Travel workout routine

Hotel Room Workout Routine

Before working full-time as a personal trainer, I had many jobs that required me to travel extensively. I spent years doing production work and music and tour management, with stints ranging from 3 weeks to 10 months each year for about 10 years. Although I wasn't a fitness professional at the time, I was certainly a fitness enthusiast. One of the biggest challenges to my enthusiasm was staying fit and strong on the road.

Lack of equipment is the most obvious hurdle, but once you're actually on the road, you discover that time is your real enemy. No company wants to pay you to jerk around, so you learn quickly to make the most of what's already around you. Yes, sometimes hotels have gyms, but they're usually no more than cramped, converted broom closets with a few treadmills and a water cooler. You can forget about traveling to a local gym, assuming you could even find one. Furthermore, the proper workout attire for outdoor training doesn't always fit in your carry-on.

You can try to impress me with stories about the wonderful things you do with resistance bands and other toys, but veteran travelers know that mobile strength training starts with the objects in your hotel room. From one road warrior to another, here's my guide to maintaining the hard work you've been doing back home.

Checking In

As soon as you enter your room, size it up and see what you've got to work with. Of course this is a good idea anytime you'll be training in a small area, but it's crucial when you've got to get your reps in a "gym" that wasn't built with training in mind.

What can you use for resistance? Is there a chair for dips? How about towels? What hotel gear can you transform or adopt for your workout? There may be more than meets the eye, so take a few minutes and open your mind.

The dimensions of your hotel room determine the workout you can accomplish. Chairs, beds, nightstands, suitcases, and even towels can become implements.

If you read my article about the home-gym essentials, you've already heard me advocate making the most of walls and floors. This is equally true in hotels, where the components of the room form the easiest way to implement leverage.

If standard push-ups aren't challenging enough, see what you can use for incline push-ups. Place your feet on the windowsill to take this classic exercise to the next level. This change in leverage can also be implemented to intensify other exercises, such as lunges, by elevating the rear foot.

Squat What You Got

Squatting is one of the best exercises in your arsenal, for the simple reason that if you have room to stand, then you have room to squat. Squats work pretty much the entire body, with emphasis on the legs, back, and glutes. Because it's hard to commit to a schedule when traveling, isolating individual muscles is probably unrealistic. Full-body movements are your best bet.

Need another reason to leave your split routine at home? Large exercises that recruit multiple muscle groups promote greater overall expenditure of energy. It can be hard to eat healthfully on business trips, so the more you can burn, the better!


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