Outdoor Fitness Challenges To Push You To Your Limits

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In This Series


Without the hustle and clanging of a well-attended gym, it’s occasionally difficult to get motivated for a “traditional” sets/reps/rest workout. The solution? Pick a short, sharp all-out challenge, get it done as fast as possible and go home. The three here, assembled by strength coach and bodyweight specialist Andy McKenzie, will keep you going even if your only audience is a pensioner and a dog.

Chasing your tail

The aim High-speed fat loss

How Do 20 press-ups and one straight-arm burpee (no need to drop into a press-up for this bit). Next, do 19 press-ups and two burpees. You can see where this is going, right?

Why “This will teach you to keep your arms straight and your core strong on the burpee element,” says McKenzie. So once you’ve stripped off the fat, you’ll have a six-pack to be proud of underneath. If you can’t do 20 press-ups in the first round, or you find that you’re fatigued after just a couple of rounds, start by doing ten or 15 press-ups in the first round. Then add an extra rep each time you do the workout until you get to 20 reps. Try to beat your total time each time you do it.

Nasty 45s

The aim Mental strength

How Do the below in order and repeat for 15 minutes

Why “Those short rests get harder and harder to stick to,” says McKenzie. “But if you can manage it, you’ll build do-anything resilience that’ll serve you anywhere.” To provide extra motivation, make a mental note of how many reps you complete in each 15-second period and log them in the rest periods. You may be feeling shattered but you’ll get a boost from knowing that you beat your previous best score.

5-4-3-2-1 knock-off


(Image credit: unknown)

The aim Full-body power endurance

How First, do these moves in order

Then knock off the 50 reps and repeat the rest (40, 30, 20, 10, run), then knock off the 40 reps and continue until you’re done.

Why “You might hit the first round fast, but this one will cook you,” says McKenzie. “It’s a lot of volume, done in quite a sneaky way.”

Joel Snape

From 2008 to 2018, Joel worked for Men's Fitness, which predated, and then shared a website with, Coach. Though he spent years running the hills of Bath, he’s since ditched his trainers for a succession of Converse high-tops, since they’re better suited to his love of pulling vans, lifting cars, and hefting logs in a succession of strongman competitions.