Training while Traveling: A How-To for Making Gains on the Road!

We all have a set routine when it comes to training in our normal surroundings. For most of us, it’s going to the local gym to lift weights; for others, it’s working out in the convenience of their own home using the home gym they’ve set up.

When we’re in a routine, getting workouts in is easy and convenient, because it’s already part of the everyday schedule. However, at some point or another everyone will have to deal with traveling away from home.

It could be something as short as a quick trip for a business meeting, or in an entirely different region of globe for a vacation that lasts weeks. No matter how long or what kind of trip it is, a few things are certain -- your normal routine is thrown completely out of whack!

The gym you go to regularly won’t be available and access to your usual equipment isn’t guaranteed. Your typical jogging path isn’t there anymore either, nor is your kitchen for meal prep or bed for quality sleep.

Yes, traveling certainly puts a cramp in your fitness routine, but it doesn’t have to completely derail it by any means. It might take some innovative thinking on your part to stay on track, but that’s why we’re here to offer some methods for keeping your workouts on track even with the most barren setup!


What to do when traveling?


So, you’ve left the comfy confines of home and you’re holed up at a hotel out of town for a few days or weeks….what do you do?

We’ll address this question in order of best case scenario to worst case scenario:


Best Case

Often times, commercial gyms are located near major hotel chains and offer some kind of free / reduced guest pass for those out of town looking for a gym. In our best case scenario, when checking into your hotel, ask the clerk at the front desk if there’s a gym nearby and if there is, inquire about a free day pass or reduced guest pass.

If everything falls in your favor, you’ll get hooked up with some passes to the local mega gym and be able to keep on your current lifting routine with no problem.

But, few things in life ever work out as ideally as we’d like, which brings us to the next scenario.


“OK” Case

If there is no nearby gym, or the option of a guest pass isn’t available the next best option would be that the hotel gym is pretty well stocked. If it’s one of the better fitted hotel gyms, you can expect to find dumbbells from 5lbs all the way up to 100lbs plus a cable station with a pull up bar and maybe even a leg extension machine.

This is more equipment than you could possibly need to get in a great workout and still keep making gains. Sure you may not have all the fancy equipment of your normal gym (or home gym), but with a few minor exercise modifications, you can still get in a fantastic workout.

Hopefully this is where most of you find yourself, but for the select few who don’t have this kind of setup, proceed to the next bullet point…


Worst Case

This is the DefCon 5 of workout situations -- no nearby big box gyms, and the sorry excuse of a hotel gym you have access to is nothing more than a treadmill and a few sets of pink dumbbells...yes, we’ve seen gyms like this before!

So what’s the avid fitness enthusiast supposed to do?!

Get back to the basics and use the human body and Mother Earth to break down your muscles with bodyweight exercises. Don’t scoff at bodyweight exercises as being easy. When grouped as a circuit, you’ll find that bodyweight exercises can be just as taxing as lifting those heavy barbells at the gym.

If you do find yourself in this situation, here’s a full body workout you can do 3-4x per week to stay on track with your fitness. Move from one exercise to the next with as little rest as possible then take a 2 minute break before repeated for 3-4 rounds:

1. Jump Squats - 15 reps

2. Push Ups - 20 reps

3. Reverse Lunges - 10 reps / leg

4. Door Pull Ups - AMAP (hook hands over the top of the bathroom door and do pull ups -- yes this works, we’ve even used this technique before!)

5. Bodyweight Squats - 20 reps

6. “Dive bomber” Push Ups - 15 reps

7. Rest


Traveling out of town doesn’t have to be a death sentence for your fitness lifestyle and goals. All it takes is commitment and a little bit of creativity on your part to make sure you get your workouts in when you’re supposed to.

Also, remember, a few days out of your normal gym isn’t going to make you lose all of your gains -- that comes from proper diet. Make smart choices when dining out, and take a stroll outside everyday or every other day for some fresh air and sunlight, and when you do get back to the comforts of home, you’ll be in just as good of shape (if not better) than when you left!


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