What do I call the workouts I like done out in fields when searching for a new trainer?
April 7, 2011 3:44 PM   Subscribe

I'm looking to get back into the gym... without exactly going into a gym. I want to find a trainer that does workouts I like, but I don't even know what to call them to help narrow my search. Is there a term for football practice style workouts that don't take place in a gym?

In the last three years I've had three different trainers in two gyms and I only liked one of them (that I stuck with for about a year and a half before he moved on to grad school). He was a former football star and though we met three times a week, we only spent an average of 1 day in the gym. The other two days (three when the weather was nice) we would go out to a football field with medicine balls and bands and we'd do a variety of outdoor workouts involving lunges, squats, throwing the 8kg ball around like a shot put and over and under hand from squats, we'd do stair drills on the bleachers, and I'd run laps. I would collapse exhausted after 45min of it and I loved every second of it.

I loved these workouts and felt stronger (in my core and just generally all over) than all the days I'd spent being bored silly in a gym. Our workouts were rarely the same twice as well, which also added to the variety. My original trainer has moved out of the state and in finding replacements I've only found gym trainers and they're very much about routine gym work.

I want to find a new trainer that can help me do these outdoor workouts away from a gym, but I don't even know what to call it. Is it "kinetic?" Do I ask for someone trained in football practice workouts? Do I try to find a freelance trainer? (I doubt gyms want you outside of a gym working out). Should I try a local yoga instructor/trainer since she's not tied to a traditional gym?

It's been months since I've worked out regularly and would love to start again, but I need help tracking down someone that does the workouts I look forward to and appreciate any help. I would prefer one-on-one workouts to a group bootcamp situation, and cross-fit stuff looks too gym centric and weights-centric for my tastes.
posted by mathowie to Health & Fitness (18 answers total) 9 users marked this as a favorite
You can try going to a gym anyway. There are probably personal trainers advertising there or working there. If they are willing to work with you outside the gym then who cares what the gym thinks? Tell the trainer "this is what I like" and ask them if they can work within that framework. If not, no harm done.
posted by It's Never Lurgi at 3:47 PM on April 7, 2011

Unless you're running into the sled and stuff, you might look for "functional fitness" as opposed to a straight football workout. Maybe also "boot camp," though the term has become awfully popular and there are sure to be loads of variations.The key seems to be a lot of body weight exercises and not a lot of specialized equipment -- working out in the ways your body actually moves, or wants to move.

This gym, which I used to attend a long time ago, was super effective and probably the most fun I've had while working out (but I haaaaaaaaate working out). They have a bunch of online workouts, and they train instructors all over the country (and sell their own equipment). If you find someone who does some of what you like, or is willing to try some stuff, this might be a good place to look for inspiration.
posted by Madamina at 3:50 PM on April 7, 2011 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Huh, "functional fitness" that definitely helps when doing searches online for trainers, thanks!
posted by mathowie at 3:51 PM on April 7, 2011

Can you contact your old trainer and ask him for a recommendation? He probably knows, or knows of, other trainers with similar styles and philosophies.
posted by SuperSquirrel at 4:01 PM on April 7, 2011

Read through some of the articles on EliteFTS.com. Skip the powerlifting-specific stuff and look into strongman, "dinosaur" training, etc. You may run across workouts or exercise combinations you can point to with a trainer (and also use to Google places near you that may be familiar with them).
posted by Inspector.Gadget at 4:03 PM on April 7, 2011

Bodyweight exercises, perhaps?
posted by griselda at 4:09 PM on April 7, 2011

I knowwww this is going to sound like a broken record kind of thing and isn't exactly what you're looking for, but I definitely recommend you try Crossfit. Even though Crossfit does take place in a gym usually, you mention that you liked the football style workouts because of their intensity and the "real world" kind of movements you did. Furthermore, variety is one of the core principles of Crossfit, so you don't get bored!

