I’m a big fan of outdoor training. I love getting fresh air, I love using the elements and I love the idea of getting my “fit” on anywhere – anytime!
The outdoors really can become your own personal gym, open 24 hours and no membership required.
All it requires is a touch of imagination, a sprinkle of will power and a pinch of knowledge.
The two most important things to keep in mind when preparing to train outside are
1) What is the goal of your workout?
2) What is your environment like?
Let’s take a look at the first one. What’s your goal?
Some possible goals for your workout might be:
1. General Fitness
2. Weight loss
3. Sports Specific
5. Stress reduction
The goal of your workout will then help drive the design of the elements you include as well as any extra gear/equipment you might bring to your “outdoor gym”. Such as Kettlebells, TRX, Yoga Mats, Resistance Bands, Medicine balls. All of this gear btw – lives in the back of my car!
When it comes to using your environment here are a few guidelines:
1. Fixed objects (defined for our purposes here as objects that will not come loose when pressure is applied) – such as trees, sturdy fences, telephone poles, picnic benches, lifeguard stations etc.
These fixtures or elements can serve as a fixed “anchor” for looping or tying ropes and anchoring resistance bands etc.
These are perfect for creating a sort of cable or pulley exercise station. Here you can do things like rows, bicep curls, chest presses, wood chop and golf swing drills.
2. Flat and wide open surfaces – such as grass, sand, dirt. These surfaces are perfect for jogging, sprint drills, sports drills, Plyometrics and lunging. Note: Cement surfaces are not the best for plyometric drills – look for grass or dirt with level surface.
3. Flat hard surface – such as pavement, tennis court, cement area. This is a great surface for jumping rope, doing medicine ball drills and footwork drills.
4. Raised (at least 6” and not more than 18”) and fixed objects – such as benches, steps, picnic tables. Excellent for doing step ups, pushups – incline or decline, abdominal knee-ins, triceps dips.
5. A line of repeated objects – such as light poles, trashcans, fence posts etc. Excellent to use for doing repeats of an exercise such as sprints, running drills, line drills and more.
Two poles or trees in a line can be used to tie off a rope between the length that can be used for over/under drills – common in boxing training, sports training and more.
After you have assessed your area and made decisions about how you will use what you see – it’s time to come up with the workout design.
Here are some ideas to use to create an effective and “out of the box” type workout. I find that a hybrid workout of the goals I mentioned at the beginning of this article creates the most well-rounded and fun routine.
The workout should contain a warm up of five to ten minutes of lower impact – dynamic movements to get your blood pumping and your juices flowing☺
Once you are warm here are some ideas for your main workout that can be from 30-60 minutes in length.
1. Include some resistance exercises for strength and toning – rowing, pushups, squats, lunges, bicep curls, triceps dips.
2. Include some aerobic/anaerobic activity in the workout, i.e., jump rope for three minutes in between a set of squats and pushups. Sprint one direction to a tree and then jog or walk back to your starting point. Repeat 5 times.
3. Include some footwork and speed drills like sprint repeats on a flight of stairs or step- ups on a bench or curb.
4. Use cones and create a box – sprint to one cone, touch it, then turn and run to the next cone, repeat making your way around the box several times.
5. Include some power work using a hard surface for medicine ball “throw downs” or plyometrics such as burpees or squat jumps.
6. Place a Yoga mat under a tree or on the sand and take it all in. Go through the Sun Salutation Yoga series a few times or some Tai Chi moves or just stretch for 5 minutes.
Mix all of the 6 training styles together and you are primed for a supercharged calorie- burning workout that will leave you pumped full of endorphins and rejuvenated at the same time. Not to mention you will have taken in your daily requirement of Vitamin D.
And remember to always Move More. Eat Better. Forgive Often.
Interested in working one on one with me or via my online coaching program send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org
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