So your bags are packed, and you’re feeling bad about leaving your gym stuff behind. Many people tend to hop on planes for special occasions, like vacations, weddings and holidays. Then there’s the population of us whose jobs punt us out on the road fairly frequently. I’m part of the latter. If you’re into CrossFit, simply maintaining your fitness can gets tough when you’re on a tight schedule in a city you don’t know. Here’s how I try not to end up in my fat pants when I get home.
What gear to pack: Jump Rope & Nano’s, or your ‘jack of all training’ shoe of choice
Option 1: Drop In (#supportyourlocalbox)
First instinct is to obviously find a local box to drop into. Gotta get your hands on that barbell. For fun’s sake, how many boxes outside of my home state have I been to?
- CrossFit 26 – St. Louis, MO
- CrossFit Naptown – Indianapolis, IN
- CrossFit Vitality – Concord, NC
- CrossFit Rancho Cucamonga – Rancho Cucamonga, CA
- Tribal CrossFit – Chandler, AZ
- Crossfit Omaha – Omaha, NE
- Reebok CrossFit Miami Beach – Miami Beach, FL
- CrossFit Las Vegas – Las Vegas, NV
- CrossFit Max Effort – Las Vegas, NV
- CrossFit Little Rock – Little Rock, AR
- Trailhead CrossFit – Golden, CO
Many boxes charge drop in fees, some let it slide if you buy a shirt instead, others are generous and let you come kick it free of charge. It’s up to each individual box owner. I haven’t yet seen a drop-in fee over $20 in my travels.
It’s also great to get a new set of eyes on your technique every once in a while. A coach you’ve never met before may pick up on different cues and have some helpful advice!
Option 2: Ye Olde Hotel Gym
So if you can’t find, don’t have a car or time to make it to an affiliate, check out the fitness center at your hotel. Some chains, like Westin, try to place an emphasis on wellness and have a bit more available in their workout facilities. Coming across a barbell and plates is highly unlikely, but if you can find some dumbbells and med balls you’re in luck. Dumbbell thrusters will never NOT be a b*tch.
In this case, what I tend to do is find some floor space and set up a 15-20min AMRAP metcon to get my heart rate up, consisting of at least 1 weighted movement and 1 bodyweight movement, making sure whatever I chose works both arms and legs, ie thrusters, goblet squats, lunges for lower body, and usually push-ups or S2OH for upper body. Med ball sit-ups and Russian twists are fun to throw in there. Burpees are not fun, but I throw them in there anyway.
Hotel gym sucks? Now what? Option 3: DIY
So your hotel’s fitness room is a pitiful 10’x10′ room in the basement near that over-chlorinated pool with a creaky old elliptical and a stair master from 1993. Here’s how I’ve remedied this situation in the past:
- Jump rope & calisthenics in the parking lot or on the patio.
- Find a running trail nearby & pound the pavement. Try not to get attacked by territorial water fowl.
- Run up and down the hotel stairwell eleventy billion times. Count the funny looks you get.
- Lay a towel down in your hotel room and do burpees, squats and lunges in there.
Option 4: Rest & Recover
What? She’s writing a post about how to work out on the road, and then turns around to conclude by telling me to rest? Huh…
I’m not telling you to do anything. However, keep in mind that rest & recovery does a body good. If you’ve been consistently training hard for 5-6 days a week for the last 3-6 months, then maybe 3-4 days away from the box will do you some food to fully recharge those batteries. Giving yourself adequate rest is taking care of your body just as much as working out consistently is.
If you’re away from home for 5 days or more, then you should definitely look into maintaining your fitness mojo in one of the first 3 ways above. Saying f*ck it and letting yourself go for a couple of weeks is only going to result in a tougher comeback. (Trust me. Been there done that and it wasn’t pretty.)
Vacations and business trips are no time for setting PRs. While it’s not impossible and surely it happens often, don’t strain yourself. If you’re off your sleep, food and fitness game, it’s expected for things not to be perfect. Just do what you can to keep yourself on track.
Writing this post from 35,000 feet makes me realize I forgot my jump rope at home. Time to take my own advice and get crafty when I land!