in the dark but for Aubé the coronavirus comes as “an outside event that we have no control of. The only thing we can change about it is the way we perceive it.”

Sébastien Aubé, co-owner of Café Bloc

Just like the sport itself requires from its enthusiasts, you need to overcome obstacles to make your way to the top. As Aubé puts it, “A key element to motivation is to keep yourself active towards your goals even when you don’t feel like it.” The current situation definitely affects the business negatively but it does not put an end to the adventure.

“It is challenging,” agrees Aubé, “but not to the extent where I am going to sit in the corner and give up.” Hardships were what defined the journey of the place as it took two long years for the project to come into existence.

After a rock climbing trip in June 2018, the exciting idea to create an environment where people can simultaneously sweat it all out on the climbing wall and relax with a cup of coffee and friendly company began to grow.

At last, the moment they all had been waiting for was here. On Feb. 9, 2020, Café Bloc welcomed its first rock climbing customers and for six weeks, the dream of a community united under a mutual passion carried on. Working at full capacity, the place easily became a hotspot for those eager to solve “problems” (that is how climbing routes are referred to in a bouldering gym). No extra equipment is needed — just you and your climbing shoes. To ensure the safety of all participants, the gym follows basic security standards. There are big bouncy mats under the boulders that will catch anyone’s fall, regardless of their position on the wall.

According to Aubé, there are different challenges and they are all rated with a level of difficulty. For example, “six moves, using only blue holes, from the ground to the top can be a warm-up for someone more experienced or a good beginner problem to start with.” For better engagement and constant physical stimulus, the gym is designed to change the style of the walls regularly, thus providing new problems almost every week.

“We were open for six weeks and then we had to close on March 15 like everybody else,” Aubé vividly remembers. Despite the successful launch, COVID-19 did not spare the bouldering gym and jeopardized all the effort put into the place. However, Café Bloc learns to adapt to the changes as they come.

“We are running at a 25 per cent capacity,” says Aubé, “and we lack our main demographic of the people who work in the downtown offices and would normally swing by for a session after-hours.”

Their routine now consists of pressure washing the climbing holes every week, which adds to the accumulated business losses. Aubé’s team has also put hand sanitizers everywhere to accommodate the health regulations and the climbers’ needs. However, it’s up to everyone to have the responsibility of adhering to disinfecting before and after an exercise.

“It’s all about the energy everyone brings into the place,” says Aubé.

Indeed, prior to the coronavirus restrictions, the gym was running smoothly. According to Aubé, before the pandemic, they would have “people come in and overstay their welcome beyond the staff’s shifts, simply soaking in the atmosphere.” Now, Aubé wishes for nothing more than to have the gym run normally. Yet, the co-owner reflects on the current social implication as a mental challenge. Apart from technique, rock climbing represents an inner battle of overcoming your own limitations and doubts.

“Similar to rock climbing, this is just another problem we need to face and persevere, so that we can come out of it stronger and better.”


Photos by Yordan Ivanov and Kit Mergaert

Back to school: How to trick your brain into being okay

In case you’re waking from a mirage, we’re in a global pandemic. Here are some tips to train your brain into navigating this new semester.

Welcome new and returning students to all of the hopeful back-to-school energy, the seasonal start-of-term jitters, and the wonderful opportunity to learn!

Reflecting on my life, I feel deeply grateful in this moment, for the millions of instances of good luck and hard work that have led me to pursuing my degree, where I’m learning skills and life lessons that will fulfill and nourish me. All is well and I am safe.

This sentiment may feel like a bit of bullshit considering everything that’s going on — a literal pandemic, remote learning, social distancing and isolation, in case you forgot  —  but it’s a useful bit of bullshit. Repeat an affirmation of gratitude to yourself, like the one you just read, and you will slowly trick your brain into being happier, according to neuropsychologist Dr. Rick Hansen. The technique is called “hardwiring happiness” and it operates by undermining the negative bias that our brains create, where the brain remembers negative experiences more readily than positive ones. You can counteract this negative bias by developing a “gratitude practice” like doing meditations grounded in all of the things going right in your life, or keeping a journal of the things you’re grateful for.

