For personal trainer Allan Alguire, the idea of an outdoor facility to complement an indoor training space within his home in the Westboro Beach area came to him as he started work on an extensive landscaping project.
The catalyst for including the workout space within the landscape design was Allan’s belief that an open-air experience enhances a fitness program. “I personally enjoy the benefits of training outside. The sunshine and the change of scenery are mood boosting,” says the owner of End Result Fitness. These crucial combinations are a part of Allan’s process for keeping his clients interested and motivated.
He explains that his clients want something different than a traditional gym experience, so he sought to find creative ways to meet their needs. “I began thinking about how to offer clients a unique workout space that integrated training, wellness and design.”
His client, Lauren Follett, moved from Toronto to Ottawa and has been amazed at how many Ottawans she sees doing open-air workouts all year-round. She didn’t expect to include the outdoors in her training sessions, but has been grateful for the overall experience. “I didn’t think I could feel as good as I do now after training with Allan, and being outside as much as possible is really energizing,” says the fit mom of two.
Allan recruited Jonathan Hoffman, from Split Rock Landscaping and Masonry, after meeting him while he was working on another job down the street. The pair hit it off and began to put their ideas in place for the Alguire home. Landscape designer Maggie Jordan was also enlisted to help with the project.
Although the idea for the project was a good one, it came with a myriad of obstacles that included a challenging lot. “The back yard was difficult—the entire yard was sloped and a retaining wall ran parallel to the house,” reveals Jonathan, who added that it just had to be ripped out.
The issues with the lot were intensified by the fact that access to the yard came through the neighbour’s backyard property. This meant that the cedar hedge separating the two yards had to come out, so that both the Alguire property and the neigbour’s yard were torn apart.
A series of retaining walls were built to help with the sharp north and south slopes of the property. To preserve the mature trees and to ensure privacy, the limestone platforms were strategically placed. As Jonathan tries to use as much of the material from job to job, he sourced the stone from another jobsite in the Westboro area, which he says sits on an old limestone quarry.
Today, after taking six months to complete, the space boasts a magnificent outdoor fitness area. Allan is pleased with the results and how the fitness area offers an ideal blend of light and shade throughout the day. “I am now able to offer clients a unique, light-filled, private space where they can enjoy the many health benefits of working out in the outdoors.”