outdoor training | our top 5 tips
posted: December 4, 2013
Creator of Lazy Girl Fitness, Jess Robinson, is all about nutrition, health, her dog Lou, and living life to the fullest. We got Jess to give us her hot tips on how to take our training outside this summer! Sand sprints anyone?
Ahhh summer, with your Sunday barbecues, daylight savings and endless possibilities.
Around this time of year I’m always inspired to skip the gym and get outside in the fresh air. There’s nothing better than an outdoor sweat session, and it’s not as difficult to plan a workout as you might think. That fence? Ideal for lateral jumps, over-unders, tricep dips and stretching. That handrail? It’s the perfect way to work your back. And those stairs? Well, hello cardio!
You don’t need mountains of equipment to fashion a total-body workout. In fact, you don’t need any equipment at all! The world is your gym; you just need to start looking at it a little differently. Here’s how:
my top five tips for training outdoors
1. bodyweight exercises are your friend
Bodyweight workouts are sometimes given a bad rap, passed over in favour of more grunt-worthy weights-based workouts. Truth is though, grunting does not maketh the man (or woman) and your body is a finely tuned piece of equipment in itself – you’ve just got to know how to use it properly!
Some people hate counting reps, some people hate watching the clock. Personally, I like to mix it up, but when I’m training a big group – or even just training with a friend – I find time-based workouts are the way to go. It’s a great way to ensure everyone works to their full potential and no one gets left behind. There are plenty of ways you can do this, from a simple 1:1 work/rest ratio through to more complex pyramid-style workouts. Download an interval timer from the App Store and you’re away.
3. a bench is not just a bench
Perhaps the most difficult thing to do when you first start working out outside is wrapping your head around the myriad uses of those average, everyday items you see around you. Take the humble bench for example; you can use it to do pushups, tricep dips, step ups, bulgarian lunges, box jumps and fast feet (and that is just the tip of the iceberg!).
4. take the stairs
There’s nothing quite like a good set of stairs to get your heart racing and calves burning. Stair running burns some serious calories, and is a great addition to any outdoor workout (or use them as a standalone session and really embrace the burn).
5. tabata is the new black
For the uninitiated, Tabata is a popular form of HIIT (high intensity interval training), demanding periods of high intensity exercise followed by a recovery period. Born in the 90s by Professor Izumi Tabata, it involves 20 seconds of maximum intensity exercise, followed by 10 seconds of rest and this cycle is repeated eight times for a total of four minutes. It’s hell (and probably not ideal for anyone who’s new to exercise), but it’s brilliant. I love to throw it into my workouts, using compound movements like burpees to really ruin myself. Search ‘Tabata’ on the app store (I use the one that comes up #1)
putting my tips into practice
I’ve put together a couple of workouts utilising the above tips. Try them both and see which style works best for you!
Squat/jumps x 12
Pushups x 12
Step ups with high knees x 12/leg
Handrail pull-ups x 12
Single leg bridge x 12/leg (or 2-leg bridge x 20)
Tricep dips x 12
Lap of park (aim for approx 400m @ 80% capacity)
[repeat four times]
part 1: 30 seconds on – 30 seconds off
Toe taps on bench
Handrail pull ups
[repeat 3 times]
part 2: 45 seconds on – 15 seconds off
[repeat 3 times]
part 4: Tabata burpees
Jess Robinson is a certified personal trainer, outdoor fitness instructor, writer and sub-editor, based in the Eastern Suburbs of Sydney. She created Lazy Girl Fitness in the hopes of building a positive online community where everyone – from the fitness-crazed to the fitness-phobic – can come together for workout ideas, conversation and motivation. She also needed somewhere to post pictures of her dog.