Training when traveling (with minimal to no equipment)

Enough has been said about training when traveling but the questions never cease. So here are my thoughts on what, how and when to do what when traveling.

  • Keep it super simple. Stop obsessing about how perfect your training can be and spend time on what you’re actually traveling for, be it business or pleasure.
  • Get your training done first thing in the morning and eat a good breakfast so you don’t have to worry about dedicating time for training and/or special meals during the rest of the day.
  • Forget body part splits, forget isolation exercises, forget targeting anything and focus on full body moves that train strength, speed, anaerobic/aerobic endurance and mobility. Do a kitchen sink workout of sorts.

As for exercises to do when you travel, I’ll give you 3 options. Choose 1 each day or choose more than one and combine them.

1. Burpees

Few exercises can replace a properly executed burpee when it comes to time efficient and effective training. Irrespective of what your goals are, a burpee workout will make sure you move closer to it. Here are some suggestions.

– If you are beginner, stick to the modified 4-step burpee and focus on performing each squat with perfect form, each plank with core activation and each jump with explosion. Set a number and work on completing that many burpees as fast as possible while maintaining good form or set a time and get as many legit burpees as possible in that time.

– If you are an intermediate, do the regular 6-step burpee with perfect form and fight for reps. Focus on sky high jumps and chest touch pushups in each rep. Do 5-10 reps per set ,exploding in each step, for 10-15 rounds resting as required between sets.

– If you’re advanced and are after both strength & conditioning, do one of the three…

  • Find a couple of heavy dumbbells or a weighted vest and do weighted burpees, again, fighting for good for and explosion in each rep. 10-12 sets of 5-10 reps with 30-45 sec rest between sets works wonders.
  • If weights aren’t available, up the number of pushups and jumps in each burpee to 3. So each burpee will have a squat, a kickback, 3 pushups, a reverse kick back and 3 squat jumps. And of course, you’re fighting for solid form in each rep. Stick to the same rep-set scheme as above. A hundred burpee workout = 300 pushups and 300 jump squats… can you handle it?
  • Do a burpee pyramid. Start with a regular burpee and as you do more, increase the number of pushups and jumps in each. Example below.

2. Pullups/Chinups

Chinups work everything the burpee doesnt (biceps and back) and hit that core again. So, if you have a bar or a ledge or a door and the strength to do some chin-ups, do them without fail! Here are some suggestions.

– Set a number that is 6-7 times your max and try to hit it in as few sets as possible without ever going to failure. If your max is 10, try to get 60-70 chinups in say 10 sets.

– Get max reps of chinups in 5 sets trying to get the same number of reps in your last set as your first set. Rest 3-5 minutes between sets.

Here is a short instructional video on pullups/chinups.

3. Run/Sprint

You don’t need anything to get this done really. Even shoes are optional. Find a road and go out for an enjoyable run or find a stretch of road/land and sprint. Here are some suggestions.

– Sprint 100 m at 90% effort. Walk back 100 m. Repeat for a total of 6-12 rounds and stop when your sprint is considerably (20%) slower than the first one.

– Run 400 m at 70% effort. Walk back 100 m. Run 300 m at 80% effort. Walk back 200 m. Sprint 200 m at 90% effort. Walk back 300m. Sprint 100m at max effort. Repeat for a total of 2-4 rounds and stop when you’re 100m sprints start feeling like a painful run (as opposed to a tearing flight!).

4. Combine

Now like I mentioned up top, you can do one of these each day or you can club these together and do a conditioning workout of sorts. Here are a couple of examples.

1. Repeat for a total of 5 rounds…

  • 10 Burpees [4-step burpee is your a beginner, weighted if you’re advanced]
  • 10 Chinups [Assisted if you’re a beginner, weighted if you’re advanced]
  • 50 m sprint
  • Rest 3 min.

Note: Make sure form is perfect and each rep/sprint is strong, solid and explosive. Do NOT do more reps at the cost of form. Increase rest period if required.

2. Complete in as less time as possible without compromising form in any move…
  • 30-100 Burpees [30 if you’re a beginner, 100 if you’re advanced]
  • 1 max set of chinups or 400m run for each burpee break

Here is a sample (short) conditioning workout that includes just pushups, chinups and squat jumps.

Peace out.

One response to “Training when traveling (with minimal to no equipment)

  1. Pingback: Saturday 11/5/11 | Derby City CrossFit - Louisville, KY

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