T Nation

Outdoor Gyms

there is an idea that china and england are using to increase activity levels and decrease obesity in their nation and that is outdoor gyms. they are weatherproof gyms with no membership fees and public access and they seem to be working pretty well. I think this would be an amazing idea for the US and am wondering what the general thought is on this forum.

here is the site for the english outdoor gym company

i think the increase in physical health would be well worth the small cost to taxpayers especially when these cdc statistics are taken into account

tell me what you think

I don’t think it’d really increase health. People don’t skip the gym cuz of costs and inconvenience, they skip it out of laziness or lack of desire. Other than screwin around for 5 minutes when they walk bye, I don’t really see people doing a significant amount of work to increase their health at one of these places.

Just my $.02

Screwin around for 5 mins every day can have a significant effect over time compared to the complete non activity of many Americans. I think it’s a good idea, I’m tired of fat people.

How will it have a significant effect? Burning an extra 50 calories (if those are pretty intense 5 minutes) is gonna cure the obesity epidemic? I’m not saying their a bad idea and we don’t certainly need more activity. I’m just saying I don’t see how this could make much of an impact directly. Maybe it’ll inspire someone to go to the gym. Who knows.

I think there are people who don’t go to the gym because of cost. Young working class people who have extremely tight budgets (especially if they have a family).
The unfortunate problem is that putting these gyms in the areas where they are needed the most would mean an increase in vandalism by poor youths.

I think this is a great idea, I would prefer a little more basic equipment, bench’s, racks, etc more like a oldschool muscle beach style, but whatever. there have been times when I had no money to pay for a gym membership, did what I could at home, would have used something like this to accent home workout. Agree about the vandalism problem.

It looks like a good concept - however I don’t think it will have much impact on health for most people.
Sadly most people can come up with an excuse, its been a hard day at the office, it’s cold, it’s raining, theres this show on the TV…ect ect. I’ve heard them all.
I am afraid that vandals will damage the gyms - even just making them look less attractive will impact on whether people use them or not.

I will be interested to see how it works in the U.K. before I write to my local member to see if something like this can be done here in Oz

a muscle beach style outdoor gym woud be awesome - i wouldnt leave it! but i cant see ho it wouldnt b damaged by vandals alomst instantly

The concept of a free gym is fantastic idea. Making outdoor is ridiculous. This could work in some parts of the States and Oz but here in England an outdoor gym will be rendered useless for half of the year as it’s simply to cold! If people don’t get off their asses to go a nice cosy indoor gym I can’t see them doing sqauts in sub zero temperatures! Personally I would love to train outdoors in Summer, but thats the thing - it would only be Summer.

I agree that the reason for most people not going to the gym is a lack of motivation, not money. Here in the UK you can expect to pay around £45 a month for gym membership which I think is fantastic value. Despite this, I presume that these gyms will be placed in ‘less well off’ areas of the UK to cater for ‘less well off’ people. Unfortunately these ‘less well off’ areas tend to be populated by, what I like to call ‘little c**ts’, who will find more fun in vandalising the equipment than using it.

So in an ideal world where the weather was good all year round and little c**ts didn’t exist, outdoor gyms would work. In the real world they won’t catch on!

People don’t want to excercise if they dont. It doesn’t cost money to go for a jog of get a ball game together with some friends. And the reason it’ll be vandalized immediately is because its public property. It’s a basic economic concept, people will misuse things that are not privately owned. It’s sad, but its reality.

sounds like another great waste of public money(were good at that in the uk). was considering buying a barbell and bench to stick in my garden at home but it’s dark and -5 at the moment(hands willl stick to the bar) and will probably be raining before long.
will probably happen though,this is the country where the government proposed “healthy” food vouchers and free gym memberships on the NHS if you are obese.(means all the money you save on the free brocoli you can spend on more cakes and pies)

better then nothing u guys. I WISH the usa would do something like this.

I’d call it a good idea. Fitness needs to become mainstream, cause there are way too many incredibly fat people.

When I was younger I knew a park that had a body-weight version of this kind of thing, and it def got me started in working out. It had parallel bars for gymnastics and dips, a pull-up bar, a decline plank for sit-ups, with a metal bar to hook your feet into, bars to vault over, and stuff like that.

The stuff was weather-proof, not too fragile, made of that enviro-friendly plastic/wood recycled material, and in a shaded section near a playground. Parents would work out there while their children played, and it was a great thing for general public health.

Not a dungeon-style powerlifter’s gym, but a decent start.

BTW, I’d love to see something like Muscle Beach come back into existence.