Do You Want to Get Shredded, Get it Outside!


The only thing better than getting a great pump in the gym is tearing through an invigorating outdoor training session while the sun’s rays beam down on you, bronzing your skin, helping to release endorphins and delivering your daily dose of natural vitamin D! And we didn’t even mention the gasps and stares you’ll enjoy from shocked and impressed onlookers that work to fire up your intensity even more. Without further delay, here are the top five picks for our take on the best outdoor training workouts.

Here’s a gut-wrenching twist on high-intensity interval training. Using either a weighted vest with about
20 pounds or even just a loaded backpack with a couple of full water bottles and a heavy textbook, find a hilly terrain in your area with enough elevation to give you a challenging workout. After a 5-minute walking warm-up, start the fun by running up every hill that comes your way. The extra resistance in the vest or backpack will really help to give you a great cardiovascular workout as well as giving your legs a good, deep burn. Perform at least 10 high-intensity intervals followed by about a minute or two of moderate-pace walking for a total of 25-30 minutes. Once complete, take an additional 5 minutes to cool down with slow-pace walking to allow the heart rate and ventilation to return to normal levels. If you’re climbing a steadily increasing elevation, time yourself for about 30-45 seconds of high-intensity effort, followed by 1-2 minutes of moderate-pace walking, depending on your current level of conditioning.

Take a trip to your local college or high school and put yourself through a training session that even your most twisted, sadistic high school gym teacher would or wouldn’t approve of. Here’s a little something we came up with:

  1. Jog around the track for 5 minutes to warm-up.
  2. Climb up and down the stadium stairs for 10 minutes. Try skipping a stair to increase the intensity so you’re taking bigger steps.
  3. Using the stadium seats, perform 4 sets of 15 reps of dips. Elevate your feet onto the top of the seats to increase resistance.
  4. Superset the above with 4 sets of 15 reps of push-ups. Elevate your feet and push from the arm rests to increase resistance.
  5. Get back on the track for 7 rounds of 100m sprints combined with 2 minutes of light walking.
  6. Walk over to the grass and perform 3 sets of 20 reps of toe-touch crunches with your feet elevated.
  7. 5-minute cool-down stretch.

It might sound like a relaxing morning, but you’ll soon learn why the US military occasionally trains on the sand for an extremely demanding workout. The uneven terrain forces you to recruit all of your stabilizer muscles in your legs, as well as the core muscles. Not only that, but just try to generate some speed on a soft surface such as sand – not too easy, is it? We suggest bringing a simple stopwatch and timing yourself for 45-second sprint intervals followed by 90 seconds of “active rest,” which consists of very light jogging. Continue with this style of intervals for 20 minutes followed by a 5-minute walking cool-down. A high-intensity interval training workout like this will keep the calorie-burning furnace cranked for even hours after your workout. To increase intensity you can try doing your light jog in a few feet of water for extra resistance.

Bootcamps offer the unique, dual ability to give you a tremendous cardiovascular workout and a muscular workout. Don’t believe us? We invite you to try a class for yourself. Because you’re interested in training your muscles as well as your lungs, try to find a class that utilizes resistance-based equipment in addition to the standard high-intensity bodyweight drills. Ask for items such as heavy thick ropes, kettle bells, sandbags, sleds, resistance bands, medicine balls, sledgehammers and weight vests. Incorporating some of these pieces into an outdoor bootcamp will not only increase the intensity of the workout, but also help push your muscles to their limit with a scorching lactic acid burn that you’ll thank us for the next day.

Think Muscle Beach meets your local neighbourhood recreational park. These days, nearly every health-conscious city has at least a few fitness trails and parks with many objects you can make great use of as hardcore, resistance-based equipment. Using your body weight as the resistance, you can get an incredible pump if you train hard enough and utilize short rest intervals. We recommend the classic push-pull supersets taken from the Golden Years of bodybuilding. Here is a sample push-pull superset workout that works your back, chest, arms and abs (aka the beach muscles) that you can do in most parks or fitness trails:

  1. Wide-grip chin-ups on monkey bars superset with deep parallel bar dips, 4 sets of 10-15 reps.
  2. Bodyweight pull-up rows* on parallel bars superset with push-ups between posts, 4 sets of 10-15 reps.
  3. Close-grip chin-ups (biceps focus) superset with close-grip decline push-ups with feet raised on park bench (triceps focus), 4 sets of 10-15 reps.
  4. Hanging leg raises from monkey bars superset with bent-knee crunches on a park bench, 4 sets of 20 reps.

