I am on the road again for 25 days out of this month traveling to South Dakota, Bozeman, MT then Hood River OR – with a flight in between from Bozeman to Indy for the NSCA National Conference.

One of the big questions I get is “What can I do for training when I travel?”

As my wonderful wifey and I packed up the SUV with all our kiteboard gear, I made sure to find room to toss in 2 kettlebells (KBs).

Today, it was almost 100F here in South Dakota.  Eeek!  One of the things I love about KBs is the ability to use them anywhere, and I love to train outside when I can.   Plus since it was so hot outside I got some HSP (heat shock protein) activation.

HSP = Heat Shock Proteins -> Endurance

Heat shock protein activation can be done by exercise in the heat and have potential applications from a reduction in insulin resistance, may reduce the negative effects of aging on skeletal muscle, and may even have anticancer effects (1-6).

“Overexpression of skeletal muscle HSP72 in mice has been shown to increase endurance running capacity nearly twofold and increase mitochondrial content by 50%” (6). While you still get benefits from exercising a few times in the heat, a recent meta-analysis suggested that the main benefits to heat exposures appear when greater than 14 exposures occurred adopted.”(7)

In short, activating HSPs may significantly up your endurance capacity.   Yes it’s a fuzzy mouse study which has limits.

Go train outside in the heat or hop in a sauna.

mTOR1 = Mammalian Target of Rapamycin  -> Muscle

This is one of the main targets for the many benefits from exercise. mTOR and AMPK (the cellular energy sensor) are opposites. mTOR can be stimulated by exercise (muscle contraction) and protein (especially the amino acid leucine) (8-11).  The goal of this session was stimulate some muscle as it has been a few days since I was in the gym.

VRD: Vitamin D Receptor -> Performance?

It is rumored that Vitamin (aka the sunshine vitamin) regulates over 200 genes in your body.  Vitamin D is made by your body via exposure to the sun.  Another reason to train outside! The current data on Vitamin D and performance is quite mixed (12-14), although adequate levels of it will not hurt performance. In the meantime, I will get some nice sunlight when I can  . . . for the above mentioned benefits and because it feels great.

Train Ouetside – Full Routine

I hear ya . . . Enough with the alphabet soup, let’s make it practical. All the best theory in the world is not worth poo if you can’t do it.

Outside in the heat –> HSP

Sunlight –> VRD

Exercise + protein –> mTOR

Below is a list of what I did today – along with a few neat exercises you probably have not seen before.  I used two KBs here of the same size, but you can easily modify this one to use just 1 KB.

Easy Circuit Style

Just move from one exercise to next with almost complete recovery. I did not monitor my heart rate on this one. Instead, I used my breath as a guide.  I am training outside so I wanted to keep the distractions to a minimum.  As soon as I could inhale and exhales over 5 seconds each for 3-5 breaths in a row, I moved on to the next exercise. Hat tip to Rob Wilson in his course The Art of Breath for that tip.

I) Double KB Swing / Snatch x 10 reps

Pick the one you are most comfortable with performing.  I did double snatches this time.

II) Narrow Grip Pushups to KBs x 10 reps

Set the KBs up so your upper arm just touches your torso as you go down and up.

III) Double KB 1 Arm Row x 10-15 reps

I only had a pair of light (16 kg ) KBs with me, so I doubled up on them in 1 hand to do split stance rows. Set the KBs up so that you can slide your hand all the way in (pictured here).

Next keep your fingers out of the way and bring the handles together as seen below.

Now row with 32kg in 1 hand.

IV) Seesaw Overhead KB Press x 20 reps total

Clean both KBs up. As you press 1 overhead, the other comes down and vice versa. Both KBs are always moving –just in the opposite direction.

V) Goose Neck Rows x 5 -10 per hand

I always like to include extra rowing in my programs. Tilt the KB on its side. Place your hand underneath. Keep it “flat” and row. See the picture below for the hand position. This is a great wrist/ hand strengthener.

Repeat 2- 4 times.

I did 3 rounds today in about 25 minutes. Pretty easy stimulation work.

Finish it up with a protein shake (today was Driven Nutrition’s Carmel Latte – which is amazing).

Use this routine to train outside for as short session.  Have fun and get mad gainZ.

Dr Mike


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