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Summer Workout Hack – Get Out of the Gym & Train Outside!

Summer Workout Hack – Get Out of the Gym & Train Outside!


    Summer is officially here for those of us north of the equator. One of the things I like best about this time of the year is that the warm weather makes it possible lift weights outside, just like the cavemen used to train. I don’t know why, but I always make the most progress when I train outside.

    Benefits Of Training Outside

    Lifting weights in the great outdoors offers many benefits over the gym. Below are the most significant:

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    1. The sun exposure you get can help you get your daily dose of all important vitamin D.
    2. Studies show exercising outside helps improve your mood and increases the odds you’ll stick to your program.
    3. You can do exercises that aren’t as easy to perform in the gym like carries and throws.
    4. It’s more fun and social. Instead of simply getting in and out of the gym as quickly as possible you can easily make an even of your workout where you train hard with a couple of friends and then have a barbecue after.
    5. The fresh air is much more refreshing than the stale air of your gym.

    How It’s Done

    1. Find A Space – All you need to perform your workout is some open space. I prefer grass or sand. Working out on either surface allows you to train barefoot which makes the workout even more fun, and challenging. Try to find a location where you have enough room to perform walks and throws for at least 40 yards. This distance gives you enough space to perform dozens of exercises that cannot be done indoors.

    2. Equip Your ‘Gym’ – I like to keep it simple and take 3-4 kettlebells of varying weights. Other equipment that works great are gymnastic style rings and a sandbag. You can also take dumbbells and barbells with you. Even buckets or a duffel bag filled with sand will enable you to get in a great workout.

    3. Build Your Summer Workout – Working out outdoors really lends itself to total body workouts. I like to make each workout focus on either building muscle, increasing power, or improving my overall strength. In addition to that I make sure the workout helps improve my overall fitness levels too.

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    You can do pretty much any exercise outside that you can in the gym. While this is great, I recommend performing movements that aren’t so easy to do indoors. This includes carries, throws, and sprints. One of my favorite things to do is combine a traditional gym exercise like lunges with something like Farmer’s Walks which aren’t so easily to do inside.

    The Workouts

    Below are a couple of workouts that you can use to get started. The first emphasizes muscle building and power. The second workout is designed to help you lose fat and improve your overall conditioning levels. You can perform these workouts 3-4 times a week. I like to alternate them with a days rest between each.

    Adjust each to meet your fitness levels and goals. If you have been training for a year or so, feel free to add a few sets and rest less between each exercise. Those of you who are just getting into working out should perform them as written or rest longer between movements if necessary.

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    Workout 1 – Muscle & Power

    1. Overhead Kettlebell Throws – Throw the kettlebell overhead as far as possible 10 times. Rest 60 sec between throws.
    2. Push Ups (add a clap between each if you’re advanced) – 5 sets of 5 reps
    3. Squat -& Shoulder Press Combination – 5 sets of 5 reps
    4. Farmer’s Walks – 5 walks, carry the heaviest object possible for 25 yards per walk.

    Workout 2 – Burn Fat Fast

    1. Kettlebell Throws – Throw the kettlebell forward as far as possible for 30-40 yards. Rest and repeat 2-3 times with 60 seconds between sets.
    2. Walking Lunges – Shoulder Press Combination. Perform lunges by walking forward and holding a dumbbell or kettlebell for 25-40 yards. Perform a shoulder press between each lunge.
    3. Waiter Walks – Perform 3-4 walks for 2-3 minutes each while holding a dumbbell or kettlebell overhead in each hand.

    Some other great exercises and drills to do outside include:

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    • Drag weights attached to a rope for 20-40 yards for 3-5 sets.
    • Pull ups or inverted rows on a tree branch.
    • Alternate a strength exercise with sprints. This is a favorite of many Olympic sprinters. An example is to perform a set of squats or push ups for 5-8 reps and then immediately sprint for 20-40 yards. Repeat for 5 sets. Rest 2-3 minutes between each.

    Now you have several great ways to not only build muscle and burn fat but get a tan at the same time too. Put your gym membership on hold this summer and give these workouts a try. I guarantee you’ll have more fun than you do in the gym and find that your overall fitness levels soar to new heights.

    (Photo credit: Shot of an Athlete via Shutterstock)

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    Last Updated on January 21, 2020

    The Best Way to Create a Vision for the Life You Want

    The Best Way to Create a Vision for the Life You Want

    Creating a vision for your life might seem like a frivolous, fantastical waste of time, but it’s not: creating a compelling vision of the life you want is actually one of the most effective strategies for achieving the life of your dreams. Perhaps the best way to look at the concept of a life vision is as a compass to help guide you to take the best actions and make the right choices that help propel you toward your best life.

    your vision of where or who you want to be is the greatest asset you have

      Why You Need a Vision

      Experts and life success stories support the idea that with a vision in mind, you are more likely to succeed far beyond what you could otherwise achieve without a clear vision. Think of crafting your life vision as mapping a path to your personal and professional dreams. Life satisfaction and personal happiness are within reach. The harsh reality is that if you don’t develop your own vision, you’ll allow other people and circumstances to direct the course of your life.