I'm guessing that your aversion to working out in a gym is because you associate it with either: a) slow, monotonous strength training with weight machines; b) long, slow cardio on an elliptical/stair climber/treadmill. Crossfit is nothing like either of those things. We run, do lunges, agility ladders, gymnastics, bodyweight exercises (like pushups, pullups, and situps), jump up onto boxes, climb ropes... it's a lot of fun! The idea that Crossfit is "insane" or only for the superfit is ridiculous -- it's intense, but it sounds like you're a person who prefers intense, exhausting exercise, instead of a boring, long slog in the gym.

If you give us more information about where you're located, we can probably recommend a good Crossfit gym near you!
posted by telegraph at 4:16 PM on April 7, 2011 [1 favorite]

One of the trainers at my gym invited me to a class she calls 'outdoor boot camp'. Sounded a lot like what you are looking for.
posted by pazazygeek at 4:28 PM on April 7, 2011 [1 favorite]

I agree with pazazygeek, I think "boot camp" style workouts are what you're looking for.
posted by auto-correct at 4:36 PM on April 7, 2011

I remembered seeing a kinda-like-that place in a plaza that I live near, so I googled "Sports Training" along with my town and found it -- It's still kinda gym-like but I would imagine that maybe they have some kind of less gym-like regimen, maybe? Perhaps there is someplace like this near you..?
posted by Jinkeez at 4:59 PM on April 7, 2011

Sounds like CrossFit to me. Lots of CrossFit affiliates do outdoor workouts.
posted by Anatoly Pisarenko at 5:21 PM on April 7, 2011

"Sports conditioning" -- found this with it: Twist Conditioning. Have a branch in Portland.
posted by artlung at 5:29 PM on April 7, 2011

Agree with the others that you might enjoy bootcamp - it's often outdoor and involves a lot of those things like lunges and squats, etc.
posted by ldthomps at 5:37 PM on April 7, 2011

Along with "functional" you might also want to throw in "speed", "agility", and "plyometric". I would say if you can find someone with a degree behind their name, not just a certification, that would be even better. If they have a CSCS your probably good. Looking around I found this place.
posted by P.o.B. at 5:44 PM on April 7, 2011

There is a group that works out in the park around the corner from my house, and the leader wears a teeshirt that says "Boot Camp". They do a sort of calisthenic/obstacle course type workout that is absolutely like sports warmups I recall from my school days. I agree that checking with local trainers who advertise as "boot camp" might be helpful.
posted by padraigin at 8:12 PM on April 7, 2011

Here's an Urban Boot Camp in Portland. They run some other types of programs too.

And PatchFitness says: "The best way to describe PatchFitness® is for you to close your eyes, and while they’re closed, transport yourself back to when you were 5, 6 or 7 years old. You are playing on the Jungle Gym, monkey bars, a pile of rocks, mound of dirt, on a log or some old tires. Can you see it? You have no inhibitions or restrictions, you duck, jump, crawl, climb, leap, and roll around on whatever it is, your creativity allows you to make up each move as the challenge presents itself. You don’t know you’re not supposed to be able to do these things, you just do them. I’ll bet this has brought a smile to your face, hasn’t it? That’s PatchFitness."

Qualifications are so hard to measure. Some of the best trainers I've had look underqualified and some of the most qualified have been so boring and rigid that I lost interest. But you don't want to get hurt by some idiot who doesn't know what s/he is doing, so make sure to check local forums, review sites and ask around now that you know some key terms.
posted by barnone at 8:58 PM on April 7, 2011

Nthing Crossfit. It's kind of a cult, but a benign one, IMO. You'll definitely get the variety and intensity that you crave.
posted by Dr. Eigenvariable at 2:45 AM on April 8, 2011

If you were in the UK I'd be suggesting British Military Fitness, but I can't find a US analogue. Military fitness might be worth a google, though.
posted by corvine at 10:25 AM on April 8, 2011

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