Where To Workout: Bellahouston Park, Glasgow

Crikey. It's been a while?

So much has happened since the last post on this blog; I am now happily married, had an awesome honeymoon in Mauritius and Dubai (putting on over a stone of fat in the process) and...I started training at Bellahouston Park every now and again!

Image property of the Evening Times
In case you have never heard of Bellahouston Park, it is one of the biggest parks in Glasgow, near Ibrox Stadium and Craigton Cemetary, just off the M8. It is particularly popular with Pope's and Pop Star's.

There are loads of different activities for people of all ages to do at Bellahouston, including a tiny outdoor gym area, with around six pieces of equipment. Similar to the facility at Barshaw Park, and elsewhere in Glasgow, this equipment is OK for beginners to increase their heart rate, but there isn't a great deal of challenge for people who are wishing to lose fat and build muscle.

Except for the pull-up station! Yes, an actual pull-up station with three different heights of pull-up handles.

I first saw this facility when I was running in the Great Scottish Run, a half marathon in Glasgow which passed through local park's, Pollok and Bellahouston. I had been told there was a pull-up bar in Bellahouston but had no idea where it was until then.

One afternoon the following week I decided to go back down to Bellahouston after work and check out the facility.

The facility can be found at the back of the Glasgow Club's 'Super Gym', which can be accessed through Bellahouston Drive. If the car park is quiet enough you can park right next to the footpath and it's just a short walk from there.

The pull-up station is in fairly good condition, with just one handle grip missing from one of the lower pair of handles - this is no real problem as the grip handles aren't ideal for close-grip pull-up's.

Unlike at Barshaw Park, there is a soft artificial surface to stand on, or cushion my fall during failed muscle-up attempts! With the winter weather now here, the artificial surface is very much appreciated at the moment. No one likes soggy and muddy trainers.

I have also found the plastic material easier to dry and grip than the metal bars at Barshaw when training in the rain. This area of the park is quite exposed and there is a vicious wind with driving rain in stormy weather which flies across the park, so wrap up warm when necessary.

Unfortunately, there isn't a set of parallel bars like at Barshaw, but I've been trying to have at least one day a week where I only do pulling exercises, so I don't miss the parallel bars so much due to that.

Whilst in Mauritius, I spent two mornings in the hotel gym using the pull-up bar and managed to complete a few muscle-up's with a jumping start off a bench. Although not the best technique to use, I really found the small jumping head start was enough to help me experience the transitional phase for the first time - and my shoulders really knew about it!

Since my return I continued to practice this jumping style, but have now phased it out and reached a point where I only need to rock back and forwards for momentum in order to perform one muscle-up. Sadly I'm stuck at one rep, but I know it will come with more practice like everything else and I'll be able to make it a cleaner movement.

Back in June I wrote a post entitle 'Quest for the muscle-up...' and six months later I am absolutely buzzing with my progress. I can (sort of) do a muscle-up. I am keen for my fellow calisthenics participant, Joe, to verify my performance of the movement - the champagne is on ice until I have his approval and post video evidence!

Even if confirmed, my quest for the muscle-up will be far from over! This is the greatest thing about calisthenics. No matter what movement/exercise you can perform, you can always make it more challenging to keep testing yourself and moving forward!

If you live fairly close to Bellahouston Park why not head over and work on some pull-up's? I know it's cold and the nights are dark, but the weather can only get better from this point onwards!

Get outside. Build muscle. Have fun.

(Even in winter!)


  1. Muscle ups look cool, but unless you can nearly chest the bar, get your nipples past the bar just on back strength, avoid the angle at your elbow closing to less than 80 degree, and avoid your elbows flaring out, then I think they're just a good way of damaging your shoulders. Your pull up has to be so good, fluid, effortless, and fast, that you're not doing a 150lb tricep pushdown as you wriggle above the bar.

  2. You have done a good job by publishing this article about workout. I appreciate your efforts which you have put into this article, It is a beneficial article for us. Thanks for sharing such informative thoughts.
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