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How to Build a Cheap Outdoor Gym Station

By Neesha Kanaga

Published 13 April 2021

Outdoor fitness classes are arguably one of the most popular fitness offerings at the moment. Not only are they profitable, but working out outside releases mood-boosting and endorphins, basks us in some feel-good vitamin D – and not to mention it’s free advertising (if you’re wearing branded gear, that is!)

Outdoor fitness options allow for more space than the traditional gym setting. It gives personal trainers and instructors the chance to get creative with programming. In the wake of COVID-19, as many gym-goers are focused on social distancing and hygiene measures, exercise is made inherently safer once moved outdoors.

Outdoor fitness stations are a great alternative to indoor gym classes during the coronavirus because it is a safe way to keep aerosols in check during intense activity.

Further reading: A Scientific Approach to Good Ventilation in Gyms.

With many gyms around the world still closed, the introduction of outdoor fitness presents a fun way to get people active or to bring them back to your ‘gym’ in some form or another. Exercising outdoors can boost the overall enjoyment a person gets from working out – and it may keep them coming back for more!

Revenue-wise, the ROI on an outdoor gym station is surprisingly good. Holding classes outdoors is very profitable while simultaneously costing you very little. To really kick things up a notch, you should double down on your outdoor classes with online offerings as a sort of afterburn.

Are you warming up to the idea of building an outdoor gym station? Check out Everything You Need to Know About How to Start an Outdoor Fitness Class to dive into all the details!

How to Build a Cheap Outdoor Gym Station – Things to Consider

Add outdoor exercises to your gym services

If you’re ready to get started with your outdoor classes, this article will show you how to build a cheap outdoor gym station –  the easy way! If you are a personal trainer or gym owner looking to get into the outdoor fitness game quickly while on a budget, then these tips are for you.

Equipment

Bring your workouts outdoors by finding a suitable location (park, parking lot, beach, etc.), bringing some of your own equipment to supply your clients.

For inspiration on equipment for outdoor gyms, read our blog on nine essential pieces of gym equipment for all age groups in your fitness studio.

Programming

It is imperative to let your surroundings support your fitness offering so you end up doing less and can focus on your clients. Create your programming, circuits, or routines to take advantage of both natural and man-made outdoor landscapes. Incorporate these into classes so you can use your surroundings as part of your classes.

Keep your clients aware of what types of classes you offer, especially if there is some variation in the programming. Not everyone’s comfort level for working out outdoors is the same, and a content calendar might help to share class information.

Further reading: How to Use a Content Calendar to Continuously Engage Gym Members

Overhead costs

Since there are no overhead costs for most public outdoor locations, you can offer your classes at competitive rates and attract a segment of the market that traditionally cannot afford a full gym membership.

Nevertheless, you will still want to check with your local authorities or city hall to see if you need special permissions and/or insurance to use public parks in your area for commercial purposes.

Bodyweight Only

There are tons of great outdoor class options using bodyweight only. When it comes to how to build a cheap outdoor gym, bodyweight-only fitness classes are a sure-fire way to keep your expenditure down while collecting on revenue.

The key, however, is to provide an experience that clients cannot get from doing bodyweight workouts at home or within their small groups. Think about your unique selling propositions and brand identity; try to incorporate these into your bare-bones classes to create an unparalleled vibe.

Provide Cheap Equipment for Outdoor Gyms

To make your classes stand out, you may want to include some equipment as well. Since we’re talking about how to build a cheap outdoor gym, let’s go about providing equipment the easy way.

We are not talking machines or barbells, but think smaller: think props that are easily carted to and from class (and easily sanitized post-workout). These small additions can make a big difference in the quality and effectiveness of your outdoor fitness classes.

Cheap equipment for outdoor gyms could be resistance bands, jump ropes, hand or ankle weights, medicine balls, light kettlebells, or larger equipment such as traffic cones to set up as circuit stations. A small investment in equipment for your classes can make a big difference for your gym station. Not ready to invest in equipment just yet? Check out Simple Outdoor Workouts: No Equipment Needed for some great no-equipment workout ideas.

The pros and cons of building an outdoor gym station the easy way

The pros:

  • Less commitment since the outdoor location already exists.
  • More cost-effective with little to no overhead.
  • Quick and easy to get started – as well as ramp down if necessary.
  • Give your clients something of value even during the lockdown.

The cons:

  • More manual labor bringing props to and from class
  • Setting up each time you have a class
  • Less branding which means less lead generation

Neesha Kanaga

Neesha is a copywriter and wanderer who currently finds herself bound to the weather-challenged Netherlands due to the unforeseen circumstances of 2020.

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