You’ve probably seen people walking around in workout gear, spray-painted with “November Project” and wondered, “what is that?” Well here you go: November Project (NP) is a super cool, weekly, drop-in workout, and it’s FREE!
But don’t just take my word for it! Check out my interview with Derek Page and Megan Hunter, two of the leaders from November Project, who offered up their experiences with this exciting fitness program and know first-hand why NP is amazing!
How did November Project start? When did it make its way to Winnipeg?
Megan Hunter: Two friends in Boston who rowed crew together in university decided to workout every morning in November to hold each other accountable. Slowly other people joined them, then other people in different cities started “tribes” and in June 2014 two high school friends – Rick and Tom – heard of NP and decided to start one in Winnipeg. They hyped it and it's since grown: 75-100 people participate in winter and 125-200 in summer.
When was the first time you heard about the November Project?
Derek Page: I first heard about it in January 2015.
Megan Hunter: I heard about it in summer 2015, and started going in January 2016.
What’s the best part of NP for you?
DP: The people.
MH: The community, the people I've met, making friends who push you in workouts and hold you accountable.
What is your favourite workout?
DP: The bridge challenge – a.k.a. exercises at each end of the bridge such as pushups, burpees, sit-ups, etc., followed by a run to the other side. There are levels of each exercise. The clock is set for 20 minutes and if you push really hard you can finish the whole thing.
MH: PR day. Once a month we do a 4km time trial and in the winter we do 20 minutes of running levels in the parking garage.
And your least favourite?
DP: Sebastiens – a.k.a. 7minute burpees.
MH: Anything with burpees.
How does NP help you training for running?
DP: It helps build speed, strength and all around fitness.
MH: It reminds me that training is supposed to be fun and to not take it too seriously. It provides good cross-training and lets me work muscles I wouldn’t usually with running.
What’s the craziest thing you’ve ever seen at a workout?
DP: 200 people lunging across the Provencher Bridge.
MH: 250 people working out on the second birthday workout, with a DJ and Goldie (Goldeye’s mascot).
What’s the deal with your spray-painted shirts? How do I get one?
MH: We have stencils and once a month you can bring your clothes in and we'll spray paint them for you. You can get one just by showing up to a workout. It’s a way to recognize people from NP in the larger workout community and to build the tribe.
For someone who is still not convinced, why should people come to November Project over other bootcamps?
DP: It's free and the community is unlike the typical bootcamp community in that you’re able to connect and interact with other people. The workout is always different, and there are different levels so there is always someone at your level to push you.
MH: November Project is super welcoming and fun. All the workouts are scalable so no matter your fitness level you will find someone to push you.
One final question: Why 6:14am? What’s the significance?
MH: It’s early enough that you can do it before work or school. The 14 is so that you’re already working out by 6:15.
So there you have it – the tribe leaders have spoken. Personally, my favourite part of November Project is the encouragement. They even give out a “Positivity Award” to people who embody their philosophy. Whether you want to meet new people, get a good workout, or just need a hug, the November Project is a wonderful place to be.
Winnipeg’s November Project meets every Wednesday morning at 6:14am at the skate park at the Forks. #justshowup