We're Working Out! at Tompkins Square Park

You don’t have to belong to a gym in order to get a great workout. Being outdoors and enjoying the fresh air can make exercising even more of a positive experience. Add in a few friends who can help you stay motivated and you’ve got yourself a fun way to spend an afternoon.

As I mention in my book, We’re Working Out! A Zen Approach to Everyday Fitness, my favorite place to train is Tompkins Square Park in NYC’s East Village. It has everything I need and it helps me keep my workouts creative.

TSP has built a cult following and become legendary in some circles. Thanks to word of mouth, a great community has taken shape over the years. In addition to doing my bootcamp class there every Saturday morning, I’m lucky enough to train with people who can teach me new things and push me to work harder. Rick Seedman and Alex Borisov of the Bar-barians are two of my favorite training partners lately. We were recently photographed by Felipe Passolas while we did our thing at TSP. I hope you find some inspiration in these pictures.

This takes a lot of practice.

Ready, set...


Can't get enough human flag!

Who doesn't love monkey bars?

This tore up my hands!


We had a hell of a workout!

19 thoughts on “We're Working Out! at Tompkins Square Park

  • By jeffdf -

    You really got that much leverage from the hoop? I would have assumed those things would just bend down when you grabbed them but I guess that shows the sum of my knowledge of all things basketball. Anyways…inspiration in droves from this post 😉

  • By Al Kavadlo -

    The hoop did in fact bend on the way up, and provided very limited leverage. Doing that rep was about 10x harder than a normal muscle-up!

    • By Markus Arnstrand -

      I,m from Sweden, thanks for lot of inspiration. Unfortunately they only build skateramps here, but we have some tree we can hang in 🙂

  • By Dangerpants11 -

    Thanks for making this world a more beautiful place!

  • By Al Kavadlo -

    You're welcome! Thanks for the comment.

  • By FitJerk - No BS Fitness -

    How many muscle ups did you pull off? Right now I'm working to get my ass past 5.

  • By Al Kavadlo -

    On a good day I can get 20 in one set. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OlYhA4FBZaQ

  • By MommaCarr -

    Is it wrong that just looking at these pictures feels like a workout for me ? WOW !!

  • By Al Kavadlo -

    Thanks, Ms. Carr! But if looking at this feels like a workout, that tells me it's been too long since you had a real workout – otherwise you'd know the difference! 🙂

  • By Zach Snyder -

    Wow, this is awesome! I need to begin the search for a playground area around my town to do some outside workouts! Free and Green! Great stuff man!

  • By Al Kavadlo -

    Thanks, Zach. Good luck finding an outdoor spot to work out in your area. Feel free to get creative!

  • By Bill -

    So you're the guy that ruins all the basketball hoops! Impressive stuff, but please leave the hoops intact for those that play.

  • By Al Kavadlo -

    That was the only time I've done a muscle-up on a hoop, Bill – I just had to try it! If you look at the picture of my hand, you'll see I got the worse end of it. Perhaps you're right that I shouldn't be encouraging that sort of thing, though.

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  • By kOrsanX -

    Our fingers look so alike it’s almost creepy.

    • By Al Kavadlo -

      You mean the callouses?

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