“The secret to get good at chin-ups? Knock out 20, every hour, all day, every day,” the teardrop-tattooed man instructs, lats flaring. “That takes a lot of time.” “Oh, I had time …” Talking training in public parks can teach you far more than what you learn in some patronizing, bougie health club. Some parks shine in this regard, and where the Bronx has Van Cortlandt, Silver Lake has Bellevue Recreation Center. Cradled in a saddle of acreage south of Sunset Boulevard, it boasts hoops, ball fields, an indoor rec center and a real draw for the frugal and fit: an undulating, easy-on-the-knees, dirt running track, much of it tree-shaded. Even better is Bellevue's array of steel workout sculptures, a garden of pull-up bars, dip bars and rings (tip: Chin-ups on these are safest for elbows) that hard types use to get pumped. Broke, with a penchant for eating? Get food stamps. Broke and want to stay fit? Hit up this Great Recession gym. Your membership is prepaid. 826 Lucile Ave., Silver Lake. (323) 664-2468, laparks.org/dos/reccenter/facility/bellevueRC.htm.
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