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Find a space for people to gather. This could be someone’s apartment, a public building or a city park. Wherever you meet, there should at least be a television, a VCR or DVD player, some workout videos and enough open space for everyone to move around. It’s also nice to provide mats for floor routines. We acquired a bunch of free sample carpets from the local carpet shop. Once a regular group of participants has been established, hosting duties can be shared (so that one person’s hospitality is not exhausted).

Every thrift store I have ever been to had at least a couple VHS workout videos. They usually cost around a dollar. Garage sales are another likely place to find classics like Buns of Steel. At this point your parents may have gone through a mid-life crisis, realizing they were not as fit as they used to be. In that case, they’re bound to have a few gems lying around. Given the generation gap, there should be plenty of fashion comedy in these videos (not to mention the hilarity of imagining your parents earnestly working out). If all else fails, the world wide web will surely have any title you can imagine.

Once you’ve secured a space and supplies you’ll need to promote the event. This could be as simple as calling or emailing some friends and family (yes, it can be fun to exercise with your family!). Social networking sites can be an effective means of publicizing events. If you are a bit more daring (and your space has the capacity) put up flyers in your neighborhood (or on campus) – exercise is a great way to break the ice with strangers. Exercise, we ve all learned since elementary school, should be done on a regular basis. As with a book club or reading group, regular meetings provide an opportunity for relationships and trust to develop over time. To gain the benefits of exercise you should probably meet at least once a week or more. Otherwise, SWEATtime can still be a fun diversion from a normal workout routine. Create a schedule. Online calendar systems are a great way to coordinate regular meetings. Otherwise, pick a time and place that is consistent so that it can become part of everyone’s routine.

JUICE THIS! After a raunchy workout session it is truly satisfying to gulp down some freshly made fruit and vegetable juice. You’ll need a juicer – these can also be found at thrift stores or obtained from formerly health conscious parents. Have everyone bring a couple fruits and vegetables and go at it. Try different combinations. Carrots, celery, apples, cucumbers and beets all make fresh tasting, beautifully colored juice. If you’re a bit more daring try throwing in some onions, garlic or peppers – the burn is amazing!

Document your SWEATtime meetings through video, photographs or any other means. Share your experiences with others through a group web log or newsletter.


This manual was originally produced by Hideous Beast and may be freely copied and distributed by anyone. CONTACT US SWEATtime is an event where people gather and exercise using old, retro workout videos. For some people the atmosphere at a typical gym can be intimidating, uncomfortable or just plain annoying. Most are set up to accommodate a private quest for self-improvement. In a public setting, this presents the uncanny dynamic of exercise unwittingly put on display – a theater of physical performance. SWEATtime ruptures the spectacle of routine exercise with laughter. For even the most fit and able-bodied, working out to a Richard Simmons, Jane Fonda or Billy Blanks video can be somewhat awkward. The humor in this awkwardness (and of course the amazing fashions of past eras) provides connection and trust that is unavailable at Gold’s Gym or the YMCA. Laughter is said to be great exercise, so go yuck it up! WHAT IS SWEATtime? The purpose of this user guide is to explain the steps necessary to facilitate and host SWEATtime. Through a loose set of instructions and anecdotal commentary, we intend that users in diverse locations with varied resources be able to organize and execute this event (or series of events). Though this guide attempts to provide a logical framework for realizing SWEATtime, the components and ideas presented can be expanded and modified to fit individual user needs.





A fun and rewarding extension of SWEATtime would be to make your own workout video. After you have established a regular group, work together to create a set of exercises, costumes and a soundtrack. Use some rudimentary video editing equipment to edit it all together (don’t forget the goofy transitions). You can sell copies to purchase more workout tapes, sweat suits or some nice mats.

It helps to have some sweet tunes to get you pumped up for getting buff. Make sure you have enough tunes to get you through a 30-60 minute workout (or longer if you’re a maniac!). Gather songs with a variety of tempos to match each section of the workout (see below for recommendations). This site is a great place to start for exercise songs - they even include the bpm (beats per minute) for each song. For those with different tastes there are plenty more places to find exercise mixes on the world wide web.

SET / COSTUMES Your video could be filmed just about anywhere in any circumstance (imagine a group all wearing rain slickers or heavy parkas and working out in a thunderstorm or snowstorm!). Use features of the site to your advantage – either as visual elements in the video or as props to aid your workout. With more resources and tools you could even build an elaborate stage set with an intense color scheme that could be matched to the group’s outfits. Your outfits could be as simple and casual or fancy and complex as you like – but a coordinated look will add to the visual impact of your video.



Every workout starts with a time of stretching and loosening up to prepare for the main workout. Stretching out your legs and arms can be combined with short bursts of aerobic activity to get the blood flowing and muscles loose. This section is generally accompanied by slower music (though not too slow that you fall asleep!) under 100 beats per minute (bpm) (“I love rock and roll” by Joan Jett is around 96 bpm). 10-20 minutes

Once you’re warmed up it’s time to kick it into gear. For this section you should keep a constant pace for the duration. Use combinations of running in place, jumping jacks, windmills and any other repeatable full body movements you can come up with. Your music selection should be a bit faster paced – 130-140 bpm (“Beat it” by MJ is 136 bpm). 20-40 minutes

INTENSE WORKOUT Put the pedal to the metal and increase the intensity. Try more strenuous moves like sit-ups, push-ups, mountain climbers and squat thrusts, or create your own combinations! This part should really get your heart rate up and fry your muscles. Amp up the music to 150 bpm or higher (“Dancing with myself” by Billy Idol is 176 bpm). 10-20 minutes

COOL-DOWN / STRETCHING Some light aerobic activity (a walking pace) mixed with stretches to slowly cool your body down. A wonderful way to end a workout is to lay down and try to completely relax all of your muscles. Any music below 100 bpm should be suitable. 10-20 minutes

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