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Urban Sport of the Week: Outdoor athletic training

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Urban Sport of the Week: Outdoor athletic training
Photo: .shock/Depositphotos
This content is an advertisement. It was not produced by The Local's journalists.
08:39 CEST+02:00
Urban Sports Club is the largest, most flexible and diverse sports offer in your city with over 50 types of sports and over 2000 partner venues in 20+ cities across Germany.*

*This content is an advertisement. It was not produced by The Local's journalists.

Visit your local yoga studio, go swimming, bouldering, have a gym session, take a dance class or make new friends in Urban Sports Club's team sport communities. All of this in one membership at a fixed cost that you can cancel at just one month's notice.

In the Urban Sport of the Week series, a member of the USC team tries a different sport to encourage members to do the same - because new sports lead to new hobbies and new friends.

This week, USC's fitness enthusiast headed out of the gym and into the great outdoors…

What is outdoor athletic training?

It’s all about getting outside and using the green areas in your city as a space to workout. Personal trainers create functional exercises to get your heart rate up and use little or no equipment - just good old body weight. (Important: in the exercise world, ‘body weight' is code for burpees.)

Athletik Training Berlin is a concept created by ex-military personal trainer Marcus Weber. Marcus and his team hold classes in parks across Berlin which utilise the natural surroundings to host intense workouts. Their classes range from kettlebell training to outdoor athletics and Spartan training.

Sign up to Urban Sports Club today - get fit, discover new hobbies and make new friends.

Photo: Athletik Training Berlin 

What can you expect?

Because it’s outdoors I was concerned I wouldn’t be able to find the class, but the instructions on the website were clear - to meet on the corner of Hasenheide and Jahnstrasse in Berlin’s Neukölln district. It was easy to spot Marcus because he was standing at the entrance of the park with his arms crossed and looked like he could snap me in two.

It was 07:30 am on a Thursday; Marcus led me and five others to a concrete platform overlooking Hasenheide. He laid out a speaker on the floor, played a Kanye track and then said: “Sprints, squats, press-ups, sit-ups.” I looked at him blankly. “Alice,” he said. “What are you waiting for? GO!”

How was the workout?

We did three rounds of these exercises ten times. As it was a warm-up I thought it made sense to do the press-ups on my knees. Marcus thought the opposite.

Warm up complete, we each laid a mat on the floor (Marcus had a spare mat but you’re supposed to bring your own.) He handed us each a piece of chalk. “Write this down on your mats: we’re doing four sets, as many rounds as possible, for eight minutes. No break.” Before I had time to work out how many relentless minutes of exercise this would be I was chalking down the following:

Set One:

2 x run

5 x handwalk

5 x jumping squat

5 x burpees - GO

I went. Burpees make me feel a special kind of nauseous. We had to chalk down how many sets we did because later Marcus was going to publish it on Facebook to motivate me to do better next time. I managed five sets within the eight minutes and then went straight into...

Set Two:

2 x run

5 x leg raises

5 x jumping jacks

5 x burpees

Okay - set two required more burpees. I can handle this, I thought to myself It’s character building. I also assured myself there couldn’t possibly be more burpees in the next round, that would be insanity. So I finished six sets this time, and went straight into

Set Three:

2 x run

5 x sit ups

5 x jumping squats

5 x burpees

Sign up to Urban Sports Club today - get fit, discover new hobbies and make new friends.

There was a brief moment in the middle of set three where I thought my time was up. I wasn’t going to make it. I took a second between a jumping squat and a burpee to think about what they’d write on my gravestone. “Alice Austin: Death by burpee.” But then - “Alice! Why are you just standing there? AUF GEHT’S!”

By set four the end was in sight - I only had eight more minutes of this hell. If I made it out alive that would be a bonus.

Set Four:

2 x run

5 x tricep dips

5 x jumping jacks

5 x burpees

Marcus shouted encouragement in the final few seconds until the timer thankfully showed we’d completed the work out.

…Or so I thought.

“Now you’re going to hold a plank for five minutes,” Marcus said. I laughed at the funny joke and looked around at my teammates. Why weren’t they laughing? Marcus looked at me, stony faced. “I’m not joking.”

Photo: Athletik Training Berlin 

How did I feel after?

Sick to my stomach.

Benefits of outdoor training

Real talk: this was a ridiculously hard workout, but it was great to be outdoors in the beautiful weather and everyone was extremely friendly and encouraging - I really enjoyed myself.

Although I was sweating like a pig, the fresh air gave me energy and helped me refuel after every set.

It’s a great way of getting to know your local parks and outdoor spaces.

Functional training and bodyweight exercises are extremely good for you - they reduce risk of injury and make it easier to do things like transport a wardrobe on the U-Bahn.

Sign up to Urban Sports Club today - get fit, discover new hobbies and make new friends.

Don’t forget to bring…

A yoga mat or training mat, lots of water and a jumper if you’re doing one of the early morning classes.

Up to the challenge? Follow Athletik Training Berlin on Facebook for their daily workouts and upcoming training sessions.

Urban Sports Club has tons of partners that offer outdoor training across Germany and France. Have a look on our website to see what’s on in your area.

*This content is an advertisement. It was not produced by The Local's journalists.

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