Outside gym 101
While having a well equipped gym is something no person should be without, but sometimes it’s nice to get some fresh air and feel the sun on our backs. It’s good for the soul and might even help top up those vitamin d levels that you’re probably lacking in. While training at the gym will get you results, anything you can do to add and supplement training will speed up results. Now the obvious exercise to talk about here is running or cycling. However these are pretty obvious and most people use these as there only method of outdoor training. Being pretty self-explanatory lets move on.
About as obvious as it gets but simply walking everyday can have huge benefits over time. Walking should not be your only form of exercise, But it can supplement a good training plan to boost general physical conditioning. You can even wear a weighted vest or rucksack, drag a sled or do some form of weighted carries if you want to increase the intensity. Walking can also be used as a recovery ‘exercise’ for those who already have a hectic gym schedule.
Its pretty easy to set yourself up an outside gym, you can simply find a spot in the sun and use a variety of bodyweight exercises. Press ups, squats, lunges burpees are all easily put together to give you a good workout. Plus this is the most basic and cheapest form of exercise going. But to avoid boredom, and hopefully mix it up a little, you can use some basic, inexpensive equipment too.
Sandbags – now you can buy a sandbag from a gym equipment specialist, or, simply make your own. There are plenty of tutorials on YouTube of how to make a sandbag. Sandbags are great as they are usually quite uneven in terms of their weight distribution which puts a different stimulus on the supporting structures of your muscles, due to the smaller muscles having to work harder to balance and support the sandbag. Often regular ‘balanced’ exercises like weighted squats or presses become much more challenging due to this uneven nature. One of the best things about a homemade sandbag? It’s cheap, you can throw it around without worrying about it breaking, and it’s very easy to replace.
Tyres/sledgehammers – tyre flipping is now used by athletes and weekend warriors alike. It’s a fun workout that can be done in teams or on your own. Space can be an issue but in terms of bang for your buck, tyre flipping is up at the top of the exercise tree. It’s important to keep form so I suggest you have a decent grounding in dead lifting first. Tyre flipping uses the whole body but works the posterior chain (buttocks, hamstrings) particularly well. Throw in some sledgehammers and we got ourselves a great core workout too. Just be careful not to bash your toes, and always put the tyre somewhere discreet. Otherwise your garden might look like a tip.
Sled drags – unless you’re a millionaire it’s unlikely you can do these in your garden. However they’re a great tool for conditioning and again, if you make your own they are relatively inexpensive. Simply tying a rope to a tyre will suffice. Doing a few runs with a prowler or sled is a great way to improve your strength (if its heavy) and your conditioning. It’s also a hell of a lot more fun than standard jogging or sprint training.
Kettlebells – although KBs can be a bit more expensive, it’s good to think of them as an investment. They’re easy to transport and you can get a lot done with a couple of ‘bells. Outside you can even juggle, throw and generally experiment with different movements without the fear of smashing any mirrors or un-matted flooring.
So give it a go guys. training in the garden is especially good if you simply cant possibly make it to the gym. Try this simple garden workout on for size:
10 Kettlebell swings
10 sledgehammer hits on the tyre
10 sandbag shoulder-squats
Budget strongman training
anyone who has come to my Saturday class will know I love bit of strongman type training. Now remember you don’t need to be 7ft tall and built like a gorilla to use some strongman techniques. Carries, throws, car pushes/pulls, are both un and again only really require whatever is in your garden/driveway. it is possible to even make your own atlas stones if you fancy getting a bit more serious!
So some simple ideas here: I will try and post a video of a home workout at some stage – I am currently in the process o sorting the youtube channel out again. Be sure to check in soon.