you've traveled for any length of time, you know
how tough it can be to fit in a workout, eat right
and continue to make progress (or even maintain
what you've got!) when you're in and out of hotels
seems the "fitness center" found in
many hotels is a stationary bike without a seat
and (if you're lucky) a battered multistation
weight stack machine. Quite often, hotels have
deals with local gyms to offer discounts or free
passes but, if you're busy with other things,
you may not have time to take advantage of these
offers. You may even be staying in a place that
has nothing at all for equipment!
what DO you do when you're on the road and want
to workout and eat right? This article will give
you some practical advice on just how you can
keep yourself in shape on the road. It covers
training programs, nutritional advice and some
sample exercises that require no specialized equipment
except for what you can easily find in and around
typical motel rooms or homes.
TRAINING PROGRAMS FOR THE ROAD
honestly, it's tough to follow a set program when
you're in unpredictable circumstances, as often
happens when you don't know what equipment you'll
have access to or even if you'll have a chance
to train on any particular day.
more planned-out-in-advance your travel schedule
is, of course, the better you'll be able to follow
a more set program. Here are some tips on how
to schedule your training while traveling.
1. Every time you get a chance to do a workout,
do a total-body workout. That way, if you don't
get a chance again for a couple of days, at least
you'll still have worked everything. And, even
if you do get a chance and do end up working the
whole body for several days in a row, you'll get
great benefits from this training by giving your
body a completely different stimulus than it's
is a sample total body workout arrangement - take
short rest periods to keep the training intense
(e.g. 30 seconds to a minute between sets). The
number of reps you get will depend on the exercise
you use (some exercises and body positions will
be tougher than others) but shoot for around 10
to 15 reps per set.
5 Sets Back
5 Sets Thighs
3 Sets Shoulders
2 Sets Biceps
2 Sets Triceps
2 Sets Calves
3 Sets Abdominals
2. If you feel up to it, on days when you've been
traveling for long periods, do some stretching
to help loosen up. Your body is basically motionless
for long periods when traveling and resistance
training may not be all that productive after
a long day on the road. Stretching
is easily done, requires no equipment and will
help relax you.
3. If you know you have a longer trip coming up,
ramp your current training up to that date. What
this means is that you want to start building
up and working your body with increased sets and
start using intensity techniques to move towards
doing this, by the time your trip comes along,
your body will NEED the break and moving to infrequent
bodyweight training will actually help your body
recover and improve.
strategy can also be applied if you travel very
frequently for business. Before you leave on your
trip, do a couple of extremely tough workouts
in a row. While you're on the trip, do a couple
of bodyweight workouts or focus on stretching,
especially on shorter trips.
concept of controlled overtraining is more fully
explained in this article (includes a sample training
on the Edge - Learn How Overtraining on Purpose
Can Get You Maximum Results FAST!
4. If your goal is to lose fat, try Fat-Loss
Circuit Training while on the road. This training
technique is basically doing cardio training in
between resistance training sets instead of taking
a typical non-active rest period. It's extremely
powerful and gives your body a strong metabolic
response - perfect for packing as much punch into
your workouts as possible.
a sample of what looks like in action:
30 seconds cardio
1 set chest
30 seconds cardio
1 set back
30 seconds cardio
1 set back
30 seconds cardio
your motel room, you can choose from a number
of cardio options: pack a skipping rope, use stairs
or a low bench or even just step-ups onto a stable
chair in the room (no rolling chairs!).
5. If your goal is to build muscle, I would still
recommend using the total-body workout format
but try to use more challenging exercise variations
that only allow for 8 to 12 reps per set. Doing
50 push-ups isn't going to build muscle!
it comes right down to it, it doesn't matter where
you're training. As long as you're giving your
body a strong training stimulus, you're going
to be able to build muscle.
NUTRITIONAL ADVICE FOR THE ROAD
while traveling can often be unpredictable. Depending
on activities or schedules, you may not know when
or where or what kind of foods you're going to
be eating on any given day. Here are some tips
to help keep your eating on track.
of these tips are just common sense, but it can
be difficult to watch what you eat on the road
and especially when you're out in a group. The
key is to just do the best you can and don't stress
yourself out worrying if you eat something that
you didn't plan on. The stress of constantly worrying
about it is worse than the effect of actually
1. Naturally, the more control you have over food
choices, the better off you'll be. When you can
choose, opt for healthier fare without fancy sauces
and fatty toppings. Stick to less processed selections
and do your best to stay away from fast food as
much as possible.
