Having worked as a consultant for many years there was a constant pressure to combine work travel, and the lack of routine it brings, with maintaining a healthy and consistent training schedule.
In this blog entry I share my top four tips I used to keep on the 'straight and narrow'.
Tip 1: Simplicity without sacrificing intensity
I strongly believe that in life we should try and keep things as simple as possible and by possible I mean to achieve without failing to achieve the intended outcome.
Translating this to a training schedule, simplicity opens up opportunities. For example, stripping your strength training workout to essential compound movements, removing isolation exercises will:
- Reduce the need for equipment and thus a highly equipped gym;
- Saves time through a more efficient workout schedule which still manages to train your entire body;
Keeping a routine simple however does not mean it lacks intensity, there are many ways to make a routine more challenge from the simplest form of increasing resistance to everything from the set structures, rest intervals and exercise tempos. So even if that hotel gym has just a bench and few dumbbells, you can make it work.
If you find yourself in this situation and need help designing a routine for on the road, reach out to me.
Tip 2: Calisthenics
Picture: Zurifit HardHof, one of my favourite places to train.
Calisthenics or more simply bodyweight training has received a lot of attention lately and during my travelling days was an absolute savior. With minimal or, in many cases, no equipment you are able to build and perform all-body strength or hypertrophy workouts and, as you progress, look cool in the process.
Armed with the knowledge of progressive calisthenics exercises I would work everything from my upper body, back down to my calves in many cases in the comfort of my hotel room.
It's excellent for building all over body strength and balance, as every exercise is in effect a compound movement.
There are some excellent books and YouTube videos on the topic. My packing essential was 'Get Strong' by the AlKavadlo brothers in New York. The book is simple, easy to read and with clear instructions on progressing your routine.
Personally, I love introducing clients to calisthenics in my outdoor workouts. Starting with a progression we identify the right starting point for every movement and, through setting achievement milestones, we build in the essential progressive overload to keep the routine challenging.
Tip 3: There's and App for Everything
One of my favourite travel apps has to be calisthenics-parks.com. Using your location and the kind information supplied by locals, the app locates outdoor parks in your area, provides direction, photos and even an equipment list.
I had so much fun using the app, from working out in an old Soviet housing estate in Slovak to the beaches of Barcelona.
Tip 4: Exercise Bands
Picture: Portable Training Kit from Tribes
Those of you who follow me on Instagram will know I love my exercise bands, if you ever see me riding around Zurich with a backpack on there is a high likelihood it is full of them.
Whilst there are many portable training equipment options out there, personally I find these to be the most durable and adaptable to achieve a near-gym experience with lightweight and durable equipment.
Using colours as a guide, the bands vary in their intensity to allow for easy progression and I've been able to replicate practically all of my in-gym workouts to band and calisthenic equivalents when travel needs have arisen.
For my clients, especially those with travel dominant work lives, I enjoy the challenge to create a fun and engaging in-studio workout with a travel companion workout to maintain those gains on the move.
I hope you have enjoyed reading this short blog and that these tips help you as much as they helped me.
Of course, if you want more specific guidance you can always reach out to me directly, sharing what I know is something I enjoy.
Written by Bruce Maidment, personal trainer and founder/owner of Tribes by MaidmentFitness.
Please note: No affiliations are made to products or services highlighted in this blog entry.