The Scaffolding Workout

111410_pullup (6)Colleen Leung The author during a workout.

The East Village is home to many expensive gyms, but some of the best places to work out are free – you just need to be creative! One of the few things I dislike about life in New York City is all the construction, but every cloud has a sliver lining. While it can be an eye sore, construction scaffolding is great for doing pull-ups.

Anyone who’s walked beneath scaffolding has no doubt been tempted to jump up, grab a bar and go for it. Those things are practically begging to be swung around on, hung from or climbed.

With that in mind, my brother Danny and I decided to get a scaffold workout in recently during the morning commute. While everyone around us scuttled off to school or the office, we did all kinds of pull-ups and other exercises without setting foot in a gym. In typical New York fashion, however, most people passing by didn’t even seem to notice. Watch the video below for more.

Al Kavadlo is a personal trainer, freelance writer and author of the book, “We’re Working Out! A Zen Approach to Everyday Fitness” (Muscle-up Publications, 2010). For more information visit