As a personal trainer it is important to be able to work in different environments. It is not solely about training in a gym and therefore very important that a personal trainer is comfortable training their clients in different environments, one of which is outside. There are plenty of advantages to training a client outside, and the outside terrain can be used and manipulated to benefit your client. There are numerous ideas that can be done within an outdoor training environment which we will explore below:
Portable Equipment - Outdoor Workouts
Perhaps the simplest solution to taking a session outdoors is that a personal trainer can take fitness equipment out with them – portable equipment such as dumbbells, barbells, and functional equipment that can be moved around by the personal trainer and utilised outdoors for different workout exercises.
Intensity Training - Outdoor Workouts
Designing an outside workout allows the personal trainer to make use of the actual terrain. For example, a type of training called fartlek training, (which roughly translated means speed-play), can be an effective outdoors workout idea. Fartlek is all about varying intensities with clients and that can be done very effectively in an outside environment where perhaps there could be some hilly ground or different levels of terrain that your client is going to run through. Here, the terrain itself can be used to vary the intensity of the workout, so it can be useful taking a client outside if you’re going to be doing fartlek training.
Making Use of Your Surroundings - Outdoor Workouts
It is also beneficial in outdoor exercise to be able to utilise the surroundings. For example, if you come across a bench in the park, you could use that bench for different exercises such as press-ups, or triceps dips using the bench as a piece of apparatus. You can also use the natural terrain around you as a means for creating an interval training exercise session. Say for example there was a range of trees in a park, you might say to your client to sprint to the first tree, then jog to the next one, then sprint to the next one and so on. This means that the actual terrain itself could be utilised as a part of the outdoor workout.
Group Training Outdoors - Outdoor Workouts
Outdoor training can lend itself well to group workout exercises. You may often see bootcamp or circuit style training being done outside as this can be very easily performed in an outdoor environment using the terrain, pieces of portable apparatus and the natural surroundings. There are of course limitations in what equipment can be used as a personal trainer is only able to take so much portable equipment with them, but this can be more than compensated for by utilising portable equipment effectively in conjunction with the terrain and the natural environment. Body weight exercises can of course easily be done outside, and it may be useful to take a mat with you into the outdoor environment so your clients can perform various floor based exercises (e.g. plank) outdoors.
Fitness Motivation & Performance - Outdoor Workouts
From a psychological perspective, one further benefit to outdoor training is that a lot of people enjoy being out in the fresh air and many people feel that they can exercise more comfortably when they are out and about. This can in turn lead to increased motivation and performance.
In Conclusion - Outdoor Workout Ideas
Overall, outdoor training has many benefits - you can utilise the natural terrain for different types of training, you can utilise the natural surroundings to form part of the training and obviously a personal trainer can take portable equipment out with them. There are lots of ideas that can be employed for outdoor training, and it is a very useful skill to have in a personal trainer’s skillset. Hopefully this article has been useful in helping you to understand about some outdoor workout ideas for your clients.