This morning’s edition of The Times includes a feature article about the effectiveness of outdoor gyms. The basis of the article was an interview with me, as the founder of a mobile personal training company. I had been asked by journalist Francesca Steele to meet her at one of these sites and take her around the gym in a workout. She then asked my opinions about this type of facility and the recent growth in outdoor gyms.
London has seen a new breed of outdoor gyms springing up. Mostly on council-run sites, many of these sites are installed by companies such as the Great Outdoor Gym Company. TGOGC has reinvented familiar gym machinery (eg: treadmill, exercise bike, seated press) for the outdoor environment. The equipment is designed to be used by all fitness levels and available to the local community.
A different approach
At Muddy Plimsolls, we often use more traditional outdoor exercise sites such as the Trim Trail in Primrose Hill, or the Jungle Gym in Regent’s Park. The main difference between these sites is that traditional sites contain static exercise stations (pull up bars, step-up benches) whereas the newer outdoor gyms have moving parts. However, Francesca, considered it fortuitous that I came from a different approach.
Training a sceptical journalist
So, a few weeks ago I met Francesca at the outdoor gym in Cantelowes Gardens, north London. For the next hour, I put her through her paces. We tried out all the fixed equipment that was on offer at the site.
Previously, Francesca had only ever experienced indoor gym training. So she had some doubts about how effective exercising outdoors might be. The lack of typical gym equipment such as barbells might make the experience a daunting one. But by the end of our session, she had forgotten her ‘concerns about appearing a bit sweaty in public’. Her final article appreciated this alternative outdoor experience as a real option for getting fit.
Muddy Plimsolls offers a full range of mobile personal training services across London. You can see the full range in our personal training shop.