Easy Ways to Protect Outdoor Gym Equipment

I’ve always painted my equipment and it’s held up well – Brian Pankey

Keeping the Rust off your Outdoor Gym Equipment

You just dropped a sizeable chunk of cash on that outdoor rig complete with anchors for your backyard and you want to keep the rust off. How to do it?  Pick equipment designed for outdoor use, protect it with regular maintenance, repaint when necessary, show the equipment some love frequently.

The Right Tools for the Job

Alec Candiotes from South Africa based outdoor gym equipment supplier Cactic Fitness says, “Choose equipment that has been made for outdoor use. The manufacturer would have thought of issues such as rust and moving parts seizing up.” Sounds simple enough. Rogue Fitness is probably the most well known provider of outdoor gym equipment but brands like Cactic are stepping into the fray to serve this growing market. Shop around and buy what you need, not just what’s on sale.

Maintenance, Maintenance, Maintenance

Just did another application of CRC Heavy Duty Silicone on outdoor bench.
As you can see in the picture, the metal is not rusting and the upholstery is not fading or cracking

Marine Silicone Spray

Steve Jones of the U.K. based custom strength equipment manufacturer, Full Metal Industries says, “Benches will always be tricky. The foam gets damp and mouldy and it’s very difficult to prevent that from happening.” That’s why bench presser Dedrick Henry is a huge fan of CRC spray for his backyard gym equipment. He did two applications a month apart and posted the results in the Garage Gym Life VIP Hangout on Facebook. According to Ded Serious, applying the CRC was “As simple as spraying cooking spray in a pan to be honest. Flow came out real easy and applied evenly.” His product was put to the test soon after in a month of heavy Georgia summer rainstorms.

” After heavy storms and rain yesterday and application of CRC, the water that did make it through the cover, just beaded up and did not soak through,” Ded reported.

the bench in Dedrick Henry's outdoor gym after a rainstorm

After heavy storms and rain yesterday and application of CRC, the water that did make it through the cover, just beaded up and did not soak through

A month later we got an update. “Just did another application of CRC Heavy Duty Silicone on outdoor bench. Second application since June 14th. It’s been raining like crazy the last month, but as you can see in the picture, the metal is not rusting and the upholstery is not fading or cracking. I got this bench used. I don’t make any compensation for this product, just want to let those know who have outdoor gyms or gyms in moisture prone areas, this product is definitely worth it!”

Jones adds, “When the bench pad needs replacing, treat the plywood of the pad with a wood preserver, get the most mold resistant foam and cover with marine grade vinyl fabric.”

Repaint

Most metal gym equipment will come painted but after a few sessions, that paint is liable to chip, increasing the chances of rust.  While manufacturers like Rogue don’t necessarily endorse spray painting their products, Jones points out, “If the equipment is really going to be exposed to harsh conditions the key is to keep the air and moisture out as best as possible.”  Candiotes agrees. “Make sure you maintain your equipment by repainting or touching up places where paint has come off,” he says.

Show Your Outdoor Gym Some Love

Just as you should wipe down your benches with disinfectant and mop your mats with disinfectant at least once a week (barefoot lifters take heed to this advice!) Outdoor gyms need frequent love. Here are some final ways to show you care:

  • Give the bars some love with a light coat of bar oil from time to time.
  • Clean it once a week. Candiotes says that in addition to yearly repainting of your equipment, it’s also a good idea to clean it. “Dust, leaves etc. can really make your outdoor equipment look ugly,” Candiotes says.
  • If you’re re-purposing a piece of indoor equipment like a power rack, drill drain holes in the bottom and put caps on top of the posts to keep water out and swap out your bolts for galvanized steel if possible.

About the author

John Greaves III is a writer based in North Georgia with nearly two decades of experience in training at home. A former amateur kickboxing champion, John now competes recreationally in powerlifting. He takes a physical culture approach to training; believing that strength and health need not be mutually exclusive. In addition to his nonfiction work, John has written two fiction books, A Different Kind of Giant and A Little Lesson in Manners that are available on Amazon.com.

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