Outdoor gym planning

How To Build an Obstacle Course for Adults

Man jumping over hurdles on an obstacle course in the woods

Commercial outdoor obstacle courses for adults

When designing an outdoor fitness site, including an obstacle course, there are a few things that need to be considered - a public obstacle course must be carefully thought out to ensure that the variety of exercises on offer suit and benefit the users.

Here are some of the most essential considerations:

  • Location

  • Layout and Design

  • Materials and equipment

  • Price

Designing and building an outdoor obstacle course for adults requires careful planning to achieve the desired result and ensure the obstacle course gets used.

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What is an obstacle course?

Obstacle courses come in many different shapes and sizes. Whatever the size, an obstacle course should consist of a series of physical and challenging exercises. Depending on the level of difficulty and your target audience a typical obstacle course consists of exercise types such as running, jumping, balancing and even swimming elements. The idea is to have types of equipment that you can go under and over, balance and climb on. Obstacle courses are a fun way to challenge yourself in terms of speed, agility and endurance.

Finding a location for your obstacle course

When considering the location for your obstacle course, you need to decide who your users will be and what they are trying to achieve from using the units. Are you looking to design an obstacle course for advanced users or an obstacle course within a park for older users. Either way it is important to consider access to the site - poor access will mean your area is poorly used.

While all fitness equipment needs to be constructed in a way that is safe and supportive for the user an outdoor obstacle course needs to be able to withstand lots of different weather conditions. All KOMPAN fitness equipment is robust and built using hardwearing materials that are designed to last regardless of where you are installing them which makes them ideal for installation in Ireland where the weather can be wet and windy.

Planning the layout and design

Before planning your obstacle course, you must have some ideas regarding layout and exercise types. Here are some outdoor obstacle course ideas for commercial use:

  1. Ensure a variety of activities are catered for and you can achieve this by installing some of the units listed -

    1. Balance beams

    2. Jump pod set

    3. Vertical net

    4. Hurdles

    5. Overhead ladder

  2. Having a start and finish line will help users especially first time users.

  3. An outdoor gym timer is good for users who are competitive

  4. Be inspired by the environment

  5. Ensure different ability levels are catered for

outdoor obstacle course for adults

How to choose the right obstacle course for your site

Firstly, who is the equipment for? A fitness site designed for professional athletes will feature different obstacle course parts to an active ageing site for older adults. Plan your design around your users - consider their goals and how your obstacle course equipment can help them achieve these goals. When designing an area for young adults select equipment that requires compound movements, such as vertical walls and hurdles. If your users are going to be older adults then balance based equipment such as our surface challenge is more appropriate. KOMPAN’s extensive range enables you to easily design a bespoke obstacle course that fits your users needs.

man climbing a vertical net on an outdoor obstacle course

Materials: Steel vs. Wood

When it comes to choosing your design and type of obstacle course equipment our range includes an urban steel look and a wooden aesthetic. Made from Robinia our wooden obstacle course equipment is highly durable and suits all sites. The same goes for our steel obstacle course equipment. Built from hardwearing materials our outdoor obstacle courses for adults are designed to withstand the test of time and harsh climates.

The Physical Benefits of an Obstacle Course


The varied nature of obstacle course equipment means that by the time you have finished you have achieved a well-rounded, full-body workout. The compound movements required to tackle obstacles such as rope walls and jump pods provide a fantastic way to improve overall strength.


Outdoor obstacle course equipment offers an excellent opportunity for users to improve their endurance levels. The various tasks faced along an obstacle course require both physical and mental stamina, making them incredibly demanding on the user. Exercising outdoors also means that climate plays a factor in your workout as you might have to deal with the wet and windy Irish weather while working out. Designed to push users to their limits, obstacle courses can help people realise just how much they can endure.


One of the most exciting parts of an obstacle course is that users get to challenge themselves on lots of different units. Obstacle course parts can vary greatly, from hurdles to overhead ladders, meaning that users need to think on their feet. This helps to improve both physical and mental agility. As agility increases, users should be able to overcome challenges more efficiently - both on and off the obstacle course.

The Cognitive Benefits of an Obstacle Course


There has been extensive research into the impact of exercise on confidence, with studies documenting that physical activity is linked to higher self-esteem. Obstacle course equipment offers a fun workout that encourages users to work their bodies and brains to overcome challenges and as a result this creates a sense of achievement. As users progress with their fitness they should be able to complete obstacle courses faster and more efficiently, which can deliver a fantastic confidence boost.


One of the most interesting features of an obstacle course is that there may be more than one way to complete each challenge. Because of this users are encouraged to think of creative solutions to progress along the course while also improving their problem-solving skills.


Team Building

Outdoor obstacle course equipment is a great amenity for groups to enjoy together. A key feature of obstacle courses is that they offer a wide selection of challenges and can be used by many at the same time, meaning that while one user is jumping over hurdles, another may be shimmying along a balance beam. Depending on ability, users may require assistance from other users to overcome certain parts of the obstacle course. Completing an obstacle course challenge as a group can help encourage team building and community spirit between friends, colleagues or even strangers. Obstacle courses can also promote healthy competition between peers - especially if an outdoor gym timer has been installed.

Frequently asked questions

What is the lead time on equipment?

Our lead time for delivery of equipment is approx. 4-6 weeks but this can vary. To get a detailed timeline please contact our Galway office to further discuss our lead times.

How many units should be included in an obstacle course?

This can depend on your budget and the size of your site - when considering your budget it is important to consider installation, surfacing, delivery and landscaping costs.

Our sales team can meet with you on site to advise on what units suit your site while our design team can provide detailed plans of your area. To arrange a meeting contact our Galway office - this is a free of charge no obligation site meeting.

Is obstacle course equipment safe?

Yes. All our obstacle course equipment is compliant and safe to use. Public exercise equipment needs to adhere to stringent safety standards and regulations. Certificates for all our equipment are available and can be downloaded directly from our website. All certs will be provided in your safety file on completion of your fitness area.

How much does an obstacle course cost?

Costs can vary depending on a number of factors including materials and size of the area - we understand that budgets can vary and we have a wide range of equipment to suit all budgets. Our design team can provide detailed plans to help you cost and budget for the works.

Got questions about how to plan an outdoor fitness area?

Please fill in your contact details and we will get back to you as soon as possible.

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