2. If your room has a fridge, you can buy food
from grocery stores and stock your fridge. If
your room doesn't have a fridge, do the best you
can with nonperishable items. Try to stick to
foods that are non-processed like fruits, veggies,
whole grains, etc.
3. Bring a protein supplement. This could be in
the form of protein powders, Ready-To-Drink formulas
or protein bars. While traveling, you'll probably
find that it's tough to get protein without getting
a lot of fat along with it (meat is often fatty
cuts or swimming in sauce). Protein supplements
help immensely - you have complete control over
how much protein you get and what is in it this
4. Take your vitamins. At the very least, you
should be taking a multivitamin and plenty of
extra Vitamin C (to help keep your immune system
strong, which is especially important when you're
packed on a plane with others who may be ill).
5. If you know you'll have a meal where you won't
have much choice as to what you must eat (it happens),
try to schedule a workout immediately before it.
This will minimize the impact of any not-so-healthy
foods you eat and you won't feel like you have
to say "no" to everything.
6. Make sure to eat breakfast - your best choice
is something healthy that you bought at a grocery
store--before you even leave your room. Quite
a few of the restaurant breakfast choices consist
of fried, greasy, sugary and enriched flour foods.
Starting with a good breakfast will keep you alert
and energized throughout the day.
7. If you're on a road trip and stopping for something
to eat, try stopping at the grocery store instead
of the McDonalds. It's a lot easier to grab something
healthy there. If you must eat fast foods, try
to stick to grilled items. Many places offer low-carb
selections or salads. Low-carb wraps are healthier
than white-flour buns.
8. Order food without sauce or dressing or ask
for it on the side so that you can control what
goes on your food.
9. If you're at a gathering and they serve snack
foods, try to stick with nuts, fruits and veggies
as much as possible (avoid the dips). As tasty
as the cocktail weenies are, they have no nutritional
value and are fatty.
EXERCISES FOR THE ROAD WARRIOR:
this section, I'm going to over exercises you
can do for every major bodypart. At the end of
this section, I'll give you a link where you can
find pictures of many of these exercises in action.
- Regular Push-Ups
(the normal push-up)
- Close Grip Push-Ups
(hands shoulder-width apart)
- Kneeling Push-Ups
- Wall Push-Ups
(standing up with your hands on wall, body at
- One Arm Push-Ups
(set feet quite wide for balance)
- Feet On Chair/Bed
Push-Ups (incline push-ups - increases difficulty)
- Between Two Beds/Chairs
Push-Ups (hands on two objects so your range
of motion is greater)
- Clapping Push-Ups
- explode up and clap your hands between reps
- Luggage on Back
Push-Ups (set your suitcase/bag on your back
- Between Two
Chairs (use the tops of the chair backs as dip
- In a Countertop
Corner (stand in the corner facing out and set
your hands on either side of you - do a dip
underneath a solid object like a rail or table
(not a table with only a center pedestal!). Pull
yourself up underneath it like you're doing a
Training Tip #374 - The Pull-Up Row
One Arm Suitcase Rows
work best if you got a heavy suitcase. Use your
luggage for resistance - go for strict form and
squeeze your back hard as you do them.
Arm Suitcase Rows
you can find something that is solid that you
can hang from, you've got yourself a pull-up station.
Suitcase Knee Rows
this exercise, you'll need a fairly large suitcase.
Rest the suitcase end on your thigh - this end
will act as the pivot point for the exercise,
using the suitcase as resistance. Row the handle
towards your body - the one end will stay on your
thigh while the top end pivots up towards you.
Luggage Farmers Walk
your two heaviest pieces of luggage and walk around
with them for as long as you can! For a variation
that works your abs, hold only one piece of luggage
- this hits the obliques.
Farmers Walk - Two Arms and One Arm
Squats or Lunges
can be done for high reps without extra resistance
or you can use your luggage or other objects around
the room for resistance. High reps won't be as
useful for muscle building but will definitely
stimulate your metabolism.
a sitting position with your back against a wall
for as long as possible (with no support - you'll
only stay up by pushing hard with your thighs).
You can also hold a piece of luggage on your lap
for extra resistance.
Sit and Wall Sit With Bag
can be done on the floor or standing on a chair
for greater range of motion. Basically, you stand
on one leg and squat down as far as you can then
come back up (you can hold onto objects for balance
when you first try these).
