Seven of the Most Innovative Gyms in the World

Go way beyond free weights and stationary bikes at these clever workout facilities

(© Dan Forer/Beateworks/Corbis)
smithsonian.com

It’s January, when so many of us find ourselves plodding to the neighborhood gym to shake off the holiday binge blahs. But while most of us will be doing the same old treadmill and weight routines, members at these gyms will be climbing up old grain silos, sweating away on computer-equipped smart equipment or even powering the very gym itself with the energy generated by their exertions. 

Upper Limits, Bloomington, Illinois: Rock climbing in old grain silos

As its nickname, “The Prairie State,” suggests, Illinois is lacking in the mountains department. So its climbing enthusiasts have to get creative with the resources the state does have. To wit: lots of grain silos. At Upper Limits in Bloomington, climbers tackle the 65-foot-high walls of once-abandoned grain silos near the city’s railroad tracks. In the creative reuse department, this gets a gold star.    

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