In the midst of all the crazy New York Fashion Week coverage, I got an invite to join Reebok for a workout with Fifth Harmony at Gotham Gym, so I did what any girl in my shoes would do — dropped everything and went! With empowering female anthems like “Worth It” and their epic performance at this year’s VMAs with Gucci Mane and Keyshia Ka’oir, Fifth Harmony is probably one of the most recognized girl groups right now. I showed up to the Reebok x NYFW Fit to Fashion event, along with a few other content creators like myself, to catch a break from the hustle and bustle of NYFW, but was a tad intimidated by the boxing-inspired workout that awaited me.
Not only was I working out with a girl group who nails killer choreography every time they hit the stage, but the workout was being led by the creator and owner of Gotham Gym, Rob Piel. While the trainers tried to assure me that I had nothing to worry about, in my head I instantly started to regret falling off my “summer body” regimen somewhere around late June. It turns out I was right.
After getting my hands wrapped (as one does when they box) and taking my spot in front of the ring, in walks Ally Brooke, Normani Kordei, Dinah Jane and Lauren Jauregui, the four remaining members of Fifth Harmony. They’re sporting their Reebok gear head to toe, like myself, but somehow it looks like they’re about to break out into song and dance, instead of breaking sweat like I already am due to the late-summer weather outside. I was fooled, because as soon as the gym turned up the music and the warm-up started, the ladies put their game faces on. I was glad I had a direct view of them while I went to work — jumping jacks, squats, jump squats — because watching them was motivation.
I was happy to see that they weren’t workout know-it-alls, either. They were pushing themselves and looking for direction from the Gotham Gym staff, the same way me and my colleagues were. I could tell the music is what kept them going, too. Just when we all collectively started falling off on reps of burpees, Cardi B’s “Bodak Yellow” came on, and Fifth Harmony got their second wind. They shadow boxed their way through the lyrics, which totally had the entire gym rapping along with them and Cardi. Yes, these ladies are real AF.
“We do our best. It’s hard! We’re constantly on the road, and we all love to eat, so we try to find balance. We never like to deprive ourselves, but we do try to eat clean as much as possible and sneak in workouts wherever we can so we feel energized and don’t feel bad when we eat that extra handful of Flaming Hot Cheetos!,” says Dinah.
Ally, whom the group collectively picks as the most active, adds, “I think we all try to work out as often as we can to do what is right for our individual bodies. Staying healthy is a big priority for us — our lives are so fast-paced and being strong women, both mentally and physically, lets us live the lifestyle we want to live and be our best selves for each other and our fans.”
After the gloves went on, the ladies literally held no punches. Fifth Harmony and the rest of us in the gym did combinations of jabs, hooks and crossovers. And just when we were completely burnt out, Rob finished off the workout with some ab exercises, like planks and bicycle crunches. The 45-minute circuit was finally over! And while I squeezed in a much-needed workout during one of the most hectic times of the year in this industry, I think I was most happy to see how relatable the ladies of Fifth Harmony were when it came to their fitness routine.
Normani, who was also second runner-up on season 24 of Dancing With the Stars, spoke to why she thinks their music is often featured in popular workout playlists. “A lot of our music is high energy with awesome beats, so hopefully that helps get people pumped throughout their workouts! One of the most powerful things about music is how uniquely everyone can experience it individually, and it’s still surreal to know that our music is what some people turn to when they’re knocking out an amazing workout — it’s almost like we’re there with them!” she says.
So, yeah, I survived, and while I won’t be signing up to become the fifth member of the group, I did get few Snapchattable moments and the bragging rights to say I actually worked out with Fifth Harmony.
(Photo: Dia Dipasupil/Getty Images)