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Rich Man's Gym - Circuit Training In The Great Outdoors

No Gym Required


Rich Man's Gym

If you're looking for ways to tighten, tone, and build some quality muscle while shedding fat and conditioning your cardiovascular system then you've come to the right place. Would you like to get in an amazing workout without having to go to the gym? Then you've really come to the right place!

Welcome to Rich Man's Gym.

What is Rich Man's Gym? Rich Man's Gym is everyone's gym. It is everywhere and anywhere an individual decides to get their workout in or on. You don't need a membership to a fitness center, you don't need to buy really expensive equipment and you don't need to be indoors to get in a good effective workout. Some would call this a "poor man's gym" but not me!


I hit the local park or drive to the beach. I have a deep affinity to old school exercise routines and training. I love the old time, physical culture of the late 19th and early 20th century.

Also, I'm a tad claustrophobic and prefer training outside in the open air. I'm also a bit impatient and don't like having to wait for a machine, especially one that the previous user didn't wipe down after they were done with it.

Finally, for me, exercise isn't a "chore" it's part of my being. There's a spiritual aspect to training for me. Strong body leads to strong mind which leads to strong spirit. Training outdoors or at the beach brings me closer to the energy of creation (God) and pushing yourself to blast through the limits of your mind always goes better to the sound of waves crashing or the wind in the trees. And speaking of trees, I love hanging my Olympic rings from a heavy tree branch! Very cool!

The following two workouts I have created as a follow-up to a bodyweight circuit I was doing. These two circuits will be the next level.

A word of caution here. If you haven't completed the bodyweight circuit I wrote about, don't try this one until you do. Also, if Kettlebell training is foreign to you, please, oh please go and see a Certified Kettlebell Instructor. I don't want to name names here (Jillian Michaels, Trainer Bob) just make sure you're learning Kettlebells from a Certified Kettlebell Instructor. I can't stress this enough. Done right, Kettlebells will help you. Done wrong and you too will be done wrong. If you're gonna wing it with Kettlebells, my advice will be to make sure your insurance covers chiropractic care. As with any form of exercise and training, if you get hurt, it's your fault!

Now on to the fun!

Tools Of The Trade

The Best Kettebells On The Market

  • Kettlebells | Dragon Door
    Dragon Door Kettlebells, Kettlebell and Strength Training Resources, Health, Diet and Fitness Books, DVDs, Exercise Programs and Kettlebell Instructor Certification Workshops and Instructor Index.

3 Way Push Up / Atomic Push Ups

Circuit Number One: Core-Wreck-You-Lum

This will be a smoker of a circuit. The deal is to hit the entire body with an emphasis on core stability and power while giving the cardiovascular system a run for its money as well.

Perform the following circuit 3 times and work up to 5 rounds. Rest between the circuit, not during. Your rest during the circuit should only be moving from one drill to the next.

  • Jumping Jack 25 reps
  • Two Hand Heavy Kettlebell Swings 15
  • Walking Lunges 10+10
  • Medicine Ball Slams 10
  • Three Way Push Ups 10

A few points to note here. These are the repetitions I use. You may need to alter them to fit your fitness level.

Get the party started with Jumping Jacks. 25 reps should be about right. After that, you'll want to head into Kettlebell Swings. Pick a Kettlebell that's heavy. Meaning, 15 reps should just about do ya'. 20 reps with that same bell would be possible just not pleasant and 25 reps would just flat out suck. Make sure to hit Dr Mark Cheng's Hardstyle Lock at the top of the Swing. Now it's time for walking lunges. 20 reps total or 10 per side. Keep stable and lunge in a straight line. Now go and grab a heavy medicine ball and slam that sucker on the ground so hard it bounces back up. Lift it up high overhead and slam it down with a squat and pressurize your core. 10 of those bad boys. Finish yourself off with 3-Way Pushups. The 3 way Push Up is where you put your feet in low hanging Olympic rings or a TRX and perform a push-up followed by a reverse crunch. In the video over there, the lady is going pretty fast. Nothing wrong with that, but for this circuit, I would suggest slowing it down a bit to focus on a full range of motion and really activate the midsection.

Circuit Number Two: Total Body Stimulation

Again, you may need to adjust the reps and weight accordingly. For me, I'm using a 24 kg Kettlebell with this one.

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  • 1-Arm KB Front Squat 3+3 / Pull Ups 6
  • 1-Arm KB Front Squat 3+3 / Dips 6
  • 1-Arm KB Front Squat 3+3 / Push Ups 6

A couple challenges for you will be to work up to 5 rounds like this and then work up to 5+5 on the Squats and 10 reps with the bodyweight drills.

For the 1-Arm Kettlebell Front Squat, you'll clean the bell once, perform 3 slow, controlled Front Squats, then do a Swing Switch, re-clean and 3 more with the opposite side.

After the squats, immediately perform your pull ups.

As in the other circuit, the rest should be only the time it takes to move from one drill to the next.

This routine I do at the park where they have gymnastic rings, pull-up bars, dip bars and push up bars. If you don't have that, it's not a problem. Use your Olympic rings or TRX. Keep in mind this will add an additional stability factor and you may need to adjust your volume. Hang the rings high enough for pull ups, then lower them for the dips and all the way down for the push ups.

Using the rings here is good for developing strength and core stability whereas using the bars will be good for conditioning.

Needless to say, this should pretty much work every muscle in your body and get the ticker ticking pretty good!

How To Warm Up and Cool Down

You're Up

So, there you have it folks, two solid whole body workouts you can use to blast the fat, work the muscles and tone the core.

Remember to warm up before and cool down after. This is how you avoid injury. I don't know what your day consists of, but a good majority of people spend way too much time on their butt. That means you need to loosen and warm the muscles before getting into the intensity. Also, after training, just don't hop back into the car and slouch. Take some time to return to normal.

When you try these workouts, I'd love to get your feedback. I've been doing these circuits for about two weeks now and have found them both to be more challenging than I anticipated, especially in the conditioning aspect. But I'd love to hear from you:

-What do you like most about these workouts?

-What do you like least?

-What part did you struggle with?

-Was it too challenging or too easy?

Feedback, questions and comments will always be welcome and appreciated!

Know What You're Doing

More from the Rich Man's Gym


David R Bradley (author) from The Active Side of Infinity on May 20, 2012:

jaybird22, thanks for chiming in. Appreciate the feedback. Jumping Jacks are fantastic! Some of those old school calisthenics are completely under utilized in the main stream fitness community yet are still staples in most military PT regiments. Go Figure! Let me know when you take your training out doors and if you give either of these circuits a go!

jaybird22 from New York on May 19, 2012:

Good Hub and very easy to follow! Although I haven't tried this exact circuit, I have done many like it.

I think the jumping jacks (in the first circuit) is a great way to start the circuit and get someone's heart pumping.

Voting up. I should try getting my workouts outside more. It definitely is nice to exercise in the comfort of mother nature.

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