Lunch-Break Fitness at Work: I Toured the Pearl Izumi Offices in Boulder, Colorado, and All I Got Was Inspired

Motivating Sign at Pearl Izumi Offices
Motivating Sign at Pearl Izumi Offices

By Cat Perry


It's clear now: We're working all wrong. You've no doubt heard about ping-pong tables and gourmet food courts at Google offices that help employees connect to each other and to relieve stress. Of camaraderie built in brewery offices. And seeing the company culture up close in the Pearl Izumi offices—located 14 miles outside of Boulder, Colorado, in a charming little town called Louisville—really makes me wonder what the heck the rest of the business world is doing to its workers across the world.


At Pearl Izumi, you don't get the sense that going to work is about churning out products that are just good enough for everyday and elite athletes to use on their adventures. You realize that their first job has nothing to do with the consumer at all, or the products they sell. More selfishly, it's about the lifestyle: having fun, having a life, and making fitness happen every day you're able—even at work. That seems like no way to run a business. But guess what? It works. Happy employees make better products.


Seeing the clock strike noon and the on-location gym room take on 10 people for a sweaty CrossFit workout, another group peel off for a trail run, and the clipless-shoe-and-shammy-suited riders head out for a 30 mile-Strava-timed ride was more than I was expecting. This IS #PearlIzumiLife.


But this should be how we all feel empowered on the clock to achieve the hallowed work/life balance. Here's how they do it—and how you can too.

Although your offices and mine may never be in a reclaimed wood, eco-friendly, light-filled, espresso-machine-containing building—one day!!!—it's up to you to turn your lunch-hour culture into a fit culture. It's your midday break to reclaim your time and refine it. And your inspiration to soak in, in 30 minutes, everything you can. Get out there and "Sweat like you mean it"!


It's more than deskercise, which most people don't do because you get sweaty and because you may look a little silly doing it. It's actually about changing how you get to work, what you do during your lunch break, how you end your day. Here are some ideas to get you rolling, starting from once a week and building from there:


  • Ride your bike to work one day a week rather than driving
  • Run home one day per week
  • Sign up for a class that happens every Wednesday so you are accountable based upon cash you've prepaid for the class
  • No gym access, or it's too far to fit in a sweat session during lunch? Bring your workout clothes and jog home, straight to your shower.

It's tough, I know from experience. But seeing this team of about 60 people helping each other become everyday athletes every day is incredibly inspiring. So put your 8-hour day into perspective and try a few new ways to fit in fitness, even while at work. You'll reap body and mind benefits that will make your work better and your life better one activity at a time!


For more motivation, check out more fun from the Pearl Izumi team below, then try one new activity during your work week this week!