Forget the martini lunch, sweatworking mixes business with exercise

Mon Apr 20, 2015 1:08pm EDT
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By Dorene Internicola

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Sweatworking, the growing practice of meeting clients for a walk, a run or a fitness class, is elbowing networking out of bars and restaurants and into boutique fitness studios.

A yoga, barre or spin class has become the new nine holes of golf, fitness experts said, chased by a post-workout smoothie rather than a three-martini lunch.

“Sweatworking was born out of a desire to connect with clients on a deeper level that wasn’t so sales-y,” said Sarah Siciliano, 32, an advertising executive who has been entertaining clients with workouts. “A lot of sales jobs revolve around drinking.”

Siciliano, who is based in New York City, considers taking her mostly female clients, who range in age from 22 to 52, to yoga, spinning, bootcamp and dance studios a great tool to develop relationships.

“People like to move along with the trends,” said Siciliano, who organizes her workout events.

“I do all the leg work but I exercise everyday anyway so for me it’s a win-win,” she said. “If you can knock out a client event and your workout at the same time, why not?”

Sweatworking began in the advertising world, but has spread to more traditionally conservative professions such as law and banking, according to Alexia Brue, co-founder of the wellness media company Well+Good.

“Now a lot of client entertaining in many industries has moved into boutique studios,” she said, “especially to those with workouts that aren’t super awkward, or super-sweaty to do with a client.”   Continued...

The wheels of an indoor bicycle are seen spinning at a SoulCycle class at their Union Square location in New York April 13, 2011. RREUTERS/Shannon Stapleton