Summer Workout Tips to Maximize Your Time in the Sun

May 24, 2010

In my opinion your summer workout should be brief and not interfere at all with having a blast outside. When you are young it is easy to forget that your summers are limited in number. Believe me, at some point you will realize that this is not the case. For instance, I have 25 more summers until I am a senior citizen. I am not sure how that happened, but one thing is for certain…I don’t plan on spending most of my summer in a gym. If your workouts are cutting into your time in the sun, then maybe this post will help.
Big Sur

[I am going on a 2 week road trip this year and a large part of it will be exploring Highway 1 and Highway 101 on the California Coast. Some of the coolest spots are located in between major destinations, which is why road trips (just about anywhere) are a blast. This picture was taken off Highway 1 in the central California Coastline.]

Would Love to Hear Readers Tips as Well

I plan on listings some strategies I have implemented over the years to maximize summer, but would love to see reader tips as well. My hope is that this will include dozens of tips to shorten the time doing structured workouts. This will be one of those posts where the comment section will become a better resource than the actual article. I just want to get things rolling, so here goes…

Tip 1: Get Your Workout Done in the Morning

If at all possible get your workout done early in the morning before work. I am not a morning person, but it is easier to get up early when you are waking up to a sunny day. I realize that some lucky people live in areas where it is sunny 365 days out of the year, but most of us live in climates where it is cold during winter and warmer in the summer time. Anyway, get the workout done so you don’t miss out on BBQ’s, picnics, boating, afternoon boating, etc. For some reason, people seem to organize a lot of last-minute activities during summer afternoons…If you are in the gym, you will be unable to join your friends.

Tip 2: Use Non-Competing Supersets In Your Workout

Craig Ballantyne is the master of this technique. This article <--- on his blog gives a full explanation along with what a workout would look like (opens in a new window). Basically a non-competing superset is alternating 2 exercises without rest in between, but these 2 exercises are working different muscle groups. This is why this is called a "Non-Competing" superset. An example would be alternating dips with barbell curls -or- military presses with calf raises. This is a way to do the same amount of work in roughly 1/2 of the time. I don’t think you want to train like this year round, but it is a perfect technique for summer. You can get the lifting portion of your workout done in 15-20 minutes if you structure this properly.

Tip 3: Skip Gym Cardio if You Are Going to Be Active Later

I would never recommend that anyone perform 2 gym workouts per day. That being said, it is actually an extremely effective way to burn body fat. In fact, a lot of actors and actresses in Hollywood do this when they need to drop weight quickly. So why don’t I recommend it? Training twice per day sounds to me like a life obsessed with training. The way to get the benefits of a daily split workout (without becoming a gym rat) is to do a brief intense gym workout in the morning and then simply do a fun outdoor activity in the afternoon.

summer workout
[I like to use Matthew McConaughey’s workout approach when summer hits. Here is his quote about exercising…”I think the body is a beautiful thing, and you should take care of it. Whether itโ€™s going for a run, dancing or loving, my rule is break one sweat a day.”]

Tip 4: “Break One Sweat a Day”

Matthew McConaughey’s rule is a great one to follow for summer. Just really try and do some type of activity that works up a good sweat, each and every day during summer. Whether that is playing tennis, jogging, ultimate frisbee, HIIT, basketball, etc…you are on the right track. Try your best to get in some brief resistance training 3-4 times per week (in the morning) and you will be good. If you can do something that makes you break one sweat a day you will be able to maintain low body fat without having to worry as much about structured HIIT. Just throw in the occasional HIIT after lifting on days where you have more time.

Tip 5: Track Weekly Calories NOT Daily Calories

I’ve talked about this in my newsletter (to people who have downloaded my free report). The idea is to not worry about how many calories you eat day to day, just try to insure that your total weekly calories aren’t way too high. So for instance if you eat 3,000-4,000 calories per day on a weekend camping, simply eat quite a bit less the following 2-3 days. When I say “track” calories, I don’t mean calorie count either (I never do that). Just eat quite a bit less early in the week and on days where there aren’t social events happening. It doesn’t hurt to have 2-3 low calorie days right after a couple of high calorie days (in fact it works pretty well in helping you stay lean).

