by Collin Stark April 29, 2022 7 min read
I've been there … you are headed out of town and thinking, “How the heck am I going to stay on track?” or “How am I going to get a workout in?”
Whether working out is a part of your lifestyle, or you have specific goals that you want to achieve, staying on track is crucial.
Trust me, I understand how hard it can be to stay on track when you're traveling.
But being consistent is a must if you want to reach your goals. Your body adapts to everything you do every day.
After all, that's what fitness results really are ... it's your body adapting to different physical stressors.
When you build muscle, your body is just adapting to the stress of increased weight forces. This happens when you lift weights regularly.
When you lose body fat, your body is just adapting to being in a calorie deficit (using more energy than you're consuming through food and drink.)
So, when you stop doing these things, or quit doing them consistently, your body has no need to adapt. Then, your body begins to reverse the adaptations that were made.
Are you going to lose all of your progress in one week from going on vacation if you’ve been working at it for a long time?
No, but that’s not where I’m going with this...
What I’m trying to say is ... if you are trying to nail down a routine to help with your fitness goals, and have trouble while you're at home, being out of town is likely going to be much more difficult.
You have to adapt and find a way to remain consistent whether you're home or not.
Plus, there is something to be said for continuing to build on positive momentum that you have built up.
So, if I can help you stay on track, even when hitting the road, then I feel it is definitely valuable to do so.
When you're home, I'm sure you have a routine for when and where you workout.
When you're out of town though ... that's when things can get a little more interesting.
Listen, I've been there. But like I said earlier, if you want to make it work, you have to be willing to adapt.
Other cities have gyms too, right?
Of course they do. But paying for a day pass after all of your trip expenses may not be what you want to do.
Plus, there is a time component that goes into searching and training at a gym. This could take away from the things you want to do on your trip.
But what about the hotel gym? Do they have one?
Most of them do!
The downside is ... many hotel gyms can be cramped and have at most a treadmill, a couple of exercise balls, and some dumbbells.
Personally, I prefer to adapt to my circumstances and get in a full workout in my hotel room!
Believe it or not, you can really get in a great workout this way.
Always warm up before you exercise!
This is something many people neglect, but it can save you from an unwanted injury.
With that being said, make sure to keep it as part of the routine. Here's a good warm up to follow:
• Jumping jacks x 25 reps
• Push-ups x 10 reps
• Air squats x 15 reps
• Arm circles (big) x 10 reps forward and back
• Hip bridges x 10 reps
• Lateral squats (wide) x 10 reps each side
You can make this as difficult as you want by shortening rest periods, making it an EMOM (every minute on the minute), or even adding weight with a vest or backpack.
You can also modify these exercises as much as needed to accommodate your fitness level.
If you really want to break a sweat though, I recommend going with the EMOM version 2x in 20 minutes!
• Jump squats x 20 reps
• Hand-release push-ups x 20 reps
• Bicycle crunches x 20 reps each side
• Single-arm luggage/backpack rows x 20 reps each arm (each arm on a separate minute)
• Single-leg hip bridge x 20 reps (each leg on a separate minute)
• Decline push-ups x 20 reps (feet on bed or chair)
• Plank x 1 minute
• Floor pull-up x 15 reps (slow)
I know the floor pull-up will likely be a new exercise for you all, so I’ll post the directions below.
Floor pull-up instructions: Lie on your belly holding a towel at each end, pulling it tight like you’re trying to stretch it out.
From this position, pull your elbows down toward your sides, keeping your elbows off the ground, but your hands lightly touching the ground throughout the movement.
As the towel reaches your head, slightly lift your head up to allow the towel to run underneath your chin until it reaches your chest.
If you do these movements, with some intensity and the proper intent, you can get in a great workout from inside your hotel room.
Plus, you save so much time because you can wake up, knock out your workout, and then (hopefully) go enjoy your free continental breakfast!
Now that you know exactly what you need to do for workouts when you’re out of town … it’s time to talk about your diet.
Which honestly, can be much more difficult to stick to when you’re traveling.
I get it, following a strict nutrition plan when you’re on a trip is hard. I still struggle with it sometimes too. However, there are plenty of ways to make it work.
There are a few different methods you can use to stay on track, and make eating clean just as easy as if you were home.
The easiest way to stay on track with your diet while you’re traveling is by packing protein snacks.
Be careful … a lot of options that may seem healthy are actually not very ideal.
Try to stay away from easy snacks like cheese, nuts, and “healthy” protein bars. With these options, you usually end up with a lot more fat and carbs than actual bio-available protein.
Some of the best options you can easily take with you are tuna, lean deli meats, low-fat cottage cheese, and even whey protein powder.
Personally, I like taking all of these options with me, along with some quick and easy carb sources to pair with them.
Some great carb options would include apples, oranges, whole grain crackers, rice cakes, or even just 1-minute rice.
Guess what? You can even bring prepped meals with you! This is especially true if you’re traveling in your car.
Most gas stations have a microwave, which makes it easy enough to pop in a meal and eat while you’re filling up your gas tank. Just store your meals in a cooler ... and boom, you’re good to go!
Most people think that eating out is a death sentence for their health and fitness goals.
While it may seem that way, this couldn’t be further from the truth!
Almost every restaurant you eat at has options that are healthy, and can fit into your meal plan.
My rule of thumb is to avoid fried foods at all costs, and even though I have an aggressive sweet tooth, I also stay away from the dessert menu.
The truth is, you can get a grilled chicken breast at just about any restaurant. Fish, steak, turkey, you name it … they likely have something that you can work into your plan.
One of my go-to restaurant meals when I’m out of town is a classic steak and potato. Just make sure you’re saying “No” to anything that doesn’t fall in line with your goals.
If you’re trying to lose body fat … I recommend you keep the bacon, cheese, sour cream, and butter off of your potato.
Something I think most people struggle with while traveling is drinking enough water. I know I’m not the best at this … but it’s important!
Whether you’re trying to gain muscle, lose body fat, or do a combination of both … you need to make sure that you’re getting enough water to support your goals.
When you’re out of routine, it can be easy to forget to drink water completely.
If you’re making a conscious effort to get in enough water though, it will make it a lot easier to adhere to your plan as a whole.
Ultimately, it comes down to willpower. I know there are a lot of tempting foods you can eat when you’re out of town...
That doesn’t mean you should eat them!
What’s more important to you … the piece of cake and a tropical drink … or reaching your health and fitness goals?
Hopefully you choose the latter most of the time, otherwise, you're not going to be earning the results you're looking for.
At the end of the day, you have to be prepared. Every tip I gave you is great and will help you a lot, no doubt...
However, the people who are successful with their health and fitness goals while away from home are the people who prepare.
You need to have a plan of attack for your nutrition and exercise when you travel.
Whether you use any of my tips, or have your own plan of attack … I wish you the best of luck!
If you’re looking for an easy way to keep track of your meals, and get custom workouts for when you’re out of town … check out the 1st Phorm App!
You’ll gain access to every tool you need to be successful along your health & fitness journey.
NASM Certified Personal Trainer NASM Fitness Nutrition Specialist NASM Certified Nutrition Coach