This workout was inspired by the beauty of Toronto’s largest park in the fall. October is my favourite month in Toronto and it feels like a CRIME to spend any of it in a gym when the sun is shining through the colourful trees. Especially as we Torontonians know that soon it will be all freezing rain and wet snow.  This workout is tough but I offer modifications so you can adapt it to your abilities. The best thing is that it’s a full body workout that requires no equipment at all and it can be easily adapted to do in almost any park in the world. I designed it to include:

•    Low Intensity Steady State (LISS) Cardio: This will improve your endurance and give you an energy boost
•    High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT): This is a great way to rev up your metabolism and burn the maximum amount of calories in a minimal amount of time
•    Strength Training Circuits: Circuit training keeps the heart rate elevated throughout your strength work, so you get additional cardiovascular benefits while adding lean muscle.

So download your PDF here and get to High Park!

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Starting point:

At the parking lot at near the south entrance to the Zoo. Marked by an X on the map. We start with a slow and steady warm up jog. Head north through the zoo. Say hi to this guy.


Be prepared for a slight incline through the zoo and then a steep hill at the end. Props if you add a burst of speed to get to the top (like my Not So Early Risers Bootcampers did)


Once there, you should see the Grenadier cafe directly in front of you. Resist the urge to stop and get a beer and instead turn right and keep jogging down Centre Rd. The sidewalk is on the left hand side of the road but keep an eye out for a trail on the right. It looks like this:


Follow the wooded trail and have fun jumping over logs and roots and you’ll eventually get spit out in a picnic area in front of the parking lot where you started. Jog through and make a left at the road to turn towards the Jamie Bell Adventure Playground.


Once there, you should feel pretty warm and ready for your 7 Station Strength and High Intensity Interval Circuit. It looks like this:

1. 10 Pull-Ups.

You will be working your back, biceps and abdominal muscles.  There are three options here: Easiest: Jump and hold yourself up as long as you can. Harder: Jump and hold yourself up and bring your knees to your hands (crunch) Hardest: Jump and hold and bring your toes to the bar.

2.100 Toe Taps:

This is High Intensity Cardio. Bring your toe to the curb and alternate quickly. 100 reps as fast as you can!


3. 20 Push-ups off the bridge.

This is working your chest, triceps, shoulders and core. The wobbly bridge adds a stability element (like a bosu ball), which activate the core more than a regular push-up. This is Drake demonstrating and Adrienne providing an extra stability challenge:


4. 10 wind sprints from the castle to the bridge.

This is High Intensity Cardio. Party.

5. 20 Bulgarian Lunges off the Swing (each side).

You are working your glutes, hamstrings and quadriceps here and you also have the added core element with the stability training.  This can be tricky so if it’s not happening ( for example, if you are feeling instability in your ankle or your hip is too tight,) just do regular lunges.  (Note the guest appearance by Drake in the video and how I had no idea)

6. 2 Stair runs.

Cardio!  Try leaping up two at a time to really get the heart rate up and feel a burn in the glutes.

*** repeat the circuit 2-3 times with minimal rest ***

Bonus cardio finisher:

Head back to the picnic area across from the parking lot and you’ll see a BIG staircase. Ninety-seven steps, to be precise. To finish off the legs, challenge your stamina and elevate your caloric burn for the next 24 hours, try for FIVE rounds of sprints of the stairs (2 at a time if you can) and walk recover down. OUCH. Check out these rock stars:


What do you think of the High Park Workout? Let me know if you try it, if you do the bonus finisher and if you adapt it to another park somewhere in the world.

And then let me know if your legs are killing you the next day after those stairs – mine were!

Here’s the download in case you missed it:

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