Sit-ups, done in the open air the way Adam and Eve did them!

No matter what happens next, don’t walk away from this with believing that you shouldn’t work out outside, in public. Working out outside, in public, can be a wonderful, refreshing, glorious thing. The trick is knowing when working out in public has crossed over the line of “I am a citizen of this place, like you are, enjoying its resources at no expense to you” into the flashy, exciting world of “I am making this public park all about me now, motherfuckers.”

No one but God above can judge you either way, but I’m going to do it anyway. Each activity’s dick ranking is represented via the percentage to the right.

Walking (0%)

Like the song says, this is the only exercise that is universally fine in all its shapes and forms. Mall-walking, power-walking, speed-walking; all good. A person can look silly, but looking silly does not make a person a dick. The only way this even registers as a blip on the radar is if the person in question is walking through a parade or something. Even if that’s the case: it’s still just walking.

Running Alone (2-5%)
Running in a Group (5-18%)

Running alone is basically walking, except even more so. There are some ways in which a runner can be a dick (running on the road, running to close to people when passing), but they are so small as to be mere nits being picked.

Running in a group is a different animal, and one’s rating depends greatly on a many number of factors, including:

  • Number of people in the group
  • Speed at which the group is running
  • Running location
  • What everyone is wearing

Generally speaking, running is fine.


Riding a Bike (7% -95%)

This is borderline unpredictable and should probably be its own thing. Just know there is a difference between going for a bike ride, going for a bike ride while wearing one of those Ned Flanders, chest-hair body suits and going for a bike ride like a person on fire, operating under a set of rules that are clandestine and apply only to you. Do your level best to stay away from the third section, you’ll never get higher than 25%.

CrossFit, near a gym (19%)

CrossFit has something of a checkered reputation. Having never done it, it seems a reasonable way for a person to become a more sinewy version of themselves and to have something to talk about on OKCupid dates. Sometimes, CrossFit people will do a circuit that involves flipping a truck tire or whatever outside the confines of the gym. As long as this is happening within a two-block proximity of the central CrossFit nest, it’s acceptable behavior.

Parkour (22%)

Honestly, this has the potential to be higher. Working under the assumption that this James Bond-ass, The Office-ass exercise  aimed at super-fit dorks is intended to be done in an urban environment, one would think that avoiding a tangible impact on the general public is within the confines of the activity. Basically, if your exercise requires you to affect others as little as possible (which, again, is the assumption this number is based on), it can never be all that dickish to practice it. Just try not to break any bones near the public fountain or anything.

Yoga, general (37%)

Alright, full disclosure: I regularly attend yoga in the park and I feel weird about it every time. The entire process feels show-offy; carrying my mat in public, finding a good spot in the ground, smiling politely at the people around me, saying “oooohhhhmmmm” in public. There is not part of it that doesn’t feel a little bit like a performance. Maybe I am not very good at yoga. Extra points are awarded to those who attend the outside yoga and go above and beyond in their poses. You gym class heroes belong in…


Yoga, fancy (50%)

Take your specialty shit indoors where your athleisure wear won’t get stained, you headstand-doing son of a bitch.

CrossFit, not near a gym (68%)

This is why many municipal bike trails have those monkey bars every quarter-mile or so, so that you can get all ripped-fuel away from the regular slobs who just want to eat a sandwich or get from point A to point B in the world without having a fitness cult flaunted in their faces. The gym has ice cold muscle milk, all the outdoors has it people who are annoyed at the free show no one asked for.

Dancing (82%)

Absolutely unacceptable unless you’ve got a hat out in front of you, you’re part of a wedding proposal flash mob from 2012 or you’re shooting a music video.

Push ups in the park I’m just trying to walk through after outdoor yoga (100%)

You have a home. That home has a floor. Fuck you.