Why: The outdoors in the Northwoods provides a number of recreational activities, and the upcoming Fall season provides ample opportunities to get out into the woods. Many of these outdoor activities involve carrying a backpack. While hiking with a backpack on may not seem like too much of a challenge, carrying a pack while hiking elevates your heart rate compared to regular walking (so it counts as cardio!) and has an effect on your ticker that’s comparable to jogging. This program is designed to help get your cardiovascular and muscular endurance where it needs to be to go out on a hike carrying a pack safely. It will also improve your all-around work capacity and endurance. Gaining the ability to cover ground under load builds a strong foundation of fitness.

What: This is a 5-week program designed to improve your fitness level and prepare you for the demands of hiking with a backpack. The program includes hikes with a weighted pack, hikes without a pack, and two days of strength training per week. Participants have the option of participating in the FIT Outdoorsman Challenge at the end of the 5-week program.

What if I miss a day? Don’t sweat it while the workout is 5 weeks long and there is a calendar if you miss a day you can either make it up the next day or continue on with the program.

Who: Whether you are a hiker looking to get out on a trail, a hunter getting ready for opening day, parents with young kids who are looking for a way to exercise with your little one, or someone who wants a fun way to improve your fitness level, this is a great program for you. This program can be adapted for anyone. There are four different intensity levels to choose from and four different challenge distances. The weight each participant carries in their pack will be based on age and body weight along with fitness level.

Which Level is right for me?: To help you pick which level is right for you below you will find the walk distances for the first week and the last week as well as recommentdations based on your current physical activity. Please know though that if you need to change from the level you register for that is fine.

  • Level 1: easiest
    • For participants who have not been participated in regular physical activity or youth.
  • Level 2: mid-level
    • For participants who have been moderately physically active (1-3 times per week)
  • Level 3: hard
    • For participants who have been physically active on a regular bases. (3-5 times per week).
  • Level 4: hardest ***New***
    • For participants who are well conditioned and would like an even more challenging program.

Where: This program is designed to be done entirely on your own at home (or outside) There will also be some opportunities for some in-person, small group workouts. [In person opportunities are limited to members]

What do I need? Get registered!

  • Program materials: Once you are registered, all the program materials including the calendar of the 5-week program, the workouts, the information on the challenge, and any other program materials will be sent to you.
  • A backpack with the appropriate weight.
    • ***Parents with young kids: This program can work for you as well. Instead of a backpack, you can carry your little one in a carrier!***

Is there a cost?  The program cost is $10 for members and $15 for non-members. This will include all your materials, workout options, and a t-shirt!

I did session one, will I get anything out of Session two? Yes! You can stay at the same intensity level and add weight, or you can try a harder level. The program has also been revamped some after receiving feedback from the first session.

When: Session 2 runs October 12th to November 14th with a challenge day being November 14th.

What is the Challenge? The challenge is a fun event to put all your hard work from the program to the test. It is comprised of 6 segments [1. Long Pack walk, 2. Step-ups, 3. Short Pack Walk, 4. Squats, 5. Short pack drag or walk, 6. Overhead Pack Press] Each participant will complete all segments of the challenge in order. This IS NOT a timed event. The challenge level of each participant is the same as the program level they completed.

Do I have to do the challenge?  No. Participants have 2 options. In week 5 participants can choose to do one last week of the regular program or they can choose the Challenge Week option which ends on Saturday with the Challenge.

Do I need to do the challenge in person? No. If you choose to do the challenge in person, times will be staggered to keep participants socially distanced from others. You can also choose to do the challenge on your own and send us a picture of you completing the challenge.

Is this going to be fun? Yes!! This can be a great opportunity to get the whole family out into the outdoors as well as upping your fitness level