Inspiration: outdoor gym ideas

We are an active family with 3 high energy kids and 2 parents would love to train without being "gym rats". We also love to be outside so one of the many things we want to build outside is an outdoor gym! In this post I've collected some of my favourite outdoor gym ideas to share.

Right now our garden is a mess of rubbish & belongings but within that mess I’ve saved a lot of wood, old playground bars I got from a neighbour, a load of weights discs I reclaimed from an old school gym that was renovating as well as 4 huge logs I saved from the old kitchen floor. My vision is to create a nature DIY outdoor home gym with these materials I’d saved.


Why build an outdoor home gym?

You might be wondering why exactly in Northern Sweden where there’s snow on the ground 4-5 months of the year that I want to build an outdoor home gym and not one inside. Well there’s a couple of reasons I prefer an outdoor gym:

  1. Exercise for me is about being outside in fresh air and nature: I’ve used gyms but I’ve never really enjoy indoor gyms, I much prefer to be out in the fresh air with nature as my only gym buddy. Corona has obviously made it hard for everyone to get to gyms so an outdoor gym is a great corona-safe(r) alternative to an indoor gym.
  2. We don’t have space inside the house: The house is huge but with no basement & 3 curious kids who want to do & try literally everything they see their parents do the average indoor training session turns into the kids playground rather than a physical outlet for parents. I’m hoping an outside area will mean I can seek off and train without them following although part of the outdoor gym will be kid-friendly so they can use it to play on

What equipment I want in my outdoor gym?

When we lived in Gothenburg in southern Sweden I used to go to an outdoor gym every week. This outdoor gym was relatively simple with: 3 different height pull up bars, 4 different sizes log lifts and a raised platform for doing sits up and floorwork

I’d like to create something similar out of the materials I saved but with a few additions, here’s my outdoor gym wishlist along with some inspiration pictures I’ve taken from online:

2-3 different height pull up bars:

This will be so I can use the higher/medium bars and the kids can play on the lower bars. We also have a punchbag which we want to hang up up on one of the pull up bars.


A dip bar:

This will probably extend off of one of the pull up bar posts and can also be used to attach bands for band exercises too.


A deadline area:

I love deadlifting (when my body allows me to) and last year I managed to reclaim a load of gym weights from a local school who were about to renovate their existing gym. I probably have 200-250kg of metal weight plates so my idea is to create a barbell or trap bar and use the weight plates for deadlifting. I’ll also create an area of stable ground for the lifting otherwise I might end up pulling weights out of mud!


Raised platform

Outdoor gym raised deck
Outdoor gym on raised deck

I’ll use this for press ups, sit ups & foam rolling. I’ll be a bit like a deck structure in nice new clean wood panel! I’m not sure if the whole gym area will sit on the deck or not but in this example it looks pretty nice.


Log lifts:

Outdoor gym log lifter
Outdoor gym log lifter, photo from https://www.facebook.com/goteborgsstad/

I loved the log lifts in the Gothenburg outdoor gym so I plan to build 2 of these; 1 with a small log & 1 with a larger heavier log


Covered area, Electricity for lights & music

Outdoor gym with roof cover
Outdoor gym with roof cover

This might have to happen later on as I don’t have the budget to buy any roof sheets but I’d like to have an area under cover so I can train in bad weather too and take shelter in between sets. Within the covered area I’d also like to have some lighting & electricity so I can train when the nights draw in and play music as well!


Outdoor gym inspiration

I’ve created a Pinterest board to collect outdoor gym ideas, so feel free to check out my outdoor gym ideas board. Here’s some of my favourites so far:

Steal outdoor gym
Steal outdoor gym
Multipurpose outdoor gym
Multipurpose outdoor gym
Simple outdoor gym
Simple outdoor gym

The ultimate outdoor gym – a house renovation from 1800s!

The truth is, right now with the renovation in full swing I actually don’t have time or need an outdoor gym since the renovation is like going to the gym for 12-13 hours per day. Once the renovation 1st phase is over I’ll start work on my outdoor home gym but until that time I’ll be sharing my outdoor gym inspiration on Pinterest here: https://www.pinterest.se/wreckofj/diy-outdoor-gym-ideas/

As usual, thanks for reading!

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