Monkey Abroad

Videos and stories of the life abroad – food, culture, travel & work

Outdoor Gym

Working out in Pathetic Outdoor Gyms in Thailand


Rusty little outdoor gyms are scattered all over the place in Thailand. These rudimentary exercise facilities sit on street corners, curbsides, public parks, alleyways. Their function is simple: get Thai people PUMPED. Unfortunately, they don’t seem to be working.

Outdoor Gym

Let’s be honest – these machines are downright laughable. Only a small portion of the equipment is remotely identifiable: a bench press machine, a pull-up machine, a sit-up chair. Most of these contraptions don’t serve any (apparent) exercise purpose. Anyone who exercises seriously will be hard pressed to get a good workout in these dinky outdoor gyms.

The rusty equipment looks like it hasn’t been touched in years. Nevertheless, students pour out of class every day after school and many make their way to public parks to pump iron. I applaud anybody with the gumption to put these primitive outdoor apparatuses to use. They look like they’re about to fall to pieces any minute.

What function does this machine serve?

What function is this machine supposed to serve?


This looks like a medieval torture device.

This one looks like a medieval torture device.


Can't figure this one out either.

Can’t figure this one out either.

Outdoor Gym

These gyms dot the map everywhere and they’re free to the public. Some have thin metal roofs over them to protect from rust-inducing rain. Others don’t. Obscure as they are, these facilities are the only direct means to building muscle in rural Thai communities. I crack up at the sight of a scrawny Thai kid trying to get jacked in one of these outdoor gyms. Yes, I know I’m a jerk.

But it’s not just rusty third world outdoor gyms that crack me up. If you think about it, all gyms are a pretty funny concept. Even the most state-of-the-art gym is just a big room full of gorillas lifting up heavy objects and putting them back down.

Outdoor Gyms in Thailand

It’s all clear to me now… Thai people see past the monkey-brained nonsense of first world modern gyms with their costly memberships. They don’t have the desire to update their centuries-old equipment.  They’re too busy being concerned with more badass stuff. Like Muay Thai boxing. Or cooking tasty meals for me. Yum.

Author: Kevin Cook

I want to inspire you to pursue your own dream of traveling and/or living overseas!


  1. I hope they aren’t government funded!

  2. Nicely written beeg, you make me a little sick

  3. I believe the ” medevial torture device ” is another version of the Boflex

  4. You should get into Muy Thai while you are there.. pretty good excuse to at least 🙂

  5. Haha, we have some of those gyms in the Dominican Republic but they are better maintained. Maybe it’s because they are fairly new instalments though.

    Jade and I had some fun walking around the area and testing out the machines to see if they actually provided a good workout and to see how they worked. With the description written on how to use the machines, none of them really work anything out unless you’re on them for hours. We modified our form on some of them and with some fine tuning you could get a decent workout in.

    • You modified your form to get a decent workout on these machines? Hah, by ‘modify form,’ I assume you must’ve figured out a way to add an extra 50kgs of resistance.



  7. That’s what they have access to. These dedicated guys working out at such places look better than you do.

Let me know what you think


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