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Mad Max Vibes At Kyiv's Scrap-Metal Gym

An outdoor gym on the Dnipro River has locals flocking to pump upcycled Soviet steel.


The Kachalka gym has around 200 makeshift exercise machines spread through the trees of Venetsiansky Island on the Dnipro River. 
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The Kachalka gym has around 200 makeshift exercise machines spread through the trees of Venetsiansky Island on the Dnipro River. 

A man pumping iron in the alfresco gym. In 1965, a new metro line across the Dnipro allowed access to the island, which soon became a popular picnic spot. 
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A man pumping iron in the alfresco gym. In 1965, a new metro line across the Dnipro allowed access to the island, which soon became a popular picnic spot. 

An 83-year-old showing the youngsters how it's done. The gym began with a single chin-up bar in the the late 1960s. 
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An 83-year-old showing the youngsters how it's done. The gym began with a single chin-up bar in the the late 1960s. 

A young strongman grappling with a pec-deck. Yuri Kuk, one of the founders of the gym told the Associated Press "We wanted people to have an active leisure time, not just play cards on the beach."
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A young strongman grappling with a pec-deck. Yuri Kuk, one of the founders of the gym told the Associated Press "We wanted people to have an active leisure time, not just play cards on the beach."

Many of the weights are hunks of Soviet machinery dating back to the Cold War days when Kuk says scrap metal "was just lying about." 
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Many of the weights are hunks of Soviet machinery dating back to the Cold War days when Kuk says scrap metal "was just lying about." 

Today the weights are chained down to prevent theft. 
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Today the weights are chained down to prevent theft. 

Men pummelling stacks of tires. The gym is free, and never closes.
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Men pummelling stacks of tires. The gym is free, and never closes.

A worker repairing a dumbbell. Donations have enabled a small group of volunteers to install lights for night workouts, and repair the exercise machines. 
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A worker repairing a dumbbell. Donations have enabled a small group of volunteers to install lights for night workouts, and repair the exercise machines. 

The rugged machines give the gym a distinctive Mad Max vibe. 
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The rugged machines give the gym a distinctive Mad Max vibe. 

Some of the weights are reportedly up-cycled hunks of military vehicles. 
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Some of the weights are reportedly up-cycled hunks of military vehicles. 

A young couple between workouts. As well as old and young, the legendary gym reportedly attracts rich and poor. 
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A young couple between workouts. As well as old and young, the legendary gym reportedly attracts rich and poor. 

A youngster pumping Soviet steel. 
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A youngster pumping Soviet steel. 

Elderly locals grinding through reps. One of the attractions of the outdoor gym is the freedom for people to wander through the trees and throw themselves in the river after a heavy workout. 
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Elderly locals grinding through reps. One of the attractions of the outdoor gym is the freedom for people to wander through the trees and throw themselves in the river after a heavy workout. 

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