The majority of your strength and conditioning work is usually confined to your local gym. But your gym life shouldn’t limit your chance to travel and explore this beautiful Earth. To avoid becoming reluctant to book any future holidays because you don’t want to disrupt your training, you’ll need to get creative and use your new surroundings.
Everyone travels, whether it’s for a family vacation, for business, of even for competitions. Whether it’s a two-week getaway or six months travelling across Southeast Asia, get the best of both worlds by maintaining your strength and conditioning training while enjoying your holiday.
Whether you’ve already booked your trip, or are looking for advice on how to travel and maintain your hard-won physique, here’s some advice on tweaking your training for your holiday, and avoiding the fear of losing the progress you’ve already made.
Generally speaking, two weeks of vacation shouldn’t make any difference to your fitness gains, especially if you perform bits of training here and there. Taking this approach will also shake off the stigma that vacations make you gain weight due to all that eating and drinking, as well as lack of exercise. If you plan ahead and get a little creative, you can find the right balance of enjoying a well-deserved rest from your day-to-day life with continuing your training. If you do it right, you can jump right back into your normal routine once you return.
Sprints on the Beach
If your trip takes you to the beach, you already have a great opportunity for high intensity training. The sand will add some extra resistance to your sprints and enhance the difficulty, compared to the gym surface you’re used to.
Start off with your usual warm up, and get in a mile or two of easy running, then focus on intervals for your sprint training. To raise the difficulty even further, you could do your sprints up and down a sand hill, as it’s one of the best ways to build conditioning.
Get Back to Bodyweight
At your home gym, you most likely use specialized equipment to perform many of your exercises. On holiday, you’ll have to get a bit more creative. Bodyweight training can provide ample opportunity for some solid training, but you might want some ways to up the ante. If you need to add some resistance to standard push ups, for instance, try adding some weight to your back, such as a book or two. You could also try decline push ups, handstand push ups, and clap push ups for more advanced training.
Pull ups can be a bit more challenging to perform on the road, but if you’re constantly on the lookout for a climbing frame in a local park or a sturdy tree branch, chances are you’ll find what you need. You might not be able to schedule your pull ups in your workouts as well as your other exercises, but your body doesn’t care when you get them in, just that you do it.
Depending on where you go on your vacation, you could also take a portable pull up bar that you can hook on the door frame. There’s also the option of booking a hotel with its own gym, although that may limit your options on where you can stay.
Burpee intervals are one of the best drills for conditioning, as they will engage your whole body and help to develop strength, power, and overall endurance. The best part is, all you need is a big enough space, and the motivation to get moving.
Your own bodyweight will provide plenty of options to get moving while you’re away. You may even find some progress from training in ways you normally don’t.
You’re Allowed to Not Work Out
Recovery time is a crucial element to any type of training. Incorporating regular recovery time into your program will only aid your progress in the long run. The time you spend relaxing by the pool is definitely recovery time, so make the most of your vacation and take a day of rest between each training session.
Last, don’t fall into the trap of thinking every workout has to look like a workout. You can keep your mind and body plenty active by booking yourself an adventurous holiday, like a trip to go kayaking, skiing, hiking, cycling, or rock climbing. You’ll come back rejuvenated from the break, and probably every bit as fit as when you left.