The Fitness Tribe Making Exercise Fun (and Free) – with Bojan Mandaric and Brogan Graham

The first rule of Fight Club is: you do not talk about Fight Club.

The second rule of Fight Club? You know how it goes.

Lucky for us, the opposite is true for the founders of November Project, a fitness movement popularly known as the “Fight Club” of running clubs for its intense workouts, free membership, and tribe mentality.

Following their days rowing crew for Northeastern University in Boston, Massachusetts, Bojan Mandaric and Brogan Graham found themselves struggling to stay in shape in the cold New England months and the absence of a structured exercise regiment.

Then one night in 2011 over a couple of beers, they decided to make a pact: every morning for that month of November, they would meet at 6:30am and workout together.

Running hill repeats, bounding up the stairs of Harvard Stadium, dropping to the ground for the occasional pushups – the city was their gym, and the results were significant.

After a few months, Bojan and Brogan decided to throw out a few invites on Twitter, and the rest is history.

November Project now has tribes in 45 cities all over the world with its biggest meetups bringing together upwards of 1500 people for a single morning workout.

Here Bojan and Brogan share a little about their story, how November Project works, and what you can gain from joining a tribe near you.

****This episode includes some inappropriate language – just a heads up 🙂 ****


Questions Bojan and Brogan are asked:

3:33 Where are you from and what do you do?

4:49 How did you meet?

6:32 How and why did you start November Project?

9:26 Why was it important for November Project to be free to participants and how do you continue to keep it free?

12:51 At what point did you realize this would become a worldwide movement?

14:26 How do you have enough energy to fire up the crowd so early in the morning?

20:01 What is “The Bounce” that kicks off each meetup and what does a typical meetup look like?

24:39 How many participants are training for full or half marathons?

28:07 Did you always intend to be a very open group vs. a more clique-ish group?

36:15 Why do you feel swearing and physical contact between participants help people make stronger connections?

43:49 What was it about the meetup following the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing that spurred you to expand worldwide?

53:00 How can listeners join in and also look at getting a November Project in their area?

Quotes by Bojan and Brogan:

“I think we can all relate to those runs we’ve gone on that need to be our long run or need to be our tempo or need to be our big training day, but because you do them solo….you’re trying to find that internal push – you’re trying to create that competitive athletic atmosphere internally – and it just isn’t that effing good.” – Brogan

“I think toughness is in every single person right now, but a lot of us are too timid or don’t have the right environment.” – Brogan

“There is a good amount of people who are training for anything from a fun color run all the way to ultramarathons….and then there’s also a very large group of first time athletes.” – Bojan

“The best part is that the workouts are scalable. It doesn’t matter how fit you are, you’re always going to find the workouts to be hard.” – Bojan

Take a Listen on Your Next Run

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Mentioned in this podcast:

November Project
November Project cities
The North Face
Big Papi – Boston Strong Speech video (Uncensored)
Book: November Project
Follow Bojan on Twitter
Follow Bojan on Instagram
Follow Brogan on Twitter
Follow Brogan on Instagram
Movie: Fight Club

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