You know what they say: find a gym you like and you’ll never work out a day in your life. A cheeky edit of the original saying concerning work, only 49% of Americans over the age of 18 met the Physical Activity Guidelines for aerobic physical activity while that number drops to an alarming 20.8% when muscle-strengthening activities were added. Working out has “work” in it for a reason: most people don’t want to do it. It’s tiring, it’s dreadful, and it’s boring. Most people go to the gym to do the same routines, a class or two, and work with personal trainers for the first few days before eventually reverting to their same old unfit selves.
Thankfully, the wonders of modern technology and human innovation combined have led to plenty of fitness centres that are out of the ordinary. These “gyms” if they even fit that definition take working out to a new level. Time to shred some calories in style. Here’s a look at a few of them:
The Green Microgym, Portland, OR
With climate change as a leading environmental issue, Green Microgym founder Adam Boesel is doing his part in minimizing his gym’s carbon footprint by having it powered (at least in part) by its own members. A school teacher turned personal trainer, Boesel started the gym in 2008 with the idea of having the members generate electricity while working out. After several iterations, Boesel designed the first spin bike retrofit that is grid-tied simply by plugging “out” into an outlet.
The Green Microgym uses 85% less electricity and has only 10% the carbon footprint of a traditionally run gym, per square foot. The UpCylce Echocharger is what turns almost any bike into a pedal generator by swapping out the back wheel and putting it on a stand. How about this for a gym that not only helps its members but also the planet create a healthier atmosphere.
Milon Premium Health Clubs, Australia
The German-invented Milonizer is a future for exercise machines as it does away with the need for a personal trainer and uses a biometric recognition system that records and determines the user’s body dimensions automatically. In seconds!
The Milonizer is also potentially simpler, safer, and more effective because not only does it adapt to the user’s body but it uses electronically-generated resistance (which can be adjusted quickly) as opposed to weights. A total of 17.5 minutes is the only time needed to do a full-body training circuit (six strength and two endurance machines with 30 second breaks). Intelligent software also leads to innovative training techniques. A central timer is set up to keep everyone directed. Best thing: no wait times!
The Premium Health Clubs are also conveniently located at the world-renowned Marina Mirage on the Gold Coast of Australia and are the first in the Southern Hemisphere to provide the Milon fitness equipment. Welcome to the future!
Pursuit OCR, Toronto, Canada
The Pursuit OCR is a huge indoor obstacle course that triples as a play zone and fitness centre. The 10,000 square foot facility hosts classroom spaces, a cryosauna and the obstacle course consisting of 19 obstacles. The space is decorated with an ’80s-inspired theme from local artists. Classes included subjects on Prehabilitation (injury prevention) and Bar Fit. The class space is filled with equipment from ropes, a slack line, and two 11 and 14 feet high cove walls.
Best part of the obstacle course is there is an “out” for each obstacle so beginners or the less physically fit don’t get too discouraged. The obstacles provide a considerable workout even for the average gym goer. Pursuit OCR is also community-minded and partners with several non-profit and advocacy groups. The centre is a great example of a modern way to not only make fitness fun but creative, inviting, and challenging.