There’s only one body part named after beer, and it’s not flattering: The beer belly. It’s plagued the casual beer drinking class for about as long as there’s been a casual beer drinking class. Beer bellies are so common you’d think people would have figured out a quick fix, but here we are.
A couple of veterans and drink lovers in Arizona in the USA believe they’ve landed on a solution, though. Alcohol doesn’t have to be a weight-gaining vice that’s going to ruin all the hard work you put in at the gym, you just have to earn it.
That’s the idea behind Earn Your Booze, a company started by Justin Cross, a brewer; Elliott Clark, the man behind the Instagram account Apartment Bartender; and Danny Page, a fitness nutrition specialist certified by the National Academy of Sports Medicine.
It all started when Cross was in the Navy. His service demanded a high level of fitness, “but a good sailor also knows how to throw down some rum and beer,” Cross told MensHealth.com. He became embedded in the brewing and nightlife industries when starting a brewery after his service.
Cross quickly learnt that health and wellness were parts of life that people in the alcohol industry needed some help with, so he started working with brewers and bartenders to teach them how to lose the beer gut and feel better overall. Clark’s mantra at the gym was that he was earning those drinks he knew he was going to have later, and the two stuck with that idea. They trademarked “Earn Your Booze”, and the brand was born.
“It’s very easy to let the drinking and late night lifestyle get away from you,” Cross says. “Increasing your fitness level, reducing alcohol consumption, and embracing a mindset that encourages you to ‘earn it’ is solid advice for bartenders, brewers, and everyone else who likes to imbibe.”
Cross and Clark started hosting work out events that ended with beer and cocktails. Arizona breweries like Scottsdale Beer Co., Helton Brewing and Goldwater Brewing hosted events, and the liqueur brand St Germain sponsored an event in Miami. Many of the events also give back to US veterans.
“Drinking responsibly is a piece of our culture,” Page, the “earn it” side of the brand, says, “as is exercising and taking care of one’s self.”
To bolster the brand’s workout cred, they brought Page on as a consultant to plan and lead the work outs. Page tailors the routines around where the event is being held in a way that people of all fitness levels can participate. Above everything else, he emphasises whole-body workouts.
“See, the common belief is if people drink or consume some alcohol, all of those kilojoules are going to go right to their gut or belly, so they think they need to train their midsection or core to counterbalance the effects,” Page says. “This is simply not true – a kilojoule of alcohol is still a kilojoule to the body and it can be stored anywhere if not burned off or used for energy.”
Earn Your Booze found a following with people who enjoy CrossFit, yoga, and weight lifting, as well as with top bartenders like Pam Wiznitzer, brewers, and people who just enjoy a drink. Essentially, Cross says, Earn Your Booze is there to show that you can have a good time while maintaining your fitness.
“When you embrace the ‘earn it’ mentality,” Cross says, “all areas of life improve.”
Danny Page’s at-home earn your booze circuit
Try out this circuit to get a taste of an Earn Your Booze workout. Perform each of the bodyweight exercises without rest until you’ve finished the set. Take a minute off, then start over again. Perform the whole series three to four times for a full session.
Push ups for pop tops
The move: Get in a push up position with your hands about shoulder width apart. Keep your lower back flat and don’t let your hips sag. Lower yourself and keep your elbows close to your body as you descend.
Sweet and sour reverse lunges
10 each reps each side
The move: Stand with your feet hip width apart. Take a long step back so your knees make two 90-degree angles at the bottom and pull yourself back up with your forward leg. Start without dumbbells and advance to a dumbbell or barbell in either the back squat or front squat position.
Hammered hip bridges
The move: Lie on the ground with your knees bent and feet on the floor. Drive through your heels and squeeze your glutes to push your hips up. Repeat. Do not use your lower back to pull yourself up.
Drunken dead bugs
8 reps each side
The move: Lie on your back with your hands and knees in the air. Keep your butt off the ground with your lower-back flush on the ground. Reach with opposite arms and legs while maintaining your starting posture. Alternate sides.
Saucy salute planks
8 reps per side
The move: Start in a plank position. Keep your core tight and your glutes squeezed. Bring one hand to your forehead in a salute position and hold for five seconds (not shown in the example above). Squeeze your core to prevent your hips from twisting and stay tight. Alternate sides.
Malted mountain climbers
The move: Get into a push up position. Keep your core tight and run as fast as you can while driving your knees to your chest. Don’t let your hips rise. Keep them at the same height as when you started.
Image credit: iStock