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Dublin: 25°C Wednesday 10 August 2022

10 of the world's most unusual gyms

From an outdoor gym made from old car parts to one where clothes are optional.

25586849_1503850389663898_2484539792762393083_o Source: Facebook/FLYEfit

AS RELIABLE AS they are for creating endorphin rushes, building muscle and boosting your confidence, gyms tend to be exactly that – reliable. They’re not exactly known for being located in particularly interesting buildings.

To mark the opening of FLYEfit’s CHQ location (which is housed in what originally was built in 1820 as a wine and tobacco warehouse that hosted the Crimean War Banquet in 1856), here’s a global journey through some of the weirdest workout spaces.

1. The most hardcore outdoor gym in the world

20752673512_6aeac35544_o Source: Andrievska/Flickr

Kind of like a less glamorous version of Santa Monica’s Muscle Beach, Kalchaka Gym is located in the Ukrainian capital of Kiev and is composed almost exclusively of scrap metal.

It’s a totally free outdoor gym, with most of the equipment chained to the ground so that it isn’t stolen. Luxurious? Maybe not. But it’s probably the most hardcore place you could possibly pump literal iron.

2. The eco-gym that powers itself

Opened in Portland Oregon in 2008, the Green Microgym is the brainchild of an old teacher turned personal trainer and has caught the attention of Adam and his gym have been featured by the likes of CNN, BBC, Entrepreneur Magazine and Fitness Magazine.

Inspired by the lack of electricity after Hurricane Sandy, he created The UpCycle Echocharger – a way to turn almost any bicycle into a pedal generator, by swapping out the back wheel and putting it up on a stand. It’s now sold all over the world and you can sample it in their two Portland locations.

3. The gym where clothes are optional

cristian-baron-27345 Source: Unsplash

If you often find yourself sweating profusely underneath your clothes, an innovative gym in West London could be the answer. NKD is a male-only gym that hosts group workout sessions and a clothing-optional gym (though t-shirts are very much frowned upon).

According to NKD, their training is ‘all about being free from the restriction of clothes while training and enabling us to be more in tune with our bodies.’ Well, at least you don’t have to worry about sweat stains.

4. The gym used by one of the world’s biggest fitness brands

5417716286_1861621cbb_o (1) Source: Flickr/Brandon Carson

Also located in Oregon, the Nike headquarters features two soccer fields, a tennis court, a big gym, and a putting green, along with a big running trail. The gym also pays homage to all of its brand ambassadors.

There’s an image of Tiger Woods made out of tees, a sculpture of Ronaldo, a Michael Jordan building and a Bo Jackson Wellness Centre. See inside it in all of its glory on Business Insider.

5. The gym that has ‘ice hockey’ treadmills

Source: AthleticRepublicErie/YouTube

Inside what may be the world’s most Canadian gym, Athletic Republic offer training that uses ice hockey as a means of building fitness. With a programme designed specifically for ice hockey training, it aims ‘to give athletes the 10% in 110%’.

This involves a kind of frightening looking ice hockey treadmill, where people training must stay skating and hit a hockey ball at the same time. It’s no real surprise that the gym chain is an industry leader in ice hockey training.

6. The climbing wall that uses old grain barrels

Source: Ben Lynn/YouTube

Named ‘one of the most innovative gyms in the world’ by Smithsonian, this gym in Illinois might also be one of the tallest in the world. Using lots of once-abandoned grain silos, climbers tackle 65 feet of climbing near the city’s railroad tracks.

Opened in 1995, it’s the creation of Chris and Pam Schmick who spent six months cleaning scrap metal and drilling thousand of holes in the walls of the abandoned silos. In the last 20 years, they have added top ropes, lead ropes and more than 20,000 extra feet of climbing surfaces to explore.

7. The gym that’s been designed especially for parkour

Encompassing 10,000 feet of fitness and featuring brilliantly colourful street art, this parkour training facility offers ninja warrior training, trampoline, tumbling and dance classes. It spans two floors and is equipped to deal with beginner and expert alike.

They even cater to Bat and Bar Mitzvahs, birthday parties and ninja warrior events, along with classes in things like contortion and aerial skills, which definitely makes for one of the world’s most unusual gyms.

8. The spin gym designed for people with disabilities

Another innovative entry from California, Cyclepathic once won the acclaim of “Business With The Best Vibe” in the Santa Monica Daily Press. It aims to cater for both able-bodied visitors and wheelchair users.

Owned by Adam Kessel and visited by the likes of Brody Jenner, Kessel says, “Whether someone is recently injured, or has been injured for a while, no one will treat or look at them differently here. Listening to the stories of some of our athletes really puts life in perspective.”

9. The luxury gym that’s located in a converted church

David Barton is known for its luxury Miami location (which has its own beach). But the New York outlet was previously a church and after that, a legendary night club. These days it hosts international DJs and is one of the most glamorous gyms you’ll ever visit.

Along with an onsite spa offering massage, skincare and body treatments, it extends over 20,000 square feet and three floors, and has been featured in a number of luxurious interior design magazines.

10. The gym that offers anti-gravity yoga

Anya Studio is a yoga studio on the eighth floor of a striking art deco tower in lower Manhattan, just around the corner from the iconic Flatiron Building. But what makes it really unusual is its specialty: “antigravity yoga”.

What’s antigravity yoga when it’s at home? Well, it’s essentially yoga performed while hanging from the ceiling in a specially-designed harness. Some of the time you’re upside-down, some of the time you’re ‘flying’ through the air. The studio claims benefits to this approach including improved muscle tone and strength – but to be honest it just sounds like a whole lot of fun.

Source: FLYEfit/YouTube

FLYEfit CHQ is opening its doors today in the iconic CHQ Building. The new gym is a stunning 12,000 square feet of FLYE fitness madness. It’s fitted with an exclusive range of premium equipment including isometric training machines, cardio machines offering Netflix and Spotify and custom built squat racks, boxing and TRX rings. Take a look inside FLYEfit CHQ here.  

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