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  1. “Cause Teamwork makes the dream work!”
  2. “Being part of a team makes success sweeter and failure less bitter. It also means there is always someone to watch your bike while you go potty.”
  4. “Yay Cinelli! Castelli! BikeFlights! Kryptonite Lock! Lake! Nuun! Yakima! Stages Cycling! Tetra Bike! Shimano! Sellwood Cycle! Challenge! Giro! Selle San Marco! Smith! Endurance PDX! Jagwire! iSSi! Q-Tubes!”

Zombie Escape, Battle of the Airbands, Shrinking Vessel, Marshmallow Spaghetti Tower—all classic examples of Team Building Exercises (TBEs). By no means is this a complete or comprehensive list of TBEs but each, in its own way, works to motivate, facilitate better communication, promote creativity, develop problem solving skills and break down barriers for millions and millions of corporate citizens around the country, year in and year out.

Simply put, Team Building Exercises promote cohesion and unity, and improve the outcomes of endeavors which require teamwork and collaboration. What follows is a short list of benefits you might expect from a TBE:

  1. TBEs encourage Intra-Team competition, and this in turn has been shown to increase productivity and excellence.
  2. TBEs foster a better understanding of individual strengths, weaknesses, and interests for a team and its shared goal.
  3. TBEs acclimatize and normalize teams to the experience of sharing a win.
  4. TBEs place an emphasis on collaboration, which increases imagination and creativity.
  5. During a TBE, the act of working together in a united and coordinated manner demands excellent and efficacious communication.

But what about elite athletes, what about a team of professional cyclists? Cyclists who not only need Team Building Skills in the classic “corporate” sense, but who also need to be able to work (ride) together in a coordinated and synchronized fashion in service to the execution of a fluid strategy, at high speeds and under extreme physical, mental and metaphysical duress and sometimes when it’s ridic hot and humid, like for example in Tulsa, OK.

For reasons related to the costs and logistics, and most importantly the competitive advantages, associated with building—through science, nutrition, game theory, computer modeling and cognitive behavioral therapy—a proprietary Team Building Program, we’re not able publish the specifics of the LA Sweat program here on Manual for Speed. We have, however, been cleared to publish LA Sweat’s Team Building Manifesto and the first-ever photographs of one of LA Sweat’s Pre-Race Team Building Camps.

  1. Find a location conducive to movement, rich in vibes, bountiful in props and open to the sky. Unless it’s raining.
  2. Props.
  3. Music.
  4. Kit.
  5. Positivity + Hype + Sweat + The Drift = LA Sweat.

The following photographs were taken on July 8th the day before the commencement of La Sweat’s 2017 Tulsa Tough Race Campaign. While we are unable to publish specific proprietary techniques, we can tell you the name of the exercise and some details about how and why it’s important.

The Holler - LA Sweat begins every Team Building Camp with a unified and simple but eloquent statement, one that communicates purpose intention and active participation, one that says I am here, I am present.
The Wave - The Wave is a tribute to LA Sweat’s fans. It’s also the first step toward something they call Shared Calibration.
Synchronized Starts (Fail) - This is how NOT to do a Synchronized Start. [However, please note Becca's lighthearted response. TBEs are no place for bad attitudes.]
Synchronized Starts (Fail) - This is how NOT to do a Synchronized Start. [However, please note Becca's lighthearted response. TBEs are no place for bad attitudes.]
The Cinnamon Roll Warm-Up - For this exercise, the team closes their eyes and remains silent and still until everyone simultaneously reaches into their “shared space.” There is no cue or count or outward signal to start. Each member of the team relies solely on the vibrations of LA Sweat’s collective consciousness to initiate the exercise. In many ways, this is a “blind” Synchronized Start. As evidenced in this GIF, the timing is not always 10000% perfect; there are many false starts. Sometimes the team will work on the Cinnamon Roll Warm-up for hours—even days—to the exclusion of all other exercises.
The Cinnamon Roll - We're not at liberty to explain the importance of this TBE, but the top ten cinnamon rolls in Los Angeles are: Tarte Tatin, Proof, Stan's Corner Doughnut Shop, Little Flower Candy Company Café, Clementine, Röckenwagner, Black Cat Bakery and Cafe, Primo's and Bob's Coffee & Donuts.
Rhythmic Hand Pile - This exercise is choreographed to a complex-but-beautiful Call and Response chant. We were not allowed to record the Call and Response chant under any circumstance: all of Manual for Speed’s crew were required to turn off our phones and wear earplugs.
The Talent Show - Individual performances for the group serve a double purpose: acclimatizing individuals to performing under pressure for the team, and developing the team's ability to support individuals.
Group Spelling #1 - A classic problem-solving exercise.
Group Spelling #2 “Advanced” - The same, but in a more advanced and demanding landscape
I Dive, Sky Dive, We All Dive - This is a photograph of Stage 1 IDSDWAD. There are 13 Stages of IDSDWAD. With each new stage both the distance and height of “the dive” is increased. By Stage 13 the team is practically, literally flying
#BodyByPete - H O T C O P B O D
Yoga Flow - This is actually a GIF made using a composite of 15 separate photographs, it just looks like a still image
Dance Off: Running Man
Dance Off: It’s Your Birthday
Dance Off: Urban Cossack
Dance Off: The What What
Dance Off: Suck My Sweat
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LA Sweat’s 2017 Tulsa Tough Race Campaign

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