Gimme Cash or Gimme Squats!!!

russia squat fare

photo courtesy of

Hey guys!

I just found out that in Moscow you can either pay money to buy a ticket onto the subway…or you can squat it out!!!

How cool is that? This is a part of the spirit-rallying initiative that officials from the Sochi, Russia 2013 Winter Olympics have concocted. Amazing. 30 squats = 1 free ticket if done under 2 minutes. GENIUS!!!! Finally, a PR campaign that actually is useful and good for you!

How awesome would it be if they made doing 10 duck squats the equivalent of 1 ticket. Or wait, even better, how about you get a free ride card for the whole Winter Olympics if you finish Call Me Maybe Squats?

I love to see advertising put to good use. Companies spend so much money every month on marketing their brand to you so that you begin to fall in love with their products. Big billboards with a sexy fashion model looking off into the distance a la Bebe. Full magazine spreads of women flipping their shiny hair to advertise Pantene Pro-V. Buses plastered with a huge Pepsi Can and Beyonce wearing a blonde wig, cuz well it’s Beyonce and you can do that.

Yea the advertisers have definitely planted these images in my head and they have succeeded at having me share their brand with you on this blog! But you know what? I’d like to see a company actually create some VALUE to the customer in their advertising. Not just advertising to make you buy. Not just advertising to brand images in your head. How about the ad itself that allows you to experience the personality and mission of the company while also benefiting you right then and there?

That’s why I love this subway squat ticket challenge so much! They’re getting their citizens excited for the Winter Olympics by:

1. Making them play a game (interactive) – it’s a bonus that it’s a PHYSICALLY ACTIVE task!

2. Rewarding them with a free subway fare (satisfying)

3. Allowing them to do it over and over again! (repeat business) – forces active-living to be a part of a healthy lifestyle!

Obviously the campaign has gone pretty viral all over the internet. I am super impressed with this. The 2013 Winter Olympic Organization (or their marketing team) deserves some type of an award. It’s so so so wonderful.

What do you guys think? If there was a squat machine at your local BART, Metro or Subway, would you squat it out to save $? Oh why am I even asking this!!! I know you would. But how many people do you think would rather pay? This would actually be a pretty interesting experiment if we put one of these machines at the train in LA. I wonder what the percentage of ticket buyers to squat challengers there would be!

Let me know below what city you’re from and if you think your fellow commuters would be up for something like this!

Hope you’re having a great week!

<3 Cassey

PS – I just want to take a moment to let you know why I wasn’t able to upload new videos this week. I did shoot a new workout video for you but didn’t get to finish it til much later because I was working on the Fit Journal video (which took so long to edit….still not sure why but I am glad you enjoyed it!) Then I was going to film something for Thursday…but I felt so exhausted that I just couldn’t do it and canceled my shoot. So yeah. Not trying to make excuses but I know you guys deserve an explanation! Just know that I am here for you whenever you need me! Exciting stuff ahead. Stay tuned 🙂

60 thoughts on “Gimme Cash or Gimme Squats!!!”

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  1. Hey, you used to write wonderful, but the last few posts have been kinda boring?I miss your great writings. Past few posts are just a bit out of track! come on!

  2. Andreanne says:

    I read the new on Buzzfeed.

    I think it’s an amazing idea! I’m so cheap I would squat to death ahahahahah!

    Such a nice way for students and low-budget people to ride for free and to get healthy at the same time!


    I’d get fit in no time! Here the gas is currently 1.34$/ L it’s super expensive! Can we sign something for it to happen?

  3. Michell says:

    They should put machines like this everywhere (including New York, ahem). It’d be awesome not to have to pay subway fare (which is one of the highest expenses for me as a student). I also wouldn’t mind warming up every morning with some squats ^_^

  4. Christine says:

    Are you going to do an October favorites video?? They’re my favorite. 🙂

  5. s6milerun says:

    Okay. So I am not sure about the other POPsters out there, but Cassey has posted her latest YOLO meal on instagram: an oversized cheeseburger with enough mozeralla to clog a sink. Would anyone out here agree with me that this is a “no-no”? There are ways to stop the craving before it happens. I’m on the East Coast where it’s so cold right now, penguins could live here and thrive. As a result, I think it has led to my own cravings, but I think we can all share strategies for stopping them, before it ruins our goals. For instance it looks like Cassey was craving something greasy and salty, so here are my ideas for stopping that, because that burger looked S-C-A-R-Y!

