Fitness on the Cheap Tuesdays

Image Courtesy of CrashMattBs flickr photo stream under a Creative Commons license. Check out his entire Hello San Diego set for more great photos around town.

The Embarcadero Marina Fitness Course @ Sunrise. Image Courtesy of CrashMattB's flickr photo stream under a Creative Commons license. Check out his entire "Hello San Diego" set.

Now is the time of year when most of us start thinking about the summer months (which in San Diego is most of the year).  Unfortunately this year, now is also the time that many of us are letting our gym memberships go due to tough times and prudent frugality.  Who’s got disposable income for the fitness center right now?  Fortunately for San Diegans, the city has got you covered.  For the next couple of weeks I’m going to reveal all the good local free fitness spots I know of around the downtown and surrounding areas.

All around the city are little signs, that can be tough to notice at times, pointing to various fitness routes throughout the city.  In this week’s FotCT post I’m going to talk about my favorite: the Fitness Course at the Embarcadero Marina Park.

Embarcadero Marina Park Map

This particular course is pretty scalable to your fitness level, has a beautiful view, and is easily accessible via pedestrian routes, or if you must, a car.  The course sits directly behind the San Diego Convention Center, so it’s also incredibly easy to find.  This is also one of the better stocked courses and has stations specifically for:

Pull Ups on Bar, Pull Up Rings (good for Knee to Elbows), Push Ups, Parallel Bars  (good for dips), Step up Blocks, and a Sit Up Station.

I’m not going to make recomendations about what you should do here, as I’m no fitness professional – but each week I’ll put down what workouts I typically do so maybe you can get some ideas for your own San Diego outside workout.

At this course I like to start out with a warm up on the Convention Center stairs.  There are a about couple hundred of them if you go front to back. I like to jog over between the sails twice before I begin here and once after I’m done.  I also like to bring some weights with me, like barbells, kettlebells, or medballs.  This is the perfect spot in the morning for a kettlebell complex (if you’re confused as to what this might be, check out San Diego CrossFit’s website).

Now, the city has done everyone a service and posted a suggested workout on each of the stations on the course.  It is not a bad workout.  If you’d like more of a challenge, keep reading.

Last Sunday’s rainy day workout consisted of:

Warm up with Convention Center Stairs 2x over the hump and between the sails.


The Classic “Louder than 10 AKA 11”

5x Ball Slams @20# +
10x Push-ups +
15x KettleBell Swings @44#

11 Rounds, for time.


The Embarcadero Marina Special

8x Pull-up +
8x Bar Dip on the parallel bars +
8x Sit-up (anchor your feet at the station) +
8x Decline Push-up from a bench +
8x Knee To Elbows on the Rings (KTE)
All 5 exercises comprise a set circuit. Do 3x sets, running or jogging between each station. 1 minute rest between sets

Cool down: walk 2x around the fitness course.

Whenever I don’t bring the weights (i.e. the kettlebells or medicine balls) I don’t fret.  I just do some more sets of the Special and make sure I skate through Seaport Village and up to the Star of India and back before heading home.

More fun cheap workouts to come!  I know plenty of spots and activities that I like around town, but if you’d like to suggest a workout or location for next week’s FotCT, please hit up the comments!


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