3 Tips for Sweatworking Etiquette

There's a new craze called sweatworking, which is reshaping business meetings. However, you need to remember these mannerly tips if you chose to participate.

Richie Frieman
5-minute read
Episode #347

There is a new fitness craze gaining popularity, centered around working out as a team while talking together and making business deals. Yup, you heard me—this workout involves business. It’s called Sweatworking (sweat + networking), and it's where clients, colleagues, and coworkers can “network” while they work up a sweat.

And if you think Nutrition Diva and Get-Fit-Guy are the only ones that support sweatworking over standard ho-hum standard practice of networking, you’re mistaken. It seems like this “fad” is not going away any time soon. However as sweatworking becomes more mainstream, it’s time to focus on how to properly conduct ourselves in such a venture … before we end up embarrassing ourselves during a “leisurely” 5K walk with the CEO. So, I’m ready to (CLAP) pump … you-up, with these tips on sweatworking etiquette.

Tip #1: Stay in Your Comfort Zone

I’ll be honest, when it comes to making a key contact or landing a deal, I’ll do pretty much anything that won’t put me behind bars. Every single piece of success I’ve ever gained has come from throwing myself into a situation and hoping for the best. Embarrassment, time, money, whatever—if it will help me accomplish something, I’m in. However, even though I’m willing to go to the ends of the earth to make a good impression, I know my limits. For example, I’m a terrible golfer and despite having a 250 average, I happen to LOVE the game. I just go along at the pace of the people I’m with, enjoying conversation and a good time on the links. But see how I stated very openly how bad I am? I wasn’t hiding it, and would never give the impression I was even remotely “half decent." So, when a colleague invited me to play in a charity tournament, I sadly had to decline. I mean, I’m all about putting myself out there … but even I know my limits. And this is the only proper mentality to keep in mind before venturing into a sweatworking event.

Sweatworking isn’t just about working out while you discuss business. You have to be able to do the workout to keep the conversation going. If someone invites you to a yoga session, and spends the entire time stuck in downward dog, writhing in pain, it’s hardly going to make a good impression or be productive. Also, the person will not be flattered that you only accepted their invitation and you’re clearly miserable the entire time. Instead, be honest with your sweatworking partner regarding your capabilities and comfort level. If they suggest yoga, and you are about as flexible as a steel bar, don’t try it. Instead counter with another solution that fits your fitness level. Bring up multiple ideas, saying, “Actually, I heard of this great spin class where we can sit side by side. It’s very casual and everyone seems to love it.” This way, you’re not sitting against the wall in embarrassment because your Warrior III pose made you vomit.

Tip #2: Choose Wisely

As I said in Tip #1, sweatworking becomes a #sweatworkingfail when you choose a workout that is totally out of the comfort zone. But what about when you’re the one pitching an idea, rather than accepting? When you accept a sweatworking invite, it’s your call on whether or not you accept the challenge. So, that’s your problem if you decide sparring in a boxing glove is “right up your alley." However, when you’re the one who suggests a sweatworking plan, always know that the person on the other end is thinking one of two things: “This is going to be fantastic!” or “This is going to a complete nightmare.” And if they’re thinking the latter, know that they may leave the event thinking, “This is the last time I sweatwork with this person.”