    1. Chew into – ACTUALLY chew – the cod liver oil gel capsules, from the vitamins collection at the drug store/grocery. Biting into the capsules releases the oils inside, and the gel caps are made of gelatin so they will melt in your mouth. Not only will you be nixing the craving, but also boosting your immune system – except that you have to like fish oils!
    2. Popcorn with almond slivers and olive or sesame oil drizzle and several of your favorite seasonings. Think of all different colored herbal seasonings, such as cumin, basil, oregano, thyme, parsley, chili flakes, pink Himalayan salt, and pepper. The colors will make you feel like you are eating something great.
    3. Eat from a fresh, new container of peanut butter. Twist the cap, and find the peanut oil sitting in a pool at the top. Get a spoon and dig in to your sweet,salty, and greasy.
    4. Broil “farm raised” salmon steaks. It takes all of TEN freakin minutes after you oil and pepper it to cook. Get your healthy fish oils, fatty flavors galore, and punch kick of protein.

    Okay, so I feel better that I spoke my mind. Anyone with other ideas for killing the salty, greasy craving in a smart way that won’t bust my gut?

    1. Alexandra says:

      I don’t think it’s a “no no”. For me my yolo meal is a way to avoid a binge, but if I don’t crave it I don’t have one that week, simple as that.

      You could try salmon fritatta with salmon, broccoli and carrots, topped with a bit of cheese. It’s hearty enough for me and yummy.

    2. canadianlady says:

      How about NOT killing fish, or buying gelatin (hoof, snout, cartilage)-based capsules and saving some animal lives?
      Or how about NOT being a food bigot?

      1. s6milerun says:

        Hi canadianlady,

        Yes, I see your point of view. I knew my post wouldn’t come across as just a harmless opinion on my end. I am more or less looking for alternatives to eating foods that are generally considered unhealthy. For me, doing something like that would lead to binge eating. I mean how could anyone limit themselves to one YOLO meal after that? Is that really a solid food fix for the week? I don’t think so. I think it leads to guilt and plenty YOLO meals thereafter. However, I could see how you interpreted my post. Sure…I agree to live and let live. If that something you do as well, have at it all you want, but I’m open to strategies for a permanently healthy eating lifestyle.

        1. marajade says:

          I have to strongly disagree. That meal looked like a one-time, out with friends kind of thing. As a full-time working girl its easy for me to eat healthy all week and stick on track, but weekends are for fun, friends, and (often) food! 98% clean eating is good enough round here!

    3. Andreanne says:

      I, for one, think that a healthy mind has to fit an healthy body.

      That being said, my mind cannot stay healthy if I don’t eat pizza once in a while.

      Meh, haters gonna hate but on pizza days (best days ever) I work out extra hard and I make sure that my other meals that day are packed in proteins and veggies.

      I don’t think that cheeseburger was a ”no-no”, though I do wonder: How to you eat it? Do you like, squeeze it into submission? Eat it with a knife and fork? I know it doesn’t fit in my mouth so I was wondering….

  6. Miss Alexis says:

    That is soooo amazing! Another amazing thing is that in certain Chinese (and in Hong Kong) subways you have to either pay for tickets or recycle plastic bottles! I think that is so amazing!

    1. Andreanne says:

      Also a good idea!

      Altough I know that I would always forget my bottles at home ahahahah

  7. Leah says:

    Hey Cassey !!!!
    can you please do a Beyoncé “girls run the world” squat challenge ?
    please ?
    it would be the best !!!
    thank you
    Leah xoxo

  8. Sian says:

    I would totally ride for free every day if I saw one of those machines! What an amazing incentive, especially since the cost of travel can add up when one has to commute. I hope these spread throughout the world! Please visit my blog if you have the chance =) http:/

  9. Brittany says:

    This is such an awesome idea.

  10. Buddy7Glass says:

    I’m from Saint-Petersburg, second largest city of Russia. Yay, so proud of this idea and glad that you mentioned it! By the way, do you have any plans to visit our country? It will be a-m-a-z-i-n-g!

