Getting Away from Fitness

So your going off the grid for a few days? Well this is what happened to me without my knowing.  Here is what happened, what I did to stay fit and how it can work for you.

I scheduled a family camp trip up in Northern Ontario Canada.  Torrence to be exact.  Its somewhere between Bala and Gravenhurst.  It’s considered a “family camp” because it has activities for the whole family in the middle of one of the most beautiful places on earth… The Muskokas.  Camp Crossroads is all about the family and is centered around spiritual focus and family time with God and a whole bunch of fun stuff in a safe and fun environment with like minded people.

The place is so safe they don’t issue keys for the cabins… yeah that made me nervous at first with my laptop, cameras and my mountainbike.  But I left with everything I had arrived with a few days later.

So I was surprised when I got there that I got totally locked “off-grid” and no access to emails, text messages or phone calls.  Apparently Camp Crossroads is also the Canadian Technology “Bermuda Triangle”.

I also realized I did not pack my customary workout goodies (kettlebell, resistance bands, suspension straps and sandbags).  The only thing I had was my mountainbike and my body.

I have no idea what happens or what they put in the food or air up north, but I am zonked by 10pm every night.  I also sleep right until 7am and even then want to stay in bed.  But 3 kids and a breakfast bell is pretty good motivation to get up and GO!

Back to Getting Away from Fitness.  Since I had none of my tools of the trade and I was on someone else’s eating schedule and menu here is what I did and how you can make it work for you anywhere.


  • Eat what is put in front of you.
  • Be thankful for the food that you have.
  • Choose high protein sources… or just eat more of them.
  • Choose low GI and slow digesting carbs, like veggies, lots of them.
  • Add some fruit with juices, like apples and oranges for vitamins and hydration.
  • If you know dessert is coming, cut back on the carbs and enjoy dessert… or two.
  • Drink plenty of fluids… drink some more.
  • Enjoy a protein shake with water 1-2 times per day, like breakfast and mid afternoon or late night snack.

Fitness: Northern “Off-Grid” mini marathon (modified)

Walk/Run + Swim + Ride

WALK: Every day we walked back and forth from the cabin to the mess hall 3 times a day.  We also walked to the beach 1-2 times a day and it was double the distance to the mess hall.  We walked the Chapel  twice a day and we walked to various events and activities each day.   I have no idea how far we walked but my ankles and surrounding muscles and tendons can tell you they are tight and tired.  Oh for more results add weight… like piggy-back, shoulder ride and carry kids 60% of the trips you make.  I am lucky in that respect because I get to carry 40, 50 and 60 pounds depending on my energy and motivation… like running for the bathroom with a 40 pound toilet training 3 year old.

RUN: I ran lots… running after 3 kids, running back for sun screen, water, food, toys, camera’s and running since I was late for mess hall was a serious amount of running over 4 days.

SWIM: Swimming, well this one is pretty impressive and it’s not just water and swimming, but water based as I went for a swim everyday adn launched off the platform for kicks to start my swim.  I also took my kids kayaking (x3), canoeing and paddleboat each day.  It was awesome, my core and my shoulders feel amazing.

RIDE: I think that the Muskokas could be the best place to learn to do a triathlon and I saw lots of them there in training on long roads and swims, but I am more of the aggressive kind and take to the trails.  Since the Muskokas trails (Hardy Lake and Black Lake) are not familiar to me I took a 30 minute got lost road ride, then found the trails and took another 1 hour got lost a few times trail ride.  It was AWESOME!  I really wish I hadn’t forgot to attach my HEROcam to the bike before I left camp.

Trail riding in the Muskokas is tough.  A lot tougher than I thought and realized.  My legs let me know it the next day.  If you like technical, challenging riding with lots of roots, rocks, trees, bogs, beaver damns (yeah I actually rode one) and crazy up down hills, then riding the Muskokas is the place to go.  If you are going to be in the Hardy Lake area, just ask me and I will get you the details to this awesome accidental trail ride.  Overall that 1.5 hour ride burned through 1894 calories on my 220 pound frame with an average heart rate of 153 (low of 79 and high of 189) and gave me an energy burst for the day like nothing you could imagine.

I also felt it was necessary to do a little extra body weight workout and lots of short interval active stretching over the four days, here is my routine.  Remember body weight is your only limiting factor here.

Camp Crossroads Body Weight Workout

Perform 10 or more reps of each and repeat 2-3 times

Walk 10 minutes

Body weight squats

Pull Ups (on tree, goal post, balcony)

Push Ups

Bucket Drops

Spinal Rocks

Planks (any variations held for 30 seconds)

Camp Crossroads Multi Interval Stretching

Perform this anywhere you can, especially helpful with a bar, tree or solid object you can grab and pull on.  Hold each stretch for 3-5 deep breathes and deepen the stretch with each breath.

Kneeling hip press/quad pulls

Toe touches/hamstring stretch

Calf stretch on rocks or stairs

Hanging twists for back and shoulders

Chest stretch (using pole, tree, deck, wall or on the ground)

Cat Scratch Stretch/lower back curl, press and stretch

There you have it, it worked for me, I feel great.  I think I am down a few pounds even with all that delicious food and late night cafe that the camp puts on and today I have the mental energy to get caught up from being off the grid and get back to work working on ways to help you with your nutrition and fitness transformation goals.

If you are at home, up north or travelling the world put this program to work for you [Download the Accidental Off Grid Workout]

Day One

  • Off Grid Stretching Routine or make up your own, do 10 minutes 1-2 times per day
  • Walk 30 minutes
  • Run 10 minutes
  • Swim 10 minutes
  • Off Grid Body Weight Routine

Day Two

  • Walk 30 minutes
  • Run 10 minutes
  • Ride 30-60 minutes
  • Swim 10 minutes
  • Off Grid Body Weight Routine
  • Off Grid Stretching Routine or make up your own, do 10 minutes 1-2 times per day

Day Three

Off Grid Stretching Routine or make up your own, do 10 minutes 1-2 times per day

Day Four: REST

[Download the Accidental Off Grid Workout] and use the easy “check list chart” to stay motivated

Looking to get away from it all?  Try Camp Crossroads (my family loved it!  The kids and adults are planning to go back already)

Give this three day routine a whirl and let me know how you are feeling, just add your comment below.

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