Sep 14, 2022 - Things to Do

Austin-based SweatPals connects people to community workouts

Photo: Courtesy of SweatPals

Salar Shahini moved to Austin two years ago and quickly discovered that he could find friends in his new city with the help of free fitness groups.

Yes, but: There are so many to choose from.

Why it matters: It's nearly impossible to know all the community workouts available in Austin — from run clubs to bouldering and cycling to yoga.

What happened: Shahini wanted to make it easier to find different groups and connect with workout enthusiasts.

  • So he launched SweatPals as an Instagram page in March, highlighting workouts around the city each week.
  • Beginning Saturday, SweatPals will transform into an app, allowing Austinites to find new events, message friends, share their workouts and get updates from their favorite clubs.

How it works: The Austin-based startup hopes to build a social network for people to connect through fitness, Shahini says.

  • The app is currently in beta testing mode and already being used by running groups like the Morning Jo's and Sprint Squad and for climbers at Austin Bouldering Project.
  • Club members message each other to meet up to work out and send reminders about upcoming group events.
  • Organizers can also submit their workout events to the app.

What they're saying: "I had no idea that [Austin] has a very active fitness community with all these people meeting every day around us. Once I found one of them … I found another one," Shahini told Axios. "I've always found my first friends in every city through these groups and communities, and they always welcome me with open arms."

What's next: Grab your '80s-inspired, neon workout clothes.

  • The app will launch during a free fitness festival Saturday at Highbrow Lowbrow, featuring 12 local fitness communities leading their signature workouts.

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