Synopsis: Alexa had noticed Titus the first day she stepped into the College of Charleston’s fitness center. Sinewy legs, pulsing biceps, he could bench press a grown woman she’d thought, catching herself staring. The cowboy comm major was known for his gym rat tendencies. He’d skip media law just to get some reps in. But, if Alexa’s sources were correct, that also meant Titus was an F away from academic probation. He needed to bring up his grades and he needed to bring them up fast. Fortunately CofC was taking active measures: required tutoring from a certain straight-A sophomore. Now if only Alexa could decide on how to begin their emergency tutorial, with a study of tort — or an in depth survey of Titus’ tight ass.
Let’s be honest, you don’t even try to get into “beach body” shape anymore. So you can either buy that Kardashian-endorsed teatox and shit your brains out on the beach, become the type of person who spends money on cover-ups, or enjoy your summer anyway. Hell, you’re basically detoxing non-stop, sweating out the toxins as you sip mojitos anyway. But before you go drowning in your own vodka-scented sweat, consider this: it’s not too late. Summer provides some of the best opportunities to work out without realizing you’re working out. You’re already drinking lots of fluids, wearing shorts or spandex, and you’re wet — I’m talking summer rain or humid sweats — so why not take full advantage and really work up an appetite while you’re at it? You’ll have all winter to worry about your beach body. Sweat freely while you can!
Free Park Workouts
Nothing is better than free fifty-free when it comes to workouts, but an inspiring coach and unintimidating community make decent cherries on top. Three times a week, local trainer Aiden Ivy leads groups of everyday people equipped with water, optimism, and only slightly outdated running shoes through ass-sculpting workouts in the park. Imagine actually doing those bodyweight workouts you pinned on Pinterest or read in Men’s Health, but with a few buddies to laugh along and a private facebook group to keep you accountable. Ivy is one motivating coach, a perfectly chiseled and tattooed balance of intimidating and inspiring (sorry guys and gals, he’s taken). So dig out that water bottle they gave you for finishing the Color Run, grab a friend who enjoys hiking about as much as you, and head to Waterfront Park on Thursday night. Workouts are 6:30 pm Thursdays at Memorial Waterfront Park and 6:30 pm Mondays and Wednesdays at Park Circle.
Communal Calorie Burns
Working, working out, and maintaining some semblance of a social life — as one wise woman said, “ain’t nobody got time for that.” Take a page from the millennial snowflake’s book and multitask. Charleston makes it easy with a whole slew of summer events that combine socializing with community involvement and fitness. Affordabike leads about three free rides a week (free bike rentals too!), from entry level road biking with a coffee shop pit stop to urban mountain bike rides that will make you feel like a concrete ninja. The Challenge Course at James Island County Park hosts family and couples days and discounts throughout the summer for students, military members, teachers, and even pastors. You know you want to sweat on your pastor. If table tennis is your idea of a sweaty good time, HoM bar is hosting a Battle of the Balls. Sixteen teams of business partners will smack balls from June to August while the rest of us chug our beers supportively. Or start training now for the second annual Palmetto Paddle this July, where you can race the 3- or 8-mile courses with any water vessel holding up to eight people. I mean, does the workout really count if no one sees you do it?
Lululemon’s Free Sweats
If you’ve ever walked into Lululemon and thought, “damn these stretchy pants are expensive and these fit people are intimidatingly friendly,” you’re right. You also understand exactly why free Sunday workouts in the Lululemon store are a genius addition to your fitness attempts. Nothing will motivate you to squat lower like fancy stretch pants hanging over your head and smiling fitspos getting low next to you. You get to squat, tuck and flow with some of the best local teachers — like Ashley Bell of Reverb Yoga, Davon Gilliard of Exemplar Fitness and Cody Cooper of Grit Box Fitness — for free. Not only will you feel like your glutes deserve those $100 lycra pants, you also just saved the $20 drop-in fee at a studio so maybe you can actually afford Wunder Unders. Then again, The Restoration’s bloody mary is just around the corner and it is time for Sunday brunch. Sunday Sweat Series classes are 10 am Sundays at Lululemon King Street.
Commitment and summertime make terrible bedfellows. Going steady with anything other than naps and cold beer seems unappealing while the sun shines and schools are out of sessions. So why fight it? Studios, gyms, and boxes all over Charleston are dying to get you in the door, so much so that they dole out new student deals like Russian hacking scandals. You could hop between top-tier facilities all summer long without paying the price of a single month at any one. Urban Yoga, Charleston Power Yoga, Community Yoga and Mission all offer newbies 1 month for around $50; Pure Barre gives a free week to local clients; Gold’s Gym, Crunch, Pivotal and O2 Fitness have free intro trials; and new students get a free class at CrossFit Discovery, Pale Horse, Iron Bridge, CrossFit North Charleston and Lowcountry CrossFit. Now, I’m not saying you should abuse the system — but they did extend the offer. The novelty of sweaty new adventures might keep you motivated, and the collective fitpros of the internet all agree: switching up your workouts maximizes results.
Shake Your Buti
Summer is the time for Buti. You know those wiggly bits you meant to tone before bikini season? The ones that mysteriously stuck around like the orgasmicly crispy batter on Leon’s fried chicken? Buti says: be proud and shake ’em! Founded by platinum-haired mogul Bizzie Gold, Buti “yoga” classes are like a Beyonce meme on steroids. You’ll writhe to Jay-Z, stomp till your cellulite gets whiplash, and spread your legs wider than your partner knew you could — all while sweat-drunk on the female empowerment vibes. My yoga teacher once said, “my boyfriend knows I practice the splits in yoga so I can come back and do them on his face.” Buti is kind of like that. Summer flings, amiright? Buti yoga classes are 8:15 a.m. Mondays and 7:30 p.m. Wednesdays at Charleston Community Yoga and 10 am Fridays and 12:15 p.m. Sundays at Charleston Power Yoga.
Those three little words: epic air conditioning. Yes, Charleston’s booming hiit studios have state-of-the-art equipment designed by Olympic cyclists, heart rate monitors that show exactly how many calories you can re-ingest guilt-free, and soundtracks that twerk harder than Republic — but the crisp, refreshingly cool facilities are the real reason I endure burpees. The blasting LMFAO remixes and air conditioning make a mind-altering cocktail strong enough to numb the micro-tears ripping through your biceps. Just one hour later, your ass will be so ready to veg on the beach all day long. We won’t talk about what happens when you try to stand up again. First class is free at Hy/Lo Fitness in Mt. Pleasant and OrangeTheory Fitness in Summerville and West Ashley, and Mt. Pleasant.
Earn Your Eats
If you want free pizza, cheap beer, popsicles and frosé all summer long, there is a way. For those of us who have more fat cells to burn than dollar bills, places like Frothy Beard Brewery, Whole Foods, and Tradesman Brewing Co. offer free or cheap workouts the include edible treats. “Never forget: The more miles you run, the more beers you can drink and slices you can eat,” is the motivating mantra of Frothy Beard Brewery’s Fit Club, which hosts free weekly runs and $15 yoga classes that include a post-Savasana pint. Bendy Brewski Yoga pairs with a local brewery every week for a flow class followed by a beer flight. King Street’s new cafe/boutique Skinny Dip is hosting barre classes with frosé on the rooftop. Fleet Feet’s June Pub Run ends at the Whole Foods bar for beers and refreshing popsicles. Or join the tight-knit Running for Brews group for weekly runs to-and-from Charleston Beer Works. Perhaps the best ROI of all is the free pizza and beer at the end of every Urban Mountain Ride with Affordabike. That post-sweat mozzarella never tasted so perfect, salty, and sweet.