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The gym is free; just be kind to a stranger Portland, United States

  • Group shot of BeastfitNation members
  • Group photo of BeastfitNation members

Beastfitnation is a free gym, on one condition. Members must agree to undertake random acts of kindness for at least three people in the community. The gym covers its costs through sponsorship.

How did it start?

I wanted to start a gym, where money would not be a barrier to joining. I wanted to help people to reach their fitness goals, for free. I call it the ‘Paying forward project’. I do something positive for my group of people and they each do something positive for three other people.

Project results

Around 2,500 people have worked out at the gym since we opened who then go on to undertake random acts of kindness. For example, Brandon Stevens, a student at Portland State University says:

“After coming here, I do as many random acts of kindness as possible throughout the day. You will help your neighbor, pay for the person behind you, call up a friend you have not talked to in a while, tell them you miss them. Do something else for somebody else.”

Gymtopia Comment

This is both heart-warming, but also extremely innovative. The ability to take an activity (a workout) which normally benefits just the participant and amplify its value to others is very clever. How do we know that people will complete their random acts of kindness in exchange for free workouts? Well, at some point, we just have to trust people to do the right thing.

Project by:Beast Fit Nation

Beast Fit Nation

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Location: Portland, United States
Start date: March 2012
Status: Ongoing
Impact: Local
Submitted: 22 June 2013