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Fitbit’s Spring Clean: Hack an Efficient Outdoor Workout without Equipment

It’s time to hang up your winter coat! We’re sharing 12 healthy “hacks” from our experts to help jumpstart new spring routines. SF instructor Erica Stenz from Barry’s Bootcamp is back, this time taking the 30-minute workout routine to the outdoors.


Planning a solid outdoor workout with cardio and strength training without equipment can be challenging. But before you get discouraged, just follow these simple tips from Barry’s Bootcamp San Francisco fitness industry expert Erica Stenz.

4 Tips for an Effective Outdoor Workout

1. Tabatas, Tabatas, and yes more Tabatas

Can’t say this enough – perform Tabata drills throughout the entire workout. Tabata drills are performed through high-intensity training intervals and alternated with sets of 30-second intervals (one 20-second set and one 10-second set), repeating the 30-second set 4 to 8 times.

To keep the highest level of intensity throughout each set, alternate 20 seconds/10 seconds with 2 different exercises.

Set 1 – 30 Seconds (Repeat 4 to 8 x)

  • 20 seconds:  high knee sprints (standing in one place)
  • 10 seconds:  butt kicks (aka reverse high knees standing in one place)

To reduce intensity, alternate 20 seconds/10 seconds with one dynamic exercise and one isometric exercise.

Alternate Set 1 (reduced intensity) – 30 Seconds (Repeat 4 to 8 x)

2. Incorporate a mix of cardiovascular AND strength training exercises

Cardio exercises without equipment:

Examples of strength training exercises without equipment

3. Look for benches and cement ledges

The equipment you need outdoors is already there – you just need to open your eyes and have that “trainer mindset.” Be aware of your surroundings! Use benches and cement ledges to increase the intensity of bodyweight strength-training exercises.

For example:

  • Incline tricep push-ups with  your feet on the bench
  • Box jumps on top of cement ledge (make sure the bend is low enough for you)
  • Tricep dips facing away from ledge with your feet straight out in front and legs together

4. Hit the stairs!

Find the longest stretch of stairs in your surrounding neighborhood(s) and perform sprint intervals. To keep the highest intensity, sprint the stair climb and perform a strength-training exercise at the top to of the stairs to maximize threshold (burnout).

For example:

  • Sprint up the stairs and perform push-ups at the top to exhaustion (when you can no longer perform any more push-ups while still maintaining proper form). Even if you do one good push up, that works. Keep in mind: form over quantity.


*Outdoor Workout Equipment Tip

If you’re able to bring some sort of equipment, we suggest an exercise band and yoga mat. These two pieces of equipment are relatively lightweight and portable. The bands will help maximize your outdoor workout with a handful of strength-training options like bicep curls, lateral arm raises and great core/abdominal exercises for active recovery periods (e.g. bicycle crunches, Russian twists).

San Francisco residents: Barry’s Bootcamp is offering high-intensity interval workouts every week before the SoMa studio opens in May 2014 at 236 King Street near AT&T Park. Join the crew on Facebook for the best workouts in San Francisco!

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