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      How to Create Your Life Vision

      Don’t expect a clear and well-defined vision overnight—envisioning your life and determining the course you will follow requires time, and reflection. You need to cultivate vision and perspective, and you also need to apply logic and planning for the practical application of your vision. Your best vision blossoms from your dreams, hopes, and aspirations. It will resonate with your values and ideals, and will generate energy and enthusiasm to help strengthen your commitment to explore the possibilities of your life.

      What Do You Want?

      The question sounds deceptively simple, but it’s often the most difficult to answer. Allowing yourself to explore your deepest desires can be very frightening. You may also not think you have the time to consider something as fanciful as what you want out of life, but it’s important to remind yourself that a life of fulfillment does not usually happen by chance, but by design.

      It’s helpful to ask some thought-provoking questions to help you discover the possibilities of what you want out of life. Consider every aspect of your life, personal and professional, tangible and intangible. Contemplate all the important areas, family and friends, career and success, health and quality of life, spiritual connection and personal growth, and don’t forget about fun and enjoyment.

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      Some tips to guide you:

      • Remember to ask why you want certain things
      • Think about what you want, not on what you don’t want.
      • Give yourself permission to dream.
      • Be creative. Consider ideas that you never thought possible.
      • Focus on your wishes, not what others expect of you.

      Some questions to start your exploration:

      • What really matters to you in life? Not what should matter, what does matter.
      • What would you like to have more of in your life?
      • Set aside money for a moment; what do you want in your career?
      • What are your secret passions and dreams?
      • What would bring more joy and happiness into your life?
      • What do you want your relationships to be like?
      • What qualities would you like to develop?
      • What are your values? What issues do you care about?
      • What are your talents? What’s special about you?
      • What would you most like to accomplish?
      • What would legacy would you like to leave behind?

      It may be helpful to write your thoughts down in a journal or creative vision board if you’re the creative type. Add your own questions, and ask others what they want out of life. Relax and make this exercise fun. You may want to set your answers aside for a while and come back to them later to see if any have changed or if you have anything to add.

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      What Would Your Best Life Look Like?

      Describe your ideal life in detail. Allow yourself to dream and imagine, and create a vivid picture. If you can’t visualize a picture, focus on how your best life would feel. If you find it difficult to envision your life 20 or 30 years from now, start with five years—even a few years into the future will give you a place to start. What you see may surprise you. Set aside preconceived notions. This is your chance to dream and fantasize.

      A few prompts to get you started:

      • What will you have accomplished already?
      • How will you feel about yourself?
      • What kind of people are in your life? How do you feel about them?
      • What does your ideal day look like?
      • Where are you? Where do you live? Think specifics, what city, state, or country, type of community, house or an apartment, style and atmosphere.
      • What would you be doing?
      • Are you with another person, a group of people, or are you by yourself?
      • How are you dressed?
      • What’s your state of mind? Happy or sad? Contented or frustrated?
      • What does your physical body look like? How do you feel about that?
      • Does your best life make you smile and make your heart sing? If it doesn’t, dig deeper, dream bigger.

      It’s important to focus on the result, or at least a way-point in your life. Don’t think about the process for getting there yet—that’s the next stepGive yourself permission to revisit this vision every day, even if only for a few minutes. Keep your vision alive and in the front of your mind.

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      Plan Backwards

      It may sound counter-intuitive to plan backwards rather than forwards, but when you’re planning your life from the end result, it’s often more useful to consider the last step and work your way back to the first. This is actually a valuable and practical strategy for making your vision a reality.

      • What’s the last thing that would’ve had to happen to achieve your best life?
      • What’s the most important choice you would’ve had to make?
      • What would you have needed to learn along the way?
      • What important actions would you have had to take?
      • What beliefs would you have needed to change?
      • What habits or behaviors would you have had to cultivate?
      • What type of support would you have had to enlist?
      • How long will it have taken you to realize your best life?
      • What steps or milestones would you have needed to reach along the way?

      Now it’s time to think about your first step, and the next step after that. Ponder the gap between where you are now and where you want to be in the future. It may seem impossible, but it’s quite achievable if you take it step-by-step.

      It’s important to revisit this vision from time to time. Don’t be surprised if your answers to the questions, your technicolor vision, and the resulting plans change. That can actually be a very good thing; as you change in unforeseeable ways, the best life you envision will change as well. For now, it’s important to use the process, create your vision, and take the first step towards making that vision a reality.

      Featured photo credit: Matt Noble via unsplash.com

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