Coming back to school, things are going to be “different if not difficult,” according to Dr. Yaniv Elharrar, psychologist at the West Island Therapy & Wellness Centre. “Different if not difficult” sounds like 2020 summed up in a jingle.

If you want some more tips on how to “get your shit together, Carol,” read on.

According to Dr. Elharrar, if you want to combat anxiety, depression, distraction, isolation, and create a home advantage to learning remotely, make a plan. Give yourself a period of trial and error, and don’t get down on yourself for messing up. It’s about getting to know yourself  —  how you work best, where you work best, when you work best — and organizing your schedule to suit your needs.

Everyone’s different, so you need to do what works for you. However, generally speaking, while the portions may vary person-to-person, the ingredients in your routine should include consistent exercise, healthy eating, an early bedtime, and a social life.

I know it’s nothing less than cliché, but exercise! It will trick your body into all types of good feelings.

“Exercising in the morning actually kick starts your body so it helps you get earlier rest,” says Dr. Jade-Isis Lefebvre, psychologist and yoga instructor at Concordia University.

“Cardio exercise is good for long-term health,” adds Dr. Lefebvre. “After a cardio-based exercise, your focus actually increases.” To sum it up, students can focus better in their windowless apartment that smells like hot sushi if they just do a bit of cardio first.

Plus, if you want to improve focus and concentration long-term, yoga and breathing exercises will help practice the “mind skill that can transition to your daily life,” says Dr. Lefebvre.

So, in case you need a cue card summary of this information, yoga equals long-term focus. Cardio equals short-term focus. Love it. Next.

If you’re looking for a quick fix, there are some subtle cues you can give your body to focus, according to Dr. Lefebvre. “Just pressing your hands on your knees and extending your arms straight,” will ground you in the moment and keep you activated in class.

Now that focus is covered, how can students trick the stress away, too?

“Breath (sic) can help you deactivate the stress response in your body,” says Dr. Lefebvre. You can do it while you’re at your desk. “Inhale bringing your shoulders up towards your ears and then roll them back and down. That’s a really good way to open up your chest and get into your body and remind you that you’re here in the moment.”

Anxiety is a survival-based stress response. In order to reduce your stress, you need to communicate to your body that you’re not under attack, because your body is listening. This next tip will teach you how to speak the language of the body.

Techniques called soothing breath and soothing touch are great ways to disarm your stress response and speak to your body.

“Soothing touch is when you put your hands on a specific spot on your body. You can hold your hands on your cheeks, put your hands in a hug around you, put your hands on your heart,” says Dr. Lefebvre. “One of the ways that is less obvious is if you just cross your hands together and lay them on your lap.”

Soothing breath is when you bring a conscious attention to your breath and just slow it down and deepen it. My personal favourite mantra to support a soothing breath is “in deep, out slow.” These cues subconsciously tell your body you are not under attack. By consistently practicing this, you give your body the sense that it is safe on a biological level.

Now, as long as I’m living, I’m breathing all day every day. Might as well mix in some slow breaths, maybe even a deep one for kicks, sure. With all that said and done, if I don’t plan my schedule so that it’s both flexible and disciplined, I’m just not maximizing my potential to learn and achieve. The thing about a plan is that it needs goals, and goals need to be informed by your personal values. This is as good a time as any to take a look at the values presently dictating your goals.

Research shows that you are more likely to stick to your daily routine if it is realistic, fun, and something you look forward to. It will unlikely be any of these things if you don’t consider what your values are, and what motivates you. Start by identifying what is “really meaningful to you,” says Dr. Lefebvre. Ask yourself what matters most, then orient your goals in this direction.

But with all these tricks down pat, the thing we have to keep in mind is that we’re in this together. Hold on, we got this. Also go outside. Your place smells like hot sushi.


