For some he’s a madman with no concept of danger, while for others he’s the aspirational survival specialist whose life has been filled with near-death experiences and stories so wild, so seemingly far-fetched and ridiculous, you can’t help believe his to be the most interesting life here on Earth. Not surprisingly, ask anyone who their dream dinner guest might be and the answer tends to land on one Bear Grylls and, given the apocalyptic times we seem to be living in, he’d at least be a safe bet. That Bear Grylls has had epic adventures is without question but you need only watch an episode of his hit TV shows to see that he is a man in complete command of his surroundings. While others would be scrambling for safety, Grylls always seems to have at least some control over the brutal natural elements that continue to test him.
While watching an episode of Man vs. Wild might have you believing Grylls was born in the wild, raised by wolves, and came to develop his superhuman strength and endurance out there in the wilderness, the reality is far from that. In fact, Grylls admits that he wasn’t actually preternaturally physically gifted, like many would expect of the adventurer. In an interview with Men’s Health UK, Grylls explained, “I was never a natural athlete, I’ve always had to work at it,” adding, “I need to be fit and strong for my job.”
Well, that much is clear. When you’re abseiling down a mountain or having to scale cliffs just to find water, your body needs to be in peak physical fitness. We can’t quite imagine Grylls achieving any of the outlandish things he does on his show were he not so physically strong. And at 47-years-old, Grylls isn’t slowing down either. Rather, he seems to defy the ageing process and is just as ripped as ever.
The secret to his physicality then is a dedicated strength and conditioning regimen that focuses on functional workouts with little or no gear. As you’d expect of Grylls, most of the time he takes his workouts outdoors and even turns to the natural elements to fashion some kind of weights or tools he can incorporate into his workout.
Demonstrating just some of the principles that typify his workouts, Grylls has shared the ultimate outdoor workout that uses mostly bodyweight exercises or a kettlebell to target the core. All you need for this one is a timer, a weight, and the drive to excel at every opportunity until you’ve reached that very last set. Give this one a go for a heart-thumping workout that will see you reconnect with nature just like Grylls.
Bear Grylls’ Outdoor Interval Workout
Perform each exercise for 20 seconds, then rest for 10 seconds. Repeat each block twice.
Plank knee to elbow
Plank hands to elbows
Split squats (right)
Split squats (left)
Alternating arm pushups
Kettlebell lawnmower row (right)
Kettlebell lawnmower row (left)
Kettlebell hammer curl
Overhead triceps extensions
Kettlebell Russian twists