If you’re feeling rooted to the same old routine, go against the grain at Calisthenics Parks to cut a leaner figure and build functional fitness
Hew a stronger body and cut off unwanted timber at a calisthenics gym like no other
Gym equipment of the quality you find at Hull’s Calisthenics Parks doesn’t grow on trees. Well, not in its finished state, anyway. Every piece of wood in this industrial unit has been cut down and milled by founder James Farmery, a tree surgeon who operates with a chainsaw while 40ft off the ground.
Farmery’s interest in calisthenics sprouted from watching Youtube clips after getting a hernia at work. He came to the painful realisation that while he’d been pumping up his arms in the conventional, mirror-muscle manner, he’d been neglecting his trunk – a training shortfall many can relate to. He planted a rudimentary, homemade pull-up bar in his garden, and the idea of opening his own place grew.
The first piece of equipment Farmery made for Calisthenics Parks was the bar by the entrance, carved with the inscription, “It all started with a pullup” – a reference to the fact that, when he began his bodyweight odyssey, the tree surgeon couldn’t manage even one. “We make videos of our trainers doing amazing tricks and people think, ‘I can’t do that,’” he says. “But for every exercise, there are so many regressions. Anyone can do this. They just have to be willing to have a go.”
Those who are willing range from the reigning UK Obstacle Course Racing champ Conor Hancock to policemen and desk workers. Calisthenics has made the gym members stronger and more flexible; life-improving qualities that you can benefit from either here or wrapped up in a hat and gloves down your local park. That your abs and Instagram video cache will profit is equally pleasing. So, don’t let your training slump toward the end of the year. Finish strong and take a swing at something new.