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Crank Up Your Intensity on Fitness Trails

Take advantage of the great outdoors and turn a trail hike into a full-body workout with simple variations of staple exercises.

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Fitness trail training is as bare bones as it gets. Regardless of the weather, being outdoors naturally motivates you and brings about an appreciation for training in the elements. There's nothing like feeling the chill or hearing the sound of leaves crunching under your feet to motivate you and make you feel like a real athlete. Hitting the trails rather than the weights creates an ideal environment to step away from the hustle and bustle that happens in the gym and in life. Whether you’re a seasoned trail enthusiast or never paid much attention to them, here are some ways to diversify your training while you're on the trails. Pack up your gear bag with water, trail mix and protein powder and prepare to hit these stations with some different workout variations.

 

Cardio Variations

You’re all set to get the workout started, but how do you determine the cardio intensity that will set the tone for the entire session? Go too hard and you’ll be too exhausted to do any other workouts. Go too easy and you’re blowing through everything without breaking a sweat. Variation One: When exercise stations are far apart or you want to save most of your energy to perform them, you can’t burn out on cardio. Create a pace of jogging to one, walking to another, then sprinting. Gauge how you feel after reaching the first or second stations. Variation Two: For the athlete looking for a real challenge, put a time limit on your track around the course. Sprinting in between exercise stations will is great for a high intensity workout. Variation Three: Bringing the cardio aspect to another level would be to wear a weight backpack or weighted vest. Try huffing around the trail with an additional 20 lbs. pulling on you.

 

Push-up Variations

One of the first stations you will approach is the push-up station. A great body weight exercise to get the blood flowing and develop the chest, shoulders and triceps. Variation One: Try performing three sets of traditional pushups going to complete failure. Hit the ground, place your arms shoulder-width apart, back straight and feet together. Perform as many reps as possible. Rest 30-45 seconds in between each set. Variation Two: To turn it up a notch, give the plyometric version of the push-up a shot. From the traditional push up position, as you explode upwards quickly remove your hands from the bar, clap them and return back to the start position. Try performing three sets of plyo pushups to complete failure. Rest for 60 seconds in between sets. Variation Three: Single arm push-ups are the toughest of the challenges at this station. Begin from the traditional push-up position, place one hand to your side, behind your back or on your thigh. Perform as many reps as possible with one arm then switch to the other side. Rest for 60 seconds and perform one to two more sets.

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