The man in front of the metal bar doesn't want to impress anyone, he just seems curious. As if asking himself: How many pull-ups will I do? He just came jogging with his girlfriend, who is now watching him. He jumps on the pole. One two three four. And one last, even if he had to put his nose up, five. Then both continue to jog. The bar has served its purpose.

What you observe on this warm summer evening in Munich follows a decades-old principle. The fitness trails are back. In the 1970s they brought half the nation to sport. A male named "Trimmy" encouraged the television-watching and increasingly well-fed Germans to move again. It worked. In the middle of the forest, people hung on poles or balanced on wooden planks. Until the paths were eventually forgotten in the nineties and began to decay.

Of course, the new fitness trails are not fitness trails, that sounds as old-fashioned as Mettigel and cassette recorders. The facilities are now called fitness park tours. In Munich alone there are around 20 such sports fields, hundreds across Germany. For some years now they have been renovated and adapted to the needs of modern fitness people.

So people came back, which now pays off twice. At the moment, more people than ever seem to be using parkour. The corona virus has made them even more important. Anyone who went to the gym was not allowed to go there for months. And even now that the ban has been lifted, many studios remain significantly empty than before. Many prefer to sweat and groan outdoors. You feel safer, so aerosol technology.

But the modern fitness trails are not only called different, they also look different. They are not in the forest, but in the city, in this case in a small park in the middle of Munich. About a dozen people frolic on an approximately ten by ten meter square, red rubber covering. There are balance bars, pull-up bars, a bar, rings, an ab trainer, a trampoline.

Hendrik, called Henne, and his buddy Samuel are training on the poles. You can say that on the fitness trail, even though there is generally little talk here. The two are well trained, even in the dumbbell area of ​​a gym, Henne would be one of the most muscular. He wears fitness gloves with which he can reach around bars better. He now hangs upside down on a pull-up bar and pulls himself up. He says, "In principle, you can do anything here."

Pushups, pull-ups, dips, leg raises, abdominal exercises, back exercises. "We always try to combine several exercises," says Henne. What you shouldn't do: run. There was always a lot of walking on the old fitness trails. That was part of the concept. This is not intended on the modern versions. If you want to run, you have to do it somewhere else. A sign from the construction department also says: "No somersaults on the parkour system." There is not enough space for this either. 

Not a gram of fat too much

The Munich fitness trail is new, just a few weeks old. It belongs to an entire leisure area that was completed a few weeks ago. There is a skate park and a playground, table tennis tables, a climbing rock, in addition to the volleyball court, a basketball court and an artificial turf football field with six goals. But today nobody plays basketball and only a few soccer balls. Only the fitness junkies are there despite 30 degrees. All devices are occupied almost all the time, but at least nobody has to queue. "Maybe it's just too hot right now," say Henne and Samuel.