Isometric Leg Curls
motel/hotel rooms have tables. Stand in front
of the table facing away from it (make sure there's
nothing on top of it). Now raise your foot underneath
so that the heel of your foot is pushing against
the underside of the table. Now try to push the
table up. You should feel a strong cramping in
your hamstring. Hold it there for 5 to 10 seconds,
squeezing hard. Relax and repeat.
One-Legged Bench Squats
bench squat exercise requires a chair, bench
or even just a stair (as long as you have something
solid to grab onto). Move the chair in front of
a solid object, like a doorframe, that you can
get a good grip on. Stand on the chair on one
foot. Now, holding onto the solid object, lower
yourself down into a one-legged squat. The benefit
here is that you can go further down and use your
arms to pull back up if you need to. This is a
tough one but a good one!
Luggage Shoulder Presses and Raises
your bags overhead or do raises (front, rear or
lateral) with them. When doing presses, grip the
luggage on both ends and press the whole thing
directly overhead (it's a shorter range of motion).
If your luggage is light, you'll need to do high
reps or isometric holds at the top of the movements.
are done by first bracing two chairs against a
wall about 2 feet apart. Kneel down in front of
them then put your hands on the chair legs. Use
your legs to push your body forwards then use
shoulders to press your body backwards - use your
thighs to apply resistance.
Push-Ups and Pike Push-Ups are a great way
to hit shoulders with just bodyweight.
Push-Ups (done kneeling on the floor)
and bags all have handles. Use these to curl!
These actually work extremely well because of
how the resistance of the bag hangs down underneath
the handle - much different than a dumbell or
barbell! As you curl up, your hand will bend backwards,
which keeps the resistance on the biceps very
you've got a place you can do chin-ups, try keeping
your torso completely vertical while coming up.
This throws more tension onto the biceps.
Torso Chin-Ups - keep body as upright as possible
are done like a regular push-up only you will
set your hands about shoulder width apart. Keep
your elbows tucked in beside your body as you
Bodyweight Tricep Extensions
tricep extension is a great exercise that
can be done using a dresser, chair, table edge
or railing. Stand in front of the object (make
sure it won't roll back - brace it against a wall).
Step back a few feet. Set your hands on the edge.
Now, keeping your body stiff and straight, lower
yourself down so that your head ducks under the
edge of what you're grasping.
Tricep Extension using a chair
can be done on a chair or bed. Sit on the chair
and set your hands on the edge under your butt.
Set your feet a little forward. Now move your
butt off the chair and lower yourself down. Use
your triceps to push yourself back up. This exercise
can also be one arm for those who are stronger
- set your feet wide apart for balance, keeping
your legs straight. Your working arm should be
in the center of the chair for best balance.
Goodbye to Flabby Arms - Bench Dips For The Triceps
and How to Make Them Work Better For You
Dips - easiest position
Dips - Legs straight and legs up - harder
Arm Bench Dips
Standing Calf Raises
can be done with one leg or two legs. They can
be done on stairs or any other solid object. If
you're in a hotel room, often a thick phonebook
will work just fine.
stand with your heels off the edge. Let your heels
come down then use the calves to push back up.
That's the Standing
Full Range Calf Raises
short, you combine both Donkey Calf Raises and
Standing Calf Raises into one exercise. For more
detail, use this link:
Training Tip #444 - Full-Range Calf Raises
exercise will work just fine.
you need for this one is a rolled-up towel. Place
the rolled-up towel in the small of your back
just above the waistband and do a regular sit-up
from there. The towel changes the leverage and
forces the abs to do the bulk of the work.
To The Core of Your Being - Dramatically improve
sports and weightlifting performance and say goodbye
to lower back pain!
is a variation of an exercise I call the Curl
Squat. Grip your luggage with two hands (one on
either end) and hold it at face level just in
front of you, a few inches from your body. Be
sure you're NOT holding it against your body but
that it's support just by your arms. Now squat
down as far as you can and back up. Holding the
luggage in that position will activate the abs
conclusion, while it can be a challenge to keep
in shape on the road, it's definitely possible!
By training as regularly as you can, using exercises
that are suited to the environment that you're
in and keeping your nutrition as simple and natural
as possible, you should be able to continue to
make excellent progress in your training no matter
what your goals!
For more information on fat loss, muscle-building,
and unique exercises for the abdominals and your
entire body, check out the following links:
AND STRENGTH INFORMATION
Best Exercises You've Never Heard Of
Surge - Rapid Fat Loss