True Strength Of Summer

True Strength Of Summer June's a good time to shed new light on your training program. Sunlight, to be more specific. Every once and a while it's a good idea to change the reps, sets, resistance, intensity and/or order of exercises to take the 'routine' out of your workout routine. Warm weather and sunny skies present you with a perfect opportunity to do something totally different. The results might not be dramatic, but the change of pace will keep things interesting.

Rowing
The rowing machine is a popular gym station. You may have even had the chance to work one of those old school wooden rowers that look like a section of a boat deck screwed into the floor. Try rowing for real. If you don't have access to an actual rowboat, substitute a canoe or kayak. Paddling against a current, or the wind blowing across a decent sized lake, will challenge your muscles in ways the rowing machine never could.

Swimming
Your neighborhood pool is likely to have 25-meter lanes marked with what looks like a plus sign on the walls of each end. Swimming to the other side and back is a 50-meter sprint. You'd have to swim 64 lengths to go a mile, but take it easy and start with a simple 100 (4 lengths). If you swam it freestyle, follow up with 50 meters on your right side, then the left side, followed by 4 lengths of breast stroke and then backstroke. That string of flags hanging over both ends let you know the wall's just a few strokes away.

Sandbag Training
Head over to your local hardware store and get a sturdy sack suitable for filling with sand. Tie it shut and attached about 10 feet of heavy rope. This is your resistance for a workout that can build both strength and stamina. You'll drag the bag by the rope running forward, sideways and backward. Push it up over obstacles and weigh down some sprints with the sack draped over your shoulders. There are lots of other sandbag exercises available online.

The list of outdoor activities goes on and on. Plan a workout that includes beach volleyball or soccer, softball games, distance bike rides and hikes in the woods. You can get back to the iron jungle once the weather turns cold again.
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