Clients often ask, “What happens when I travel or go on vacation?” Our answer: if the airline losses your luggage and sends your gyms clothes to Alaska, consider it a gift, because adequate rest and relaxation are vital components of any successful exercise regimen. Enjoy your vacation, focus on nutrition and forget working out.
Our personal preference and recommendation for people committed to exercise is to pursue a protocol of strength training that posses two attributes: safety and measurable results. Training primarily with weights, preferably quality machines, allows for focus to be given to effort and increasing resistance in a consistent, measurable and precise manner.
For those going on extended vacations (what a concept), we do concede of such a thing as too much rest. If you rest for too many days between workouts, say for two weeks, your muscles will start to atrophy, as they pass the point of recovery and start to diminish in size and strength. So, what then are you to do?
Absent travelling with 5000lb pieces of retrofitted equipment, or frustrating yourself trying to mirror such variables as seat positions and settings on unfamiliar equipment, the answer is to keep it simple. Stimulate the muscles in a meaningful way and oxygenate the body.
Choose the simple things always, as life can become complicated if you let it be so. How you train – effort, volume, frequency, form, etc. – is far more important than the equipment you use, or whether you use equipment at all. You can still train effectively performing just body weight exercises.
Body Weight Training
The biggest advantage to bodyweight training is that most exercises can be done almost anywhere. Adequate hotel room floor space is all that is required and the most useful apparatus can be easily constructed or found on a local playground. How convenient and inexpensive!
What the heck is bodyweight training? Ironically, you already know. Basic routines can be comprised of various movements, not limited to: Squats; basic Push-Up; Crunches; Plank and Side Plank; Plank to Push Up; Single or Double Leg Drops; and Leg Cross Overs, etc.
What is our contribution? GO SLOW, for three reasons.
PHX Strength Principles
Safety: Moving slowly reduces the forces that commonly cause injury to your joints, muscles and connective tissue.
Efficiency. Moving slowly reduces momentum, which requires the muscle to do the work.
Results. Armed with the knowledge that you can train without injury, you will have the confidence to push your muscles to the level of fatigue (stimulation) required to bring about an adaptive response.
While becoming extremely strong and muscular using body weight exercise alone is possible, the point to take away is that you can maintain strength while away from home. The biggest disadvantage to bodyweight training is the lack of a straightforward way to increase the weight, but lugging around a weight vest, dipping belt or weight plates defeats the purpose of leaving your favorite leg press machine behind. Save resistance progression for when you get back home.
You can be swamped by challenges while traveling. Love and revere the humble things in life. If all else fails, sequence through some Sun Salutations to stimulate the muscles in a meaningful way and oxygenate the body. Simply be grateful and present for either the business that’s demanding your time away from home, or the extended vacation afforded by it for you and your family.