Summer is a bad time to hit the gym, as bros in 'Sun's Out, Guns Out' vests flood the weights floor before flossing themselves vigorously with towels in the changing rooms, leaving your chances of actually using any equipment smaller than ever.
Thankfully, nature provides plenty of workout space, even in cities: all you need is an expanse of grass and a dry day. But where to start, and how to make sure you're maximising your time?
This is where calisthenics comes in - the all body training system that uses only your own body weight to get you into shape. The exercises it involves will improve your flexibility and strength, raise your heart rate enough for you to shed weight and grow your muscles - basically covering any target you're out to achieve.
New Clapton-based gym BLOK are leading the way in calisthenics, training clients in a workout they can take into the world outside. We asked them to share the basic routine recommend by their specialist trainers, so you can try it out in your local park on a blistering Saturday morning, or do it after arriving home late from work while your dinner is cooking. No excuses.
The aim of this is to get your heart rate up and warm your muscles before the main workout. You should aim for 30 seconds to 1 minute of each exercise depending on your fitness, upping the time as you get more accustomed to the routine.
If this is all going above your head, fear not, we've got video tutorials below to help with the how-to.
- Star jumps (just like you did in school)
- Jumping lunges
- Mountain climbers
By now you should be breaking a slight sweat and feeling pumped up and ready to go. It's time to move onto the main exercise portion of the work out.
BLOK recommends beginners start at 5 reps of each, intermediate participants at 8, and advanced trainers aim for 10 reps.
They advise the 'pyramid' training plan where you descend down to 0. This means doing a set of 10 reps, then 9, then 8 etc. (Or 8, 7 ,6 etc. or 5 ,4 , 3,etc.).
- Press ups
- Pull ups (if park has a bar)
- Tricep dips
- Leg raises
- Deep squats
- Isometric holds e.g - planks, crow, headstand - take some time getting used to holding these and alternate between each position. Start with 30 seconds and lengthen the time you hold for when feel like you can.
How often should you be doing this to see results?
Try to complete 1-2 times per week for 4 weeks, then move up to 2-3 times for a further 4 weeks and combine with other exercise for the last 4 weeks. According to the experts, 12 week period is the best way to see a difference.
You'll barely recognise your own body by the time summer swings around in full force.
BLOK London teach Calisthenics classes at: 38-40 Upper Clapton Road, London.
Jermaine Hunter, the leading calisthenics instructor at BLOK provided this workout.