Exercising is essential in maintaining a healthy lifestyle, but not everyone has a gym at their disposal or access to professional training equipment – and things get even more complicated in a pandemic. But fret not, a Turkish personal trainer has found the solution: a portable and outdoor "Gym Box."
Metehan Öztürk, a 32-year-old personal trainer in Turkey's capital Ankara, came up with the extraordinary idea of building a 2-meter (6.5-foot) container that contains a multifunctional gym.
Öztürk said that people appreciate nature more since the pandemic, explaining that people are always stuck indoors, at the office or even at coffee shops, and have realized that spending time outdoors is more valuable.
“People started to enjoy working out outdoors even more, especially after the pandemic since it’s less risky compared to an air-conditioned gym,” Öztürk said.
“Gym Box is a portable sports unit that maintains everything a person needs for training. Professionals can train in the unit, as well as amateurs.”
Öztürk then explained how the box worked.
“You attach the box to any car with a trailer and take it to a place where you want to do your workout. It takes around five minutes to set the whole thing up and then up to 15 people can do their training at the same time," he said.
Öztürk said he has always enjoyed working out with his students in nature and that he would have to carry the equipment back and forth to each session. So, he started thinking of ways to make the process easier.
"It was not easy to carry all these weights every time. I needed a mechanism that would carry weights and professional sports equipment. That's why I came up with the idea of a unit where I can put all the equipment and take them with me," he said.
"There are no other portable gyms here in Turkey. There are also a few examples of this around the world but you cannot attach most of them to your car and take it anywhere, anytime you want.”
Öztürk explained that he plans high-intensity interval training (HIIT) 50-minute workouts for his students in the box.
“The workout you do in the box is as effective as the one you do in the gym,” he said and explained the workout.
“A HIIT workout is a type of cardiovascular exercise. You start burning more fat in an outdoor workout compared to indoor gyms in these exercises because you consume more energy and your body carries more oxygen and so fat burns faster," he said.
Öztürk said the workout in the box appeals to everyone since it is time-oriented and encourages people to push themselves.
He said when he first came up with the idea of building the box, his colleagues did not support the idea. His peers did not think that people would be willing to get out of their comfort zones and leave their air-conditioned, well-equipped gyms to train outside.
"However the coronavirus turned the tables and now people would rather be outside than be stuck indoors," he said.