Don’t let your vacation plans ruin your exercise regime…stay on track by implementing good practices while you are away from home.
Dealing with Vacations
Your strength and conditioning training shouldn’t limit your chances to travel and explore this beautiful Earth! Your training session might very well be used to the four walls of your local gym or home gym but you shouldn’t have to be. To avoid becoming reluctant at booking any future vacations due to your training schedule, a little creativity is required to make your very own gym using your vacation surroundings.
Whether it’s for a two week getaway with the family or for six months travelling across the world, get the best of both worlds by maintaining your strength and conditioning training whilst on vacation. Two weeks of vacation generally shouldn’t make a difference to your muscle/strength gains, especially if you perform bits of training here and there anyway.
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Everyone travels, whether it’s for a family vacation, for business, or even for strength and conditioning competitions. Whether you’ve already booked your vacation (hotel with gym included) or looking for advice on how to travel and maintain your already built-up physique, Lee Moran from Freedom Strength has some great advice below on tweaking your training for your vacation and avoiding the fear of losing that progress you’ve already made so far.
Taking this approach on board will also help to shake off the stigma that vacations make you gain weight due to all that eating and drinking - as well as lack of exercise. You can get the balance right by enjoying a well-deserved rest from your day-to-day life whilst continuing your training, and then getting back into your training as normal once you return.
When it comes to sprint training on vacation, the beach is a great choice for high intensity training! The natural sand will help to add extra resistance to your sprints and instantly increase the difficulty level.
Start your training session off with an initial warm up of a mile or two of easy running, and then focus on meter intervals for your sprint training. To extend the difficulty (depending on how long you’re on vacation for) you might want to take your sprints downhill and uphill, as it’s one of the best ways to build muscle.
At your home gym, you’d most likely be using a specialist piece of equipment to perform your dips and push-ups. You’ll have to get a bit more creative on vacation though. You can focus on your standard push-ups and adding some weight to your back, such as a book or two, to make it more challenging.
If standard push-ups aren’t quite challenging enough though, you can look to decline push-ups, handstand push-ups and clap push-ups for more advanced training.
Pull-ups will be a bit more challenging to continually perform on vacation. However if you’re aware of your surroundings and can keep an eye out for a climbing frame in a local park or a strong tree branch, you’ll be able to adapt your pull-ups to your surroundings. Therefore, you might not be able to schedule in your pull-ups as well as your other exercises, but will need to react and carry out your pull-ups training when you can find the right surroundings.
Depending on your vacation location and logistics of your packing and journey, you could also think about taking a portable pull-ups bar that you can easily hook onto a door frame. There’s also the option of booking a hotel which comes with its own gym, although where’s the fun in that?
Burpees are one of the best drills that you can do for your strength and conditioning training, as they will condition your whole body and help to develop core strength and power. Taking up the intensity during your training, burpee exercises are great to do on vacation as all you need is a big enough space, your gym gear and that motivation to set you into motion!
Your own bodyweight will provide plenty of resistance during the intervals, and as your burpee training develops, you can add push-ups into the mix as well. If you haven’t come across burpees before, they’ll instantly change your training.
To perform burpees: Start off in a squat position with your hands placed on the floor, then kick your feet behind you into a push-up position. Return to your feet immediately in the squat position, and then leap up high from the squat position and then repeat.
Recovery time is a crucial process with any strength and conditioning training. There’s good news as well as the time you spend relaxing on that sun lounger or enjoying a dip in the pool, can be classed as “recovery time.” It’s important to make the most of your vacation time and take a day of rest between each training session.
Incorporating recovery time into your strength and conditioning training will help to avoid more work in the long run. Certain factors such as larger muscles requiring more recovery time will vary from person to person. You should also be aware that more training will result in more recovery time.
Still worried about your training whilst you’re away? Keep your mind and your body active by booking yourself onto more of an adventurous vacation to avoid those relaxing days by the pool. Some great examples include:
About the Author
Lee Moran is Director at Freedom Strength, a fitness company providing high quality products designed to improve athletic performance. With over 15 years of military service, 28 years of active UK Fire Service and currently a powerlifting coach and nutritionist, Lee is well studied in advanced strength and conditioning systems.
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