The Earth Is Our Gym 2.0

The earth is our gym

If you are familiar with this site, there’s a good chance that you’ve seen pictures or videos of me exercising outside in the woods. I probably trained outdoors more last year than I have any other year. Fortunately, I am not the only person who recognizes the potential (physically and mentally) of outdoor exercise. In the video that follows, you’ll hear Mike Rashid share his thoughts about making the earth our gym.

The Earth Is Our Gym

I shared a similar video of Mike Rashid a few years ago. I’m glad to see that he has not abandoned his original philosophy. He continues to get outside and make the most of whatever is around him.

Rashid can be seen running, jumping, performing calisthenics, and lifting and throwing stones. He also discusses the mental aspect of training outdoors. I could not agree more with his thoughts on the subject. Like Rashid, I enjoy finding out what I’m made of when no one else is around. When I’m deep in the woods, I’m not there to make small talk or impress anyone. I’m there to work. I love the solitude as I am free from distractions and interruptions.

I also enjoy outdoor training as it forces you to use your mind. As long as you are creative, you can exercise almost anywhere with little or nothing.

As stated by Mike Rashid (regarding what’s necessary to exercise):

“You need some space. You need some creativity. And you can go out here and get busy.”

Training in the woods is entirely different from walking into a gym and working with an exercise machine. When you are outside, it’s up to you to find different ways to challenge yourself. And while that mental aspect may seem insignificant or even inconvenient, I find it beneficial in ways that extend far beyond exercise.

As I began to spend more time in the woods, I started to see things differently. Suddenly, a rock wasn’t just a rock and a log wasn’t just a log. These simple items became valuable training tools. Ultimately, my perception of the world around me changed considerably. It may sound crazy, but I definitely see the world differently after having spent so much time training outdoors.

Final Thoughts

In summary, I’m certainly not suggesting that you ditch conventional training for a trip into the woods. You don’t need to train outdoors as often as I do to benefit from it. Mike Rashid obviously knows his way around a weight room, but even he finds time for some outdoor work. In the least, you can benefit by following his example. Set aside some time every week or two to get outside and challenge yourself in a new or different environment.

Time spent outside of your comfort zone is typically time well spent.

Related Entries:


“Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can.” – Arthur Ashe


  1. Thanks for the inspiration!! Greetings from Caracas, Venezuela. I usually train in a mountain called Cerro el ávila. It has a long rise for 20 minutes which perfectly serve for warming up. In these place have rocks, logs and even a Pull up bar. I climb early each morning, the rest of them days train in a box of crossfit but never change my gym without ceiling. Once again, thank you for the information and inspiration.

  2. Ross,

    As always, profound stuff. My favorite post to date, and that’s saying something. Couldn’t agree more–I think too often people forget about the mental aspect of training, being creative and thinking unconventionally when it comes to challenging yourself.

    All the best,

    Cory J.

  3. Thanks for sharing, Ross. Training outdoors brings my mind and body together, forces me to adapt, and helps quiet the distractions. Climbing ropes and trees, crawling around on the grass and hills, jumping off rocks and ledges seems to awaken something deep and primal in me. Erwan Le Corre has a similar philosophy to what Ross and Mike Rashid are espousing. Check out this video called “The Workout That Time Forgot” demonstrating “MovNat” techniques in action:

  4. “Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can.” – Arthur Ashe
    Awesome quote! Very inspiring read! The outdoors truly offers the best training environment! Keep it up!

  5. Love this. I’m outside at least once a week in a forest I do survival stuff. A friend mentioned you, so here I am. I’m prepping a training area with pull-up bar etc. I’m 5’8′ so the bar should be at 6′ right?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *