Outdoor Summer Workouts: PART 2!

by Henry Gould – June 25th, 2019

The longest day of 2019 has officially come and gone, which means it is OFFICIALLY summer. But I’m sure you already knew that…!

Around this time last year I put up a blog highlighting some great outdoor workouts for when you want to take advantage of the nice weather. Most of those were Vancouver specific, but since we have a wide ranging community I figured I would throw up a few suggestions that are relevant for whichever city you find yourself in.


There’s a reason olympic sprinters are ridiculously jacked, and marathon runners look like they haven’t eaten in weeks. Sprinting is an amazing workout that helps build muscle, increases speed and burns a ton of calories. Best of all? A sprint workout can be done, warm-up included, in about 30 minutes. I dunno about you, but that sounds way better than hours spent on a treadmill…

Good news is Yard Athletics is running turf sessions during the summer months! Held at Andy Livingstone park, these will help make you as agile as a gazelle with cleats on. For more info, email <[email protected]> to see when the next workout will be.

Otherwise, if you know of a good running track, head there to do your own workout. Below is a good program suitable for all experience levels. Just make sure to warmup for at least 10 minutes, followed by stretching. Sprinting too fast too early can easily lead to injury.

  • Workout A – 10 x 100m sprints
    • The first 5 sprints, run 75% for the first 50m, 100% for the last 50m
    • The last 5 sprints run 100% the first 50m, 75% the last 50m
  • Workout B – 5 x 100m, 5 x 200m
    • Sprint 5 x 100m @ 100% effort, with substantial rest in between sets (i.e. 2 minutes)
    • Sprint 5 x 200m @ 80% effort, walking for 100m in between sets to rest

Some of the hardest leg workouts I’ve ever done involved never lifting a dumbbell. Plyometrics – jumping exercises – will bring amazing strength to your lower body, and can be done basically anywhere.

This post on the website “Greatist” has good GIF’s for showing the different movement patterns. Below are some of my favorites.

Aim for 8-10 reps per set, 4-5 sets, doing 4-5 exercises total. If you’re still able to walk at the end, do a few more…

  • Frog Squat Jump
    • Hands behind head, squat down low, jumping up and forward, landing in a single motion, then continuing forward like a frog “hopping” along
  • Reverse Lunge with Knee Up
    • Drop down in a lunge with your knee on the ground, then drive up through the planted foot and jump into the air, then land back down in the lunge
  • Single Leg, “2 Steps Forward, 1 Step Back”
    • Standing on 1 leg, hop 2 small steps forward (6 inches each) then 1 single hop back. Repeat 10 times without letting the other leg touch the ground. Repeat with the next leg.
Chin-Up + Push-Up + Skipping = Super Set of Champions

Outdoor workout are great, but they generally favor the lower body (running, cycling) vs. upper body. However, if you can find a solid outdoor chin-up bar around your city or town, as well as buy yourself a good skipping rope, you can nail an upper body workout in less than 20 minutes. If you don’t have a skipping rope, most reviews say this one from Rogue is the best.

Often times there are chin-up bars at schools, outdoor basketball courts or playgrounds. Or, you can get crafty and use the top bar of an outdoor soccer net to do chin-ups on.

Here’s the workout:

  • Aim for 4 – 6 sets total, depending on fitness level
  • Chin-ups first, aiming for 3 – 10 reps, or an amount you will be able to maintain through all 4 – 6 sets. If your maximum amount of chin-ups you can do is 5, aim for sets of 3. If you can do 10, aim for 7. Otherwise you’ll be dead after the first set.
  • After the chin-ups, 5-10 clap push-ups (push-up off the ground, clap hands together, come back down to chest touching the ground).
  • 60 seconds of skipping
  • Rest 60 seconds, then repeat

The chin-ups nail the back, push-ups nail the chest, and skipping nails the shoulders. What more do you need???


Not sure whether road biking has increased in popularity over the years, or is just something people start doing when the enter their late 20’s / early 30’s. Either way, it’s a great way to get a group of friends together for exercise. There’s also nothing nicer than a bike ride on a sunny day.

Riding around UBC, especially in the early morning or late evening is great as there’s less traffic.

There’s also the Yard Athletics “Road Krue”, led by none other than Ilan Cumberbirch, which goes several times a week. Riders should have a decent amount of experience on a road bike, but if you want to join drop a line to <[email protected]> and join the krue!



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