An Outdoor Gym – Part I

Our Taco Challenge of 2020; lockdowns on account of covid 19; and binge watching of YouTube and Netflix, have all taken a toll on my body; the additional ten to fifteen pounds are now firmly resting, around the belly.

Long distance walking is my normal plan for dealing with extra weight but, I love this extra weight challenge, so, I’m now in the process of building an outdoor gym for getting back in shape and warrior fighting form.

I’ve never been the type, for indoor climate controlled gyms with mirrors; besides, their closed in our area on account of covid. My preference is outdoor exercise, and the lower tech way, the better.

Ever try paddle boarding or even dirt biking? Your core is where the emphasis is always placed. Makes sense, as the core is what supports the rest of your body. And when it comes to any movement or heavy lifting; your core is what your body relies on.

A weak core is detrimental to your health. If you now have problems and issues with your back, your legs, or your shoulders, then you need to work your core to reverse those issues.

A test of one’s fitness level is to lay flat on the ground. Now see how much effort you have to do, to get back up on your feet. If you can do so easily, then congratulations, you still either have youth on your side, or are doing something else right in life.

And if an indoor gym is always your style, then no need to read on.

Right next door to our garden shed, tucked into a corner of the yard, I found a perfect place for a suitable outdoor gym space.

The pergola was already up so, I started by adding side boards for additional privacy. (Work in progress) Next, I removed the ground pavers.

The exercise I am now doing is the type of exercise that the late President Ronald Reagan preferred. “Work for a purpose.”

Reagan never believed in useless exercise. Cutting wood or riding horses was more his style. “Exercise should always have a purpose, he would say.”

Riding motorcycles is also exercise; balance, upper body strength through riding, and therapeutic benefits too.

But, I regress. Now back to the ground. Pea gravel will be added to the ground, to provide both support and comfort.

 So, enter the sandbags and ninja obstacle course gym. “………the effort you put forth to control a heavy mass (the sandbag) results in a stronger and a more stabile core.

Driving to the gym or walking to your gym? Sandbag training encourages heavy and awkward shaped weights to be safely lifted up and hoisted in various ways. Lifting that heavy water bottle or that fifty pound bag of dog food shouldn’t be an excuse to tweak your back!

Another benefit of sandbag training is the cost. However, I’m usually not one to leave well enough alone.

Nearby, behind our equestrian and bike/walk/jog trail is a River called the Santa Ana; my white beach type sand is easily accessible. And so is additional obstacle course training area.

And if you enjoy shopping, then a myriad of items to outfit your outdoor gym are now waiting for you on Amazon.

Yesterday, the jump rope arrived, followed by the 60′ sandbag, that includes, six individual, 10 pound bags with handles. Today I’m expecting the laminated sandbag exercise workout poster. I ordered a slack line that includes additional ninja warrior obstacle course items – I don’t yet know how it will all come together so, stay tuned for part II.

My Part II should include the completed outdoor gym that will also be used for baton type self defense training.

The obstacle course continues from the outdoor gym to the nearby area. As you can see with a little thought to training, your possibilities are now endless.

Hopefully, something you just read or saw is enough inspiration, if not, then here are some additional words for you, from some notable greats.

‘If you think lifting is dangerous, try being weak. Being weak is dangerous.’

 BRET CONTRERAS, sports scientist

‘The only place where success comes before work is in the dictionary.’

 VIDAL, hairstylist and businessman

‘Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t, you’re right.’

 HENRY FORD, industrialist

‘The successful warrior is the average man, with laser-like focus.’

 BRUCE LEE, actor and martial artist

‘You must expect great things of yourself before you can do them.’

 MICHAEL JORDAN, basketball player

‘Action is the foundational key to all success.’

 PABLO PICASSO, visual artist

‘A champion is someone who gets up when they can’t.’

 JACK DEMPSEY, professional boxer

‘What hurts today makes you stronger tomorrow.’

 JAY CUTLER, pro bodybuilder and four-time Mr. Olympia

‘You have to think it before you can do it. The mind is what makes it all possible.’

 KAI GREENE, pro bodybuilder and artist

‘Things work out best for those who make the best of how things work out.’

 JOHN WOODEN, basketball player and coach