Getting the Most Out of Your Outdoor Personal Training Session

Outdoor training is an incredibly appealing option for a personal trainer to use with a variety of clients. Not only does this mean that a personal trainer can avoid expensive fees associated with using a gym, but it also means that the personal trainer is free to explore a variety of training opportunities with the client in mind.

Outdoor Training Reduces Tedium

The beauty about training outdoors is that there is such variety, and there is no one set place where you necessarily must train. Outdoor training could be in someone’s back garden, in the countryside, or it could be in a local park, and the venue will vary and change according to what your client’s preferences and needs are. This is important because it reduces tedium, as well as reducing the repetitive boredom of training at the same place by the fact that the venue can be varied to add extra motivation and challenges.

Outdoor Personal Training Provides Different Experiences

Different venues are going to have diverse attributes which can lead to a different training experience. If, for example, you are training in someone’s back garden, it could be quite limited in terms of space and the training area will be quite small. However, if you are training in a local park then the training area would be somewhat larger allowing for a different type of training to be performed. In a back garden you may focus on setting up an outdoor circuit for example, whereas in a park or out in the countryside you could look at long distance running and different uses for a wider area.

Outdoor PT Sessions Provide Challenges

Challenges can be set when providing outdoor personal training. This could be, for example, mapping out a particular route such as a walking/jogging/running route that you could follow and set as a challenge. You could perhaps identify a 5-mile footpath and say that the challenge today is that we are going to be completing this particular distance. Woodlands often have many managed areas where there are safe running tracks or footpaths that go through the woodland. You could motivate your client by setting a challenge and utilising the terrain on offer.

Always Plan Your Outdoor Workout

Planning routes is very important, and these routes can vary from time to time. If you are training your client for cardiovascular endurance, you should look to vary the session by utilising different routes, terrains, and environments rather than going on the same running route each time. It could be park running or road running, or it could also be running through woodland. This adds variety to the PT session, reduces tedium, and increases the challenge for your client.

Adding Exercise Pitstops to Your Outdoor Personal Training

It may be useful to identify various pitstops on a route. For example, if you were going on a cross-country run along a footpath through a woodland, there may be certain points throughout where you could stop and perform some bodyweight exercises. It could be that you are doing a 5-mile running route through some woodland, where you are able to identify a few areas suitable for stopping to do some muscular endurance exercises, such as press-ups, sit-ups etc, and utilising the terrain to aid with performing these exercises.

Outdoor Training in Different Weathers

Training outdoors means that you need to be prepared for all different types of weather. It should not be an excuse not to train just because the weather isn’t as nice as one would like it to be! However, one must always make sure that safety is considered, and no outdoor training should be attempted unless a risk assessment has been performed. This should include an analysis and assessment of the weather to make sure that the environment is fit for purpose and safe. It is very important to dress appropriately for your outdoor personal training session. For example, if it is very cold and raining, then naturally the attire one would use would be very different to if it was a hot and sunny day. To get the most out of outdoor training you should adapt to your environment by dressing appropriately.

Personal Training Outside in Groups

Outdoor training can also mean that you can involve others within the training. For example, if you are going for a cross-country run through woodland then taking friends, family members, or other exercise enthusiasts along can add to the motivation. You’ll often find running groups, couch to 5k groups, semi-competitive fun-runners etc, that all get together in a group and perhaps embark on a cross-country run going through various terrains, sometimes stopping on the way to do different exercises, and this group element adds to the motivation.

In Conclusion

Overall, what we have seen is that outdoor training can be a very useful tool for a personal trainer to have when working with clients. We’ve looked at how a variety of venues can be used rather than the same venue each time and how by planning different routes on various terrains they can be utilised to create challenges. We’ve looked at how pitstops can be built into a route, and we’ve discussed how the weather and attire are important considerations. Finally, it should always be about fun. It should be something that the client enjoys doing either by themselves or as part of a group, and that will obviously add to their motivation. In conclusion therefore, it can be said that outdoor training can be a very useful way to challenge and motivate your client and reduce tedium.

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Getting the Most Out of Your outdoor Personal Training Session

Editors’ notes:

Whether you are Personal Training in a gym, fitness centre, or outdoor personal trainer you must have insurance. Public liability insurance and public indemnity insurance are recommended. Insurance will protect the trainer from claims made. These could arise from unsuitable instruction, broken equipment or even harassment. Professional indemnity insurance will mean the trainer can provide advice and instructions without worrying about the consequences. If you are thinking of taking your personal training outside, you must check that your insurance covers this.

