Revisiting two designs for outdoor gyms and fitness spaces perfected with Shield Canopy by McGregor

January 25

With the surging demand for gym and fitness centre memberships stemming from the avalanche of personal fitness and training goals that everyone sets at the start of every new year, expanding the spaces available for training and working out can be a great way for gyms and fitness centres to cash in on this increasing demand.

Utilising any outdoor space for establishing open-air gyms and training areas is also an attractive proposition in this regard, especially as winter will soon melt away into spring. In the ever-evolving fitness landscape, outdoor gyms have become a beacon for fitness enthusiasts seeking a breath of fresh air and an alternative to traditional gym settings. 

McGregor Structures, known for the supreme weatherproof shelter offered by the innovative Shield Canopy structure, has successfully delivered outstanding projects that create outdoor gyms that redefine the fitness experience. 

In this blog post, we’ll delve into two distinctive designs that highlight how businesses, specifically BeaverFit and Indigo Fitness, have successfully harnessed McGregor’s Shield Canopy to craft unique and thriving outdoor gym spaces.

Shield Canopy: The ultimate option for setting up outdoor gyms and training spaces

Due to many salient features, Shield Canopy has emerged as a game-changer for creating outdoor gyms and training areas that have yielded significant results and high returns on investment for gym operators and outdoor fitness centres.

Here are the main reasons Shield Canopy stands unrivalled in this use case:

Unwavering weatherproof protection

Shield Canopy is built with robust and high-quality materials to provide absolute protection from the elements while establishing well-insulated, comfortable, and sheltered environments to ensure gym-goers can enjoy their workouts without being hindered by harsh weather or rough climates while still training outdoors.

Abundant and unrestricted internal space

Spanning two 20ft or 40ft containers from side-to-side and an impressive height, Shield Canopy offers ample covered space within the shelter. This is large enough to hold a multitude of different gym and training equipment while simultaneously providing a comfortable workout space to the patrons using them. 

As the interior space is continuous and does not contain any columns or poles running through the centre of the structure, fitness centres and gyms are free to set up their facilities as they see fit, using the expansive sheltered spaces on offer.

High rates of returns and cost-effective

Renting out bigger spaces or building an insulated extension to existing training facilities, fitness centres, and gyms can be an extremely costly endeavour, both in terms of time and resources that eat into your margins. 

However, the modular design and cost-effective set-up of Shield Canopy allows for an expansion of facilities that are well within your budget without taking on a costly construction project or adding hundreds of pounds to your monthly rent.

Ease and speed of deployment and redeployment

When an extension to training space is needed in a rush, either engaging in a highly time-consuming construction project or starting out a lengthy search for a larger space is never the answer, especially since it will disrupt the current operation of your training facilities and impact the experience of your members.

Shield Canopy can be deployed rapidly (in as little as 48 hours) and by a small team without the need for highly specialised equipment or skills—this offers an immense degree of simplicity and convenience.

Next, Let’s dive into the details of two unique designs that showcase the versatility and ingenuity of McGregor’s Shield Canopy.

Projects showcasing the extreme versatility and performance of Shield Canopy as a gym

  • BeaverFit at Shrewsbury Club

BeaverFit is a business that creates custom and innovative training spaces as their business meets the increasing demand for outdoor gym spaces. They also specialise in training equipment and work with their clients to supply, manage, and update existing facilities.

BeaverFit has partnered with McGregor Structures and has often used Shield Canopy setups to create unique outdoor gyms. A flagship project delivered in this regard is at Shrewsbury Town Football Stadium, where a Shield Canopy is deployed to host fitness classes, boot camps, and community engagement sessions by the football club.

A versatile structure was required so that it could be used as a gym and by the football club for a range of outdoor exercise activities. They also wanted to focus on creating an open-air space for outdoor exercise activities, which are increasing in popularity in the post-pandemic era, such as CrossFit. Moreover, the canopy also offers a strong element of weatherproofing to keep people coming to the gym year-round.

The containers that serve as the base of the Shield Canopy were also utilised as storage space, as the canopy offers a fantastic space to keep equipment safe and dry. BeaverFit enhanced accessibility in this project by adding roller doors to the inside of the containers. However, you could use the doors that are already on your shipping containers in a simpler application.

BeaverFit has also been able to add branding to the containers and canopy to further personalise the look and feel of their Shield Canopy. Click to read more about this project and the inspiring journey of its founder, Tom Beaver.

  • Indigo Fitness at Abbey Stadium

Indigo Fitness, specialists in creating intelligent training spaces, undertook a project to expand leisure services at Abbey Stadium. Using a setup of Shield Canopy structures and in collaboration with McGregor Structures, they transformed the space into a versatile and functional outdoor gym.

Similar to BeaverFit’s approach, Indigo Fitness recognised the need for a year-round outdoor gym. Their design centred around two 20-foot shipping containers and was laid out to make the best use of both covered and outdoor spaces. Meeting this requirement, Shield Canopy provides an ideal setting for classes and training throughout all seasons.

Indigo Fitness further modified the containers by adding roller shutter doors that span the entire length, creating a dynamic space that can be divided into two separate classes or opened up for larger gatherings. The containers also serve as storage, efficiently utilising the available space.

To complement the transparent light strip running along the length of the roof sheet that illuminates the interior of the Shield Canopy during daytime and to maximise functionality, lighting was integrated into the steel frame of the structure so that fitness classes can continue even after the sun sets, offering a unique and engaging experience for evening workouts.

The training area established using a Shield Canopy setup at Abbey Stadium stands as a testament to the limitless possibilities on offer. It boasts a freestanding functional training rig, six lifting stations, multiple muscle up and suspension training points, dual-height throw targets, and two 4m high rope climb sections. Click to read more about this project.

Interested in creating your own dynamic training space or outdoor gym with a Shield Canopy setup?

Bringing together over 40 years of engineering expertise and innovation, Shield Canopy by McGregor Structures boasts extreme versatility and the ability to neatly fit your requirements while delivering the highest performance in your specific operation.

Feel free to contact us with your questions as our team of specialists stand ready to discuss your needs and assist you in discovering the ideal structure to deliver the results you desire.

Bruce Duncan


Shield Canopy allows us to use the container to the absolute fullest. The canopy does not obstruct any part of the container and sits neatly on the top of the containers, giving an overall smart look to the set-up. The McGregor clamping system keeps the front & back of containers available for us to install our rigs.