Work Out Help Out is a non-profit organization in San Antonio that volunteers to help the community while providing a free workout for those who participate. This a great organization that gives you a chance to help the environment and help you stay fit! We were lucky to conduct an interview with Paul Rezaei, the co-founder of the non-profit. Check out what he has to say!

The team collecting trash at a local park.

The team collecting trash at a local park.

How did the initial concept for Work Out Help Out begin?

I’ve been personal training for many years and have always imagined a way to harness some of the energy from a workout. Think of all the energy being expended by the millions of people exercising, moving things around with the only purpose of keeping their bodies healthy. My first idea was to invent workout machines that have a generator in them to fuel the electricity for the building. Fathom the possibilities that workout energy could have if channeled into a productive, purposeful force! Then I thought of a more straight forward approach. Why not have people do the same movements they would in a gym but have it accomplish a task? Functional training is a term used to describe movements that mimic everyday activities. If you are going to do these movements to stay fit, then why not do them while helping someone else out at the same time? What kind of impact would this have on your community if everyone donated one workout per week to this idea? Basically we integrate exercise and community service. We call this “workout while you help out!”

What are the different ways you help the community?

  • Cheap or free personal training.
  • An avenue where people can get community service hours and a workout in one shot.
  • Free labor to those in need.

How do you incorporate exercising at an event?

Each event is different. The last event I had was a dodgeball tournament. The admission to play was bringing at least 5 canned goods to donate to the Food Bank. The workout was dodgeball and the help out was donating canned goods. The next event I have is riding bikes on the west side of San Antonio and planting seeds in local gardens. With each event there is always a workout and help out component. If the task we are doing isn’t enough of a workout, I will incorporate traditional exercises. Example would be if we were painting a fence for a local church. Painting the fence would not be enough of a workout, so I would setup stations. Some people would be painting the fence and the others doing an exercise like pushups and then we would switch.

Are there Work Out Help Outs in other cities?

Not yet! I believe this concept will spread across the nation and even the world. We are an official non-profit. I’m looking for people in other towns to start their own. I would walk them through the process. If the idea is cohesive and consistent, people will know what to expect when coming out to an event no matter where in the world they are.

Could you tell me what the day consists of at a typical event?

First we meet at the location.  Then we brief everyone on what to expect and what we are doing.  Many times working out while we help involves landscaping type activities and doing body weight exercises that are scaled according to the individual. Once we are finished with the project we thank everyone and go over what we accomplished. Prayer and high fives for everyone!

What was your most successful event—one where you think you did the most to help the San Antonio community?

Tough question! We’ve been doing this for over 2 years, so I have many stories. The most successful event from an attendance stand point was where we partnered with The Wounded Warrior Project. We had over 300 people show for our group. For every 10 people we brought out, Microsoft donated a laptop to a wounded warrior, so that was really cool. We had everyone doing squats for the workout!

wounded warrior

The Wounded Warrior Project

What do you hope to accomplish in the future with Work Out Help Out?

My hope is to create a paradigm shift when it comes to working out. I imagine a future where people use movement not only in a gym for themselves, but also to accomplish tasks for other people. It’s a win-win for everyone involved! I want Work Out Help Out to be a house hold name and for it to partner with many other organizations. I want this concept to be unified and moving in one direction versus other people and organizations adopting and watering down the concept. If we are together and unified, we can change the world!