January 13, 2023
Everyone has been there at some point and if you haven’t, you probably will. After months of planning and waiting, your vacation starts this week. You have everything packed, or at least you’ve thought of packing, and you are getting your last workout in before you go. As you finish your last set you realize, after spending a few days on vacation, the first week back to training is going to be “rough”. You know that the best way to prevent a rough first week back is to keep moving while you’re away. Briefly, thoughts of a grungy hotel gym cross your mind but that’s not your only option.
This is where the amazing power of body weight training comes in. For centuries, people all over the world have been using body weight training to get strong and stay in shape. Now you can apply the same concepts to your training to help you avoid the pains of taking time off and to help keep you feeling good along the way.
Let’s take a look at what you can do. Too keep things feeling comfortable, try mirroring your current training. For example, if you normally train 2 times a week look to keep the same routine. Small amounts of variation will work fine, so feel free to be flexible; you are on vacation after all.
When it comes to sets and reps, try working until fatigue or just before it and follow the mirroring mindset we used above. If you typically work with three sets at home then three sets of bodyweight exercise to fatigue should be enough. Most importantly be flexible, if you try shooting for three sets to fatigue, and it is too much, dial it back to two as you feel it out.
“What if I don’t want to do a hundred air squats?” you ask. That is where exercise selection comes in. Selecting exercises that are in strong positions, like squats, push ups, etc., can lead to a high rep count, and that’s ok if you like that kind of workout. Alternatively, choosing more difficult exercises, or adding pauses, can be a great way to get your rep count down. If you can do 100 air squats as a set to fatigue, then try split squats or even rear foot elevated split squats and see what happens.
The bottom line is, you have the opportunity to keep up with your training no matter where you are and no matter what you are doing. All you have to do is pick 2-3 of exercises you like, gather yourself enough space and get to work. Let fatigue and your body be your guide and you will not only feel better when you return to training but you might even have a better vacation.