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9 Tips to Travel Fit with Free Travel Workout Plan

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9 Tips to Travel Fit with Free Travel Workout Plan

I’ve travelled extensively during my career domestic and international, not only when I work in Artist Management and Touring, but also at Penguin Random House where I handled accounts in the US and Canada. Touring with bands but trying keeping fit and healthy, I have to say, doesn’t really work…even with a plan!

Frequently, with my sales role at PRH, a big trip would clash with my training for a marathon or my Kettlebell Certification, other times I was just on holiday and wanted to keep in shape. Knowing what do and what would keep me strong and mobile was stressful initially as I was unnecessarily worried I’d lose momentum and fitness.

Fear not, I’ve done the worrying for you, you can either maintain your fitness or even make good gains if you train following the principles below. I’ve even included a simple training plan (you’ll be surprised how effective it is - training doesn’t have to be complex to get results!)

My 9 tips to Travel Fit.

1. know your schedule

It’s important to know how much time you have, what your company requires you to do, and when your free time is. Ask you self how much can you handle? I’d be honest here, as there is no point adding load to a demanding schedule. You will only pay for it on your return with, perhaps, many days or weeks of recovery if you’ve pushed too hard.

2. know your facilities

Will you have space to exercise? Is there a gym and does it have the things you need? I’d suggest that you need to make compromises here and not worry about having the correct brand of kettlebell or a squat rack or TRX etc. Hotel gyms can be pretty variable so I’d stick to some key areas you want to work on. I’d suggest mobility, flexibility and some bodyweight movements.

3. Sleep/jet lag

This is a biggie! Don’t let the HIIT brigade say the best thing to do as you step off an 11hr flight is an intense session. You’ll be stiff, tired and will either be dehydrated or undernourished. Get your sleep, I personally would only train the next day if I had 6-7 hours of quality sleep and even then I’d probably spend it working on my hip flexors, shoulders and back from all that sitting. Let your body recover.

4.Be flexible with your training:

As I mentioned earlier, facilities and availability to train will be questionable. So either relax and enjoy the opportunities your get to exercise and don’t be outcome based or just work on movement exploration and enjoy yourself. Being armed with a series of key bodyweight exercises will mean that you never need a gym anyway!

5. Mobility/flexibility:

This should be a priority. After all the sitting in meetings, coffee shops, planes, trains, etc. You need to be kind to your body, so I would recommend you stretch and mobilise frequently. The airport provides ample space, and so do most hotel rooms. Use it!

6. Don’t train too hard!:

Whilst travelling less is more! Honestly, your priority on a trip is your work or your family/friends. Any travel training plan needs to be repeatable and not drain your mind, nervous system or require days of sleeping to get the benefits. Work on perfect technique, lower reps and perhaps more sets if necessary. Take adequate rest between sets.

7. Deload:

Your trip may be an opportunity to take a break from training (god forbid!) Effective periodisation can involve a deloading week. These are weeks where you still train the movements you are working on but you take a few steps back regarding intensity (load, distance, sets, reps etc). This allows your body to build but not lose any of the gains, in fact, allows you to get stronger and faster. A holiday, for example, is the perfect opportunity to do this.

8. Stick to your healthy eating habits:

If you eat crap, you’ll feel like crap. to be fair, it’s bloody hard to eat well whilst travelling because you are sleep deprived, crave sugar and sometimes can’t get access to good food. However, airports and most cities in the modern world have fantastic options to eat well. So stick to your guns and eat well and as often as you need to, just stay away from too much entertaining and late night snacking.

9. Ease back into training after a long trip:

Don’t don't make the first workout back a killer. Spend the first few days mobilising and working on flexibility, then start with an easy workout, medium and then when you feel recovered go for a hard workout (but ease off if you feel like crap midway through!)

So what exercises should I do, I hear you say!

Here’s my FREE Travel work out plan

Your goals will be specific to you, but for general strength and conditioning, this will hit all the right spots. In fact, it’d work as a longer term plan if you work through the progressions over a couple of months. This training plan is designed to be repeated every day. Usually, we spend a day on, day off, at least, to recover. However, travel can be unpredictable and therefore there needs to be 2 main considerations.

1. Those travelling for business need to be able to train wherever and whenever they can, therefore we need to hit some compound movements and fundamental movement patterns which give the biggest bang for our bucks.

2. Travel can be stressful and demanding so training cannot be an additional stress. It needs to be targeted, concise and easy to recover from. The training gains will be made by training frequently or potentially every day.

The training plan below should only take 20 mins tops, which means you can perform it before breakfast or when you return to your room before an evening meal/meeting. You can also do it in an airport (which I recommend if you do long haul, all that sitting takes its toll. If you don’t move regularly whilst travelling you may end up spending longer mobilising and recovering on your return.

Travel Training Plan

The example plan is perfect for women and men (adjust exercises to your ability), I’ve added progressions to choose from. Because it’s all bodyweight you can do it anywhere and excellent for men and women alike:

Warm up:

Rocking (see my ebook), neck nods (see my ebook), a plank, and bird dogs.

Exercise 1: Press ups 6-12 reps x 2 sets (choose from incline, kneeling, full, or harder press-up variations) Perform with clean technique 2 seconds down hold for 1, and 2 seconds up.

Exercise 2: Bodyweight Squats 15-25 reps x 2 sets (choose from door squats - see my ebook for details, supported squats (see my eBook), half squats, full squats - harder variations may need lower repetitions.) 2 seconds down hold for 1, and 2 seconds up.

Exercise 3: Bridging Hold for 20-30 seconds x 2 sets (choose from bent knee hip bridge (see my ebook), table top bridge, straight bridge, head bridge and full bridge)

Exercise 4: lying Leg raises - 10-20 Repetitions x 2 sets (choose from bent hip and knee, bent knee and straight leg raises) 2 seconds down hold for 1, and 2 seconds up.

Cool down: Choose a couple of gentle stretches - I recommend a couch stretch for the hip flexors, the cobra for your spine.

Give me a shout if you have any issues with the exercises.

The aim is not to go to failure, look to complete tidy solid repetitions. Rest 1 min between sets and 2 mins between exercises.

I honestly believe that even for trips longer than a few days this programme will not only maintain your current levels of fitness, it may increase them if you don’t push too hard and find the time to do them each day.

Remember you won’t go backwards if you take a day off. If you need to rest, then rest or just do the warm up and stretches. You could even split the routine into two training two movements a day in this case you can try to hit the upper end of the reps.

If the thought of exercise on the road fills you with dread then download my FREE eBook which will give you an alternative to sweating in five-minute routine to help lubricate your joints and help you face the day!

Paul Bassett


Hounds of Health If you need some ideas on how to stay supple on work trips download my free ebook: link below

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