fitmob, the sweaty social network

A new social app has launched in San Francisco with a catch: You have to get sweaty to use it.

Instead of building another gym where people plug in their headphones and unplug from the world, fitmob created an app-based workout regime that connects users with workout partners.

In a city less than 47 square miles across with 800,000 people living on top of each other, it shouldn’t be difficult to make a human connection.

San Franciscans, however, seem more likely to be immersed in their cell phones than interacting face-to-face.

What makes fitmob different is that workouts are structured to bring users together — as workout partners, and as a community.

Young professionals working at San Francisco’s tech companies can rub shoulders with hipster college students in Dolores Park or take a trip across town to workout with the Marina ‘bros’ on the waterfront.

Emily Gregg, launch leader for the Marina and instructor of the class she calls “better than therapy” said fitmob is about partner work and meeting new people.

Gregg told SFBay she leads exercises designed to encourage people to meet and interact:

“People go out drinking and eat fried food because there’s no healthy option for social activity. Most of the people who come here aren’t going to go have a donut.”

The creation of Snapfish co-founder Raj Kapoor and P90x guru Tony Horton, fitmob is backed by a reported $9.8 million in venture capital. fitmob seeks to disrupt traditional gyms the way Sidecar, Lyft and Uber changed local transportation.

For sessions like “weapons of ass reduction,” “twerkout conditioning,” and “guru gone wild,” fitmob bills users each week based on how many workouts they’ve attended. One class a week is $15, two cost $10 each and three workouts are a mere $5 each.

Headquartered in SoMa, fitmob splashes its cement walls with bright posters and slogans like “have fun.” Its employees — of course — share office space with a workout room.

Since launching in late January the company has held workouts in Dolores Park, Brannan Street Wharf, Cardio Tone Studios on 24th Street and fitmob headquarters. More locations are expected.

Eventually, the company plans to blanket the city in what Kapoor describes as “pop up spaces” or areas of the city that can be used as impromptu exercise areas.