*Bodyweight Pull-Up Rows: Position yourself under parallel bars. Reach up and grasp the two bars with an overhand palms-in grip. Pull yourself up while trying to focus on squeezing your lats at the top of the movement. Advanced: Lift your feet off the ground and put them up on the parallel bars to increase the resistance.

The Protein Dilemma: Which to Choose?


Protein is made up of amino acids, which are building blocks of muscle. By consuming protein at different times (in the morning, between meals, before training, after training, before bed, etc.), you are giving your muscles the fuel to recover from workouts and build up bigger and stronger than ever! So, which protein source is best? This all depends on when you’re taking it.

Biological Value (BV)
Protein sources vary in usability and absorbability and this is measured by a ranking system based on Biological Value (BV). The higher a protein source is ranked in BV, the faster it’s absorbed and readily used by the body. There’s a time and place for slower absorbing proteins, and for faster absorbing proteins, so check out the graphic below to figure out what kind of protein source is best for you and when you should take it.

CROSSFIT THOSE CALORIES AWAY


During the holiday season, it’s not unusual for even the most active adults to spend a little more time outside the gym. That can be a very positive thing for enhancing rest and recovery. So when you head back to your fitness center after the long weekend, you might be recovered enough to try a challenging workout that doesn’t involve typical reps or sets.

There’s nothing typical about a CrossFit workout. These short, intense strength and conditioning sessions can be scaled up or down to any level of fitness, and utilize everything from barbells and pull up bars to kettlebells and plyometric boxes. This is non-specific training designed to enhance the overall performance of any type of athlete.

Team ON Athlete Jaquelyn Kastelic has designed a four-day program for anyone who’s interested in seeing what CrossFit’s all about. TIP: Take it easy the first time you try each of these workouts. You can ramp up the intensity after you get a better feel for this style of training.

Workout #1

Burpees & Deadlifts

Select a relatively light weight for reps. Your first set is 21 burpees and 21 deadlifts. Without resting, do a second set of 15 burpees followed by an equal number of deadlifts. Finish up with a final set of 9 burpees and 9 deadlifts.

Workout #2

Sprints, Push Presses & Sit Ups

Start out with a 400-meter sprint. Then perform a set of 10 push presses. Next up is 20 sit ups. You’ve just completed the first of 5 sets.

Workout #3

Back Squats

This one’s very straightforward. Load the barbell with your 5 rep max (the heaviest weight you can manage for 5 reps). Then do 5 sets of 5 reps.

Workout #4

Pull Ups, Kettlebell Swings & Box Jumps

Close out your week of intense workouts with a solid 10 minutes of pure physical challenge. The set begins with 5 pull ups. Then it’s 10 kettlebell swings (get some instruction in technique if you’re new at this). Finally, it’s 10 jumps on and off a 20-inch high plyometric box. Keep going until the entire 10 minutes is used up.

8 Weeks to Bigger Better Shoulders


If you’re serious about training, you’ll want to build the widest and thickest shoulders your frame can carry. With huge, rock-hard shoulders, you’ll never have to wear several layers to look big again, not to mention your waist will look smaller too. But how do you go about building the shoulders of a true champion? To assist you in your ultimate quest for shoulder size, we’ve put together a training routine composed of some classic, gym-proven shoulder exercises that can help you get where you want to be.

The following routine consists of two different shoulder exercises workouts that, when combined, can help you achieve results! Both shoulder exercises workouts contain compound movements designed to build tremendous strength and mass on the entire shoulder girdle. Each workout also contains isolation movements to carve fine lines on the individual heads of the deltoids, for that pumped competition look. For eight weeks, you’ll alternate between each shoulder exercises workout and train shoulders only once a week. For example, you’ll start with Workout 1 in the first week, and you’ll do Workout 2 in the following week. This routine can be as intense as you want to make it. To dial up the intensity, just cut your rest between sets from one minute to 30 seconds.

As with any shoulder exercises routine, it’s essential to stretch and warm up before your workout. Your first set should be a warm-up set with lighter weight. You can work towards progressively heavier weight for the other working sets. Just make sure you concentrate on proper form. After eight weeks, you’ll take a much-needed week off from training shoulders. This will allow time for growth and recovery. You’ll then be ready to resume training again with renewed vigor and all-out intensity.

Instructions: Your first set for each shoulder exercise is a warm-up with lighter weight, followed by two intense working sets with progressively heavier weight. Take a 30-second to one minute break after each set. Once you’ve finished all working sets for a particular shoulder exercise, you can challenge yourself with the next musclebuilding exercise.

Shoulder Exercises: Workout 1 Shoulder Exercises: Workout 2
Dumbell Shoulder Presses
3 sets of 8 to 10 repetitions
Dumbell Front Raises
3 sets of 10 to 15 repetitions
Upright Rows
3 sets of 8 to 10 repetitions
Bent-Over Lateral Raises
3 sets of 10 to 15 repetitions
Dumbell Lateral Raises
3 sets of 10 to 15 repetitions
Smith Machine Presses
3 sets of 8 to 10 repetitions

 > Click here for your Superior Shoulder Exercises Log

Dumbell Shoulder Presses

Muscles Worked: Deltoids, upper trapezius, serratus anterior, and triceps

Position: Sit on a bench with your back straight, holding two dumbells just above shoulder level with your palms facing forward.

Start: Press the dumbells straight up until the two dumbells are nearly touching over your head.

Finish: Complete the exercise by returning the dumbells back to the starting position.

Tip: To keep tension on the deltoids, avoid locking your elbows at the top of the movements.

Upright Rows


Muscles Worked: Deltoids, trapezius, biceps

Position: Stand with your feet slightly spread, holding a barbell with an overhand grip just in front of your thighs.

Start: Keeping the barbell close to your body, raise it to chin level.

Finish: Complete the exercise by returning the barbell back to the starting position.

Tip: Raise your elbows as high as possible at the top of the movement. This exercise can also be performed using the lower pulley on a cable stack.

Dumbell Lateral Raises


Muscles Worked: Deltoids (especially the medial [side] deltoids)

Position: Stand straight and grasp the dumbells with your palms facing toward each other. Rest the dumbells just in front of your thighs and spread your feet slightly.

Start: Raise the dumbells out to your sides until they reach shoulder level.

Finish: Complete the exercise by lowering the dumbells back to the starting position.

Tip: Use manageable weight for this exercise. Your elbows should be slightly bent.

Dumbell Front Raises

Muscles Worked: Deltoids (especially the anterior [front] deltoids)

Position: Stand straight with your feet slightly apart, holding the dumbells with an overhand grip just in front of your thighs.

Start: Using one arm at a time, raise a dumbell out in front of you to shoulder level.

Finish: Complete the exercise by lowering the dumbell under control back to the starting position. Repeat with the opposite side.

Tip: Keep your back straight during the exercise. Use manageable weight and avoid throwing the weight up with your entire body.

Bent-Over Lateral Raises

Muscles Worked: Deltoids (especially the posterior [rear] deltoids), trapezius

Position: Stand bent at the waist with your knees slightly spread. Grasp the dumbells with your palms facing inward and your elbows slightly bent.

Start: Raise the dumbells out to your sides.

Finish: Return the dumbells back to the starting position.

Tip: At the highest point in the movement, squeeze your shoulder blades together. Even though you are bent at the waist, keep your back straight.

Smith Machine Presses

Muscles Worked: Deltoids, triceps, upper pectorals, serratus anterior

Position: Sit on a bench positioned under the bar of the Smith machine. Keep your back straight and grip the barbell with your palms facing forward.

Start: Press the barbell straight up.

Finish: Complete the exercise by returning the barbell back to the starting position.

Tip: To keep tension on the deltoids, avoid locking your elbows at the end position.

Blasting Biceps


Welcome, and thank you for choosing to download our Extreme Intensity Series: Blasting Biceps. In this series, we will help you get closer to your favorite pros and their favorite extreme training programs. You will have access to the world’s best bodybuilders, their videos, workout secrets and hear direct testimonials on their favorite body parts and more. Below we’ve compiled some of the most extreme workouts we’ve ever heard of to show you how truly hardcore these guys are!

Our first focus of extreme intensity is on the biceps. We hope you enjoy our new feature and be sure to come back each month for more.