Tips for working out on the go (bonus workout included)

I just returned from a trip to Western PA, where we celebrated my parent’s 70th birthdays. So if you see Mom and Dad this summer, wish them a very happy birthday.  

I also did some SnapChamping* with my niece and nephew while I was home. On a side note, this is what it looks like when I swap faces with my brother. (And consequently, what it would like like if I didn't pluck my chin hairs for a few months in a row).

Freaky right? I always knew we looked a bit alike. 

Freaky right? I always knew we looked a bit alike. 


Aside from trying not to feel 110 years old while playing with technology, I also managed to get a workout in, which was an accomplishment for me.

Like many people, I struggle to workouts when I travel. I’m a creature of habit and much like my struggle to train around an injury, any kind of travel throws me completely off kilter. (And as I’ve mentioned before, kilter is where it’s at. I don't know what it is, just that I want to be there). Once you take me out of my regular gym and regular routine, I feel lost. Add the exhaustion of traveling on top, and it becomes that much more challenging to make exercise a priority.

Before your next trip, rather than bagging your training altogether, try some of these tips to help get a workout or two in the books. 

1. Set a workout goal before the trip

I’m notorious for packing workout clothes* with good intentions and then not following through. My last two trips to PA however, I changed my approach. I both packed some workout clothes and set a very specific goal of hitting a minimum of one workout. I was gone for four days this past weekend, and two of those were travel days. But my goal was one good workout, which was much more doable than three. 

I set the minimum standard of one because I knew I could do that. Had I set my goal at three, I might have realized on day two that I couldn’t possibly achieve that number, and that would have made it easier to bag all three. So for this trip, I set the bar low enough to trip over. 

And I tripped over it. Win. 

2. Choose a travel workout that you can do for your destination

At Spurling, we provide all of our clients with travel workouts upon request. Some clients are off on business trips with no idea what the hotels might be like, and others are off on beach vacations and camping trips.  

Depending on needs, we design either a bodyweight circuit, or a more advanced circuit if the client happens to own a band or a suspension training system. Speaking of which…

3. If you travel a lot, consider purchasing two pieces of equipment

My parents clothesline pole made a perfect spot for a 20 minute circuit. No, I didn't crack the cement at the base of the pole. At least I don't think so...

My parents clothesline pole made a perfect spot for a 20 minute circuit. No, I didn't crack the cement at the base of the pole. At least I don't think so...

I take two pieces of equipment with me when I’m on the go. A Jungle Gym **(suspension training system), and a band. Both sound fancier than they are. The suspension training system is this: two handles that can be wrapped around a tree (or my parents clothesline pole), or closed in the door of a hotel room. It costs 50 bucks on Amazon. 

The band costs less than 20 bucks. 

With those two pieces of equipment I can get in a full body workout that burns calories and fries my muscles. 

4. Plan the workout routine before you travel

If you happen to have a coach, ask him or her for a workout plan before you leave. If you don’t, you can google bodyweight workout that you can do in your hotel room, on the beach, or next to the pool. Or while your dad is mowing the lawn...(If you don't know what these exercises are, head on over to my YouTube channel where you will find many of the videos for these.

A1. TRX Rows
A2. TRX Jump Squats
A3. BW Lunge with Overhead Reach
A4. Jumping Jacks
A5. TRX Bodysaws
A6. Banded push press

If you don't have any equipment you could do this routine:

A1. BW Squats
A2. Jumping Jacks
A3. Push Ups
A4. Single Leg RDL
A5. Plank
A6. Mountain Climbers

Do this routine three-five times with roughly 10-12 reps per exercise and I promise you, you’ll feel less guilty about that margarita with dinner.

And don’t feel guilty about a margarita. You’re on vacation. 

*I know it's actually SnapChat, but to be clear, that's all I know about it.. 

** TRX is a brand of suspension training system, so you'll see many exercises described as TRX, which is less of a mouthful than Jungle Gym.