Travel can be the biggest undoing of all your hard work in training. How many times do we go away for a few weeks on an epic holiday and come back in worse shape than when we left?
When our team decided on a $10k trip to Yosemite, USA for the top Summer Body Challenge transformation prize, it’s because it’s an environment which provides an equal break from the stress of your busy life, time to relax and unwind, but it’s a wonderland for challenging your health and fitness.
Whether you’re travelling for work or passion, you don't have to sacrifice your health or your goals. Here are the five steps you need to pack, in order to return to normality energized and powering.
1. Don’t leave your fitness goals at home.
Before you leave, think about how you want to feel when you return. Why do you want, or need the holiday in the first place? Do you want to come back exhausted from smashing Bintangs and 2-for-1 cocktails, going hard every night with little sleep? Or, do you want to keep a good balance of fun but come back rested, rejuvenated and in the best shape of your life? Take that mental moment and remember why you’ve worked so hard for your healthier you in the first place.
2. Use your cardio fitness to set your bearings.
There’s nothing better than going for a long run around a new city or hiring a bike and getting off the beaten track as opposed to the tour bus or a cab loop. Disguising fitness as exploration is my go-to in any major metro city. It’ll help familiarize your bearings, and you might even find a lesser-known hot-spot to explore later on your holiday.
3. Take your gym with you.
This is one of the reasons why I found myself loving TRM rings more and more as I travelled. You can always find an outdoor workout station, balcony, scaffolding, tree, awning or anything horizontal that can support your body weight to hang your rings. And the versatility with this age-old piece of fitness genius means you can nearly replicate your entire gym… on the road. Adductor/abductor machine, behind the head lat pull down, smith machine squat, chest press, pec deck machine, ab curl machine and more, they can all be replicated with olympic rings.
4. Let the location inspire you!
Get re-inspired with your workouts. What training setting could honestly be any better than a tropical island? Or the park next to the colosseum or the Eiffel Tower, or Central Park in New York or looking over rolling hills in wine country as you push out that last rep? Let the location inspire you to train more, harder and better. Mixing up your workout experience will change the way you train at home too. Try new training methods unique to your location. Whether it’s a new form of combat training, a re-invented spin class, or a new gym, connect yourself with like-minded people of the area. You’d be amazed at who you might meet, and what you could learn.
5. Test yourself.
By choosing locations like Yosemite, you’re in an adventure capital of the world. Make the conscious decision to test your fitness limits; tackle that hike, ride that track, paddle that lake. By spinning your holidays around adventure, you’ll maintain the level of activity your body needs to keep fine-tuning, while also gaining the mental clarity which comes from once-in-a-lifestyle experiences.
6. Get Nutritiously Educated.
Understand the culinary culture of your destination. The simplest rules are to cut the sugar, reduce the meat between two big bits of bread, and opt for better balances of salad or veggies with a source of protein. Eat fresh and seasonal, find the local markets, meet the people, learn new foods, love your fuelling. Just don’t forget your 721 approach; 70% clean, 20% sensible, 10% relaxed.