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Train Like a Pro: Five Ways to Bring Your Workout Outdoors

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With Mike Bell, professional fitness trainer

Finding a successful training routine is all about consistency - or is it? We know how hard it can be to find the right mix of strength training and endurance to logistically fit into our work weeks, but once you’ve found your grind it’s not uncommon to feel stuck in a rut. While going to the gym on a regular basis may be a great for consistency, it can take a toll on your sense of fun. And according to Mike Bell, a New York City based personal trainer and athlete, fun is an important part of every routine.

So we caught up with trainer Mike Bell to ask his professional advice on how to bring some fun back into our workouts. His answer? Go outside! Mike shares his tips on how to be adventurous with our training and take advantage of the warmer weather without sacrificing a good workout.


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Sprinting is one of most effective ways to shed body fat. Finding an outdoor track is a great way to work sprinting into your routine during the warmer months. One of my favorite sprint workouts is the 200m sprint challenge: sprint down the length of half the track, then do a quick turn and sprint back. Do this five to ten times, and you’ll be in champion strides.


Pull-up variations and hanging core work are staples in pretty much every routine I put together. Here’s a quick workout you can do with just a bar: try three muscle-ups or explosive chest to bar pull-ups, eight strict pull-ups, and then twelve hanging knee raises. Aim for as many rounds as you can in twenty minutes.


I tend to favor shorter more intense workouts but every once in awhile, it’s nice to slow the pace down. Find a scenic outdoor route in your area and go for an hour or two ride. Your lower body will thank you.


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Working in a leg day? Mark a set distance, around 70-100 feet, and do walking lunges until you hit it. When you get to each end, perform a set of core exercises before lunging back to the other side. Two of my favorite core exercises are hollow rocks and lying knee tucks. To complete hollow rocks you’ll want to lie on your back with your arms raised tightly over your head and your legs lifted on a curve so that your body forms a wide U shape. Keeping your spine and lower back in line, rock your body back and forth to work your transverse abdominals. For the lying knee tucks you stay lying on your back and get into an abdominal crunch position with your head and shoulders off the ground and your knees bent at a ninety-degree angle. Lower your legs straight down to the ground before lifting them back up to their ninety degree position. Complete thirty seconds on the rock and fifteen reps on the knee tuck before lunging to the other side.


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Bringing it back to high school football practice with these! Do these sprints interval style, where you try running up and down the bleachers as fast as you can two times, and then rest for 30-45 seconds. Aim for eight to ten rounds!


Mike Bell is a NYC personal trainer and athlete. Originally a sprinter and hurdler, his training now includes a wide array of movements including kettlebells, gymnastics strength training, and rock climbing.

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1 comment

Great stuff….hard work just pays off….no excuses

Greg Berkemer

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