Getting a lift

It may be tax season, but at accounting firm Wilke & Associates, they’re lifting weights in the office.

What’s wrong with this picture?

Well, nothing.

“We can’t begin to calculate the incredible rate of return from our investment in dumbbells” says David Wilke, the firm’s managing partner

He says it’s the best way he and the accountants have found to relieve stress and blow off steam during the most taxing and stressful of seasons for accounting professionals.

And as if lifting weights weren’t enough, they compete with each other.

“It’s very simple,” says Wilke. “We use a small dumbbell, and curls are done while sitting in our chairs at our desks.”

Wilke said the idea took hold after he brought a dumbbell to the office and put it under his desk to use for a little fitness training during the day. The idea caught on and last year blossomed into a tax season activity and competition.

Men use a 35-pound dumbbell, while women use a 12-pounder. Teams of two compete, and the winner is the team with the most curls in a week. Employees are on the honor system and count their own repetitions.

The winning team has to rack up well over 200 curls a week to win, says Wilke, but he emphasizes that pacing is the key. In some respects, he says, the activity is similar to the way the employees approach their work.

“It’s not how much you can lift,” Wilke says, “it’s consistency and perseverance, the two critical elements of success at our firm.”

And the benefits, Wilke believes, are considerable.

“This little game loosens up the office, reduces tension and stress and helps employees stay active, strong, confident and healthy,” says Wilke.

They hide the weights under their desks when clients visit, says Wilke.

He found the whole notion of exercise and fitness so valuable to the firm that he’s set up a workout area, complete with treadmill and other fitness gear, in the basement of the firm’s Carnegie offices.

Sounds smart to us.

Ray Marano