I want you to skip the gym today.
Instead of spending an hour under fluorescent lights with people who do not understand the concept of deodorants, I want you to step outside and train your body in its natural habitat.
Face the Elements
I’ve come to appreciate training outdoors in the last couple years for more reasons than I could fit into a single article. The benefits reach far beyond the physical.
Being outside is our natural state. It is our primal playground. And that’s precisely why you feel so good after going for a brisk walk in the forest, or a run on the beach. You are aligning yourself with your genetic code. You are doing what you were designed to do and that manifests itself in a heightened sense of well-being and a healthier, more capable body.
“But it’s cold where I live… and sometimes it rains…”
Outdoor sessions are not tied to specific weather conditions. Don’t be afraid of training in the freezing cold or in a rainstorm. That’s what they make jackets for. Come prepared and bring additional clothing and equipment if needed.
Face the elements. The rewards will more than make up for the initial discomfort.
As I brutalize my body in the cold, my lungs burning, blood rushing through my veins, I become fully immersed in the moment. Fear, doubts and built-up tensions fade into the background as I embrace a calm, clear, indomitable state of mind – It is here that I am at my best physically and mentally.
“Street training” and calisthenics are enjoying immense popularity these days, as they re-introduce the element of play into working out. Skills and creativity are as important as strength and durability in this game.
You don’t need any equipment (apart from maybe a pull-up bar) to get started. Get down on the concrete and go to work. If you look around, you’ll find well equipped parks in many cities. Use your environment and break free from the daily grind.
The art of building your body without equipment or external resistance is still overlooked by most gym rats today. Shame really, as bodyweight exercises such as push and pull up variants recruit more muscle fibers than their gym equivalents, allowing you to overload the muscles with more authentic movements while greatly decreasing the risk of injury.
You can build an incredible physique without ever touching a dumbbell.
And there’s just something about pulling-off bodyweight feats of strength like front levers, muscle-ups and one arm push-ups. Not only do they look cool, but they train the body the way nature intended. This is the ultimate display of human performance.
You still need to work progressively and with vicious intensity. The novel environment doesn’t change that. Nothing will ever change that.
Now go outside. Breathe. Play. Grow.
Thank you for reading