Wicksteed Fitness Playgrounds and Outdoor Gyms Review
Some of my colleagues and I have recently signed up for the Monster Race this year, which is a 5km or 10km obstacle course with mud, water and man made obstacles to conquer (we’re signed up for the 10km); I started my training for it at the weekend. Today’s training was interval running followed by yoga, but I also had an impromptu workout in a local park!
I warmed up with a 10 minute run focussing on interval training to work on improving my pace. I did 2 minutes sprinting followed by a 1 minute walk to cool down, the run was approximately 1km in total. I had planned to take a walk around the park I ended up at for a cool down before a gentle jog home, however I stumbled upon some outdoor fitness equipment in the park that I had to try out!
The equipment is by a company called Wicksteed who have been designing, manufacturing, installing, landscaping and maintaining playgrounds since 1918. They offer a wide range of products from traditional to electronic and fitness to climbing. I’ve taken a look at the fitness section of their website and really wish we had one of their rowers near us but, on a plus note, we do have two of their outdoor gyms within walking (or running 😉) distance.
The park I went to this evening had a pull down excerciser and chest press, a surfer (which works on the abs, hips and upper body) and a skier (which is a type of cross fit machine). Each piece of equipment has a how to guide plaque showing which parts of the body you will be working out as well as sample workouts to try. You can also use the QR barcode which takes you to a Youtube video showing the workout.
After my run to the park I started on the pull down exerciser first with 30 reps, followed by a sprint to the other end of the park where they had a pull up bar, monkey bars, balance beams and climbing obstacle (not by Wicksteed). I tried to jump up to the pull up bar twice but missed. It’s too high for me but I’ll keep practicing at it, as a lot of the Monster Race uses upper body strength, I went successfully across the balance beam and went up, over and across the climbing obstacle 5 times. I think these three (along with the monkey bars) will be great to use with my training for the race.
After the climbing obstacle I sprinted back to the Wicksteed equipment and hopped on the skier for 7 minutes, it was tough! My legs definitely felt it afterwards. Next up was the surfer which I found very enjoyable once I got a rythmn going. My abs and hips were achey afterwards. Last but not least was the chest press, I only managed 10 reps at this before my upper arms started to ache! I’ll definitely be trying that one again and upping my reps slowly.
I was very hot and sweaty (sorry for the mental image!) after my workout, but finished with a sprint back across the park and cooled down with a walk home and light yoga and stretching when I got there.
I’ll be going to see the other outdoor gym soon!
Have you ever seen these outdoor gyms or similar near you? Would you use them?