Urban Training: Get Your Beach Body on the Beach

Summer is here, and for most people that means it’s a time to grab an umbrella, some sunscreen and relax on the beach. But not everyone heads to the sandy shores of Busan looking for a rest.

BUSAN, South Korea -- For many of us it’s a little late to get into “beach shape”. So why not get your beach body while you’re on the beach with a healthy dose of urban training?

The Busan Urban Training group (UT) is the creation of Dharma Shay and Scottie Hoang. According to their Facebook page, the two men started the group to get Busan into shape by “promoting fitness through urban training.”

When I was first invited to join one of the group’s sessions, I was expecting to be put through a harsh regimen of military combat training. After all, what else would you expect to get from Shay, an ex-mixed martial arts fighter, and Hoang, a former US army ranger?

Let's face it: I’m the furthest thing from a soldier or MMA fighter as you can get.

I was relieved to find the exact opposite. Shay and Hoang explained that UT incorporates calisthenics, cardio and weights through something called high intensity interval training.

Weights are typically made from things most of us toss into the recycling bin. Boxes, bags or plastic bottles are all fair game to be used as weights or obstacles. Even a backpack full of sand is sometimes used to enhance the routine.

Hoang, who is no stranger to getting down and dirty from his ranger days, explains, “I didn’t have access to the gym during my military days while out in combat, so I had to figure something out… so I used nature as my playground.”

I must admit, I was a little shy about using makeshift equipment and working out with a group outdoors. Once we got started, however, all these fears melted away with the sweat. The workouts were tough and rewarding.

During a session of UT you can expect to jump over several boxes in a row, sprint in and out of the water, crawl through sand, do pull ups using only a towel, work on arm curls with sandbags and more.

Whether you're just starting to get in shape or you're a seasoned fitness freak looking to try something different, all are welcome to join in.

The UT group is rapidly moving from a simple exercise club to a community, as membership has grown from just a few members to nearly 150. They meet on Thursdays and Sundays. For more info, check out Busan Urban Training on Facebook. The group is open to the public and is currently free.


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Photos by Steven Butterfield. You can check out Steve's sight here.

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