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Mark Hughes training lady on outdoor gym equipment

Outdoor Personal Trainer Mark Hughes gives us his thoughts on Outdoor Gym Equipment

For the last few months, Mark has been using two Fresh Air Fitness outdoor gyms to run training sessions. Let’s find out what he thinks of them!

Mark Hughes training lady on outdoor gym equipment

29th October 2019

A fully qualified, REPS registered (Register of Exercise Professionals) Personal Trainer based in Crewkerne in Somerset, Mark offers super motivating, fun workouts that push you as far as you want to go to get the results you want to achieve.

For the last few months Mark has been using two Fresh Air Fitness outdoor gyms to run training sessions. Let’s find out what he thinks of them!

Where have you been running outdoor gym workout sessions?

I run sessions regularly at one of your gyms in Merriott near Crewkerne and recently I ran a 10-session block at your newly opened gym in Ilton which is close to Taunton.

How did they come about?

The sessions in Merriott are organised by their Parish Council who wished for me to run a ladies only workout as many didn’t know how to use the equipment to get the best out of it. At Ilton it was very similar – being on hand to instruct nervous newcomers who simply want to gain confidence in eventually getting a workout done on their own.

When running sessions like this, how do you cater for different abilities?

Catering for different abilities is easy, you just have to look at life from the client’s point of view. You make each month progressive whether that’s with weights, repetitions or time. I factor in fitness tests to see how their cardiovascular and muscular endurance ability is holding. Recovery weeks are also a big factor, I include these when planning a program for a busy working lady for example, you can’t send someone to work and they’re so overtrained they fall asleep at their desk! Your body adapts far better when it’s rested.

What do you think of the Fresh Air Fitness gyms?

The fresh air fitness gyms are virtually limitless in their potential. The combination of workouts is massive and more people need to know that these spaces are out there! You can hit pure cardio sessions on the bikes and rowers, a strength workout on the press machines or if your elderly it’s great to hit the air walker for a session focusing solely on keeping things moving without impact. Obviously training outdoors in the sunshine brings its own benefit too, both physically and mentally.

Which is your favourite product in the range?

My favourite piece is definitely the Push Up & Dip Station. If your new to more advanced moves like a dip or a pull up, what’s great about this equipment is that you can do jumping dips or assisted pull ups to help in the first few weeks. If you look outside the box this piece can also be used for angles press ups or supported squats. There’s literally not enough space for me to detail all the combo’s you can do!

How can we get more people using these gyms in the UK?

In my opinion the biggest things stopping these spaces becoming really well used and really affecting the health and inspiring the masses, is using the spaces creatively and getting an effective (and fun) workout for all. Using the gym and the surrounding area like this – 1 loop run of the park to 2 mins on the rower X 3 for example. It’s being creative and making the workout interesting that gives the body (and brain) a workout!

The fresh air fitness gyms are adaptable to a wide range of fitness levels and in a word - awesome! I’m a big believer in the potential of them.


About Mark

Mark used to be an amateur Boxer in the days when he was in the Marines. When he left the forces 7 years ago, he started running group boxing sessions a few times a week in a local WI hall in Misterton. Soon after this he received an enquiry from a client wanting to train 121, within a few months the demand for these sessions was so great that he became a Personal Trainer focusing on individual 121 sessions.

Marks winning formula is simple; a tailored package offered at a fair price, focusing on whatever the client has come to him for, be that strength, weight loss, sports specific or general fitness. 

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