How to turn your summer barbecue into a (really fun) workout

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Photo: Throwback Fitness

Remember how much fun Field Day was as a kid?

So do Throwback Fitness founders Brian Gallagher and Ryan Wilke—and they can help you experience that same feeling as an adult at your next summer barbecue, with a bonus element: you’ll get a workout in, too.

“The effects of physical activity on the mind are more beneficial than those of alcohol and fried foods, so incorporating some physical fun with social groups is a great idea,” Gallagher says. Before you tighten your grip on the rosé, rest assured that he’s not coming for your bottle: “We don’t endorse excluding alcohol, so we’ve found ways to combine the two sometimes in our classes,” he adds. (More on that in a moment!)

Throwback’s workout concept involves incorporating games and teamwork to make fitness fun and motivating. In class, that may mean racing on rowing machines, but they also take it outside by hosting corporate field days for major companies like MasterCard, Venmo, and ClassPass. “There’s something about running around like kids again that makes for better relationship-building,” Gallagher says. And there’s no reason why that wouldn’t translate from co-workers to your #squad.

So if you can’t get to one of their classes in New York City or your boss hasn’t hired them to lead team-building burpees, try enlisting friends and family in one of their two suggested outdoor workout games, below, at your next summer barbecue. It’ll amp up the energy and metabolisms of everyone involved.

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outdoor summer workouts
Photo: Throwback Fitness

Capture the Flag

Teams are split into opposite sides of the field with the goal of retrieving as many flags as possible from the other team.

You may play defense by using water guns to squirt a member of the opposing team if they enter your team’s territory. If you’re hit with water, you’re temporarily out of the game until you run to a designated re-spawn area and return to your team’s territory.

Increase the physical exertion by requiring players to perform the following circuit before attempting to capture a flag: 12 pushups, 12 squats.

Throwback Flip Cup

Split group into even teams, lining up single file, facing a cup of beer (amount is up to you) about 10 yards away.

Starting at the back of the line, the last person performs 8 push-ups, then the next person closest to front, then the next, until the line gets to the front person. The front person performs the exercise, then sprints towards the cup of beer, drinks it, flips it over, and runs back to their team.

Complete as quickly as possible, with the first person returning to their team crowned the winner of that round. Repeat as many rounds as desired, changing exercises each time.

Want more creative ways to break a sweat? Let Pokemon Go replace your cardio, like this writer did. And if you’re in need of genius healthy BBQ recipes, we’ve got you covered.

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