Outside Personal Training can be a cheaper alternative compared to renting gym space. Rent prices will vary depending on where you live. Some gyms charge £300-£400 per month. Whereas as gyms in central London could be as much as £1250 per month. Personal Training outdoors in a local park will usually require a permit from the local council. The price is likely to vary depending on how many Outdoor Personal Training or Group Training Session you are running, but this will be significantly cheaper than renting gym space. Don’t forget to check with your local council before setting up your outdoor personal training sessions. Having the correct insurances and licences helps to safeguard and protect reputable Personal Trainers. Some councils may even state that instructors wishing to personal train outdoors or run group training sessions are registered with a recognised industry association such as CIMSPA or Active UK.

Outdoor Personal Training or running group training sessions can be very appealing to those who find gyms intimidating. Often clients are shy or lack confidence in the closed environment of a gym. Whereas personal training outside can help clients to overcome their feelings of discomfort. So, adding outdoor personal trainer to your skills set could result in more clients. Being outside is also helpful in boosting your mood. If your clients are happy after their outdoor personal training session, they are likely to recommend you, resulting in yet more clients.

Outdoor Personal Training or group training sessions can have additional health benefits. Being outside can improve our mental health. Outside Personal Training or participating in a group training session can help you feel more relaxed and focused. We are spending more and more time indoors. Some people who now work from home, post covid, are thought to spend even less time outside, some days, not even leaving the house. So exercising outdoors or using an outdoor personal trainer can provide a must needed boost of Vitamin D. Vitamin D (absorbed through sunshine, known as the sunshine vitamin) helps to increase the release of serotonin. Serotonin is a feel-good hormone that can help you feel calm and focused and boost your mood. So combined with the endorphins (produced through exercise), exercising outside with an outdoor personal trainer or participating in a group training session can help reduce anxiety and depression, reduce heart rate and blood pressure and leave you feeling relaxed and ready for more.

When you exercise outdoors or participate in a group training session outdoors you are also exercising your mind. You must be mindful of the terrain, the temperature, the weather etc which focusses the mind differently compared to the flat surface of the gym floor.

So why not head outside for your next group training session or take your personal training outdoors.

Outdoor Personal Training can add variety to workouts.   When planning an outdoor Personal Training session, it is important to know your space. Visit the area when planning the session and use the space and available equipment wisely. Park benches or garden benches are a great bit of kit for group training sessions or one to one outdoor personal training sessions.

Personal Training session example is using a bench could include step ups, tricep dips, split squats, incline press ups, decline press ups, box jumps. The client can perform 2-3 sets 8-10 reps with a 30-45 second rest in between each exercise. Or for more of a challenging session, the exercises can be performed back-to-back in a circuit.

Another Personal Training session example that can be completed outside without any equipment is running, or more specifically, hill sprints. It is recommended to start off gently and build up gradually as hill sprints can be challenging, even for the fittest of people.

Another fantastic idea for an outdoor personal training session is beach running. The sand provides added resistance and is harder compared to running on the road. As with hill sprints, it is a good idea to build up gradually. Beach walking may be challenging for some people, especially if visiting the beach during high tide and having to walk or run on the soft sand. Planning the personal training session outdoors on the beach may be best done within a hours after the tide has gone out so the sand is compact easier to walk or run on.

You could also include portable functional equipment in your session such as sandbags, battle ropes, kettle bells, skipping ropes, medicine balls, suspension trainer when planning your outdoor personal training session or group training session. This equipment can be easily transported to areas such as netball or tennis courts which are ideal spaces for circuit or bootcamp workouts.

Another Personal Training session example is HIIT training. HIIT is also growing in popularity which can also be done in any outside space and can also be planned using minimal equipment. HIIT means High Intensity Interval Training and usually involves 30 seconds to 2+ minutes of work with the heart hate between 80-100% followed by a recovery period around the same length of time as the work.

HIIT is very good for those who are short of time. So, for people who only have 30 minutes for their group training session outside or inside, HITT is an excellent Personal training session example where by time doesn’t have to be an issue. HIIT can be done inside on one piece of gym kit such as a bike or treadmill, outside using bodyweight exercises such as burpees, mountain climbers, tuck jumps, plyometric squats and lunges, skater hops and sprinting. This is a very good Personal Training session example if equipment is not readily available or easily transportable.

To summarise, group training sessions or outdoor personal training offer a variety of exercises to work the whole body. Attending a group training session or an outdoor personal training session can offer a more challenging workout that not only exercises the body, but the mind as well.

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