Enjoy Life – Please Don’t Live in the Gym

I like working out, but if I could go back in time I would have trained a little less in my 20’s during the summer. I wasn’t a gym rat or anything, but I think my workouts were close to 90 minutes 4-5 times per week. I think I was worried that I would lose strength or muscle if I didn’t do a certain amount of training. Don’t make this mistake. If it is sunny and you have the day off, you shouldn’t even be allowed to be inside of a gym past 10:00AM. Put on some shorts, flip flops, grab your beach towel, call up some friends and live a little!

Note: Do you guys spend less time in the gym during summer. Please comment and give out any other strategies or suggestions below. I can’t wait for summer. Also…I know this site has a lot of loyal readers in OZ and this post won’t apply to them for another 6 months. Maybe I will put out another summer post for you guys in December ๐Ÿ™‚

Important Message: Although this site has received 25+ million visitors, I am starting from scratch and abandoning it. This site is dated and old school looking, terrible to read on mobile, etc.

It's like a Ford Pinto compared to my new site...which is like a Ferrari. Click the link to head over to my new site.

Starting Over...R.I.P. Fitness Black Book!

Thanks for reading all these years!


----> (New) Facebook Comments..."Cause all the cool kids are doin' it!"

{ 22 comments… read them below or add one }

Blondie May 28, 2010 at 2:33 pm

I def spend less time in the gym in the summer. The second it started being nice out, i started skipping spin class to run outside. I HAVE to be outside after work now. I feel like im cheating myself if I go inside to the dark gym. And now I feel like im waisting money on my gym membership =(. But where i live, we have rainy summers so, i will go inside on those days. but still.

healthyway weightloss center May 28, 2010 at 8:16 pm

great post. summer time is the best time to burn some fat in our body. due to the summer heat we could easily burn them just by jogging regularly. We could monitor our weight weekly so we can see if there’s a progress in what we’re doing.

John May 29, 2010 at 12:51 pm

WORK OUT OUTSIDE! Find a workout which required minimal equipment and do it out in the sun! If you usually run on a treadmill, get out and run outside. This way you can top up the tan and top up the muscle :D. Make sure you stick on some suncream though.

You can also be quite original with this, Tree branches or part of the A frame of some kids playarea equipment could easily become a pull up bar or dipping bars (make sure you’re not gonna break it, obviously).

If the weather is nice, you could cycle to school/work instead of bus if you’re close enough, and this could be your daily cardio sorted ๐Ÿ˜€ May 30, 2010 at 12:15 am

Another great summer workout tip is to do your strength training workouts outside. Instead of going to the gym take a pair of kettlebells, dumbbells, etc. to your favorite park and train. You can do any type of exercise you choose with the equipment you own. The key is to make things fun. Do as many kettlebell swings as possible in 15 minutes, drag weights for distance, do as many deadlifts as possible for time. You get the point. Another way to make it fun is to get your friends together for the workout.

athlete and strength coach Dan John writes about training this way with great results. Arnold used to train this way too with his friends and his results speak for themselves.

In addition to being a fun and unique way to train you’ll also get a nice boost of healthy vitamin D from this type of workout too.

Doug May 30, 2010 at 4:39 pm

Just finished an outdoor workout consisting of KB Snatches + 15 yard hill sprints + pushups + chinups off of a tree branch + 1 Leg BW Deadlifts

Only prob was the sunscreen getting in my eye…ouch

Miguel June 1, 2010 at 4:32 pm

Hey rusty, how bout posting a picture of yourself so i can see what to expect following the advice in your site and e-books. Would be much appreciated as its easier to follow advice from someone who looks the part. Cheers & enjoy the summer.

Daniel June 2, 2010 at 7:22 am

@ Miguel

Click on the “about” tab at the top for pics

Marc Feel Good Eating June 2, 2010 at 4:10 pm

Great post Rusty. I had to chime cuz even here in Naples…it’s still summer for us and the weather and balmy breezes are awesome!!

