Pop Gym, A Nomadic Fitness Group, Is Bringing an Inclusive Workout Class to Bushwick This Weekend

Emma Casley


Pop Gym and Radically Fit are teaming up to put on a Free Community Workout December 9th at 2:30pm at The Muse. Both groups are committed to offering trainings suited for all skill sets and needs.

Pop Gym is a locally based and regularly offers “free classes for fitness, self-defense and self care” to the Brooklyn community and beyond. They frequently pair up with other organizations like Radically Fit, a visiting based queer body positive gym from the Bay Area. Through events like these, Pop Gym hopes to “make self-defense accessible. Particularly to folks who have felt excluded from it in the past.” Making self defense accessible means making events free. It also means having classes reserved for women and genderqueer people. And it means workouts that are adaptable to all kinds of physical abilities.

Through their events, Pop Gym aims to keep both people and communities strong – particularly for people from traditionally marginalized groups. Grey Cohen, one of the co-founders of Pop Gym, has a background in martial arts and was inspired to share his knowledge in the wake of the 2016 election, when there were many people from marginalized groups looking to share resources and strengthen community. What eventually became Pop Gym started as individual lessons by Cohen for people looking to learn self defense.

The project grew from there, as Kirsten Adorian can attest to as one of the initial class attendees. She was attracted to the project because it was accessible and welcoming. She later joined the small but growing collective that runs Pop Gym, along with the help of instructors and other like-minded organizations.

The project changes as different people join, bringing their own unique skills and backgrounds to each class. The next big goal for the projects is finding a permanent physical space. Though Cohen has appreciated not being tied to one location: it allows Pop Gym to be flexible and available for more people across the city and beyond, regardless of current fitness level and income.

        “Gym culture, self defense culture, and yoga culture can be incredibly alienating” Adorian admits. Pop Gym, through its various workshops, zines, and events gives people as sense of “I can do that.” If going to workouts has never really been your thing, consider giving Pop Gym a try.

        You can find more information about Pop Gym and upcoming events at their website: https://www.popgym.org

(All pictures courtesy of Grey Cohen/Pop Gym)

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