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A Basic Fitness Training for Outdoors Explorers

Tanco’s Interval Cardio, Core and Strength Workout Program

By N. Michelle Rodríguez Amadeo

Issue March 2018

Have you ever wished for a basic exercise workout that may help improve your fitness capacity to better resist the physical challenges resulting from some outdoors experiences? If so, keep reading to find out what a certified personal trainer with 23 years of experience recommends and the reasoning behind it.

According to José Ferrer Tanco, the energy used when engaging in many open-air recreations that entail physical activity, is mainly produced by our body’s aerobic energy system. Therefore, cardiovascular exercises should be part of a fitness training routine to enhance your performance during activities such as hiking, canyoneering, biking, caving, kayaking, snorkeling, diving or paddleboarding, as stated by this personal trainer who is also known as “Tanco”.

Tanco explained that, while in the outdoors, sometimes the intensity of the cardiovascular activities changes. For instance, nature exploration might involve walking at an easy pace during 15 or 30 minutes, followed by a hill climb and then another easy walk, and so on.

This certified personal trainer informed that an interval cardio workout, which generally combines short low-intensity and high-intensity exercises by means of intervals, is a good training option for nature and water sports adventurers since it helps the body to adapt to changes in cardo intensity, and aids the cardiovascular system to tolerate better the physical workload that increases the heartbeat’s frequency when doing an activity such as climbing a hill. Tanco also mentioned that the interval method is an entertaining way to exercise.

In addition, Tanco recommends a core and strength workout in order to reduce the soreness of and strengthen the muscles ordinarily used while engaging in an adventure in a natural area.

Considering the above, Tanco suggests the following fitness program for those who would like to do basic exercises to improve their physical performance while participating in outdoors recreations, subject to prior advice from a medical physician.

A) Interval Cardiovascular Training

The interval cardio workout described below comprises easy walks and power walks (brisk or vigorous walks). According to Tanco, it is recommendable to perform these walks on flat surfaces.

Interval Cardio Workout:

5-minute easy walk (warm-up)
5-minute power walk
5-minute easy walk
5-minute power walk
5-minute easy walk
5-minute very easy walk (cooldown)

B) Core and Strength Training


1 set of push-ups
1-minute rest (approx.)
1 plank
1-2 minute rest
1 set of bodyweight squats
1-minute rest (approx.)

Do one circuit first, and then repeat the circuit for a total of 2 or 3 circuits.

Tanco’s General Summary of the Exercises:

(i) Push-Ups

For each push-up set, do as many push-ups as you can until you get tired. For instance, if you are capable of doing a maximum of 20 push-ups per set, do so. If your strength only allows you to do one push-up per set, just do one push-up.

As your fitness performance improves, your strength may also enhance and you might be able to do more push-ups per set.

For suggestions on how to properly do a push-up, you may consult the certified personal trainer of your preference.

(ii) Plank

Suggested Period of Time:

Minimum: 30 seconds Maximum: 1 minute

If you cannot do the plank during at least 30 seconds, do it for as long as you can.

For suggestions on how to properly do a plank, you may consult the certified personal trainer of your preference.

(iii) Bodyweight Squats

Do 10-20 squat repetitions per set.

For suggestions on how to properly do a bodyweight squat, you may consult the certified personal trainer of your preference.

Both workouts constitute a whole training program that might take around 45 minutes, according to Tanco. However, he clarified that beginners may opt to do first the interval cardio workout, and perform at a later date the core and strength exercises as their fitness improves.

Besides a good workout and physical condition, commitment and perseverance are key to stay fit. Endeavor to be fit and you may be rewarded.

For specialized or custom-made workouts, consult the proper certified personal trainer.

Tanco is a personal trainer certified by the Aerobic Fitness Association of America. Also, he has the Personal Training License issued by the Puerto Rico Department of Recreation and Sports. In order to contact Tanco, you may send an email to

Note: Not all exercises are suitable for every individual. The information provided in this article, including, but not limited to, the personal trainer’s suggested exercises and recommendations in no way substitute medical advice. Prior to performing any of the fitness workouts and/or exercises mentioned in this article, you must consult a medical physician about whether or not you should perform any of these workouts or exercises. Exercises have some risk of injury, especially when done improperly. If you feel discomfort or pain, do not continue doing the exercise. The information provided by the personal trainer does not constitute opinions or recommendations of the company behind this publication or its staff. The personal trainer mentioned in this article and Intrepid Mesh, LLC, any affiliates or subsidiaries, and/or any of their directors, staff members, contractors or agents, do not assume any liability for any damages or losses in connection with or caused by any suggestions or instructions provided in this article, or the performance of the fitness workouts or exercises informed herein.

Photograph by N. Michelle Rodríguez

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