Gallery: The Human-Powered Floating Gym!


Have you ever pedaled on a stationary bike at the gym and thought to yourself: ‘What if this energy I am exerting could be used for something better than just making me sweat?” Well now a new proposal from architect Mitchell Joachim promises to take all that energy expended at the gym to the next level, by capturing all that exertion and using it to transport people around the rivers of New York City. The River Gym concept is a human-powered floating gym that will provide the user with the one experience that no other gym can provide: floating your workout around Manhattan. Designed by architect Mitchell Joachim and personal trainer Douglas Joachim, this project could bring inspiration to both the morning commute and workout.

There is a significant amount of energy expended when going to the gym. Nothing wrong with that of course, other than the fact that all of it is spent in one place and, other than getting people fit, the energy is wasted. While we know of one gym that is trying to do something with that energy, we’re impressed by River Gym’s creative take on using that human power to tackle some transportation needs.

The River Gyms are, in essence, floating gyms designed to provide health amenities while floating along the Hudson and East rivers. Each gym is programed with a specific path set on a 15 minute loop moving from one point to the next. This means that each one of these devices can function both as a gym with a view and as a transportation system.

The design won the third place in New York Magazine‘s 2005 Create a Gym competition, and it is certainly easy to see the appeal of one of these. Obviously, while the design proposal was specific for New York, pretty much any city with access to a river could be filled with these gyms.

+ Human Powered Gym @ Archinode

via: greenbuildingsnyc


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  1. whattosay June 27, 2012 at 10:11 am

    Oh wow. Ever heard of bikes and walking? A very cheap and old-school way to make use of the human-generated energy.

  2. IDZIGN September 7, 2009 at 5:36 am

    i just had an idea about having a school where kids use the round about and the see-saw to generate energy for the school, and community, and then i had the idea of designing a buildign that had its own gym inside to generate electricty and to pump water up from underground tanks to the top….then i thought of designing a gym for each comunity/suburb to generate power for themselves….

    Had a chat with my house mate and he told me about the Gym boats, and i came and googled it now…I SO BUMMED!!!! :-(, Anyone in SA wanna start something like this with me?????????

  3. jessiquitarita September 25, 2008 at 10:26 am

    I think it\\\\\\\’s a fanstastic idea! Especially if people use it for their morning commute. Or at least part of their commute. A lot of people I know work out in the morning before work and this would cut out some commute time since they will be killing three birds with one stone. One: workout Two: commute Three: reducing the amount of fossil fuels that would have been used by driving to work. The trouble of course if you live and work midland, not near a shore. However even then it will give you a good view as opposed to a stationary bike staring at TV and cut down of the danger riding a bike through traffic. Now if only we could implement this function in an aeronautical design. =)

  4. cleanerwater July 27, 2008 at 9:43 pm

    Why not just hook up all those bikes in all the gyms to a generator to create electricity for the gym they are in…

  5. danielschuch July 25, 2008 at 4:13 pm

    I personly think it is one of the best ideas ever…but money is a factor. Also we don’t in our commuity have people that go to a gym on a daily baseis or for that matter work out period. But yes i think the world would be a lot better with a floating gym…and not even useing fuel to operate the machine. In conclusion I think that this should be acquaintanted with our commuinty and country.

  6. Harvard July 24, 2008 at 8:06 am

    It’s going to smell like a gym locker inside those things.

  7. meathead July 23, 2008 at 6:38 pm

    Why not turn all that peddle power to electric power?

  8. jkay July 23, 2008 at 11:16 am

    Why use all this energy to power some floating spectacle to just say we did it? Why not use all this energy to power say, all the excessive energy we already use?

  9. TheFrumplingtons July 16, 2008 at 1:55 pm

    What an ingenious idea! Finally, it seems, the humble pedalo has become fashionable again.

  10. AS July 14, 2008 at 3:17 pm

    I agree w/ Jay – it needs to have a broader purpose, such as filtering/collecting waste that ends up in the water, for example.

  11. Jayoutside July 14, 2008 at 12:08 pm

    interesting concept. Seems to be like some other methods of recreation that also allow transportation. A bicycle comes to mind. So does a scull. So does running.

    I think that harvesting energy is a great idea – to power the gym or other structure, but this seems like it was built just for a design competition to be novel – no real need.

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