Staying in shape while living on the road isn’t hard - you don’t need to have a gym membership, access to a yoga or boot camp class, and you don’t need a lot or any equipment. The most difficult part of staying in shape, no matter where you live, is setting aside time for it and sticking to it.
We prefer mountain biking, really any outdoor activity to a straight up workout. But we’re not always close to trails and it’s nice to have variety in our activities. Besides, adding various other workouts helps us be stronger and faster on the trail.
So I use the following apps, website, and gear in addition to or instead of riding, hiking and running.
Nike+ Training Club
Nike+ Training is my favorite and go to work out app. It has a very clean and straightforward interface, and it is totally free without the need to pay to unlock any additional features.
Nike+ Training Club has over 100 workouts. Even though it seems like a lot of the workouts require dumbbells, a medicine ball, or a box, most of the time it's just a few moves in the workout that needs them. You can get just as good of a workout without using anything. Most of the gear can be replaced with everyday items around you like canned goods, stairs, curb, picnic bench, bag of sugar, etc. Be creative.
The workouts vary from high interval cardio drills, strength building, plyometric, and some yoga. Workout lengths vary from 15 – 45 minutes.
The main page highlights the “Workout of the Week”. The “Find Workouts” button lets you choose from 5 different categories: Popular; Get Lean; Get Toned; Get Strong; Get Focused. Within those categories you can choose a workout based on difficulty. You can also mark favorite workouts to find them easier later.
Within each workout page, you can see the list of moves in the workout along with a slideshow preview of them. If you want a more hands on experience, click the “Do Workout” button and the app will track and save your workout in your profile, time your workout, provide verbal tips, and you can watch short videos of the moves.
I recently learned that you can download all the workouts onto your phone so it can be accessed even when you don’t have Wi-Fi (or are trying to minimize data usage). It also turns out that downloading the workouts doesn’t take up a lot of space on the phone at all.
Yoga Studio is a new app that I got. I normally don't pay for apps, but Yoga Studio is worth $3.99.
This app provides 65 ready-made video classes. The videos have soothing background music with teacher commentaries that replicate being in a yoga studio without the class fees. There’s collection of video classes to choose from based on your level (beginner, intermediate, or advanced), duration (15, 30 or 60 minutes), and focus (strength, flexibility, balance or combination).
You can download any of the HD video classes onto your phone to play them any time and anywhere. The file sizes are kept really small so your phone doesn’t fill up quickly and it’s easy to delete a video to make room for new ones.
There’s also a “Schedule” tab in the app so that you can plan out your classes. Yoga Studio automatically syncs with your phone calendar.
The Poses tab offers over 280 poses with detailed instruction, advice, modification, and benefits to let you practice the moves safely. But the absolute coolest thing about this app is that you can create your own custom class. Yoga Studio will then help you link together your chosen poses by adding additional poses to make your custom class flow and can create a video of your newly created class. While I’m not advanced enough in yoga to create my own class, I still find this really cool - but Jerud is more into yoga than I am and is really excited about it.
Darebee is a cool website-based free fitness resource. Darebee provides hundreds of individual workouts that you can filter on the website based on type, theme, focus and equipment. Workouts are compiled onto a card that has pictures of people breaking down the moves, how long to perform each workout and number of sets.
The individual workout cards can be downloaded as a PDF file or used online where the website will track time and sets for you.
Darebee also offers a variety of 30-day long programs. Each program consists of pre-chosen daily workouts for the month so you don’t have to spend time deciding what to do. Entire programs can also be downloaded so you don’t need internet access to workout.
There are also monthly workout challenges you can take on, great fitness and nutrition articles, meal plans, and recipes.
I haven't really used anything besides the workout card. The way I use this site is that I download a handful of their workout cards to help me change up my workout routine.
All the photos are screenshots of their website.
In Asheville I took boot camp classes with Well.Fit.Asheville and got introduced to TRX. I ended up really, really enjoying it. I was sad to give it up when I hit the road, but I didn’t want to pay the $199 for my own TRX suspension. That was until I came across some DIY on how to make my own TRX. So for around $5, and a trip to Harbor Freight, I have my own set of TRX.
Side note: we just had to buy the cam buckle straps since we already had the carabiner and rubber hose for the handles (you can get them at a hardware or auto store).
Here’s one set of instructions on how to make yours. All the instructions I came across suggested using a section of PVC pipe as the handle, which I can’t imagine being comfortable to use. Jerud used a piece of hollow rubber tubing so it’s something softer and more flexible to hold onto. It works well.
Sadly, I haven’t used TRX as much as I wish. Spending the past 6 months in the desert with no trees to attach the TRX to has been a problem. But hopefully that will change soon.
The main gear I use when working out to Nike+ Training, Yoga Studio, or Darebee is just a yoga mat. When I workout outside I put my yoga mat on top of REI's evrgrn Center Stage Rug. This keeps my yoga mat from getting super dirty or punctured from rocks.
So what do you do to stay in shape?
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