Fast & Furious

Maximizing summer fitness.

Summer’s here and it’s time to get outside. While you might intend to hike, climb, bike, and fish your way through the season, grand plans can quickly transform into lawn games, beers, and BBQs. Working at a fitness center, I often see people coming back mid-fall in far worse shape than when the summer started—this is where the gym can help you supplement your outdoor workouts if they start lacking intensity and frequency. 

A well-focused workout can range from ten to 30 minutes and be just as effective as a longer session (unfortunately this means you won’t be able to post to Instagram mid-work out proving that you made it to the gym that day). Now, you may be thinking, what can possibly be done in the gym that doesn’t involve 45 minutes on a treadmill, five selfies, and a protein shake? This is where a high-intensity, focused workout comes into play, once you’ve figured out your outdoor-activity level for the coming months. 

Let’s say you’re a big hiker and biker—very good choices, considering this beautiful state we get to call home. This means you will be doing a lot of leg and cardiovascular work and not much else. Therefore, your workouts should focus primarily on upper-body and core work. You can overhead press, bench press, and work on handstands for stability. If you’re an avid angler, on the other hand, who doesn’t use the lower body for much besides getting from point A to point B, you’re going to want to train your legs. For example, various squatting forms such as conventional back squat, overhead squat, and pistol squats are great strength exercises to incorporate, while lunges and box jumps will help close other holes you may have in your fitness.

Searching the gym for proper weights is an easier option than combing the wilderness, but workouts can be done outside as well. If you choose the outdoor option, keep these few things in mind; green wood is heavier then dead-rot, and please don’t deforest the local hiking trails in search of a new PR.

Jay Corti works at Ridge Athletic Clubs in Bozeman.