Winter Conditioning

Over the past few weeks, I have written several entries about training in the winter. It is worth noting however that perhaps the most important aspect of outdoor training has nothing to do with climate. Sure it may be cold in my part of the world, but the weather does not dictate my training.

As evident in the following video, almost everything I do could be done at any time in the year.

Heavy snow may make for challenging running, but sprinting hills in the summer presents its own challenges as well. In either case, I make the most of my surroundings. I am also able to train effectively without fancy equipment.

In the demonstration above, much of the equipment is free or homemade. The pull-up bar is nothing but a piece of pipe. The suspension trainer is homemade. The tire that I strike with the sledgehammer was free. The log used for squats was found on the side of the road. The jump rope was purchased locally for a few dollars. And last but not least, calisthenic exercises such as pushups and burpees are naturally free and can be performed anywhere.

The cumulative effect of these movements and tools makes for a challenging workout regardless of ability. I have been training for well over 20 years and these outdoor sessions still get the best of me. Almost any sequence of movements can be effective if you put forth a true effort. No one will ever outgrow exercises such as hill sprints and sledgehammer swings. It is only a matter of time before they win.

Fortunately, when performed outdoors, you can at least enjoy the scenery while these seemingly simplistic movements creep up on you until you are defeated. And while they may get the best of me, I am bettering myself in the process. I’ll take that any day.


“Life is really simple, but we insist on making it complicated.” – Confucius


  1. Ross,
    Tonight I was training in a pool and I thought of this blog and your books I’ve read when I was shadow boxing and doing 123 for 3×25 in the water.

    My point-
    I think a cool upcoming blog would be in how to develop knock out punching power and aggression. Inthinkmyou cod write an awesome book in boxing strategy and how to be a hunter rather than the hunted in violent exchanges. Things like ployometrics, rotational ab work, maximal leg strength, barbell punches, push-ups off of concrete with the knuckles, punch out drills, shadow boxing to stay loose, sparring- all the things needed to be a real head bussa.
    I live this blog man. You are a voice in the wilderness of Americanized commercial fitness jive turkeys- I’m glad you resist the fitness industry- they lervert nature and reality at the cost of the masses- its all so twisted nowadays.
    Best regards,

  2. Ross

    How many of those one arm pull ups do you do in a training session?

    Your’e a boss in the gym. Love this site. I know you could do one of those tough guy amateur boxing competitions and own it.

  3. @Cedric – Always keep one arm work to a minimum. If you start pushing too much volume, you’ll end up with elbow problems.

    Personally, I haven’t worked with one arm variations in a while. I do so much mitt work with the boxers that I try to limit the stress to my elbows. Baseball season is also coming up (I coach) which means I’ll be pitching for batting practice regularly.

    Weighted chins with a neutral grip are much more forgiving for me.

  4. Thanks for the feedback Ross. That is such an exotic move- and is as visuay impressive. as anyone hoisting a barbell full of plates in any direction.

    Speaking of strength-
    When you have boxed, or been on the mat with athletes can you tell a difference in the feeling of power going up against an opponent who can do a lot of mass with barbells or with exotic body weight moves- who’s truly stronger or does it just comedown to having technical mastery, and a killer instinct to be the better man in a violent encounter?

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