Challenge your functional fitness with outdoor adventures that push your body out of its comfort zone – you up for an adventure?
The great outdoors calls to us louder in summer than any other time of year. Nature gives us the best gym around: hills to climb, rock faces to scramble, open water to swim or kayak, and horizons to explore.
And outdoor adventures are truly the best way to prove your functional fitness. Sure, you can chuck a heavy sandbag around in the gym. But can you trek, climb, crawl and scramble for hours in any terrain?
What is adventure fitness?
Being adventure fit means being ready for anything. It’s the best application of functional fitness we can think of. Heading out on an adventure means you could be using your body for endurance, strength, power, or agility – or all four!
Adventure-fit also means being mental robust, with a positive can-do attitude and resilience. After all, you won’t get far if you give up at the first hurdle. Problem-solving, lateral thinking, and self-belief will carry you far on an outdoor adventure.
How to find an outdoor fitness adventure
You don’t have to go far to have an outdoor adventure. Even if you live in an urban area, there will be plenty to challenge you (that’s how parkour started!) But the most rewarding outdoor fitness adventures involve natural challenges like terrain, gradient, or the elements.
Seek out local challenges like hills for hiking, or use your days off to go further afield so you can head into more mountainous or coastal areas. Or perhaps you’ll choose to book an adventure holiday? It’s a great way to combine your leisure time with your fitness passion.
A word about safety: don’t underestimate the power of nature. Even legends like Ross Edgley have safety crews, use maps, and tell people where they’re going and what time they should be expected home.
Training for outdoor adventures
Get yourself ready for a summer of adventuring, and you’ll know you can take on the world (or at least a bit of it!) It’s impossible to give you a training plan without knowing exactly what kind of adventuring you’ll be doing, but all adventures share some basic physical challenges.
To be truly adventure-fit, you’ll need to train endurance, leg strength, pull and grip strength.
Wear a weighted vest for your walks, and build the duration every week either by staying out for 15 minutes extra, or by shooting for a bigger step goal. The weighted vest will prep your mind and body for unforeseen conditions and new terrain. High steps up, using a plyo box or bench, will build specific strength and power in your lower body to help you climb or scramble up long inclines.
If you’re going to be climbing, kayaking, or paddleboarding be sure to train your upper body to build strength and muscular endurance in your shoulders. Plenty of overhead work, heavy carries, and pressing will do the trick.
Finally, if you’re going to be wearing a pack for your adventure, prepare your body by holding a plank wearing your weighted vest. This exercise will strengthen your upper body and core under load, and will also improve your posture so you can carry on for longer wearing that pack.
Heavy carries, using a med ball, sandbag, or even a heavy kettlebell will build endurance which will translate across into many adventuring skills.
And don’t forget the single legged work like weighted lunges and Bulgarian split squats so you have confidence in your lower body strength, power and stability if you find yourself on uneven terrain or up against crazy weather!
Happy adverting! Check out the Gravity Fitness store for weighted vests, pull up racks, and all the heavy functional training kit you need to train for an epic adventure.