    With big love from russian POPster 🙂

  11. Hannah says:

    I definitely think this is awesome. However, based on the picture of the woman doing the squats incorrectly (knees should never go past the toes!), I feel like there’s potentially going to be many people doing them incorrectly and possibly getting hurt. ):

  12. Sarah says:

    That’s awesome! I wish they did this in NY. I’d squat it out every day. It would deff save me some money!

  13. I think this is an absolutely fabulous idea, anything that motivates people to get moving is a fabulous. Such a great concept– thanks for sharing!

  14. Gwen says:

    I’m from Brussels, Belgium and yes I would do squats for a free ticket! I think people would do it in my city. Well maybe not everyone but the idea would work and people would respond to it positively. Public transportation is the most common way to go around the city, it’s almost stupid to have a car – in my opinion of course, because I bike or use public transportation.
    But why squats? I don’t know if I’m being overly prude but why not chose a less “sexy/undies might show” type of move? Jumping jacks like I’ve read in an other comment maybe?

  15. natalia says:

    I would squat every ticket 😛 but I know perfectly that my mom would prefer to pay… anyways, just for some people their lazyness is bigger than a healthy life

  16. Vy says:

    Cassy, you are such an inspiration in my life. I was wondering if you could give some advice for younger girls (teenagers such as myself) for eating clean. It is hard because my parents control about half of what I eat. I know you’re not supposed to eat refined carbs but coming from an asian family, it’s jasmine rice for dinner almost EVERY day.

    1. Amy says:

      Also coming from an asian family, it’s tough!! just try to do your best with the food you can control by making healthy breakfasts/lunches/snacks over the weekend and at dinner time eat less rice with more veggies. (I imagine there’s no way to avoid rice completely because my mom is convinced that you can’t get full without rice lol). Try to ask your parents to replace processed vegetable oils which may be a less controversial switch for them lol and take comfort in knowing that white rice isn’t really THAT terrible for you if you’re burning that sugar!

  17. Callie says:

    I live in Joplin Missouri so the only form of Public Transportation is an EXTREMELY expensive taxi van and a trolly that literally goes 3 places. My first and only time being on a subway was a trip to NY a couple years back and If I had the option to do squats for a free ticket, you better believe i would do it in a second.

  18. Haley says:

    So glad you kept sharing this!
    I’m up in Seattle, and coming from the land of biking and crossfit junkies, im sure commuters would be wayyy into this! Or how about the fare for that icky new toll bridge! Jump out do some jumping jacks lnstead! Jk (in my dreams) but I’m sure Seattle would dig squats vs. fare!

  19. Chelsea says:

    I don’t know how I feel about a bunch of creepers standing around & staring at my butt while I’m doing squats. And it’s kind of limiting to people with certain disabilities. But otherwise, great idea!

  20. I read about that too – it is so cool! I wish we had that too, because I would squat for EVERY TICKET! 😀

  21. Aline says:

    I live in Cancun, Mexico and we don’t have subway or a metro system, only buses and taxis. But if we had to squat rather than pay the fare, of course! The majority of the people that are inclined to be fit have cars so they don’t use public transportation. I’m not sure how well that would go.

  22. I so wish that was an option here in the US!!!!!!!!!!!

  23. Faye says:

    I’m living in Russia now, and I think the idea is amazing! It might just be a small promo for the Olympics, but what a great way to brighten those dreary gray days in the metro… With Love from Russia, Cassey! xoxox Faye

    PS The only thing that would make it better would be if it played the Call Me Baby Squat Challenge… now that would be tough! 😉

  24. Tarrie says:

    Such a great/hilarious idea. I’m curious why they chose squats though; I think I’d go for something like jumping jacks. But, either way, great idea!

  25. Lydia says:

    I would duck squat for my entire life for some food!! If that’s all I have to do to eat, then I will have the best ass ever.

    And don’t you dare apologize to us for being tired and needing a break. You know your Popsters understand.

