Here's to the Great Outdoors

Tired of the same old same old at your gym? Up for a change from the rusty equipment, the attitudes, the dirty locker room? Why not take your workouts to the great outdoors this Spring, and try a boot camp approach?  Basic maneuvers like these performed one after another in rapid succession, build strength, power, and stamina. All you need is a stretch band, a couple of light dumbbells and a sunny day to inspire you!

After a five minutes of upper body stretches begin with 3 sets of eight to twelve jumping jacks. Next, perform 3 sets of fifteen deep squats using your body weight. Take no more than 10 seconds between sets.

Next move on to triceps by performing 3 sets of eight to twelve close grip push -ups on the ground. Remember, these are excellent total upper-body exercises, but when you move your arms in closer to the body, palms down, hands almost touching, you are really targeting your triceps.

While your triceps are still burning, move on to biceps with stretch cord curls. Grasp both ends of a stretch cord in front of you, with the middle under one foot. Proceed to curl the arms up. Pause, then return to starting position. Perform as many reps as you can (15, 20, 30, etc.) then pause, stretch and do another set to burn those biceps out.

Next tackle shoulders with a series of compound movements. Grasp light dumbbells, palms in at sides. Proceed to extend them out until arms are parallel to the ground. Do a set of eight to twelve of these lateral (side) dumbbell raises. Without a break proceed to do a set of eight to twelve alternating front raises. Pause, do another set of lateral raises followed again by alternating front raises. Complete three sets and your upper body should feel pumped.

After completing a brief (5-10 minute) run and a few wind sprints, proceed to take the lower body through a little routine of its own. Begin with dumbbell front lunges. With a dumbbell in each hand, step forward with one leg. Proceed to lunge until the thigh is parallel to the floor. Pause, then return to starting position. Perform 3 sets of eight to twelve alternating reps with each leg.

Finish this workout with 3 sets of fifty to one hundred crunches. Make sure to breathe and stay hydrated. You can take breaks between exercises, sets, etc., but remember the key is to develop stamina, strength, and endurance all at once. You need to keep moving and pumping as you proceed through the workout. Don’t forget to cool down and stretch when you are through!

Tom Bonanti is a Fort Lauderdale-based certified fitness trainer. He welcomes your questions at