Posted by Kyle Williams in Workouts
Estimated reading time: 5mins
Practically anywhere! Although it depends on what you want to do and your access to the outdoors. I am currently based in Australia’s capital city, Canberra in the Australian Capital Territory (ACT). One of the best and most unique things about Canberra is its abundance of open outdoor space and closeness to bush land. For example, my training partner, ACT Fire Brigade Officer Dave Bremers and I discovered Mount Ainslie is a mere ten minutes jogging distance from us and it has an abundance of natural objects and trails we can utilise.
Any natural objects that you can lift, carry, climb and pull yourself up from. Try for a variety of different size and weighted rocks or logs, low tree branches for pulling exercises or climbing, as well as trails, paths, and hills for weighted carries.
Whilst you are only limited by your imagination and what objects you have access to, I recommend keeping it simple and focusing on full-body style workouts. I have found the following template works quite well:
If you’re outdoor setting doesn’t have rocks, logs or other objects for loaded exercises, simply focus on body weight movements with increased difficulty and/or more repetitions. Be prepared to be flexible and adapt your workout to best suit your surrounds and to ensure you have fun!
Training outdoors is an enjoyable and fun change-up to being in the often sterile artificial environment of a gym setting. Lifting and playing with random size and weighted outdoor objects is a fantastic challenge to grip strength and endurance, whilst their offset loads and holds help improve coordination and strengthen often neglected stabiliser muscles.
I hate to use that word ‘functional’, but getting better at picking up and moving large awkward objects like logs and rocks is pretty much ‘functional’ training for everyday life! Getting to train in the outdoors, particularly in Australia, also means getting a good dose of sunshine and the associated benefits of Vitamin D. There is also something pretty cool about having kangaroos and other Australian wildlife in your gym watching your form!
Here is my current go-to outdoor gym workout that you can get started with. It’s 45-60 minutes of full body training that works great as a solo session or with a partner.
‘Ascending Ladder, Up Only’: Do 1 rep, rest 15 seconds, do 2 reps, rest, do 3 reps etc and continue in this fashion until you fail a set and/or until you completed the 10 rep set.
‘Ascending Ladder, Up and Down’: Do 1 rep, rest 15 seconds, do 2 reps, rest, do 3 reps etc and continue in this fashion until you struggle to complete a set and then return back to 1 rep.
You then continue going up until you are 1 rep short of where you stopped previously, then you return to 1 rep. e.g. First effort you get 1, 2, 3, 4 reps done and only just get 5 reps. Next round you start back at 1 rep and then work up to 4 reps. After 4 reps, you start back at 1 rep and work up to 3 reps. Continue up the ladder, going one rung less each time until you are too fatigued to even complete 1 rep.
Give it a try and let me know how you go!
Remember, got the outdoors, you gotta gym!