The tires are the best part, Stuart Chutter says
By Diego Flammini
Even before COVID-19 forced governments to shut down various local businesses to prevent the disease from spreading, Stuart Chutter found it difficult to visit a gym on a regular basis to get the workout he wanted.
“I was going into the city for fitness, but I couldn’t do it daily or get into any routine with the frequency that I wanted to,” he told Farms.com.
The livestock and cash crop producer from Gull Lake, Sask. wanted something more accessible, so last year he built Farm League Fitness, his own gym on the farm.
The pandemic caused the closure of commercial fitness centres and likely meant people were ordering weights for their home gyms. So, Chutter had to get creative to build his gym.
“Demand for barbells and stuff like that went up and I couldn’t get any,” he said.
Chutter enlisted the help of a farm welder and the pair started to put together different pieces of equipment.
In addition to a CrossFit structure he purchased online, Chutter’s gym has weights. But at the end of the bars sit tires of different sizes from vehicles like tractors and pickup trucks. Loose tires are also available for flipping or hitting with a sledgehammer.
“The tires are the highlight for me,” he said. “They’re scalable for different weights and different movement. It’s surprising how much fun it is when you’re using something different and engaging, compared to regular workout equipment.”
The weightlifting bench is a bale of hay, and large pieces of wood and sandbags offer various options for weight training.
Chutter has hosted mostly friends and neighbours at his gym while other facilities are closed.
Fitness centres in Saskatchewan can reopen on June 8 as part of the province’s reopening plan from the pandemic.
Chutter hopes to invite more people looking for a workout to his farm and use their visits as an opportunity to discuss fitness, food and farming.
“If it’s a way for me to share the story of agriculture and bridge some of the misconceptions between farmers and urban audiences, that would be very cool to do in a way that’s unique and engaging,” he said. “I’d love for city people to come out for a sweat, talk to me about how I raise my livestock and then buy a side of beef from me. What a great way to tie everything together.”
Stuart Chutter photos