Best Outdated Fitness Center

Parcourse Fitness Challenge on the Lafayette-Moraga Regional Trail

Take a stroll among the outdated relics of fitness awareness past on the Lafayette-Moraga bike path. Here, roughly between Stafford and Moraga roads, runs the Parcourse Fitness Challenge — a charming little system patented by one Peter Stricker way back in 1975. Each of the dozen or so fitness stations is in remarkably sound condition — and not all are outdated, either. Everyone knows what pull-ups, pushups, and sit-ups are, and the body curl benches make good sense. But the “step-up” and the “hop-kick,” among other exercises, are utterly baffling. Ah well, Mr. Stricker came from a naive and innocent time, a lost era when thirty jumping jacks, fifteen knee lifts, and twenty seconds of Achilles stretch ranked one at “championship par,” according to the placards along the trail. And, hey, if no one’s looking, you might even give the log hop a whirl for a quick laugh. Otherwise, crank out your pull-ups, drop and do fifty, get your abdominals burning, and repeat.

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