Graphic by Taylor Reddam


Simply Scientific: Running with a runny nose

I carry a handkerchief everywhere – and it’s not for trying to appear painfully dainty. As a student who tries to maintain a moderately active lifestyle, regularly running and brisk walking have become part of my daily routine. But when I exercise rigorously, I find myself sniffling, no matter the season.

As it turns out, there’s a term for this particular nuisance: exercise-induced rhinitis (EIR). Medical News Today explains that the disorder really describes a form of non-allergic rhinitis, where exposure to irritants makes blood vessels expand and as a result, the lining of the nose swells. This glamorous process stimulates mucus glands, which ultimately leads to nasal congestion. In truth, EIR pretentiously refers to how environmental triggers that you encounter while exercising may give you a runny nose.

Kristin Hayes reported in Verywell how normally, as the heart rate increases when exercising and adrenaline is released, there’s a decrease in nasal passage obstruction. A stuffy nose often results from allergies, but this form of rhinitis isn’t the case. Perfume, smog, and chlorine are just some of the many environmental factors that could trigger non-allergic rhinitis, according to the National Health Service.

The Mayo Clinic explains that while symptoms of this far-from-dire condition can affect children and adults, they’re more common after the age of 20.

Unless your non-allergic rhinitis is severe, symptoms don’t last long, but they can still be a bother. A person who suffers from EIR can also use nasal sprays or over-the-counter medication to treat their nasal congestion.

For now, I’ll continue to run indoors, far from construction debris and safe in the knowledge that with my handkerchief within arm’s reach, my nose can remain as dry as my sense of humour.


Graphic by @sundaeghost


You can’t do better than your best

Finding balance in life is important, but make sure not to fall over the edge  

Being a student is stressful. You have classes to think about and all of the work that comes with them. You likely have a job on the side. Not to mention, you have a social life, a family, hobbies, maybe a sport or some form of exercise you like to do to unwind and de-stress. There’s so much going on in our lives—how can we balance it all?

There’s no easy answer to this. In fact, there isn’t one. Someone once told me: “You can’t do better than your best,” and I think that’s the best motto to live by, not just as a student but for the rest of your life. There will be times when you’ll be so overwhelmed that one aspect of your life might have to take a hit, be it your sleep schedule, job or social life. If you try to get everything done perfectly, your health—either physical or mental—will be affected. It’s important to know your limits so you don’t push yourself to the point of a nervous breakdown (they aren’t pleasant).

I’m well aware that school is important. I’ve been an A student most of my life; I know the pressure that comes with maintaining good grades and being the best you can be. The thing is, though, many aspects in our lives are so much more difficult than they were in high school or CEGEP. University is harder. We’re adults with responsibilities now. We have a lot more going on in our lives. It might not be as feasible to expect A’s on every assignment or exam in every class.

It’s okay if you get a C on an assignment you worked really hard on. I don’t think we give ourselves enough credit for doing our best. We’re often too focused on the final grade instead of the effort we put in. It’s important to remember your worth as a person is not defined by your grades, and a handful of C’s won’t ruin your career. Make time for friends and family, because they are the ones who will be there for you when school is out for the summer, and when you finally graduate. They’re the ones who will help you have fun and relieve your stress when you need it the most.

Don’t forget to leave time for hobbies when you’re busy, because they can help you unwind and relax. Fitness, for example, can directly impact your health and stress levels in a positive way, and it’s important to make time for exercise if you enjoy it. Those few hours a week effortlessly doing what you love will help clear your mind at the end of a stressful week, or between the last-minute grinds of final projects.

Don’t forget to work on yourself too. Take a break when you get tired, call up your family when you get lonely, sleep all day if you need to, take a bath, do yoga or kickboxing, go for coffee with a friend. It’s so important to give your mind time to recuperate from the constant stress and thinking.

