Turn Any Park Into a Gym

Posted by in Blog on May 10, 2013 0 comments

Warm, sunny days are the perfect opportunity to get fit on your city’s dime.

By: Zach Even-Esh

It’s hard to justify training in a dark gym when the sun is shining outside. Especially since you can build muscle just as effectively using your own body weight as you can by lifting some iron. All you really need is something to push on or pull on and a little open space where you can move your body and activate all the muscles you’re used to training indoors. We came up with a plan you can do at your local park (or in the prison yard—hey, we won’t judge) to get you ripped and strong while improving your tan at the same time.

How It Works:

Our program of wide open spaces, plus the equipment that’s generally found around parks and children’s playgrounds. You’ll do pull-ups and dips (a jungle gym will work for these if you don’t have bars) with a descending rep scheme—start at 10 reps and do one less every set down to one rep. This is one method those guys you see working out in parks all the time use to blast out scores of reps at a fast clip. You’ll also do fun body-weight exercises that you probably haven’t tried in years, such as bear crawls and crab walks. Though it may look like you’re playing, you’ll feel these exercises work your whole body, particularly your core, and you’ll tire out fast. In fact, you may find these workouts so tough you’ll be grateful to go back indoors to the iron in the fall.


Perform each workout (Day 1, 2, and 3) once per week, resting at least a day between each session.

How to Do It:

The exercises on Day 1 are performed as a circuit. Complete each set with minimal rest. On Day 2, exercises marked “A” and “B” are done as supersets. Complete one set of A, then one set of B; rest, and repeat until you’ve finished all the prescribed sets. Perform the remaining exercises as straight sets, completing all the sets for that move before going on to the next. If you can’t perform all the given reps for a set, do as many as you can without going to failure, rest as needed, and continue until you finish that number.

Day 1 Exercise 1

Jump Squat

Sets: 10 Reps: 10-1

Stand in an athletic stance with knees slightly bent and feet shoulder-width apart. Squat down until your thighs are parallel to the ground and then jump as high as you can. Land with soft knees and repeat. Perform 10 reps, nine, eight, and so on for each successive set until you finish with one rep.

Day 1 Exercise 2


Sets: 10 Reps: 10-1

Hang from a pull-up bar, jungle gym, or tree limb and pull yourself up until your chin is higher than your hands. Perform 10 reps down to one rep as you did for the jump squat. If you can’t perform the prescribed reps, do as many as you can and perform one less on following sets.

Day 1 Exercise 3


Sets: 10 Reps: 10-1

Suspend yourself over parallel bars and then lower your body until your upper arms are parallel to the ground. Perform 10 reps down to one rep as you have been.

Day 2 Exercise 1a

Bear Crawl

Sets: 3 Reps: Crawl for 50 feet

Bend down and plant your hands on the ground. Try to keep your back flat as you crawl forward like a bear as fast as you can.

Day 2 Exercise 1b

Crab Walk

Sets: 3 Reps: Crawl for 50 feet

Sit on the ground and bridge up with your hips so you look like a table top. Walk forward on your hands and feet as fast as you can.

Day 2 Exercise 2

Parallel Bar Hand Walk

Sets: 5 Reps: Walk to the end and back

Hang from a jungle gym or length of parallel bars. Walk to the end of the row and back with your hands.

Day 2 Exercise 3a

Forward Sprint

Sets: 5 Reps: Sprint 50 Yards

Run at about 90% of your top speed.

Day 2 Exercise 3b

Backward Sprint

Sets: 5 Reps: Sprint 50 Yards

Run at about 90% of your top speed.

Day 3 Exercise 1

Burpee/Broad Jump

Sets: 3 Reps: 10

From a standing position, bend down and touch your hands to the ground. Now shoot your legs out behind you fast so you end up in the top position of a push-up. Perform a push-up and then reverse the motion quickly and come back up. Immediately jump as far forward as you can.

Day 3 Exercise 2

Dip/Leg Raise

Sets: 3 Reps: 10

Perform a dip and then raise your legs straight out in front of you as high as you can.

Day 3 Exercise 3

Pull-up/Knee Raise

Sets: 3 Reps: 10

Perform a pull-up and then raise your knees up as high as you can.