The Great Outdoors

Summer is coming to an end in Chicago, although I have to ask…did it ever really start?! Before the warmer temps take a hike get yourself outside to accomplish your daily workout. There is a lot of emphasis that gets placed on varying your workouts to bust boredom, ruts, and boost results. The same goes for varying the environment where you do all this work. Rack the weights, lose the locker room and get yourself a breath of fresh air. With so many hidden (and not so hidden gems) around this great city to take advantage of you never have to do the same routine twice. In addition to the obvious lakefront path here are a few of my outdoor playgrounds.

The Pearson Track
I love it here, and it is basically in my backyard. Get in a few sprints on the track then use the grassy area to build your strength. As you’ve read here, HIIT training has so many rewards, couple that with some plyometric moves and you’ve got a recipe for fitness perfection.

Knock out SEVEN rounds of seven.

Run one length around the track as FAST as you can (time yourself and try to beat your time. Every time.)
10 squat jumps
10 walking lunges (per side)
10 walking planks (alternate lead arm)
10 single leg clock squats (per side)
10 cross back lunges (per side)
10 kick downs
10 crab walk with toe touch (per side)
Recover 2 minutes

Tennis courts and a baseball diamond also live in this space, so if you’re feeling an active rest day grab your buds and your team spirit. Equipment not included, so BYO.

Pearson Track Chicago

Mary Bartelme Park
This park is lined with concrete benches that transform into the perfect canvas for BOX JUMPS, oh hell yes.

Get to work with TEN sets of these moves.

20 box jumps (from ground on top of bench)
10 Incline push-ups (hands on bench, feet on ground)*
20 high knees (10 per side)
10 decline push-ups (toes on bench, hands on ground)*
30 second forearm plank
Recover 1 minute

*If you need a modification do the push-ups on your knees in the grassy area.

Bartelme Park Chicago

The Museum Campus
Not only is this view completely picture-esque but it is ripe for some intense cardio. Each of the museums has lengthy stair cases which will really amp up your heart rate so USE them!

Kill these drills THREE times.

Run from the foot of the stairs to the top as quickly as you can (don’t trip!)
10 side squat (per side)
10 spiderman push-up (per side)
10 plank with rotation (5 per side)
15 stair dips with bridge (per side)
Recover 30 seconds

Note: Probably best to do this work out after prime sightseeing hours. Coast should be clear early morning and evening when the museums are closed.

Museum Campus Chicago


We live in a truly remarkable city, get out explore, sweat and live it up! Don’t live in Chicago? Use these workouts in a similar area near you! Get creative with outdoor parks and spaces. You never need much to work up an amazing sweat.

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