I love training, and I love to head to the gym, lift heavy weights, and get an intense workout in. It’s something that I truly enjoy. If I had the choice between heading outside and working out, or getting in the weight room for a good lift or some sparring, I’m going to choose the latter. It’s just the way I’m wired up.
But not everyone’s like me.
I’m lucky enough to not have to pay for a gym membership. I’ve recently received emails from people saying that a gym membership in their area is upwards of $120/month! Do you get a chauffeur to the weights section from the cardio section? That’s nuts!
Not to mention that it’s summer. And with summer comes great weather. I have started to run outside these days just because it’s too nice not too. So I can understand where you’re coming from with these outdoor workouts.
But what about results?
Can you get the same results training outside as you can training indoors?
Yes you can. If you’re talking about fat loss, getting in great shape, and building lean muscle (emphasis on the lean), you can get some pretty amazing results by simply using your own bodyweight.
If you’re training to improve your squat, deadlift, or to get stronger, at some point you’ll have to start lifting weights. But if your goal is to get in awesome shape, and to lose a ton of fat. Everything can be done for free outside.
Intensity is Key
If you’re going to focus on purely outdoor training, you don’t actually need to increase the hours you’re working out, or even the amount of things you’re doing. What you do need to do is maintain your intensity. As your intensity goes, so do your results.
Here are a few tips that will help you build lean muscle, lose fat, and get in amazing shape without having to spend a single cent on equipment:
1. Head for the Hills.
No matter what you’re training for, you need resistance. No matter if I’m training for lean mass gains, performance, fat loss, or all of the above – which is usually the case – I add hill training into my routine at least a couple times a month.
Flat land sprinting is awesome, don’t get me wrong. But to up the intensity, find a good hill to run up, pull a sled up, or even lunge up.
Sprinting is arguably the best exercise for losing fat while maintaining and even gaining lean muscle mass. It’s hard to spike your heart rate like you can with an all-out sprint. The duration is also short, so you’re not going to be hitting that catabolic threshold where you’re releasing cortisol and burning muscle.
When we sprint we also release powerful hormones like Human Growth Hormone (HGH) and Testosterone. Two extremely important hormones involved in expediting the recovery process, fat loss, and building muscle.
If you’re going to train outside, add some for of sprinting to your routine. Try the following:
5, 10 second sprints separated by 120 seconds.
Rest for 3 minutes
3, 10 second sprints separated by 120 seconds.
3. Expand Your Exercise Repertoire.
You only get by doing push-ups and sit-ups for so long. If you can expand your exercise repertoire, your options are endless.
Something to look for when training outside is a jungle gym. Yes, the gym equipment that kids play on at recess can be an awesome place to get some chin-ups and dips done.
One thing I do have to admit, is that I’m not the guy to follow when it comes to bodyweight training. It’s an area of training that I have to work on. But when I do train outside, I always look to my friend Craig Ballantyne for guidance.
He’s literally ‘the man’ when it comes to getting results using bodyweight training. He’s Men’s Fitness Magazine’s resident personal trainer – and he’s an extremely knowledgeable guy. With a ridiculously broad range of exercises that’ll kick your arse.
He was also nice enough to put one of his best program’s on sale for us.
Save 50% off, you get his Turbulence Training Routine plus a bodyweight cardio ebook and routine for $19.95! Have a look at this ridiculous deal here: Turbulence Training Special Offer for CHF
(A small investment, of great value, especially since you need no equipment of gym memberships).
Here’s my summer cardio routine. If you haven’t seen it yet give it a shot!