Learning to genuinely enjoy working out and staying fit doesn’t come naturally to everyone. It often takes time testing out different methods of training and seeing what works best for your personality and interests. For me, it all started with an outdoor workout.
I have always struggled with going to the gym. When I was younger, I went through multiple different gym memberships that I would use consistently for a few months, then slowly tire of and quit on. I didn’t like being cooped up, surrounded by the smell of sweat, trying to figure out how to use machines that seemed to be overly complicated.
As I got older, I learned to love the outdoors. Nature quickly became a way for me to exercise while actually enjoying it. I would give myself fun outdoor fitness challenges that involved trail running or hiking and even started training for long-distance hiking. Being active suddenly became easy. Hiking became my new outlet to not only stay in shape but also became a way to destress and decompress at the end of a busy day.
Even though hiking & trail running provided me with a way to get an awesome outdoor lower body and cardio workout, it didn’t completely check all of my fitness boxes. I needed a way to also train my upper body and abs. I struggled to find effective ways to get an outdoor upper body workout and quickly made the mistake of wasting money on the gym yet again only to find myself paying a monthly fee for a place a rarely stepped foot in.
I started thinking about exercises to do while hiking. When I was introduced to UNDERSUN Fitness in 2019 I finally found my perfect balance between working out, getting outside, and being able to live my life. Resistance band training is now my conditioning for hiking and has helped me to increase my hiking mileage! They allow me to get a kick-ass workout wherever life takes me.
I recently visited Great Basin National Park to summit the second highest peak in Nevada. We woke up before dawn and to get our supplies and backpacks together. Along with some snacks, water, and a wind jacket, I packed a few resistance bands in my backpack to take to the top for a quick upper body workout. One of my favorite things about resistance bands is how portable they are. Hiking with resistance bands is easy! They are lightweight, and barely take up any space in my bag. The ultimate training tool for exercises to do while hiking!
The ascent was everything I expected from a high elevation peak (13,159K). Rocky terrain, high-speed winds, and views that blew our minds. After hitting 12,000 ft we began taking regular breaks to let our bodies adjust to the elevation. The last 1,000 feet challenged me immensely. As we reached the summit we were greeted with endless mountain views stretching for miles below us. We were even lucky enough to have the wind die down to enjoy a snack and celebratory summit beer.
After taking in the views, I grabbed my bands and found a nice flat spot to get started on my outdoor upper body workout. When I finished up my biceps curls, shoulder press reps, and triceps training I couldn’t help but think about how much better it felt to be outside with such an incredible view, doing something I loved to stay fit, rather then being stuck in a gym surrounded by strangers and the smell of sweat.
The TA2 training programs are now my favorite exercises to do while hiking. Whether at the top of a mountain, or just outside in my backyard, I can take my gym anywhere and that’s why training with resistance bands has been the solution to finding a fitness balance in my life.