Fitness Articles

Five workouts that beat the gym

Forget the gym, take your business to these in-the-wild workouts instead

Five workouts that beat the gym

Run The Solar System

What is it? A "virtual race" run on the premise that you’re adventuring through space… which sounds duff, until you realise it’s made by the same people as the surprisingly compelling Zombies, Run! Download the app, train for a month, then compete either alone or at the official race in March.

Why it beats the gym: Because rather than assaulting your ears with tinny electro house, you’ll be bathing them in pure science. Also, an asteroid-filled "plot" means you’ll run just to find out what happens next.

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Zombie Evacuation

What is it? A 5k obstacle race with added incentives… in the form of zombified volunteers trying to swipe your lifetags as you flee. It’s not until a bit later in the year, but in the meantime Deaddrop Fitness have their own bunch of themed events.

Why it beats the gym: Accept it: the impossibility of zombies makes your elaborate plans about holing up in the 02 a pipedream – but running from blood-crazed shamblers is never a bad skill to practice.

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What is it? An "urban trim trail" led by military types, repurposing bike racks and handrails as workout kit. They do corporate team-building, but the main Wednesday night session is free to anyone who drags themselves to Bankside.

Why it’s better than the gym: Because the world is your gym, bro. It isn’t, obviously, because you’d no more do inverted rows on the Millennium Bridge alone than you’d punch a dog. But in the pleasing safety of a group, it’s fine. Fine.

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Urban Axe Throwing

What is it? The viking take on ten-pin bowling: a 90-minute session includes tuition in the art of slinging axes at a wooden target, then a tournament pitting you against friends (or strangers).

Why it’s better than the gym: Throwing things is literally what separates us from the animals: evolutionary psychologists point out that our ultra-flexible rotator cuffs make us better at chucking things than any other animal. Not so tough now, wolves!

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The Good Gym

What is it? The super-altruistic one. The premise is simple: run to an elderly person’s house, pop in to help with the gardening (or just have a chat), then dash off again. You’re like Zorro – except there might be biscuits. Biscuits!

Why it’s better than the gym: You mean apart from the warm afterglow? Fine, think cold, hard motivation: you’ll whack the snooze alarm a thousand times to skip Bodypump, but you aren’t going to let old Flo down, are you?