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Olivia and I did a truly excellent workout yesterday—half done on the front of the building we are staying in, on this seemingly purpose-built frame that surrounds the front door:

Perfect chinning station

Perfect chinning station

I did versions of assisted one-arm chins (one hand holds a vertical strut; the other supinated grip horizontal); Miss O did sup. grips, and a variety of other forms (mixed grip, pronated grip, wide grips); seven sets in all—neither of us has any doubt today as to which muscles in the body are used in the pulling movements!

We wandered over to to Melbourne Museum park, where we used the large concrete decorative blocks to do sets of jumping drills (static start, one leg with a run-up; five sets in all); pushups (including a somewhere sketchy one-armed version, RHS), wall HS, wall runs, a few Cossack squats (but only a few: I know I was teaching an extended legs-apart stretch class the the following day, Friday).

Two things struck us about working out in the park: the first is how clean the air is, and why we want to work out in the outdoors in the first place; I could smell the clean air that was ionised by the fountain (I did not feel the oxygen concentration was higher than normal; Dalton’s Law being what it is), but the overall impression was clean, ‘exercise–movement friendly’ air, and not a trace of exhaust or other smells.

The second was the demeanour of the security guard who walked over while we were doing our handstand drills: I had my ‘this is a public place’ arguments marshalled and standing by—totally unnecessarily, as it happened: this guy was from Edinburgh, loved living here, and was a fan of people working out in the park—he told us that evening was the time when the park really jumped, with lots of different groups playing there (Tai Chi masters, and half-a-dozen other groups) and it seems the staff were supportive. I don’t want to sound sappy here, but it was a lovely conversation and I hope we see him again.

Public park designers need to factor in chin-up bars and dip bars: I did some dips on what looked like a long, stainless-steel horizontal ‘spring’ (for locking bikes) but they provided a slightly too-wide support for my shoulders; and chin-up bars are in short supply, which is why we used the street-sides one at the apartment.

Go public park workouts!