10 Things You Need for Vacation Training

TAGS: vacation, tate, training

Left for vacation on Wednesday so training has been a bit odd - but it's getting done.

When I travel and have no idea what type of gym I will have access to, I always assume one of three options:

1. No Gym

2. A crappy hotel gym

3. A commercial gym

With this in mind, cardio is never really an issue because believe it or not you CAN walk outside. I do bring a HR monitor to make sure I'm actually doing something - actually - this is just one of the things I always bring.

Here is a list of some of the other stuff I bring and why.

  1. HR Monitor - In case I have to do cardio outside or use a machine that does not have one. I have found for myself working in specific zones makes a huge difference.
  2. Blast Straps or TRX Suspension Trainer - With these I can add more movements to any training session so if I have a crappy hotel gym I can use what they have and add more movements with the straps. For example the gym last night only had a lat machine so I was able to add in rows and chins with straps.
  3. EFS - Orange Stripe 1.5" Wrist Straps - This is not for the reason you would think. I bring these because most of the gyms I find have the worse knurling on all their bars (lat bar and power bars) I've ever seen. Couple this with being very hot and sweating and you can see the reason these always travel with me.
  4. EFS Pro Mini Band - I will pack 2 of these to hook to barbells and or machines. Many time the machines will have very light stacks so you can hook these up to the stack to add more tension - weight. Also great for band pull aparts.
  5. EFS Pro Light Band - This one I also pack for extra weight on the machine as well as assisted chins, pushdowns and stretching.
  6. Grip4orce - Stiff - I just added these to the mix for the reason they make light dumbbells harder to use. The dumbbell rack last night only went up to 50 pounds so these have already been worth packing.
  7. Liquid Chalk - This is packed for the same reason as the straps. 99% of the time bars suck.
  8. iPod - I know the music will suck and I'm usually in a hurry so this serves two purposes. It gives me something to listen to and people will leave me alone so I can get in and out fast.
  9. While not really training related I also pack Lift Strong Shaker Bottle, supplements, almonds, natural peanut butter. This saves me a trip to the store because the rest of my food I can get anywhere.
  10. Shoes - this one will sound stupid but I do pack shoes just for training. In my own way it tells my brain it's time to leave vacation mode and enter training mode. Plus you never know what you will be doing before hand so your shoes may be wet, full of mud, etc.

When you are on a family vacation (with young children) that also includes extended family, finding the time to train is not easy. Last night I trained at 7:30 PM and the only time I knew for sure to train today was 6:30 AM. If you want to do it you will find a way to get it in, but I've always learned from past experiences you have to expect the worst and prepare for it (my pack list) this way anything better is a HUGE bonus.

Last Night's Training


  • 4-5 sets. I had to attach a light band on the machine because the stack was too light. This isn't bragging because I'm weak right now.

TRX Straps Fat Man Rows

  • 4-5 sets of 10 reps

Dumbbell Rows - Chest Supported on Incline

  • 3 sets with 50 pounds and mini bands

Reverse Grip Pulldown

  • 3 sets 10

Straight Arm Pulldown

  • 2 sets 15

Grip4orce Dumbbell Curls

  • 30 pounds for 5 sets 8-10

Face Curls with TRX

  • 3 sets failure

Hammer Curls with Grip4orce

  • 50 pounds for 3 sets 10

Cardio has been done everyday this week for 45 minutes.

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