Thinking of building your very own Muscle Beach in your backyard? Before you get too carried away and drop a sizeable chunk of cash on new equipment, you need to learn how to protect outdoor gym equipment.
Unlike Muscle Beach which after decades is looking pretty tired, old and rusty you want to be able to prevent this and keep your equipment looking as new as possible.
The main issue with outdoor gyms is rain and night-time dew. If it’s outside, the equipment is bound to get wet. Secondly, any equipment containing rubber, vinyl and plastic can also suffer from UV damage without proper care.
So how do you protect outdoor equipment from rust and exposure to the elements?
Pick equipment designed for outdoor use, protect it with regular maintenance, repaint when necessary and show the equipment some love frequently.
Rigs, Racks & Steel Equipment
AlphaFit has developed its own line of powder coating that has given us our reputation for superior grip. If your equipment is for outdoor use, we can apply a zinc plating prior to coating for protection against the elements.
The steel goes through a structured 3-step process to ensure resilient, cost effective protection on the final product. This process provides an additional protective layer between the steel and the powder coat, preventing the base material from being attacked by the elements.
Step One: The steel surface is prep-bathed, cleaned and prepared ready for the zinc layer to be applied.
Step Two: The steel product is immersed in a chemical bath containing dissolved zinc in a process called zinc electroplating.
Step Three: The part is then finished in our unique textured powder coating in one of our 12 standard colours.
Together, the zinc plated layer and our unique powder coat creates a durable, weather resistant finish so that your rig and steel equipment can be stored outdoors year-round.
If over time you find any nicks in the power coating simply apply a rust proof paint in the same colour as the steel immediately before rust sets in.
Benches will always be tricky. The foam gets damp and mouldy and it can be very difficult to prevent that from happening. To help prevent water soaking through spray your bench pad with a heavy duty silicone spray followed by a UV protectant spray to protect the vinyl.
When the bench pad needs replacing, treat the plywood of the pad with a wood preserver, get the most mould resistant foam and cover with marine grade vinyl fabric. AlphaFit sells all replacement foam pads and covers that will have your gear looking new again in no time.
Give your bars some love with a light coat of bar oil from time to time and keep moisture out of the sleeves so they can continue to spin like new. Spray WD-40 on the area around the ends of the shaft to repel water and cover with a tarp. Consider bringing your bar inside or predominately covered area between workouts and avoid much of the hassle of maintenance. It’s the one piece you want to keep in good shape.
With mixed implements such as dumbbells, kettlebells and dead balls, spray any rubber surfaces with a UV protectant and spray and wipe regularly. Store on a rack that has easy drainage or is situated in a predominately covered area. You want to avoid your equipment sitting in pools of water to prevent rusting.
Cardio & Cable Machines
When it comes to equipment with moving parts, especially cardio machines, you could run into a problem if left without care. Moisture will get in between the moving parts and rust will begin to form. It’s recommended to keep these pieces of equipment indoors or in a predominately covered area when not in use.
Location, location, location
Finally, take into consideration the location of your outdoor gym. An open-air gym, covered by a roof such as a patio or balcony will bring far less potential for rusting or UV damage than a gym totally exposed to the elements.
Outdoor gyms need just as much love, if not more, than indoor gyms but there really is nothing quite like training with the sun on your skin and fresh air in your lungs.