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Skip the Gym Membership: Seven Urban Guerrilla Workout Stations

Who wants to go to a sweat-filled, dark, expensive gym when you could be outside basking in the sun?


Mount Mitte in Berlin

It’s summer. Which means it’s beach season (yay!). Which, unfortunately, also means it’s time to revise your fitness plan (boo). Who wants to go to a sweat-filled, dark, expensive gym when you could be outside basking in the sun? And while programs such as those offered at Brooklyn Bridge Park (free yoga, free kayaking, and free pool access) are a step in the right direction—making working out seem less like work and more like play—there’s a need for more exercise initiatives that infiltrate our urban infrastructure.

Over and over again we are told that diabetes and obesity are prevalent problems in America (and many other countries). But no matter how often we point out the issues, actually convincing people to dedicate time, and often money, to exercise can be more onerous than climbing Mt. Everest.

Fortunately, architects and planners can encourage a fitter lifestyle through the built environment, making it more accessible physically and financially. Inspired by the Center for Architecture’s current exhibition, FitNation, which explores the concept of the urban playground as…well…just that. Based on their idea, we’ve rounded up our own favorite guerrilla tactics for gyms in the city.

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Idea: A Gym Membership that Charges You for Not Exercising

Right now, it's very easy to give up on going to the gym. But what if you were penalized for every workout you skipped? That's Gym-Pact.


Every year one of America's top New Year's resolutions is to join a gym and get in shape. And every year America just gets fatter. So what if our workout facilities started hitting us where it really counts; not in our guts, but in our pocketbooks?

That's the main idea behind Gym-Pact, a new company in Boston that partners with local vendors to offer discounts to consumers in exchange for weekly workout commitments. If you fulfill your commitment and attend the gym as promised, you get to skate along at reduced rates. But, if you choose to loaf and skip your agreed upon workouts, you're penalized at least $10 per day.

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