elitefts™ Sunday edition

5 Travel Tips

I was on the road a lot over the past week-and-a-half, and that can be hell on training. If you travel a lot for work, you know that despite all the articles you see on magazines and websites about "hotel room workouts" and bullshit like that, your training definitely loses something when you're traveling – and I'm not talking about special trips to train in special gyms. I'm talking about garden variety work travel when they put you up in some shitty hotel or motel and you're left to your own devices in order to find a gym.

Yeah, it's cool as shit to have a job, but when it comes down to it, it kind of sucks when you have to compromise with training. For me, because I'm not a competitor, this is more of a psychological thing than anything else. I still want to be able to train my ass off on my scheduled days, and I'm still training as though I plan to compete, so a shitty, low-intensity workout at some chain gym can be almost as bad as not training at all.

With that said, here's how I handle traveling:

1. PLAN AHEAD: Before I go anywhere, I do my research. If there's a so-called "hardcore" training facility where I either know someone, or it's open to the public, I'll start e-mailing like crazy and hook something up before I leave. I've made a lot of friends in the industry that way, and I've learned a great deal. This is the best way to do it, if you have the time.

2. MAKE TIME: Vacations and work trips usually don't leave you with much time for extracurricular shit, so you have to plan things out to the letter. Plan time for your pre and postworkout nutrition if you do that, figure out how long it will take you to leave your hotel room and drive to the gym (and back), and factor it all in. I always schedule this shit beforehand.

3. BRING THE ESSENTIALS: Before I left on this last trip, I went through my entire workout week and wrote down what I needed, taking everything out of my bag that I wouldn't be using. This left me with the bare minimum, and I didn't have to pack anything (belt, wraps, chalk, etc) I wasn't going to using that week. Too many times, I'll either bring my entire bag (which takes up a ton of space), or bring nothing at all (a definite compromise). I'd recommend getting one of those EFS gym bags. They're low-cost, they fit everything, and they fold up really small to fit inside your suitcase.

4. ELIMINATE THE LOCAL: We all have some pet piece of equipment we like to use in our local gym that's not available anywhere else. This can be some 70's era leverage machine, or it can be some characteristic of your local power rack that's unique to your place. Get that stuff out of your regimen. What I do now is so simplified that I barely even need to leave the rack. I've stripped shit down to the point where I can duplicate my workouts virtually anywhere there's a place to rack the bar (and a bench), without factoring in anything I'll only find at home.

5. GET WATER AND ICE: The first thing I do when I land is find a place (typically a 7-11) where I can buy the big liter-plus bottles of water. The first thing I do when I get to my hotel is fill every garbage can in the room with ice. Then I stick all the bottles on ice. I like cold water – both to drink, for shakes, and for my amino shit – so I make sure to have as much of it around as I can possibly fit in the room.

That's about all I can think of for now. On this last trip, my workouts were strictly in a commercial gym, but I actually managed to make the most of everything by sticking to this plan. I hope this helps.