outdoor gym planning

How to Plan an Outdoor Fitness Site

people working out on a outdoor fitness area - hero image

The Six Steps to Outdoor Fitness Site Planning

Fitness enthusiasts are moving their cardio and strength training out of the confinements of a traditional indoor gym and into the fresh air at an outdoor fitness site. But a random assortment of fitness equipment alone won’t persuade your community to build their fitness routine around your outdoor gym. Here are six things to consider when planning a public outdoor fitness area:

  1. Users and Target Audience

  2. Location

  3. Site Design

  4. Type of Outdoor Fitness Equipment

  5. Maintenance and Support Options

  6. Budget

Thorough, detailed planning and this checklist will guide you toward the best use of your efforts: an ambitious yet attainable outdoor gym that gets everyone MOVING!

Contact your local fitness expert

1. Users and Target Audience

Defining "who" will be using your outdoor fitness station is crucial for your planning process. Many outdoor fitness parks are created for the fit and young and never consider the entire community. To see genuine health progress in your area, remember to account for everyone, including but not limited to:

  • People with disabilities

  • Seniors

  • People starting from an inactive lifestyle

  • All genders

It's not just children who benefit from a playground project and some fresh air. Everyone benefits from outdoor exercise and physical activity. User consideration is one of the most essential factors when designing an outdoor gym, as your chosen target audience shapes the decisions on site design and location.

People working out at an outdoor fitness area, using outdoor strength and cardio machines

2. Choose a Location

So much of your outdoor gym comes down to location. Make sure to do well-rounded research on your designated location. Here are some guidelines when choosing the perfect place.

A thriving public outdoor gym park will be close to:

  • Ample Parking

  • Retail and Restaurants

  • Public Transport

  • Bicycle Parking

  • Adequate Lighting

Providing a wheelchair-friendly space with a seamless transfer ensures users of all ages and abilities can enjoy the space. Also, don't forget to bring nature to your outdoor gym, especially if your perfect location is in an urban area. The positive effect of green spaces is a scientific fact substantiated by research within the Fitness Industry.*

*Source: Urban Green Spaces and Health

KOMPAN Outdoor fitness site with cross training system in Capestone, Australia

Step 3. Site Design

Once your target audience and site location are decided, the outdoor gym design process can begin! First, consider the layout of your outdoor fitness park. Focus on effective routing and zoning to create a natural flow of foot traffic. Find the balance of space between equipment that gives users breathing room to perform their exercises, but not become out of breathe trekking to their next set!

Of course, the amount of space you’re working with will be determined by your budget. Our fitness experts can help you manage expectations and make the most of your outdoor gym!

4. Purpose & Type of Commercial Fitness Equipment

What types of exercise equipment will best serve its intended users, and what will work in the space available? Consider these three main categories of outdoor fitness equipment for parks and other outdoor spaces:

  • Young & Fit

  • People with Disabilities

  • Older Adults

people working out on outdoor strength training equipment in Kypegården, Sweden
young man working out at an outdoor training station

Young & Fit

For those who are younger or more fit overall, calisthenics outdoor gym equipment is perfect. This type of equipment is focused on harnessing the strength of one’s own body weight, providing a rigorous street-style workout. This group also gravitates toward outdoor weightlifting equipment like the chest press, leg press, lat pull down, and horizontal row machines that allow for major gains in the fresh outdoors. You may also consider an adult obstacle course.

If your young and fit group is comprised of children, an outdoor gym playground is the perfect solution. These fitness play spaces allow children in intermediate, middle, and high school to build their muscles, stamina, and coordination while also building their confidence.

Man in wheelchair using an inclusive outdoor gym

People with Disabilities

If you're designing a space to accommodate fitness for all ages and abilities, adjustable cardio fitness equipment is the way to go. The scaling resistance and adjustable strength meets the user at their level. This type of equipment is built with inclusivity in mind, with ergonomic multi-handles and an adaptive design where the product guides the activity.

You may also consider one of our outdoor fitness equipment packages to accommodate all ages and abilities within one solution.

Senior training mobility and balance on outdoor fitness equipment for seniors

Older Adults

Balance, mobility, and functional strength exercises should be the focus of fitness zones aimed at people working to age actively, as these are the best fall-preventing exercises. A mix of cardio training, strength, and fall-preventing exercises can slow the effects of aging and prevent diseases that come with it.

Keep in mind the setting will ultimately steer the direction of your outdoor fitness center. For instance, a hospital's rehabilitation site will look different than a senior center's outdoor gym.

5. Maintenance & Support

KOMPAN outdoor fitness equipment is made from high-end materials. The equipment is made from rust-resistant, powder-coated galvanized steel. This finish allows for year-round outdoor use in all types of weather. Sturdy steel construction with thick welding and enforced bolts and knots means your equipment was made with wear and tear in mind.

We know our outdoor fitness equipment is comparable to its indoor fitness counterparts, but at KOMPAN, we're confident it's even better.

Support options At KOMPAN, we are here to help you in the planning phase and the start-up of your finished outdoor fitness site. Please get in touch with your local sales rep for more information. You can also learn more about proper equipment maintenance and repairs here.

KOMPAN Fitness Institute discussing design with users

6. Budget

Anyone can place fitness equipment in an outdoor activity area. But how will you get people there? By bringing the WOW factor.

At KOMPAN, we deliver awe-inspiring fitness sites at price points of all sizes. We do consider an outdoor fitness park an investment, and budget and value go hand in hand. We also believe a large investment is always worth it, especially if you're creating a space to serve the whole community and their wide array of needs.

Don't forget about installation costs when planning out your budget. Be sure to get in touch with your local KOMPAN sales office for more information on the installation process. A KOMPAN representation can also give you a better idea of the overall cost to build an outdoor gym.

And, if you could use a boost in cash for your project, check our grant and funding guide to see if you can secure additional funds for your project.

Workers installing KOMPAN outdoor fitness equipment

See it in Action : Stuy Town Fitness Park

Stuytown(1) Video Thumb

Have 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.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is an outdoor gym?

You'll quickly recognize what you'll discover at a KOMPAN outdoor gym. It's the same fitness equipment you'd find in an indoor facility, just adapted for permanent outdoor use. KOMPAN outdoor fitness equipment is made from powder-coated galvanized steel, which ensures durability and longevity in all weather conditions.

What should I consider when planning an outdoor gym?

The key factors that will shape the success of your outdoor gym are your target audience, location, and site design. Scroll to top of this page for more information on each category.

How do I build an outdoor gym?

Ready to get MOVING? Reach out to your KOMPAN sales team! Our experts are ready to help you with every step of the planning, building and installation process for the outdoor gym of your dreams.

Explore our fitness products

people using outdoor strength training gym equipment


women using outdoor cardio gym equipment in a park gym


Street Workout

elderly outdoor gym equipment for seniors

Stay Fit

outdoor functional training fitness equipment

Cross Training

outdoor obstacle courses ninja warrior assault course equipment reference image

Obstacle Courses