It must be natural for people here….cuz the gyms are empty after 10 am. Early workouts and then time for play and cold beers ๐Ÿ˜‰

I like to combine both in the summer…my new love; SUP (stand up paddle boarding) great full body workout, and you’re out in the sun, dolphins swimming underneath you…it’s incredible.

You did scare me with this post…only 25 summers left? I really don’t like that thought. Leaving the office early on that note!

Cheers and hope all is well with you. Enjoy that summer vacation.
One tip, book yourself a nice bed and breakfast in Carmel. They are some of the best in the country, or yet even better, go ahead and splurge big and take the misses for one or two night stay in Big Sur’s Post ranch. It’s my favorite It’s a once in a life time….trust me (and I’ve traveled a good amount in my life)


Miguel June 3, 2010 at 5:45 am

Alright bro, thank you

Adam Martin June 7, 2010 at 12:25 pm

Good post. I really like the piece about getting in and out early in the morning.

Marc June 11, 2010 at 2:26 pm

Summer workouts are meant to be fun. I would like to incorporate your philosophies into my training program. I would like to workout 6 days per week without overtraining. I am thinking along the line of upper body 3 days (body weight) and lower body 3 days HIIT sprints). My main goal is to lower my BF. I want to lose 15 pounds in 3 months is that realistic?

BCT June 13, 2010 at 10:13 am

Great and timely post Rusty. I’m in total agreement. Reduce time between sets + Increase intensity = Less Time Working Out

Personal Training Melbourne June 29, 2010 at 7:45 pm

Great article, Summer is a great time to get fit and do it in the great outdoors, but always good to get a jump start in the winter so by summer time you are even more fit to get a better beach body!

Adria July 1, 2010 at 1:28 am

Awesome Article! I have always loved your site and have followed it since I started my own (Fit tip . Keep up the amazing work!

delarius July 25, 2010 at 12:47 am

I totally agree! I googled this to see if I was the only one who slacked off during the summer months. Its not only that I want to enjoy the summer, I usually feel drained in the summer because of the heat, and to walk out of the gym sweaty in 100 degree weather is no fun…

Virtual World Fitness July 27, 2010 at 6:08 am

Great article with intuitive ways to stay in shape. Engaging in outdoor activities not only allows for an excellent workout, but it is also entertaining to the mind! I’ve encountered numerous people, who burn more calories doing similar outdoors activities as opposed to the “normal” gym routine, without even noticing their intensity. At we admire the commitment to fitness and health.

Christina Moore August 23, 2010 at 12:25 pm

I’m loving these tips! The summer is the perfect time to take advantage of working out outdoors and not spending so much time at the gym. I’m a huge advocate of taking a run on the beach or going for a hike with friends. Why not switch up your routine?

jogging tips February 7, 2011 at 4:22 pm

If you’re doing a high intensity workout routine and it is scorching hot outside, staying indoors with the A/C on might be the best bet.

RW June 9, 2011 at 2:47 pm

I don’t mind the gym in the summer, NYC is sweltering!

Toni August 24, 2011 at 9:40 am

I’m naturally a morning person so waking up all summer to run at 5 a.m. has been so easy for me. The mornings are quiet and cool too. I’m done with my workout by 6 a.m. I’m going to miss running when the snow comes in another couple of months. I used to roll my eyes at people who exercised outdoors because I didn’t really think it was exercise unless you were inside at a gym on a machine but this summer I decided to “think outside the box”. Note to self: move to a warmer climate.

Great post, Rusty.

personal training melbourne August 30, 2011 at 11:34 pm

Great article! My personal training clients love training outdoors, they say they feel better and look forward to training than training indoors.

Phillip October 31, 2011 at 8:44 am

hi ,
i signed up for the visual impact course !
why isnt ‘non competing supersets’ used , especially in the 2&3 phases. i read the comment from Rusty that this is a good summer workout, saving time etc, but not recommended all year round. is this because the squeezing and irradiation qualities will suffer without rest ?

thanks Phil

Leave a Comment

{ 5 trackbacks }

Previous post:

Next post: