There are many benefits to traveling, but the one downside is that it can halt progress in the gym. If you’re serious about gaining size, then you know you don’t want to skip days in the gym. And if you’ve been following a strict schedule then you want to stick with that schedule, regardless of where you are.
If you can get a hotel or apartment with a gym in it, then great. But if not then read below to find out how you can get the best workout without having a hotel gym.
Hotel Rooms Workouts
When traveling you’re usually going to spend a lot of time in hotel rooms. You may not think this is the best place to workout, but you’d be surprised what you can accomplish in a small hotel room. It will never be as good as a gym workout, but it will suffice. Let’s take a look at the some of the exercises you can do:
Elevated Push Ups
Simple and easy to do, you start by putting your feet on the edge of the bed and your hands on the floor. Then it’s pushups as usual. These are more difficult then traditional pushups and they will target your upper-chest and shoulders.
You can use the bed or a chair if you have one in the room. A chair is preferable because it’s harder and lower to the ground. If your bed is too high, then dips are not possible. It’s also possible to do dips on the floor.
If you have floor space, then you can do planks. If the floor is too hard then you can put a towel under your elbows to make it more comfortable. You can also do crunches and other ab-exercises.
As you can see, these are all body-weight exercises. For most of you, the exercises are going to be fairly easy so you will do them in high reps- usually in the 12-16 range. To make things more challenging, you can do the exercises slower and really focus on the individual muscles. You can also mix-in isometrics and super-sets.
In some countries, particularly in Latin America, there are public parks near the ocean that have outdoor gyms. But these aren’t regular gyms- they only contain basic equipment that doesn’t provide weight resistance. So the equipment isn’t good (as you would expect) but it does give you more options than a hotel room. And since these parks are usually near the water, it makes it an ideal spot to go for a run before or after you lift.
The biggest benefit of the park over a hotel room is that you’ll be able to do pullups and chin-ups. These are two of the top body-weight exercises, and they are great for targeting your back and biceps. It should be easy to find a metal bar to do them on. If not, then you can get creative and hang from a piece of equipment.
If you’re only in town for a few days then it doesn’t make sense to buy a monthly membership. However you can try to negotiate a rate for a week or for however long you’re staying. It depends on the gym, and usually you’ll have to talk to the manager or owner. You’ll have more luck doing this with a smaller or less-popular gym. It’s usually tougher with the larger, brand-name gyms.
But with the larger gyms, you can ask for a ‘guest pass’. This will give you full gym-access for a day. The implication for management is that if you like the gym, then you will sign up later for a membership. Therefore you probably can’t get more than one guest pass for a single gym. But what you can do is search online for the closest gyms, and then try for guest passes at each one.
Items to Bring
To make it easier for yourself, you can bring some workout equipment with you. This will allow you to have more options. And don’t worry, these items are all light-weight and easy to fit into a suitcase.
Resistance bands are not just for rehabilitation. I consider them to be a criminally underrated piece of workout equipment. And they are perfect for bringing on the road because they barely take up any space.
Without a gym, curls are one of the toughest exercises to do. But resistance bands make curls easy to do- especially if you buy the bands that come with handles. Besides curls, there are plenty of other exercises you can do without needing any additional equipment. These exercises include: squats, rows, shoulder presses, calf-raises, and more.
So which type should you buy? If you’re an experienced lifter then you want to go with a thicker type. The thicker the band, the more resistance you’re going to receive. You should also make sure to look for the type with handles.
You can do abs just fine with planks and sit-ups, but if you want variation then it’s good to bring an ab wheel. This small piece of equipment doesn’t take up much space and it will strengthen your abs.
All you need to do is get on your knees and roll the wheel out until you are parallel to the floor. You can also do this from a standing position if you have the capability. In addition to abs, you can also target your obliques by moving the wheel to the sides.
One word of caution: the ab wheel is not intended for those with lower-back problems.
It’s better to do sprints on the beach, but if you’re away from the beach then nothing beats using a jump rope. Jumping rope will give you a tough fat-burning workout while also improving your cardio. If losing fat is your main goal then this should be a must-bring item. The best ropes are ones that are adjustable and designed for speed.
So that’s all there is to it. You can still have great workouts while you travel. If you make the effort then there’s nothing that will hold you back from making gains.
Keith Daniels is a fitness junkie who also likes to travel in his spare time.