Residents of Allentown, PA, are pumped about the Department of Parks & Recreation’s new outdoor fitness system at Jordan Park. Imagine a full-body workout in a beautiful natural setting – without the membership fee.
While a lot of municipalities and communities talk about the importance of fitness and the benefits of outdoor exercise, Park Superintendent Rick Holtzman and his team took action. Rick worked with Steve Hemler of General Recreation to design a complete outdoor gym experience using Landscape Structures’ (LSI) HealthBeat® equipment.
Steve and Rick have worked on many playground projects in Allentown over the last 18 years, however this was their first outdoor gym project together.
“It’s fun to work with clients that have the foresight and ability to take recreation to the next level – it’s uncommon to see something this progressive. They’re proactive in evaluating and implementing what’s new,” says Steve.
Inspired by the beachside gyms on the West Coast, Rick envisioned a comprehensive exercise area along the bustling pedestrian trail that runs through the park and connects to downtown. Ample green space, a pool, and several basketball courts and baseball fields are located nearby.
Steve was able to take the vision in my head and make it real,” recalls Rick. “We’ve grown up in the parks and rec industry together, and Steve is the guy you can lean on. He wants you to learn and understand the process. You can rely on his team to come through with the product. Gen Rec’s support staff and customer service is unbelievable.”
Steve’s design includes a variety of components so that teens and adults of all fitness levels can experience a thorough workout targeting three core fitness areas: muscle strength, cardiovascular health, and balance/flexibility. Some of the specific components include an elliptical machine, cardio stepper and squat press.
LSI recently improved the product line’s sleekness, resistance technology, and ability to pair with other components. With convenient signage, exercisers can also view instructional videos for each component on their smart devices prior to usage.
“The installation was easy and smooth,” says Rick, who’s fortunate to have a talented, in-house install team. “Steve trains our staff well, which helps us save money, allocating more funds toward equipment. We’re always able to build effectively under Gen Rec’s guidance. Their ability and knowledge of the playground and park world is just awesome.”
The workout area opened in May 2016. “The positive response from the community has been overwhelming,” says Rick. Whether it’s early in the morning, mid-day, or after work, he sees anywhere from 10 to15 people working out at any given time.
The Jordan Park gym is in such constant use that Rick sees this as a kick-off concept to replicate in other parks around the city. “The quality of the equipment is amazing. It’s hard-core and durable. We’re even considering hiring a trainer to offer workout sessions on site,” says Rick.