NO GYM, NO WEIGHTS, NO PROBLEM – HOW TO STAY FIT WHILE YOU TRAVEL

No-Gym-No-Weights-No-Problem---How-to-Stay-Fit-While-You-Travel_01

Working out and eating healthy can often take a back seat, or go out the window completely when it comes to vacations. We all know it’s not easy to squeeze in a workout during the holiday season, but a quick workout helps to bust stress, give you energy, and importantly, it can counteract all those extra calories you’ll eat during your holiday.

Getting overly obsessive about it can easily defeat the entire purpose of your vacation. If you can find the proper middle ground for yourself, and remain dedicated and disciplined towards your muscle building or fat loss goals while enjoying delicious foods, lazy hours and relaxing, your vacation will be much more enjoyable and balanced.

The first thing you need is a simple program that provides enough stimulus to all the major muscle groups. This is to maintain your strength and muscle mass, speed up your metabolism to burn those extra calories, and, most importantly when you are on vacation, requires a minimum amount of time. It doesn’t matter what space or equipment limitations you’re facing, “cardioacceleration” provides a highly effective technique that you can use to stimulate muscles, boost your metabolism while also making your workouts quicker and more time-effective.

The basic idea of cardioacceleration is simply to replace your rest periods with a high intensity cardio movement. So in between sets of push-ups, you might run place or jump rope for 30-60 seconds, then return straight back to the push-ups. If you did three sets of 7-10 different exercises you’d end up squeezing about 21-30 minutes of cardio into your training. And the benefits would be impressive.

In fact, in a study from the University of California Santa Cruz, researchers recruited exercisers and divided them into two training groups: one group did “serial CE” (CE: concurrent exercise) consisting of a warm-up, resistance exercises, aerobics, and a range of motion cool down. The other group did “integrated CE” consisting of intervals of cardio in between sets of resistance exercise.1

Though each of the three groups did the same amount of work (three times a week for 11 weeks), the integrated CE group came out on top by a large margin, gaining the following benefits:

  • integrated CE produced a 991,8% greater loss of FM (fat mass) than serial CE,
  • mean FFM (fat free mass) in the integrated CE group increased by nearly twice the serial CE mean. 1

 

HERE’S A QUICK AND EFFECTIVE WORKOUT TO BOOST YOUR METABOLISM DURING THE HOLIDAYS!

Perform 8-12 (or 15-25) reps of each of these exercises followed by the “cardioacceleration” movement for 30-60 seconds after each exercise. Repeat every block 2 more times (3 total rounds).

1. Block:

Exercise for Beginners: Bodyweight Squats – 8-12 reps

Exercise for Intermediate trainees: Raised-Leg Split-Squat or Bulgarian Split-Squat – 8-12 reps

Exercise for Advanced trainees: Single-Leg Squat – 8-12 reps

Cardio acceleration option: Mountain Climbers – 30 seconds (for beginners) – 45 seconds (for the intermediates) -60 seconds (for the advanced)

Rest for 60 seconds and repeat this block 2 more times!

2. Block:

Exercise for Beginners: Knee Push Ups or Incline Push Ups (feet on floor, hands on edge of bed or desk)– 8-12 reps

Exercise for Intermediate trainees: Push Ups– 8-12 reps

Exercise for Advanced trainees: Decline Push Ups (place your feet on a bed or chair)– 8-12 reps

Cardio acceleration option: Jump Rope or Jumping Jacks – 30 seconds (for beginners) – 45 seconds (for the intermediates) -60 seconds (for the advanced)

Rest for 60 seconds and repeat this block 2 more times!

3. Block:

Exercise for Beginners: Lunges – 8-12 reps

Exercise for Intermediate trainees: Raised-Leg Split-Squat or Bulgarian Split-Squat – 8-12 reps

Exercise for Advanced trainees: Chair Step Ups – 8-12 reps

Cardio acceleration option: Burpees – 30 seconds (for beginners) – 45 seconds (for the intermediates) -60 seconds (for the advanced)

Rest for 60 seconds and repeat this block 2 more times!

4. Block:

Exercise for Beginners: Bent-knee Inverted Row – 8-12 reps

Exercise for Intermediate trainees: Inverted Row – 8-12 reps

Exercise for Advanced trainees: Inverted Rows (with feet elevated onto desk chair) – 8-12 reps

Cardio acceleration option: Squat Jump- 30 seconds (for beginners) – 45 seconds (for the intermediates) -60 seconds (for the advanced)

Rest for 60 seconds and repeat this block 2 more times!

5. Block:

Exercise for Beginners: Glute Bridge – 15-25 reps

Exercise for Intermediate trainees: Feet Elevated Glute Bridge – 15-25 reps

Exercise for Advanced trainees: Foot Elevated Single-Leg Glute Bridge – 15-25 reps

Cardio acceleration option: Flutter Kicks – 30 seconds (for beginners) – 45 seconds (for the intermediates) -60 seconds (for the advanced)

Rest for 60 seconds and repeat this block 2 more times!

6. Block:

Exercise for Beginners: Lying Knee Raise – 15-25 reps

Exercise for Intermediate trainees: Lying Leg Raise – 15-25 reps

Exercise for Advanced trainees: Lying Leg Raise with Hip Lift – 15-25 reps

Cardio acceleration option: High-knee Running in Place – 30 seconds (for beginners) – 45 seconds (for the intermediates) -60 seconds (for the advanced)

Rest for 60 seconds and repeat this block 2 more times!

