This is what every gym should look like, no comfortable cushions, no air conditioning, no stupid mirrors. Nothing more thrilling than lifting 40-year-old car parts in the middle of the wilderness.

This is an open-air fitness center “Kachalka gym” in Kiev’s Hydropark in Kiev, Ukraine. In the year 1972 some volunteers placed the first training equipments here. The training equipment is made out of old tanks (from World war 2), cars or other used machine parts. It today offers free training facilities across 10,000 square meters of floor area for anyone who wants to get in shape. Working out on these mostly homemade, archaic-looking machines is an equalizing experience, with people from all social strata rubbing shoulders here.

This gem of a gym alone is worth traveling to Kiev for. It’s also a massive money saver whilst in Kiev as daily/weekly/monthly gym memberships when traveling are always exorbitant. Kiev is certainly no exception to that rule. The equipment looks makeshift but every machine works great. There are exercises you can do here that you haven’t seen in any of the 60-70 gyms you have lifted in around the globe.

People of all ages and both sexes workout here. The majority of people lifting weights in Hidropark are men in their 50s and up. It is busiest around midday.

This gym feature more than 215 weight machines fashioned from old scrap metal and wood, punching bags made from used tyres and free weights chained to the sandy ground. This unique gym produces the same physical hardships and muscle definition you would find in any fancy gym in the world.

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