Hunter McIntyre, PA Sprint 2013

By Hunter Garrahan McIntyre, Spartan Pro Team

As a Spartan pro team athlete, the great outdoors are a fundamental part of the training and success for any race that I compete in. I see far to many people that associate fitness with a membership at a the local gym. The old school brawny man methods are seemingly long gone and being replaced with group classes and rows of treadmills.  But it doesn’t require any machines or even four walls of a building to get fit, it just takes some creativity.

The truth of the matter is, all you need is a good pair of sneakers and open mind to make the outdoors the answer to all of your health club needs. I am currently writing this article after spending a few days at Spartan HQ where I had a first hand experience with backyard fitness! For starters running outside is a far better than what you would gain from using a treadmill, a more natural stride combined with the constant variation of terrain makes a strong all around runner.

Dumbbells and barbells can quickly be replaced with rocks, stumps and other heavy objects one might be able to find in your garage. Some of the strongest men and women in the world train with real world objects like atlas stones to set world records in more conventional strength training events.

Another great way to experience a good workout is yard work! As a said early I spent a few days at the Spartan “farm club” digging, lifting boulders and chopping wood. A few chores in the back yard done with the right intensity will burn up to or more calories than you could achieve on an elliptical. These movements will also prove build a much more functional and all around better performing athlete than more simple machine movements one might find inside your local gym.

In closing, if you want to get in shape anywhere you look can be a great start whether it be a gym or your back yard. And don’t

Hunter McIntyre, Mexico City 2013

forget the Spartan FREE Workouts of the Day (WOD). Delivered daily to your inbox, they are a great way to stay on top of your training. Sign up HERE.

Don’t be shy of climbing a tree or two in the process because making the world your play ground is what this experience is all about. Make it a goal to take on a new obstacle every day such as lifting a 200 boulder or raking up that stubborn pile of leaves that never seems to blow into the neighbor’s yard. Sure there may be a few cuts and bruises along the way but that’s all in the day of a life true Spartan.

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[Editor's Note: Hunter McIntyre, 24, is a member of the Spartan Pro Team.  This past weekend he took the top spot at the Pennsylvania Spartan Sprint held on July 13, 2013.  No stranger to the podium, it was a fantastic finish with a time of 41:53.  Congratulations, Hunter!]

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