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Ben Moskowitz 08-03-2007 12:40 PM

I know a lot of folks on here like to work out in the park and at playgrounds. I like to because it's free, outside, and just plain cool.

However, apparently guys over at are getting hassled about working out in the park. I think it would be great if we could support their petition efforts, as it's a real benefit to all of us.

Here's the link to the message board discussion:

Here's the link to the petition:

p.s. Some might be offended by the anti-LEO stance on the forum over there, but I hope it's understandable. I think the best way to address it is from a policy perspective, just like they are doing.

(Message edited by imagnusx on August 03, 2007)

Daniel Freedman 08-03-2007 02:24 PM

When I lived in New York, I worked out at 05:30 every weekday morning in Central Park with an outdoor fitness group. Some of the workouts were somewhat Crossfittish, although the term wasn't used.

We'd do stairs, military style PT, various circuits, -- even push presses and squats with those metal police barricades. (I once got stopped by a cop who wondered why I was carrying a barrier up a hill with a buddy!) And, yes -- we sometimes, used playground swing frames for pull ups.

My advice in a nutshell?

Try to fly under the radar. Forget about petitions, meetings, and trying to change policies. Use guerilla tactics instead. If challenged, politely disperse and finish the workout elsewhere. Wait a few days before returning to the original location.

Once you ask for permission or permits, there will be no end of hassle and frustration. So vary your locations and use of equipment. You don't want to become known as that group of weirdos stalking the playground every Tuesday at 6 PM.

(Message edited by Danfreedmn on August 03, 2007)

(Message edited by Danfreedmn on August 03, 2007)

Matt DeMinico 08-03-2007 03:26 PM

I'd tend to agree with Daniel's suggestions, although I'm the type that likes to duke it out with overzealous government. After all, we're guilty until proven innocent right? At least in their eyes we are.

Public property is just that, public property. If it is not being used by someone else, you have free use to it. You can't sit there all stinkin' day, but you can go there, do your thing, crack out 42 pullups, do your next rotation in the exercise while a kid plays on the swingset or whatever, come back when he's done and crack off another 30, do something else, come back and finish off your last 18... get it?

David Wood 08-03-2007 05:25 PM

Ben: those links are work and/or family safe . . or not?

Ben Moskowitz 08-04-2007 12:34 AM

whoops sorry, both links are work and family safe.

Benjamin W Herbert 08-05-2007 07:29 PM

haha, love this post! I love working out outdoors so I try to do so a couple times per week. Last Friday I was using some monkey bars for pullups around 8 AM and there was a group of kids along with their parents waiting for the camp bus to come take them to the ymca camp! So lets just say I had a bit of a puzzled peanut gallery, but I think the moms liked what they saw (if I may be so bold) so I didn't get too many complaints:-)

Daniel Freedman 08-06-2007 09:54 AM

It's hard to disagree with much of anything in the above posts. A little common sense goes a lot way in playing nicely with others.

It helps to see things from other perspectives. Many think facilities should be used only for their intended purpose" I'm on that side when it comes to running tracks. A pet peeve of mine: folks who use the track for casual strolling -- often with coffee cup in hand! I'm able to resist the temptation to tap them on their shoulders and ask if they'd also like a donut. But I seethe silently. My attitude is: "Hey, this is a running track, so it should be used for running. Your conduct is not acceptable."

But there's a problem. I switch sides when it comes to
monkey bars used as pull up bars. In that case, it is (of course!) perfectly acceptable to use the equipment for "other purposes."

(Message edited by Danfreedmn on August 06, 2007)

Tim Weaver 08-06-2007 10:10 AM

Perhaps that guy should go look up, and copy, the city ordinances regarding public park use.

Some park in our area (Glendale, AZ) are "adjunct" to a school and, as such, become part of school property during school hours. Beyond that, they are not.

If the cop still bothers him, ask for him to call a supervisor. Have him contact his city council person.

Do not ask for permission. Tell them that a city park is a city park for all residents. Contact the ACLU (as much as I hate them). It may take the risk of an arrest to sort it out. Many times, cops bluff this crap. Have him cite the actual ordinance or law.

Tom Fetter 08-07-2007 05:52 AM

A bit of common sense goes a long ways. If you want to use play equipment for doing your WOD, do it in off-hours. What I do. I wonder if the Bodyweight Culture folks having problems maybe didn't use their heads about when/where to do their stuff.

Sure the equipment's for public use ... but consider who in the public was the primary target for buying the play equipment.

You're the adult - exercise some judgement and all will be well. Doing an intense CrossFit workout in prime-time play hours will intimidate the kids right back to the couch with their GameBoy. Maybe not all of them, but the kids driven away will be precisely the unfit ones who you want to be out there exercising.

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