By reminding myself that I can’t do better than my best, I’ve learned to better understand my limitations, to know when it’s time to take a break and regroup. I am and always have been a perfectionist; anyone who knows me also knows I always put too much on my plate. I like everything to be organized and perfect. Yet, I’ve realized and learned that I can’t control everything. I’ve learned how to make time for myself. I’m now able to say no to certain things to avoid spreading myself too thin.

It’s okay not to be 100 per cent all the time, as long as you’re doing your best and taking care of yourself. You can’t always balance everything; but remember things will always balance themselves out in the end.

Graphic by Alexa Hawksworth


Finding your athleticism

Keeping physically active is all about discovering the activities that excite you

When I was in high school, I was never one to get grass stains on my knees. I cringed at the squeak of running shoes across the gymnasium floor. If you asked me how I felt about gym class, I would tell you I’d rather be solving the equation of a line.

Like many high schools, my P.E. class curriculum was predominately team sports-based. Throughout the school year, we would rotate between different sports, from soccer to basketball to rugby to floor hockey. A big chunk of students—the jocks—would excel no matter what sport they played. As much as I wanted to fit in with them, I didn’t have the hand-eye coordination or the natural talent to make a great pass or score. As team members were being chosen by captains, I’d twiddle my thumbs and stare at the floor, knowing I’d be one of the last invited to play.

I was labeled one of the lazy girls. And to be honest, at the time, it was true. I was unfit. Unmotivated. Occasionally, my teacher would allow me to walk laps around the school instead of playing sports with the others.

What I have learned since then, though, is that I didn’t hate gym class because I hated exercising. I hated it because I never got to discover a type of physical activity that brought me joy and excitement.

Over the last four years, however, I found my place in the world of fitness. For me, it’s really been all about trial and error. Even today, I continue to discover more about my athleticism and physical capabilities.

There are a few activities where I feel in my element, such as running, spinning and biking. I discovered these activities through gym classes in CEGEP or by hanging out at the park and observing how others were being active. But more recently, bootcamp classes have really changed how I view physical activity. For over a year now, I have been a member of KinéKat Santé, a workout studio in the borough of Lasalle.

Graphic by Florence Yee

According to Kathy Landry, the owner and main trainer at the studio, bootcamp is a form of interval-based training which targets muscular and cardiovascular endurance, as well as agility and coordination.

During each class, we complete a series of four exercises at specific intervals, repeating the entire set three times. Then, we complete a second series of four different exercises three times again. At first, I thought the exercises would get boring after a while.To my surprise, every time I’ve attended, Landry has come up with new exercises, making the course fresh and exciting. Personally, that’s one of the aspects that makes the course so entertaining for me—you never know what you’re going to get.

It would take the entire word count of this article to list all of the exercises I have done through bootcamp. We do a variety of planks, squats, lunges, push-ups, agility exercises, weights and a lot of work with bosu balls, a dome-shaped exercise ball.

Bootcamp can also easily be done at home using minimal equipment. A few weights and a mat are all it takes to get you started. But, for me, being part of a class is more motivating, as I feed off of the energy of others without it getting competitive. Classes are also a reasonable size—eight to 10 people. While Landry has several other classes, such as zumba, yoga and POUND, bootcamp is the class I keep coming back to. It is impossible to leave without sweating your butt off.  It is challenging and energizing. I feel my muscles tightening with every sequence, and it’s rewarding. I started out not being able to do a single push-up or hold a plank for more than 20 seconds—those days are long gone.

It’s virtually common knowledge that being physically active reaps significant benefits, not only physically, but mentally. According to the Public Health Agency of Canada, keeping active regularly can improve self-esteem, reduce stress, increase energy levels and overall happiness, all while reducing the risk of chronic diseases.

I can attest to the fact that being physically fit has made me happier and more confident. The key, in my experience, is finding activities you truly enjoy—ones that don’t feel like work—that you’re motivated to do. Year-round, I workout four times a week—through bootcamp, biking or running.

