Circuit training is an integral part of comprehensive exercise programs. Because you are going to use the great outdoors for your “equipment,” all you need is your own body weight. Follow the guidelines below to create a fantastic hot summer circuit workout. As always, prior to beginning any exercise program, please consult your physician.
Hot Summer Circuit Guidelines
Choose an outdoor area that is relatively open terrain rather than densely wooded. Think of using what is around you such as park benches, trees and tree stumps, and boulders; you also want a desirable proximity to all stations so that you are able to repeat the circuit two-three times. Choosing seven to ten stations is ideal enabling the circuit to be completed in about 15 minutes per round. Each station should be about 75 seconds permitting both unilateral and bilateral work to be done (i.e. one side at a time or both sides simultaneously). On cardio stations, perform the full 75 seconds with no break and on all non-cardio stations, take a 15 second break to switch sides when necessary and then repeat another set. On cardio designated stations, your goal is to perform high intensity intervals becoming winded if possible, then paying back the oxygen debt within 15 seconds and moving forward. On all other stations, you should hit momentary muscle failure during the final two repetitions of each set. If performed two-three times through, a 7-station circuit should take approximately 40 minutes and a 10-station circuit would require approximately 60 minutes. Perform a thorough warm-up prior to beginning the circuit. Perform this circuit two-three times/week on non-consecutive days.
7-10 Station Hot Summer Circuit
Station #1-Path/trail walk/run - cardio; Station #2-Alternating squats from a park bench/ boulder approximately 8-10 inches in height; Station #3-Pushups from a park bench, tree stump or standing tree; Station #4-Path/trail walk/run – cardio; Station #5-Lunges – performed from a level surface; Station #6-Path/trail walk/run – cardio; Station #7-Triceps Dips – from a boulder or stable fallen tree/park bench (if you are choosing the 7-station circuit, after completing this station, return to Station #1 and repeat); Station #8-Path/trail walk/run – cardio; Station #9-Lateral Squats – locate as level a surface as possible and perform one direction from right lead and then from left lead; Station #10-Inverted Rows/Pullups – from a stable branch of a tree or many parks have “pull up” bars you may utilize
Complete the circuit with a thorough cool down stretch. For information on proper technique/form to perform any of the above exercises, please drop me an email.
Jackie Wright is the owner/manager of Never Summer Fitness, LLC located in Grand Lake, Colorado. She may be reached at her website at www.neversummerfitness.com, her email at NSFGL@comcast.net, her blog at www.skyhidailynews and her Facebook page at Never Summer Fitness.