Vacation is a time to get away from stress, work, and people.
But should you get away from your daily workouts as well?
At the very minimum, I recommend some light resistance training and a solid diet in order to maintain everything that you’ve worked for in the gym!
Have you ever come back from vacation and noticed the weights feel heavier and you’re not as strong?
It’s normal. In fact, sometimes it’s a good thing to step away from the gym! I’ve noticed time away from the working out makes me miss the massive pumps and breaking PR’s.
Stepping away motivates me to get back in there and kick some butt once I return home!
But depending on how long you were on vacation you could lose some of your gains!
It usually takes about 3 weeks of not working out for someone to start losing muscle mass and strength.
Don’t worry, I’m here to help!
I’ll cover some great ways to maintain or even continue to build muscle while you’re soaking up some rays on your awesome vacation!
Just sit back, sip a cocktail, and enjoy your vacation first!
Use The Hotel Gym And Get Creative!
The best place to start working out if available is your hotel gym.
Now I know depending on where you stay, most hotel gyms aren’t the greatest. But if they have a set of dumbbells, you should be set. After all, you can use dumbells with so many different exercises!
- Chest Press
- Overhead Press
- Lateral Raises
- Deadlift Variation
- And So Much More!
Just based on these exercises alone you have the majority of your compound lifts!
The same workouts you do at your own gym at home can be done the exact same way or very similar with just a normal set of dumbells.
Now, depending on how heavy the hotel gym’s dumbbells are, you can really push your limits the same way you do at home (If they don’t go heavy enough, I have a solution that I’ll talk about in my next point).
It’s also very possible your hotel gym will have some form of cardio machine, whether it be treadmills or ellipticals.
I’m not a fan of these machines but they can be a great tool to get in a quick HIIT workout in!
Do some sprints on the treadmill! Incorporate some burpees to get your heart rate up.
Get creative and don’t be afraid to switch things up!
BFR Bands (Blood Flow Restriction)
Remember the point I made about gym dumbbells not being heavy enough. Or maybe your hotel doesn’t even offer a gym!
Well here’s your solution…
Blood Flow Restriction training, also known as ‘BFR’ for short.
Blood Flow Restriction is the application of bands in the same way you use tourniquets to cut off blood circulation to a limb.
Place the bands at the top of your arms, legs, calves, or forearms. Start working out and you’ll notice a muscle pump like you’ve never experienced before!
So how and why does BFR training work?
BFR training simply cuts off a good portion of the blood flow to your limbs. This causes the muscles to fatigue much faster promoting incredible growth and increases in strength.
The goal of blood flow restriction training is to complete many repetitions (around 20-30) with very little rest in between sets (30-45 seconds). It’s great for those recovering from injuries who can’t lift heavy weights!
But it’s also great for people who don’t have access to heavy weights such as those on vacation!
If you bring some blood flow restriction bands with you on vacation I promise you can continue to make incredible progress no matter what kind of weights you have access to.
BFR training is extremely effective.
Studies show that BFR training with super light weights (around 20% of 1RM) has shown to increase strength and hypertrophy levels just as well if not better compared to regular weight training without the bands.
Other studies even show that blood flow restriction bands on the legs increased leg strength and muscle size just by walking over the course of 3 weeks! Let me repeat that again! Just by walking!
So, if you wish to build up some leg muscles over vacation, bring some BFR bands, tie them to your legs and go for a walk every day! Your legs will get bigger and stronger!
Incorporate the same idea with your arms, chest, back, and more! Try biceps curls, tricep extensions, bench press, and rows with your BFR bands and you’ll notice a huge difference!
I recommend these BFR bands. I’ve used them for quite a while and they are very easy to use as well as top-notch quality. I’ve reaped some nice gains over the course of using them for many months.
Use Your Body!
What’s the best type of weight that’s easier to access than dumbbell, kettlebell, or plate?
Hint: We carry around everywhere with us!
The answer: Our own bodies!
That’s right, you can workout right now, it doesn’t matter where you are… vacation, inside an airplane at 30,000 feet, or at the edge of the earth.
Just utilize your body as a form of resistance training!
Push-ups are one of my go-to workouts for my chest, triceps, and core that will give me a solid muscle pump!
There are a whole lot of push-up variations you can do too!
- Wide Hand Placement – Focus On Chest
- Normal Grip
- Narrow Grip – Focus On Triceps
- Diamond Push Ups – Focus On Triceps
- Legs Elevated Push Ups – Advanced Level!
- And Much More!
And push-ups are only the beginning of workouts you can do right now with your body, not just on vacation!
I also recommend trying:
- Shadow Boxing
- Jump Squats
- Mountain Climbers
- Dips (Use A Chair)
Body workouts are a great way to get your blood flowing, improve your mood, and elevate your heart rate for some much needed cardio!
Sometimes it’s good to burn off the extra calories from all the crap we eat on vacation!
More than likely, if you’re on vacation, you’re going to have access to some body of water.
I don’t care if it’s the Dead Sea, a swimming pool, or a mud puddle.
If you have access to water you can get an amazing workout out of it.
Swimming is not only incredible for your heart, but for your muscles and joints as well.
When you run, lift weights, or push off the ground with force, your bones and joints absorb a lot of that pressure. It can certainly take its toll. No wonder why old people are always complaining.
But when in water, your body is nearly weightless and doesn’t feel the same forces of gravity and pressure.
It’s a great way to relieve your joints, take pressure off your spine, and avoid aggravating injuries. So use swimming as a great way to heal and condition your body at that same time!
But water can be used more for just swimming!
Aerobic exercises like punching, high knee’s, running in place, all while in a pool of water are fantastic ways to get some quality exercise and increase your heart rate!
Just try it for a minute and see how difficult it is!
Don’t let being on vacation let you get a poor workout in!
Remember being on vacation means you have time. That time can still be used to get some high quality exercise. Plus it’ll boost your mood and make your vacation even more enjoyable!
So give it a try! Bookmark this page and come back to it every time you find yourself on vacation, which I hope is often! 😉
Cheers, and enjoy your vacay!