Spring training:  Train hard now so you can play hard later!

Spring is just around the corner- it really is!  Which means our favorite thing: getting outside more!  What trips do you have planned this spring or summer?  Any campouts or just day hikes?  A big week-long adventure?

Be sure to pull your gear out now and give it a good going-over.  If you need any repairs or modifications done, now's the time to get it to us!  We'll have you ready for your first adventure.  Or maybe it's simply time to replace.  

After the long winter months, we're sure your body needs some prep for spring/summer!  We know our bodies need some work.  :)  Even if you do other exercise through the winter months, hiking, climbing or biking can use different muscles and more stamina than your winter body is capable of.   But, not to worry, you can build that strength up very quickly!  Read below for more tips!  Train hard now so you can play hard later! There is still time. 

Another thing to keep in mind and get a jump on right now:  make your summer reservations!  Many spots fill up or need your advance registration.  Not to mention, start requesting those vacation days from your employer before you co-workers snatch them up!  :)  

Spring ahead into the out-of-doors!
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As you're cleaning out
your gear  closet, garage or
basement,  bring the items you
no  longer  need to our friends at
Switchback Gear Exchange!!  

Monday: 12:00 PM - 7:00 PM
Thursday: 12:00 PM - 7:00 PM
Friday: 12:00 PM - 7:00 PM
Saturday: 10:00 AM - 3:00 PM
Sunday: 10:00 AM - 3:00 PM
Phone: 616-259-9609
2166 Plainfield Ave NE
Grand Rapids, MI 49505

A great way to find a use for your worn fleece jackets: 

U sually, it is the sleeves that are more worn out than the body of the fleece. Simply cut off the sleeve along the arm hole seam to make your favorite fleece into a vest. Extend its life: repurpose!  
Now is the Time to Get in Shape for Hiking!

(Tips from Jordan Smothermon, head coach at StrongSwiftDurable  in Jackson, WY from Backpacker Magazine.)

If You Do Nothing Else to Get in Shape for Hiking, Do These:
1. Crunches.
2. Squats.
3. Lunges.
4. Push-Ups.
5. Step-Ups. 
Weight a pack (20 lbs. to start) and step onto a park bench 16 to 18 inches high. Add 5 pounds a week until you’re at 40 lbs. Add to your workout three times a week until you can do 700 steps in less than 30 minutes.

Three Best Exercises to Get in Shape for Hiking
1. Lunges
Hold equal weights in both hands (pro tip: buckets of nails look tough). From a standing position, step forward until both legs are bent at 90 degrees. Push up, bringing rear foot forward. Repeat with the other leg.

2. Poor Man’s Leg Curl
Lay flat on the floor and scoot your hips toward an elevated bench. Place your left foot on the bench. Lift your right leg up as high as you can bear. Press lefty down into the bench, clench your glutes and hammies, and raise your hips off the ground. Do 10, then repeat for other leg.

3. Band Walks
Tie a resistance band around your legs, mid-shin, so there’s tension while you stand with legs at hip-width. Stand straight, tuck abs, put hands on hips, and walk forward while maintaining the band’s tension between your shins.

Basic 9 Week Early Season Training Calendar
Smothermon advises building a good, early season strength base. When the season gets on and you need more endurance, you can easily trade short-burst power for long-burn performance. Think of your muscles as a savings account for fitness. As you move from segment to segment, build on the fitness and strength gains you've made.

Weeks 1-3
STRENGTH ➞ 3 days per week, 1 hour/session. “Put on strength now and you’ll have muscle that you can later sacrifice to build up your endurance.” Keep rest periods to a minute or two: “No time to flex in front of the mirror.”

Weeks 4-6
ENDURANCE ➞ 1 day per week for 45 minutes at moderate intensity (e.g. jogging, hiking)

Weeks 7-9
INTENSITY ➞ Increase weekly endurance workouts to 1.5 to 2 hours, and add 1 day of high intensity exercise with high output but less weight (e.g. speed hiking).

  Did you know that Robert and the OOAKAG team are available to speak to your outdoor group, Scout group or youth group?  He would also be fantastic for a short seminar in a trade booth or show.  Some topics he speaks on:   Backpacking 101, The Values of Teenagers in the Outdoors, How to Plan and Train for Successful Outings, and Executing Outings from a day hike to a 2 week trek,  Winter Camping and Survival, Gear Seminars, etc. 
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