When it comes to sticking to an exercise plan, nothing throws a spanner in the works like a holiday. Buffet breakfasts, the kind of weather that makes you want to lie down and stay there, and cheap, plentiful cocktails are enough to lead even the seasoned iron-hoister astray. But it doesn’t have to be so if you follow these simple tips for staying lean while travelling.
1- Try planned overtraining before your holiday. In the two weeks leading up to your trip, increase your training frequency. If you usually train twice a week, step it up to four. If you already train most days, try training twice a day a couple of days a week. The point is to work at a level that is beyond what you can currently handle, and then use your holiday as a recovery period. Once on holidays you can train once or twice a week, but focus on getting plenty of rest and recovery. If you time this right you’ll actually look better for the second half of your holiday.
A few weeks away is not the time to break records in the gym, its time for relaxation. So put the work in before you go and you’ll reap the rewards while you lounge by the pool.
2- use circuit training- if your hotel lacks a gym try a hotel room total body circuit. No, it won’t build Arnie-like pecs but it will be enough to keep you ticking over till normal service resumes. Try,
A- lunges x 12 each leg
B- press ups x 12
C- jump squats x 12
D- reverse crunches x 12
Repeat the circuit 4-5 times with 30 seconds rest between each round.
3- If your hotel does have a gym, chances are the heaviest dumbbell will be roughly equal to two wet socks. You can get around the minuscule dumbbell problem by flipping your usual workout on its head and training all the smallest muscles first. If you want to do an upper body workout, start with biceps and triceps, then shoulders then upper back then finally cheat. By pre-fatiguing the little muscles you’ll find the when you get around to bench pressing those 10kg dumbbells feel quite a bit heavier than usual.
4 – Don’t stress too much. We have zero scientific proof for this, but we are pretty convinced that the stress relieving effects of a holiday help to offset any fat gain you’d expect. Plus a good tan is basically nature’s Instagram filter. If you just keep one eye on your health and squeeze a couple of training sessions in you really shouldn’t regress much at all.