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The free predawn fitness flash mob
Waiting for the elevator? Thanks, we'll take the Culver City stairs.

Sometimes it seems as if our spinning teachers are life coaches and our yoga instructors are spiritual counselors. Now, cult fitness reaches a new high at the November Project, a free boot camp at the Hollywood Bowl and other local spots.

Think of the November Project as an “early-morning workout flash mob.” Every Wednesday and Friday, local fitness enthusiasts meet up for a super-early outdoor workout. You might be paired with a stranger to do a series of, say, lunges, so it’s as much an exercise in socializing as it is sweating.

On a recent Wednesday morning (6:27 a.m., to be exact), we met up with 75 twenty- and thirty-somethings at the Bowl entrance. As dawn broke, we followed the upbeat instructions of organizer Orrin Whalen, who had us doing burpees, squats and leg lifts and running uphill and downhill sprints for 40 minutes.

After some initial eye-rolling at all the hello hugs (What is this, cheer camp?), we found ourselves really getting into the stranger-helping-stranger mind-set. (Lots of  “You got this!” and “Let’s finish this together.”)

Cultish? Maybe. Effective? For sure.

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