I’m going to go ahead and venture a guess that you have done, do or have at least seen someone do yard work.
most people me yard work isn’t the most fun activity. So anything I can do to take this mundane, tedious, life-sucking task and turn it into something fun, i.e. a workout that will actually benefit me, I’m on board.
Where I live, currently, I am surrounded by old retired military dudes and you can tell by the signs in their yards, and perfectly edged sidewalks, that their yard is now their passion. Admittedly, I have a problem, well not an actual problem – just a lack of understanding, when someone’s hobby is not becoming a better human (self-improvement) is some regard…But I have Emily to remind me that other people have different hobbies and it’s ok :).
Anyway, I am the “different” one in my neighborhood, because a Saturday in my neighborhood looks something like this: Around mid-morning most of my neighbors, in mass, are fire firing up their lawn mowers, weed eaters and pulling out the hedge trimmers. I slam open my garage door and give a look around and toss a barbell and couple hundred pounds of weight on the ground; this is when I get my first set of “looks”.
No joke, a few weeks ago I was getting grass clippings shot in my face by my neighbor as I was getting ready for a heavy snatch, but I digress…
So after an hour or two of working out, and my neighbors are on phase 3 of 6 of their yard-work Saturday, I decide to start my yard work. This is where I get my second set of “looks”. Around Eo3 HQ, fitness is a way of life, so that’s why our weapon of choice is, drum roll please…the Reel Mower!
Why a reel mower?
Well, you can read a very in-depth article about Reel Mowers at the Art of Manliness, In Praise of the Push Reel Mower, but here are some of the highlights:
- Push reel mowers are better for your grass’ health.
- Push reel mowers make your lawn look nicer.
- Push reel mowers are quiet.
- Push reel mowers don’t emit pollution.
- Push reel mowers are hassle-free.
- Push reel mowers are cheaper.
- Push reel mowers exercise your body.
- Push reel mowers are safer than power mowers.
- Push reel mowers make mowing a pleasure.
Convinced? Well, keep reading!
***Disclaimer: Being physically exhausted, and using sharp, pointy and/or fast moving lawn equipment can be dangerous. Don’t fall prey to natural selection and make smart decisions.***
Let’s build up some of that GPP (General Physical Preparedness)!!
Backyard Yard Work Workouts (in progressively challenging order)
Backyard-Yard-Work Workout #1: Use a reel mower
- Of course, most of these “workouts” are centered around the reel mower. So the first workout is simply…mow your lawn with a reel mower. Reel mowers can be purchased for as little as $50 and are a very good investment; I’ve had mine for over two years.
- Depending on the size of your lawn and how well-maintained it is, this will be quite the workout. If you live on a farm or ranch, lucky you, this will be a marathon!
Backyard-Yard-Work Workout #2: Mow Your Lawn…”For Time”
Ok, you got the jitters out with that first workout. Now that you are a little more confident with the ins and outs of a reel mower, it is time to push the limits.
- This is the same as the first workout, but now you have a stopwatch. Find out just how fast you can mow your lawn and compare week to week. I know, getting a little crazy, right? Well, if you think that, keep reading!
Backyard-Yard-Work Workout #3: Alternate Front to Back
Now we are starting to get a little more serious! Assuming you have a front yard and back yard, or even just a left and right part of your yard, here is what you do.
- Pick a number of lines to mow, maybe two, maybe three. A line is just an entire length of your yard, whether you do it horizontally or diagonally is up to you. And this will be the only blog post on End of Three Fitness where I will recommend you “do a line”, and it be perfectly acceptable.
- Mow those two lines as fast as you can.
- Pick up you reel mower, carry it overhead or in your arms, whichever you prefer and move quickly to your backyard.
- Mow two lines in your backyard.
- Pick up the mower and head back to the front for two more lines.
- Keep this sequence up until both the front and back yard are completely mowed.
Backyard-Yard-Work Workout #4: Reel + Accessory Work
Of course there is more to yard work than just cutting the grass. Maybe you have to edge, trim bushes, etc. Now, following the same “do-A-line idea” above, set up your accessory work, say its trimming the bushes.
- Now, mow two lines then sprint to the hedge trimmers, safely and calmly trim one section or one bush, and sprint back to your mower.
- Keep doing this till both the accessory work and the lawn are completed.
Backyard-Yard-Work Workout #5: Add Garage Gym Items in For Fun
Now, if you aren’t having fun turning your yard work into an intense workout (more than yard work already is) then this will definitely give you a little extra fun.
- Set Up a barbell with some weight loaded in the driveway and do a few deadlifts, power cleans or squats between “lines” of mowing.
- Another idea, set up one garage gym item at one side of your lawn and another at the other side.
- When you get to each side you have to use that object.
- A good example of this would be double-unders, or regular jump rope on one end and then medium weighted deadlifts on the other side.
You’ll either have a great time with a backyard-yard-work workout, or you will think I am absolutely crazy.
But hey, Eo3 is a revolution, while everyone else is talking about 6 minute ab blasting routines we are talking about lifting lawn mowers and getting crap done.
For the revolution!