  26. kai says:

    Wait. Isn’t the next Winter Olympics in 2014? Anyway, I wish all public transportation could accept squats (or a similar activity) as payment! I’d save so much money on my commute! But I think the organizations in charge would end up hemorrhaging money and wouldn’t be able to keep up with maintenance or employee salaries. 😛

  27. Elina says:

    I would really love the squat idea because the time limit isn’t that bad! Too bad I live in Finland and there’s subway only in Helsinki, the capital.

  28. Clair says:

    The squat idea is awesome. But I wont be pleased with Russia until their govrnment stop being so homophobic.

    1. Alexandra says:

      Agreed. This squat machine is the only positive thing I’ve heard of in Russia in ages.

  29. Kris says:

    I live in Montreal and I think this would be a great idea but I do not think most people would do the squats. I would though, and I would take the subway more 🙂

  30. Diana DeGzz says:

    I’m in Hamburg Germany.. and I totally would!

  31. Rachelle Q says:

    I love the squat idea! I would much rather pay with squats;)

  32. Mirriah says:

    I would totally squat for tickets!! 🙂 I live in Davis ca and I believe many of the cutizens here would squat, they seem to be quite healthy here! Keeps me motivated

  33. Sara says:

    OMG awesome idea….I am from Mumbai,India and I am sure many people in my city would prefer squatting over paying but I am not very sure because some people would find it embarassing to squat in public!!I would definitely do the squats!30 squats in 2 mins is like a peice of cake!!

    1. Madolyn says:

      Hey Sara are you living in Mumbai? I am moving there in October! Is there a big PopStar community in Mumbai? I am American and my friends and I used to have blogilates meetups all the time…I hope to find people to work out with in Mumbai! Maybe we can work out together? Send me an email if you have any suggestions! Maybe we can organize a group of girls to do blogilates together and encourage clean eating (that’s SO hard in India!)

  34. Katja says:

    I’m from Russia, but currently I live in Finland. And I’d DEFINITELY do that!

  35. Cynthia says:

    I’d for sure do it!!! But I feel like our CTA in Chicago is too money hungry to let that fly..*sigh*

    -Cynthia; Chicago

  36. Eline says:

    I love this and I would DEFINITELY do it. I’m Norwegian but I currently live in London. Would save me so much money!

  37. erin says:

    absolutely! i’m the DC area – and I’d do that!!

  38. Maria says:

    dah of course I would squat.
    I wish it happened here in Portugal
    Thanks Cassey!!

    1. Pippa says:

      ahah i was thinking on the same thing (of course i would squat to save money…) and it would be so cool if it happened here in Portugal!!

  39. Sofia says:


    -Toronto, ON, CA

  40. Nicole says:

    I’m from Bergen County, NJ, which is apparently one of the most health-conscious counties in the US! So I definitely think a good percentage of people taking trains and public transportation would squat rather than pay.

    I think a BETTER idea would be to give discounts at the food store if you can do a certain number of squats! Bonus discounts if everything in your shopping cart is healthy 🙂

  41. Kim says:

    If NY had this I would lose weight and never buy a train ticket again lmfao (well unless I was in a rush but under 2 mins is a great time)

  42. Sabrina Johannes says:

    I think everyone would use it here in Germany. However I think ya might miss the train waiting in line to get a free ticket!!

  43. Lucia says:

    I’m from Rome (Italy) and I would totally do this! But I do know that it’s impossibile here with the crisis…

  44. Tess says:

    Why don’t we have this here? I love that idea! But let’s not limit it to just squats…maybe some Burpees or bridges 😉 I was wondering why the new video wasn’t posted…we understand that everyone needs a minute to relax 🙂 it’s all good Cassey we still love you

  45. Katharina says:

    Amazing idea!! Cassey, could you sell your new Total Body Toner Routine in your online shop please?? would replace the new workout vid for me for this week 🙂

  46. LOVE this idea! Would be great to have at gas stations too for discounted (or free!) gas – can you imagine how much healthier people would be?! Keep up the great work at whatever pace you can – you produce so much incredible content that you don’t need an excuse to take a break!

  47. Leanne says:

    If we could squat it out instead of paying for a ticket, the whole world would have perky and firm Beyonce bootays. And I would totally do it if my city had something like that!!

  48. Nadine says:

    Cassey! I am from Moscow, Russia, and I am planning to visit this station to try this squat machine!! 😀