As fitness becomes trendy and this movement of, well, movement sweeps the nation, we’re noticing a worrisome trend: Absolutely no money in our wallets after working out. But we say no. There has to be a way to get our sweat on without being broke as a joke. Hint: there is.
Pittsburgh is practically bursting at the seams with ways to workout that won’t cost a thing. We’ve got free classes by the coal barge-load all over the city where you can run, yoga, cycle, and more. So, leave your wallet at home when you head for one of these workout groups and classes.
Track Tuesday…Thursday Night Group Run…Saturday Morning Training Run – if you want to become a better runner, you’ll be seeing a lot of the Steel City Road Runners. 3 times per week, often in multiple locations around the city, SCRR hosts free runs with expert runners. It’s true, their yearly membership isn’t free. But honestly, you probably want to get in on this: $40 per year gets you race discounts, practically VIP treatment at the PGH Marathon, a dedicated team of coaches, and so much more.
People Who Run Downtown tell it how it is. They’re going to run, downtown, rain or shine. But they do more, too – like walk, talk, jog, and feast. They’re a FREE social club that just loves running. That’s why for 30 years they’ve welcomed everyone from the mall-walker to the marathoner to run their weekly route, which always starts at a different Pittsburgh restaurant. Still bring your wallet, though…because food.
This isn’t the first time we’ve raved about Fleet Feet Flyers Running Club. That’s because this isn’t their first time around the block. They’ve been helping runners train for years now, and the memberships are still free. Every Sunday morning, they host a group or themed run around the Burgh, as well as Wednesday evening track workouts that are open to the public. Ask to join their Facebook group so you’ll never miss a run.
Elite Runners and Walkers sets you up for success from start to finish. You know, like providing water stops along their planned Saturday Group Runs. That’s a real game changer. That, and they make sure that you’re training smart with multiple controlled distances and pace groups from 8:00/mile to 12:00/mile. What do they ask in return? Run hard and keep your shoes tied!
From the bottom of their hearts, Salt Power Yoga cares about the bottom of your pockets. Every Sunday, Salt offers Yoga on the House at 930am in Seven Fields and 5pm in Sewickley. This free and freeing experience is a sweaty 60 minutes of heated power Vinyasa flow, led by the expert instruction of the Salt staff. Fitt tip: The class is free and therefore popular. Show up early to find a space for your mat.
We love Yoga in the Square. Each Sunday in the summer, we wake up knowing that we get to stretch out with hundreds of our friends in downtown’s Market Square. Led by Pittsburgh’s top yoga instructors, we get an hour of all-levels, Vinyasa-style yoga fo’ free. And when the Square gets coated in that grey slushy snow, we take things indoors to heat up the PPG Wintergarden.
Usually a post-game to one of South Hills Power Yoga’s vigorous Vinyasa classes, the meditation offers you a chance to cool down and turn your brain off. Their free 30-minute meditation sessions features blocks, props, bolsters (basically a yoga pillow), and blankets in a non-heated room. It’s the perfect opportunity to deepen your understanding of both yoga and meditation techniques…and time to NOT think about work.
Engaging the community in learning is what the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh network is all about. So aside from offering about a million books to Pittsburghers, they regularly offer free yoga in their many libraries. Though, you won’t need any cash or valid library cards to get in on power yoga in Brookline, basics in East Liberty, and even a gentle meditation in West End. Don’t miss any of the free yoga in a library near you – stay up to date on their events page.
This one depends on your definition of “free”. Amazing Yoga (in Shadyside, South Side, Wexford, and Lawrenceville) offers a unique deal for you. If you help out around the studio – check in guests, light cleaning duties, and prepare the studio for the next class – you get to take the class for free. That’s pretty solid if you ask us. Learn how you can get involved in the amazing Work Exchange program here.
When you ride a Steel City Roll, you keep your clothes on. That may be a good thing, considering they roll once per month all the way to November. Each first Monday of the month, this group of bicycling enthusiasts, leisurely riders, and first-timers gather in Market Square for a 9-15-mile jaunt through a different Pittsburgh neighborhood. Seeing the city from two wheels is something you just need to try.
Once a month during summer months (thank goodness), Pittsburgh bicyclists can strip down to their bloomers and ride around the Burgh. The Pittsburgh Underwear Bike Ride pedals for fun and promotes positive self-body image, frequently parading around Lawrenceville in their delicates. Oh, and it’s free (not even a fine from Pittsburgh’s finest!). Keep up-to-date on their Facebook page for the low-down on their next ride.
You certainly have your pick when it comes to finding a group to bike with in Pittsburgh. So just do it already! When you do, look for the flock. 412 Flock meets at Dippy the Dinosaur (the gigantic brontosaurus in Oakland) for a monthly ride. Why ride with these guys? 1) the obvious – it’s free. 2) safety in numbers. 3) they bring music. 4) post-race after party. And watch their
events page to see if there will be a theme for the ride.
Say you just dropped LA Fitness like they’re hot and have been itchin’ to try CrossFit. But, you’re hesitant to commit hard (you just left a gym relationship after all). Well wake up early and get to CrossFit Focus in Robinson for a free workout. Every Saturday starting at 8am, you’ll get to see what CrossFit (and the awesome community at CFF) is all about. Go get it!
Remember when your parents always pushed hard to make “family time” happen? Well your new family will certainly push you hard at a community gathering every Saturday morning at 9am. The free Community Class at Mt. Lebanon CrossFit is a group WOD designed to make you sweat, build some strength, and bring you and your fellow CrossFitters together.
T2 will tell you this first: They want to build a supportive community of healthy athletes. And their free Community Class on Saturday in Bridgeville sees “athletes” of all kinds – former athletes, CrossFit superstars, desk jockeys, and soccer moms. Everyone’s goal? Be a healthier, happier, stronger person one rep and one community WOD at a time.
Industrial Athletics in the Northside offers two freebies to dip your feet into CrossFit. But just because it’s free doesn’t mean they’ll baby you. Tuesday at 530pm and Saturday at 11am, hike up your big girl and big boy pants for an appropriate and respectful butt-whoopin’. Just call or email them first to let them know you’re coming.
The big [free] ticket for healthy activities in Pittsburgh has to be OpenStreetsPGH. Multiple times during the summer months, they shut down downtown Pittsburgh streets through the North Side and West End for you to do…whatever. You can walk, bike, run, or rollerblade without looking twice for cars. Plus, you get a bunch of free fitness classes and programming that you can jump in on. The food, sadly, still costs money.
We’ll keep you up to date on all things health, fitness and local food in Pittsburgh.