Workout Anytime With There and Back
Pick a spot in the distance. Go there, and then come back to where you started. Maybe run some. Maybe carry something heavy. Basically workout anytime, anywhere.
That’s it. That’s my favorite workout of all time. I’ve been writing the Spartan workout of the day for over six years now, and I guess I just let my big secret slip.
Take all your fancy workout design theory and gear and hype and leave that for other days of the week. All of those days you can have every second micromanaged and prescribed for you. But during this anytime workout you choose your own adventure. Explore. Go somewhere tough to get to and try not to die, and then get back home safely.
Keep it that simple. Don’t overthink it. And don’t be afraid to take control. Truly workout anytime you want.
Perspective from the Ice Age
How about some perspective? Your ancestors migrated across an ice bridge from Siberia to Alaska wearing leather footwear during a fucking ice age. The They had to hunt game as they went. They had to carry everything they needed to survive.
You can handle taking your smartphone, credit card, and cash along with you as you hike yourself across your civilized landscape of roads and trails with a store on every corner. With Google Maps and satellite navigation, you might be able to enter the woods. With every conceivable kind of energy food and drink along with high-tech apparel, you might be able to survive in the outdoor elements for a few hours.
Oh no, you got a blister? You bonked because you didn’t have enough gel packets? Well, Spartan, you might just have to Uber home and try again next week. You’ll live.
Stop thinking about the affair as some “workout,” and just think of it as a fucking adventure. You are a human who is going to traverse the environment between you and your destination, and return. The harder the trip, the fitter you will become.
Get Out of Your Head
It’s a quest. It’s a mission. Get your head out of all the minutiae of all your micromanaged training parameters. We talk ourselves out of getting outside and moving by telling ourselves that we have to come up with these perfectly planned workouts. Instead of pushing yourself in your home or gym, do it in the world around you. Do it in the society around you or the barren wilderness. Whatever. City or country, it doesn’t matter.
The more you do this, the better you get at it. The more tactical you get. The stronger you get. The more confident you get. The more you are a creature able to exist and thrive in your surroundings.
Start small.Workout anytime you can figure out how to work it in.
Run to the grocery store and carry your groceries home. You’ll get a good workout and, well, you’ll get your grocery shopping done. Really want that slice of pizza? Hike across that four-mile State Park that sits between you and cheesy goodness. Then use those calories to power your walk home.
With experience, maybe try pointing to a mountain top and then get to the summit. Nothing makes you feel more in control of your environment than successfully navigating a journey like this. Your landscape becomes real. Look at a point far away and high up, then use your brute human strength and endurance to transport yourself there. There is power and wisdom in doing this. It changes how you view the world around you. It changes how you view yourself.
A pivotal point in my athletic development came from running around Vermont mountains with Joe De Sena. We’d look at a mountain top in the distance and then set ourselves to getting to the top and then home. We’d get lost, yes. There were seldom trails. We’d be stomping around in the woods carrying sandbags for hours. We’d come home utterly exhausted, but exhilarated.
Once you know you can pick a mountain in the distance and then carry a sandbag to the top of it with or without trails, well, that my friends, is true power. Talk about having mastered the anytime workout. That is being in control of your environment. That is self-reliance. You can go where you want, not just where someone happened to build a road or trail. That is liberating. We spend all our time following. So lead yourself somewhere.
Overthinking shit gets in the way of what’s important. What is important this anytime workout is that you get outside, get moving, get sweating, and enjoy yourself. Come home with some cardio logged, some strength conditioning, some vitamin D, and experience in navigating the world around you.
You might just rediscover a sense of freedom and adventure that you haven’t felt since you were a kid and you got your first bike and your parents unleashed you unsupervised on the neighborhood. Enjoy it.
Like to workout anytime? Download the The Spartan 2018 Training Plan as your blueprint.