It is easy to feel like you are just not meant to be fit, or just not good enough for sports. If there is any advice I can give to anyone in that predicament, it’s to be curious. Try new activities, and go into them with an open mind. More importantly, don’t get discouraged if you dislike something. Of course, there are days where, no matter what, even a workout you enjoy will feel like work. But it’s when you don’t mind that grass stain or the squeak of your shoes against the floor that you know you’ve found an activity worth sweating for.

Student Life

Get Sweaty and Get Social

Concordia grad David Sciacca co-founded Training Mobs in 2011.

While lifting weights at the gym to a personalized playlist may be the ideal workout for some, others need a little change in pace and scenery – a feeling David Sciacca and Jonas Caruana understand all too well.

What started as a long distance friendship eventually grew into a shared apartment and a business plan. With a mutual passion for fitness, Sciacca, 30, and Caruana, 29, launched Training Mobs in January 2011, a fitness community website that lists and promotes great local group workouts.

“We really wanted to bring back the social aspect of fitness,” said Sciacca. “Make it easy for people to go to whatever workout they want and not have to be members there.”

Aside from being extremely practical for the fitness community, Training Mobs gives that extra nudge of encouragement to its members, a sense of inspiration that Sciacca and Caruana were searching for themselves not too long ago.

After graduating in finance from Concordia University, Sciacca worked three-and-a-half years in investment banking, a job he had no desire to keep.

“I realized very quickly that I wasn’t doing something I was in love with and I got tired of that,” he said. “To be completely honest, I had no idea what I wanted to do.”

His epiphany led him to Costa Rica where he extended an invitation to his Australian friend, Caruana, who shared the same dismay for his management job. The two had met seven years ago during a university exchange program in Budapest.

“We were surfing and we started complaining about how hard it was to find a great workout wherever we were and how hard it was to coordinate workouts with friends while we were working,” said Sciacca. “We thought maybe there was something out there that would help fix this. When we looked into it and didn’t find anything, that’s when we said, ‘Well this doesn’t make sense.’ So we created Training Mobs from that.”

Committed to finding great workouts for their members, Sciacca and Caruana reach out to independent studios and gyms that offer more intimate experiences bigger gyms sometimes fail to provide. Apart from the free exposure, Training Mobs allows smaller autonomous gyms to connect with their target audience all the while offering a variety of workouts to their members.

“People who have opened an independent gym tend to do it out of passion because everyone knows that opening a studio is probably not the fastest way to get brilliantly rich,” said Sciacca. “When you’re doing something you love, you’re more committed to it – you build a community around you and people enjoy that kind of experience.”

Everyday, Training Mobs offers a fresh list of diverse social fitness classes at a discount rate, from circuit training on Mount Royal to hot yoga in the West Island. No matter the time, location or workout preference, anybody can sign up for a workout on a whim.

While Training Mobs continues to spread across Canada and the United States, Sciacca and Caruana are creating new ways to connect their studio and gym partners with their members. One in particular that is gaining some attention is the MobPass.

“We think the MobPass has potential to change the way people think about fitness,” said Sciacca. “We believe in group fitness because it’s more fun and there’s that social accountability.”

With a monthly purchase of $9.95, the MobPass offers access to every Training Mob gym, studio and trainer at a ten-class-pass rate. Suitable for travelers or anyone with a hectic schedule and an interest in trying new workouts, Sciacca describes the MobPass as being a universal gym membership to all the best independent studios from Montreal to Toronto to San Francisco.

“Why are we preventing people from getting access to these small studios that are specialized by restricting them to one type of workout?” he said. “There’s got be people out there that like variety, that would appreciate flexibility.”

Aside from expanding their fitness community and spreading the word, Sciacca and Caruana are constantly trying to keep an open conversation with their partners and members. They share a blog with their members and encourage people to post videos and messages of their great workouts, and to show newcomers that working out doesn’t have to be intimidating.

“This is a community of real people that are going out and getting active,” said Sciacca. “Training Mobs belongs to the community and we always wanted it to be that way. If you had a great workout experience and want to tell the world about it, let us know and we’ll be happy to shoot it out to the world.”

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