At Muscle & Fitness we’re driven to shed some light on every aspect of the fitness world. There is no one way to get in shape. We want our readers to explore the multitude of possibilities beyond the confines of a standard gym floor. And so we’re tasking one of our own—Senior Editor, Zack Zeigler—to go on a unique fitness journey and bring his experiences to you in our new series—WORKOUTS YOU’VE NEVER TRIED.


Workout's You've Never Tried, Zack at Brooklyn Zoo

Parkour is a highly demanding physical activity that calls for rapid movement through a typically urban environment, although any setting with a variety of challenging obstacles can be used. The goal is to quickly and efficiently navigate the obstacles through a combination of running, climbing and jumping. Brooklyn Zoo trainer and parkour expert who aptly goes by the name Spider further explains, “parkour is all just a movement that your body knows how to do, that your mind was taught to forget. We’ve made ourselves pedestrian. We’ve domesticated ourselves, given ourselves barriers to walk around and through.” 

In this full-body onslaught, we go back to our less domesticated roots to tackle the many physical challenges our bodies were built to do. So what’s in store for anyone attempting to conquer this intense parkour workout. “Well, I think that you can expect a myriad of things; jump basics, safe landing procedures, definitely some vaults, some bars, and probably going to run up a wall and jump off of it,” says Brooklyn Zoo manager and tumbling coach Robin Franstaff. 

While these movements call for a high level of balance, dexterity, power and strength, there is a mental component as well. “When you’re flowing through obstacles without hesitation, that’s where you get the high of parkour, says Spider. He also points out that people don’t just immediately start out with jumping huge roof gaps. “It starts small with things like foot placement during jumps and landings. As long as you keep these basic principles in mind, they become second nature. That’s what eliminates the fear and the intimidation of parkour, and allows you to move anywhere fluidly,” says the parkour pro. With a wide array of exercises, tips and techniques this workout will give you the skills and confidence to crush the most challenging of courses for a fat-burning, muscle-chiseling workout unlike any other. 

So what did Zack think after his parkour crash test? “Three takeaways from parkour at Brooklyn Zoo. One, you have to commit. If you don’t, you will fall on your ass. Two, set goals. When you fail, reassess, step back, take a breath, and go for it again. You will eventually find success. Three, bring your weightlifting shoes. Those flat soles will come in handy just like when you deadlift, because you’ll be able to feel the ground when you run the course,” said Zack.

Workout's You've Never Tried, Brooklyn Zoo
Spider, trainer at Brooklyn Zoo, coaching M&F Senior Editor Zack Zeigler 

Can’t find a PARKOUR class in your area? Try this parkour crash course workout in your neighborhood>>

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What is “Workouts You’ve Never Tried”?

In this new series—presented by the makers of 5-hour ENERGY Protein Shots—Zack will be taking on fitness exploits that push him far out of his comfort zone. Zack’s traditional, gym-honed strength and conditioning will be tested with routines he, and others prone to focusing on the fundamentals, would normally never consider trying. Watch what happens when a gym rat tries some of the most creative and challenging workouts the wide world of fitness has to offer.



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