Outdoor Training Circuits – T-Rex Top 5 Favorites
The only thing better than getting a great pump in the gym is tearing through an invigorating outdoor training session while the sun’s rays beam down on you, bronzing your skin, helping to release endorphins and delivering your daily dose of natural vitamin D! Without further delay, here are our top five picks for the best outdoor workouts.
# 5 Weighted Hill Climb
Here’s a gut-wrenching twist on high-intensity interval training. Using either a weighted vest with about 25-50 pounds, or even just a loaded backpack with a couple full water bottles and some heavy textbook, find a hilly terrain or some stairs with enough elevation to give you a challenging workout. After a five-minute walking warm-up, start the fun by running up every hill that comes your way. The extra resistance in the vest or backpack will really help give you a great cardiovascular workout and give your legs a good, deep burn. Perform at least ten high-intensity intervals followed by about a minute or two of moderate-paced walking for a total of 25 to 30 minutes. Once complete, take an additional five minutes to cool down with slow-paced walking to allow your heart rate and ventilation to return to normal levels. If you’re climbing a steadily increasing elevation, time yourself for about 30 to 45 seconds of high-intensity effort, followed by one to two minutes of moderate-paced walking, depending on your current level of conditioning.
#4 Outdoor Track Training
Take a trip to your local college or high school and put yourself through a training session that even your most twisted, sadistic high school gym teacher wouldn’t approve of.
Back-to-School Track Workout
- Jog around the track for five minutes to warm up.
- Climb up and down the stadium stairs for 10 minutes. Try skipping a stair, so you’re taking bigger steps.
- Using the stadium seats, perform dips for 4 sets of 15 reps. Elevate your feet onto the top of the seats to increase resistance.
- Superset the above with push-ups for 4 sets of 15 reps. Elevate your feet and push from the arm rests to increase resistance.
- Get back on the track for seven rounds of 100-meter sprints combined with two minutes of light walking.
- Walk over to the grass and perform toe touch crunches for 3 sets of 20 reps with your feet elevated.
- Back to the track for half a lap of walking lunges.
- Five-minute cool-down stretch.
#3 Beach Blast Intervals
It might sound like a relaxing morning, but you’ll soon learn why the military occasionally trains on the sand for an extremely demanding workout. The uneven terrain forces you to recruit all of the stabilizer muscles in your legs as well as the core muscles. Not only that, just try to generate some speed on a soft surface like sand – not too easy, is it? We suggest bringing a simple stopwatch and timing yourself for 45-second sprint intervals followed by 90-seconds of active rest, which consists of very light jogging. Continue with these intervals for 20 minutes followed by a 5-minute walking cool down. A high-intensity interval training workout like this will keep the calorie-burning furnace cranked for even hours after your workout. To increase intensity, try doing your light jog in a few feet of water for extra resistance.
#2 Outdoor Boot Camp Class
Boot camps offer the unique, dual ability to give you a tremendous cardiovascular and muscular workout. If you’re interested in training both the muscles as well as your lungs, try to find a class that utilizes resistance-based equipment in addition to the standard high-intensity bodyweight drills. Ask for items such as kettlebells, sandbags, sleds, resistance bands, medicine balls, sledgehammers, weight vests and thick, heavy ropes. Incorporating some of these pieces into an outdoor boot camp will not only increase the intensity of the workout, but it will also help push your muscles to their limit with a scorching lactic acid burn that you’ll thank us for the next day.
#1 Park-Based Circuit Training
Think Muscle Beach meets your local neighbourhood recreational park. These days, nearly every health-conscious city has at least a few fitness trails and parks with many objects you can make great use of as hardcore, resistance-based equipment. Using your bodyweight as the resistance, you can get an incredible pump if you train hard enough and utilize short rest intervals. We recommend the classic push-pull supersets taken from the Golden Age of bodybuilding. Here is a sample push-pull superset workout that works your back, chest, arms and abs (a.k.a., the beach muscles) that you can do in most parks or fitness trails:
Push-Pull Superset Workout
- Wide-grip chin-ups on monkey bars, superset with deep parallel bar dips, 4 sets, 10–15 reps.
- Bodyweight pull-up rows* on parallel bars, superset with push-ups between posts, 4 sets, 10–15 reps.
- Close-grip chin-ups (bicep focus), superset with close-grip decline push-ups with feet raised on park bench (triceps focus) 4 sets, 10–15 reps.
- Hanging leg raises from monkey bars, superset with bent-knee crunches on a park bench 4 sets 20 reps.
*Bodyweight pull-up rows: Position yourself under parallel bars. Reach up and grasp the two bars with an overhand, palms-in grip. Pull yourself up while trying to focus on squeezing your lats at the top of the movement. Advanced: Lift your feet off the ground and put them up on the parallel bars to increase the resistance.
Heat Up Your Pump
Increased temperature can help to encourage vasodilation and blood flow. This means it could be easier to get an amazing pump outdoors than in a cooler, air-conditioned gym.