River Gym – Propelled By a Workout

Architect Mitchell Joachim, in collaboration with Douglas Joachim, a personal trainer, came up with a concept that redefines the way we view the contemporary gym. When we exercise a lot of energy is dissipated and wasted. River Gym, a soft floating micro-island, offers using that energy and converting it to usable electric energy stored in on-board batteries. This innovative gym will not only provide an inspiring view to look upon, but also an increased transportation as well as a unique way to purify water while working out.




“Our concept encapsulates a new typology for the contemporary urban gym.  It is intended to challenge our innate proprioceptive and multi-planer locomotive abilities while synchronously altering the surroundings. The River Gym will fulfill one of the major contemporary fitness goals of ‘functional training’,” explain Mitchell and Douglas Joachim.

The River Gyms will be of various sizes and travel circuitously along the Hudson and East Rivers via a predetermined computer navigated loop. These vessels will vary in the amount of energy, and therefore people, required to boost it along its route.

Onboard each River Gym will be purification devices for the purpose of harnessing human motion to help mitigate water pollution. In addition, these vessels can be used as supplementary transportation, as volunteering commuterscan catch a ride with the environmentally-friendly gym instead of taking a crowded ferry.

The changing scenery offered by the floating gym might add motivation to the people working out, who no longer need to stare at the TV while exercising but instead can enjoy a panoramic view. Multiple points at the edges of each river body will be fitted with a small docking facility that offers services much like any fitness club – lockers, a reception desk, health food kiosks and such.  

“By continuing to provide vital health amenities, the River Gym can leave the realm of the glass box and become a useful multi-planar kinetic space,” state Mitchell and Douglas.

TFOT covered other concepts designed to harvest wasted human energy such as a knee brace that captures energy from walking and utilizes it to generate electricity, or a system capable of channeling kinetic energy into electric power, developed by the Idaho based company Motion 2 Energy. The motion required for generating the electricity can be either human or vehicular and the electric energy can be used to power microchips, AA-sized batteries, and small mobile devices like cellular phones.

More information on the River Gym concept can be found at Archinode’s  website.