It feels so nice to be able to blog again! We had an amazing time at Grand Teton National Park (post about our perfect camping experience coming very soon). We had very spotty cell signal during our entire stay at the park, so I wasn’t able to do much except upload one picture and post a little update on the What Are We Up To? page.
We should have service for the next week or so at least, so I hope to get back into our blogging groove.
A couple days ago, I did a workout at our campsite, like I normally do. I love exercise. I’ve been exercising regularly for about 6 years now and have not fallen off the bandwagon once! I guess you could say it’s determination, but in my mind, it’s more like a habit. It’s good for my mind (my #1 motivator), body, and soul.
During this workout, I did a lot of modifications to the workout using stuff I found around our campsite, and I thought it might be interesting to share how I manage to work out despite not having much equipment! So I had Tim come outside and take some pictures of me while I was working out in front of the Tetons.
Rather than do a general post on “here’s how I modify my workouts in the wild”, I wanted to focus in on a specific workout, then I’ll show you the exact changes I made.
As I mentioned in my previous post on exercise, I’m a fan of Aaptiv and I use their workouts regularly. On this particular day, I did an intermediate level full-body strength training workout from one of my favorite Aaptiv trainers, Ackeem. Here’s a screenshot of the workout from the app:
This workout had 4 circuits, and about half of the exercises were centered around something I do not have: a bench. In a perfect world, I would have a bench, and I certainly had one at the gym. Living in an RV makes hauling a bench around with you kind of impossible.
Glute Bridges – need bench
Single leg bench hops – need bench
Push ups – need bench for advanced modification
Chest presses – need bench
Dips – need bench
Each of these circuits were performed 3 times through and had 45 second intervals per exercise, with 15 seconds rest. Including rest time, it made for a 50 minute workout.
Okay…now it’s time to get creative. For half of this workout, I don’t have the bench I need. If I’m at a campground, I’ll use the picnic table. But when you’re boondocking, there are zero amenities – certainly not a picnic table! So it was time to get creative.
Single Leg Bench Hops
I modified these by using a log with a flat bottom for my stabilizing leg. I then hopped left and right with my other foot. Then I switched legs.
For this exercise, you are supposed to place your heels on a bench and squeeze your glutes upwards. With no bench in sight, I used a pre-existing fire ring. I found a couple stable rocks, put my feet on them, and used my yoga mat under me since the ground was really dusty.
I used the same flat-bottomed log to give my push-ups a bit of incline. The Aaptiv app said to put your feet on the bench for a decline pushup, but I am not strong enough for those (beyond a few reps) just yet.
I used a different log as my bench for chest presses and dips. Although it wasn’t nearly as comfortable and supportive as a bench that you’d find in a gym, it still did a good job of allowing me to get a good range of motion in my chest press (the whole reason for doing them on a bench in the first place).
There you have it – some of the random ways I improvised for my workout. Don’t let lack of equipment be a barrier to your exercise. It’s surprising how well you can make do with some very rudimentary pieces of “gym equipment” – rocks and logs! One person I talked to one time told me that they fill a 5 gallon bucket with rocks and carry it around. I haven’t quite gotten there yet (just doesn’t sound like fun?) but point being…nature can be a pretty darn good gym if you think outside of the box.
Fitness Stuff I Love for my Nature Gym
If you’re interested in how I work out while on the road, please check out this other post: Exercise While Living in an RV