Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Rock Gym

by Scott

In our previous life, after a day of sitting on our butts in a cube, we would head to the gym for some exercise. Even during our year-long trip in North America, we kept our 24-Hour Fitness membership active for the occasional workout and shower. In Australia and New Zealand, there is no big chain fitness center with locations outside the cities, so we've been forced to get creative.

It's easy enough to work the legs: jogging, biking, hiking, stair steps, and our favorite, running up sandy dunes. It was a little harder to figure out how to work the upper body. Sure, we can do push-ups anywhere, and playgrounds are good for pull-ups, but both get a little boring. Attending a few strength training classes with Heather's Mom inspired us to try some new things.

For a mere $15, Heather bought a set of elastic bands. These things are great for the traveling fitness fanatic. There are 3 different bands, each color coded to indicate resistance level. With some discarded PVC pipe, I made an extra set of handles so we can work out simultaneously.

We've also realized that a rocky beach is like a free gym with an infinite variety of dumbbells. The downside is that the dumbbells aren't labeled, but it doesn't take too much effort to find a reasonably matched pair. The upside is that we never have to wait for someone else to finish using them, there's no nasty gym smell, the views are to die for, and we can take a refreshing dip when we're done.

UPDATE:  Comments from our Scottish Highlander fitness consultant inspired the driftwood caber toss -- thanks Doug MacChilders!


Unknown said...

You guys are so awesome - you're my heroes keeping up the creative work outs.

One addition that I would consider is dynamic movements. The movements you guys are doing is mostly considered static strength. Dynamic strength is like explosiveness - good for things like transitioning from paddling to standing on your board.

You are getting some of it from your sprints and hill climbs. But when I saw that pic with all the rocks on the beach, all I could think about was throwing them! Think bailing hay or throwing the hammer. I would be in heaven with an empty beach and a bunch of heavy things to throw!

Thanks for the posts. Thinking of you guys often -


Heather and Scott said...

Thanks Doug! Good ideas. We've updated the blog post with some dynamic strength pics.

River Chick said...

Too funny...I just bought a set of the elastic bands before I left for the Grand. I'll be more inspired to use them now! Thanks! :-)