Mixin' It Up

The season of barbeques, boating, tanning, and floating is finally upon us. Summers in Montana are priceless—we’re surrounded by endless beauty and are lucky enough to call this home. Since I’m a personal trainer and a gym rat, most of my time is spent in a gym doing cardio, hammering the weights, and inspiring others to do the same. This summer, my personal goal is to mix it up—I’m going to take my fitness outside and I encourage you to do the same.

Power up Hyalite

Hyalite Canyon offers a variety of hiking and biking trails. If you’re used to sitting on an indoor bike and can’t wait for a perfect summer day, get ready. Biking up Hyalite Canyon is not an easy task—but it’s worth it. For a summer-long project, make a commitment to yourself to ride the canyon once a week and try to beat your time. Once you power through those last few switchbacks, the sight of the reservoir is so sweet. Step off your bike, stretch your legs, and do a little extra to continue the burn.

 For every 15 minutes you took to reach the top, do the following:

10 push-ups

20 body-weight squats

20 mountain climbers

20 lunges

Take a breather, repeat as necessary, and cruise back down the hill.

Cross-train on Peets Hill

Peets Hill is an easily accessible spot to get in some cross-training. Park at the bottom of the hill by Bogert Park, bring water, and wear a solid pair of shoes.

Jog up the left side of the trail to the intersection with the Lindley Park trail. Do walking lunges until you reach the top of the first hill, then sprint to the first bench. Do 20 step-ups per leg onto the bench, then sprint to the next bench. Do 20 incline push-ups, bracing your hands on the bench. Sprint to the end of the trail before it curves down towards Kagy. Hold a wall sit on a post or against the bench for 1-2 minutes.

 Dominate the M

Instead of trekking up the M, resting at the top, and leisurely strolling down the easy way, make the M your obstacle course. If you’re an ambitious person who loves to test their inner athlete, bike out to the trailhead and take it from there.

 Walk, jog, or sprint up the “steep side” followed by:

100 high-knees

100 butt-kickers

50 walking lunges

50 squats

Hold a push-up position for one minute.

 Jog down the “easy” way, and every time you see a dog, do 15 push-ups. Every time you see a child, do 20 mountain climbers. Once you reach the bench, do five sprints up the hill for 10 seconds, walk down and repeat.

At the bottom:

100 high-knees

100 butt-kickers

50 lunges

50 squats

Hold one push-up.

If we continue to do the same exercises and activities day after day, our body will rebel with overuse injuries, burnout, and mentally, we’ll simply lose interest. Change it up—use our varied terrain to create your own workouts. Instead of walking into the gym, I’ll be jumping on my bike and doing push-ups at the M. I challenge you to do the same.


Annie Barber is a personal trainer at the Ridge Athletic Club.