The Gay Guys Winter Workout

There is no snow on the ground yet…
but let’s face it –  it’s coming!

Since we are all about the BEST OF GAY NEW YORK, we thought why not get some of the best fitness tips from one of the best personal trainers in New York City!  This month  Duke Greenhill  gives  us  The Gay Guys Winter Workout!

Think cold weather means the end of outdoor exercise and the cruising that comes with it? Think again…

Once again, the tank tops of spring have dwindled to the Speedos of summer, and soon fall’s form-fitting V-necks will give way to long coats. For many, this is the beginning of the end of outdoor training — not only because of the weather, but also because of the ease with which diminishing fitness and growing waistlines can be hidden beneath our thick-lined layers.


But we don’t have to give up outdoor training; we don’t have to let our six packs convert to kegs. After all, no one likes being stuck in his living room, or a gym, or an office for a whole season, and it’s important to keep variation in your workout plan. So don’t shun the snow. By following these guidelines, you can safely and effectively continue to enjoy your outdoor exercise — and keep your physique ready and chiseled for next spring — despite winter’s bite.

One Winter Workout to Keep You Cut

It’s an iconic image: Sylvester Stallone galloping through the Siberian snow; the classic Mercedes full of KGB men following him; the barn, where he does sit-ups from the hayloft and squats with an ox yoke. Unless you have an in with the carriage folks in Central Park and Hell’s Kitchen, it’s unlikely you’ll be shoulder pressing equine carts or doing curls with yoke and saddle. But the concept doesn’t have to be so foreign. There are endless everyday options to burn extra calories and squeeze extra reps outside during the winter. Here are just a few on which to build your outdoor winter workout.

GIVE YOURSELF A “TREE”: So the leaves are gone and the trees are bare. This adds up to a benefit for you. Find a good limb and perform chin-ups. With your palms 8-inches apart and facing away from you, you can isolate the upper forearm and bicep. Wide-grip pull-ups will draw the focus to your outer lats. Close-grip ones will hit the inner-lats and help you grow thick. Turn your hands around (palms toward you) and use a medium grip to tie the lower traps into your middle-back for that all-too-sexy “diamond” cut.


SHOVEL SNOW: Like weight lifting, “snow shoveling may cause a quick increase in heart rate and blood pressure,” says Julie Garden-Robinson, assistant professor in the Health, Nutrition and Exercise Sciences Department at North Dakota State University. So shovel a little snow and you’ve got some serious cardio on your hands… literally. For cardio, make sure you have enough snow to last you at least 30- to 45-minutes (help your neighbors out if you need more). If you live in the outer boroughs where the snow can be hard and heavy, shoveling can be an incredible addition to your muscle-building regimen too. In fact, researchers have indicated that the average weight of a shovel loaded with heavy, wet snow is about 16 pounds, and the average shoveler ends up moving 192 pounds of snow at about 12 scoops a minute, which is almost 2,000 pounds being lifted in just over 10 minutes! Just be sure to warm up thoroughly first, and to give your arms and back in particular a full days rest before training them again in the gym.


NOTE: Statistics on snow-shoveling deaths are scary. According to the January edition of the Harvard Health Letter, about 1,200 Americans die each winter from a cardiac-related event during or after a big snow, and shoveling is often a contributing factor. If you are under-conditioned, overweight, have high blood pressure or any other contraindication to exercise, see your doctor first.

SKI THE ‘HOOD: For lower-body work, cross-country skiing is perhaps the most efficient outdoor winter exercise available. Don’t laugh. I live in Hell’s Kitchen, and early some mornings when the snow is undisturbed and there aren’t too many people traipsing the streets of Hellsea / Chell’s Kitchen to laugh at me, I strap on (get your mind out of the gutter) my cross-country skis and make a few laps around the gayborhood. “XC,” as those in the know call it, burns more calories per hour than any other sport (up to 1200 an hour) and is an ideal cross-training winter replacement for avid runners or bikers. Central Park is excellent for  Nordic skiing, and even has a webpage devoted to it. And keeping with the adage that one can find anything they want in New York, there are also countless ski clubs  you can join.

EN-GAY-GE IN TACKLE FOOTBALL: We all know wrestling has a certain special place in gay athletic lore, but if you thought football was a straight game, come to Gym Bar next time you’re in New York. Football is not a fall-only sport, and it’s an excellent way not only to improve your physical condition, but also to give you an excuse to wrap your arms around a hot guy and bring him down. Since you are playing in the snow, you’ll get a hell of a leg workout (like running on sand). Plus, fresh snow will provide cushioning amid the tackles, and a nice, soft surface for any post-game recreation. Check out the New York City Gay Football League.


SIDEBAR NOTE:   ONE TIP FOR WINTER WORKOUT SAFETY: Don’t strip when you get inside. While you may be tempted (especially if you take my advice on the tackle football above) to immediately remove your layers when returning inside, don’t! Give your body time to recondition itself to the changing temperature. Unless your clothes are sopping wet (in which case, get them off) post exercise hypothermia is possible when you adjust to higher temps too quickly. Of course, if a handsome gentleman has returned home with you, perhaps hypothermia wouldn’t be so bad. The best treatment for hypothermia? Snuggle up with a warm, naked body.


By Duke Greenhill, MFA, NSCA-CPT

Duke Greenhill is a professional fitness model, certified personal trainer and widely published author in Manhattan.
For information on booking training sessions, workouts by email or Duke’s modeling, visit him at Fit Creator.

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