7. Block:

Exercise for Beginners: Crunch – 15-25 reps

Exercise for Intermediate trainees: Sit Ups – 15-25 reps

Exercise for Advanced trainees: V-Sit Ups – 15-25 reps

Cardio acceleration option: But Kicks – 30 seconds (for beginners) – 45 seconds (for the intermediates) -60 seconds (for the advanced)

Rest for 60 seconds and repeat this block 2 more times!

 

Exercise three times a week on nonconsecutive days, and if you want to do a little bit more, than try a cardio workout on alternate days, or take long walks with your loved ones.

 

EXERCISE GUIDES

Squat:

Stand with your feet a little wider than hip-width apart, your toes turned out slightly your arms resting at your sides, while keeping your chest up and your abdominals braced. Begin the movement by swinging your arms up towards your shoulders, and at the same time, bend at the knees and drive your hips back like you’re sitting in a chair. Once your upper thighs are parallel with the ground, reverse the motion until you return to the starting position.

If you are intermediate, and find bodyweight squat too easy, you can switch to single leg split squat. To perform this variation, find yourself a chair, bench, bed or any other contraption that you can rest a foot on. It needs to be about 40 cm height. Simply, stand facing away from it, extend one of your legs back and place top of foot on bench. Your leading leg should be 50 cm or so in front of bench. Squat down until your front thigh is almost horizontal, keeping your knee in line with your foot. Return to starting position by extending hip and knee of forward leg. Repeat, and then continue with opposite leg.

If you are advanced, single leg or pistol squat may be your option!

Push Ups

To perform a standard push up, place your hands at chest height on the ground, slightly wider than shoulder-width apart. Keep your fingers pointing forward, and position yourself either on your knees or on your toes, with your spine and head in alignment with your legs. Lower your upper body to the floor while flexing the elbows, and then rise back to the start position. Keep your head still, and looking down. Be sure to keep your torso – including your lower back and abs -, in line with your upper body.

If traditional push ups are too easy for you, then do push-ups with elevated feet, and simply place your feet up on a support, like a chair or bed. The added height increases the resistance, and make the movement more challenging. In addition, you can perform this exercise with a backpack on, adding heavy items to the backpack to increase resistance.

Lunges

Stand with your feet hip-width apart, while keeping your chest up and your abdominals braced. Take a big step forward with your right leg from the foot being left stationary behind and lower body until right thigh is parallel to floor and right shin is vertical. Be sure to keep the torso upright and maintain balance. Do not allow your knee to go forward beyond your toes as you come down. Then using the heel of your foot drive back up to starting position, and repeat the movement with the left leg.

Inverted Rows:

Just because you don’t have access to a gym doesn’t mean you can’t work out your back! Inverted rows are great options!

If you train outside you can find a suitable parallel bar in your local park, or you can use a bike rack. At home or in a hotel room, you can use a thick wooden dowel or pipe, something strong enough to support your weight. Just lie it across two of your kitchen chairs. Or as a final solution, it is possible to do inverted rows using a table or a desk. (Just make sure that the table you’re using is strong enough to support you).

Once your bar or desk is set up, lie on your back underneath with your chest lined up with the bar or the edge of the desk. Reach up and grab the bar or the edge of the desk with both hands, about shoulder-width apart. Keep your body as straight as possible, just like with the push-up, and pull yourself up until your chest touches the bar or the desk, then lower slowly. If you are beginner, having your feet flat on the ground with a bend in the knees will decrease the resistance and make the movement easier. (or as an alternative to this exercise you can do one arm rows using your luggage or a backpack as the resistance.) For advanced trainees elevated-feet inverted row is a great form of progression, or you can try one arm inverted rows where you can focus solely on one arm at the time.

Glute bridge

Lie on your back on a towel or on a gym mat with your knees bent and feet flat on the ground. Keep your arms at your side with your palms down. Lift your hips off the ground until your knees, hips and shoulders form a straight line. Squeeze your glutes hard and keep your abs drawn in. Hold your bridged position, squeeze tight for 2-3 seconds, then return to mat with control and repeat.

Intermediates can add additional resistance in the form of a backpack or luggage, or can opt for the single leg variation. If you are advanced you can place your feet on top of a chair, bed or bench to make it more challenging.

Lying knee raises

Lie on your back on a towel or on a gym mat with your arms by your sides, palms down, and feet extended out straight in front of you. Lift both of your knees up off of the floor and pull them towards your chest. Hold the position and squeeze your abs for 2-3 seconds, then return your knees back to the starting position, and repeat.

If you are intermediate you can opt for straight leg raises, and for advanced trainees lying leg raise with hip lift or reverse crunch could be a great form of progression.

In this variation from the same starting position, raise your legs to a 90-degree angle, keeping them slightly bent at the knees and then lift your butt up. Squeeze your abs for 2-3 seconds before returning to the starting position and repeat the movement again.

Crunches

Lie on your back on a towel or on a gym mat with your hips and knees bent 90 degrees so that your lower legs are parallel to the floor. Put your hands beside your head, but be careful to not strain with the neck at any point during the exercise.

Begin to roll your shoulders off the floor, while keeping your lower back down in the floor, so that your head, neck, and shoulder blades lift off the floor. At the top of the movement, contract your abdominals, hold for 2-3 seconds, then lower slowly back down, and repeat.

Intermediates trainees should increase the number of reps or chose sit-ups a more challenging alternative. While for advanced trainees V-sit ups could be a great form of progression. Lie on your back on a towel or on a gym mat with your arms by your sides, palms down, and feet extended out straight in front of you. Raise your legs and arms at the same time from the lying position to create a V-shape, and try to touch your toes with your hands, and then slowly return to the starting position, and repeat.

 

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