TRAINING TIP – Outside the Box


For those of us that are training for a particular event, the thought of deviating from a training regiment or gym location can make you cringe. So how can we take our workout out of the gym and still get results from our efforts? How can we adapt an activity to be conducive to meeting our regiment’s goals?

Go outside. Share the outdoors with friends and family. Going outside offers a great opportunity to work out in a non-static gym environment. It also offers the opportunity to share this workout with family and loved ones while you achieve your goals. How you ask? By being creative and using what you have at your disposal.

I am currently training for an event that requires lots of distance training as well as dynamic lifting. So when we planned a weekend away, I scrambled for how to continue my workout and not deviate from the plan I had in place. How was I going to spend time with my family and accomplish my workout goal(s). Sure, I could get up at the crack of dawn and squeeze in a workout and have the rest of the day with my family – tired, exhausted and reaching for strength. Was this how I wanted to spend time with my family? No.

I chose to look outside of the box. We were near Yosemite Valley which offers amazing scenery that people come from all over the globe to enjoy. What better place for a workout. But rather than taking the tourist approach by walking casually through the meadows, posing for pictures by the massive granite slabs, or even taking the bus to hot spots around the valley, I chose a different experience. Here is what I did.

I looked for a trail that my family would enjoy hiking with a reward – a spectacular and encouraging view. I suggested a hike from the valley floor to the top of Glacier Point. Glacier Point has a spectacular view of the valley as does almost every twist and turn of the trail leading up to it. In total the hike is 4.6 miles one way with a 3200+ foot elevation gain. Perfect.

I explained the trail and the views of the valley it would offer to my family and they were sold – with the exception of how our 2 year old daughter was going to make the journey. This is where my thinking outside the box came in. Our daughter weighs about 30 lbs., combine that with a pack, some layers of clothing and a lunch for the family and I had myself a 40 lb. sandbag to carry.


The trail did not disappoint. The climb was strenuous yet rewarding offering different perspectives of the valley with every turn. The thought of reaching the top drew the family up without complaint and our lunch from the amphitheater at the top was breathtaking.

I was able to step outside of my rigid workout head space and receive a far better training exercise than I would have in the gym or with an early morning trail run. I was active for over 7 hours, climbed 3,200 feet and descended 3,200 feet, covered 9.4 miles all while carrying a 40 lb. load the while time.

In all, I was able to share this experience with my family while disguising the workout as the side effect of the experience. Better yet, my family was active.

So the next time you plan a trip, look outside the box for your next workout. Use what you have around you – the environment, the people and gear. Don’t have a 2 year old – borrow your friends. I am sure they would be happy to have you carry them rather than them. Be creative and recognize that a workout change can be a good thing and may even prove to hold better results than you thought.

Interested in this hike, visit the Yosemite Hikes website

Child Carrier – Osprey Poco Premium


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