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The Barbell Shrugged team has spent the bulk of 2014 traveling. While this been an amazing and life changing experience for us, one thing is for certain – Staying strong and fit has been a huge challenge.
After a bunch of experiments and a few rough trips we’ve accumulate some key lessons that will help you train better and be remain strong while out on the road.
It might be best to break those lessons down into some general rules of the road.
Here are some rules to keep in mind.
1. First, what’s the intent of your trip?
Are you on vacation? If so, do what you want. Take the opportunity to loosen up your militant diet and have a chocolate croissant or two, if the mood hits you. Also, don’t be afraid to back down from your training. Oftentimes a week or so of active rest or travel is just what you need to fully rejuvenate after extended periods of hard training.
If you need to remain on your diet and training regimen while out rambling then you’ll need a clear battle plan. Luckily we’ve got you covered.
2. Do a little research ahead of time.
We are all spoiled now a days. With the explosion of functional fitness across the world, you can now find a really well equipped gym just about any place on the globe. That’s amazing. The only thing you need to do is search out the gyms in your travel area and then confirm their drop in times.
Further, go ahead and find out exactly how you’ll be getting around town. If you’re renting a vehicle or using Uber, no worries. Otherwise, you better study those Tram lines now, baby. Trust us, it’ll be well worth it.
3. Give yourself a break.
No matter how well you plan things will go unexpectedly from time to time. You have to anticipate that and build in some room for error in your training and diet.
Sometimes you’re going to barely feel like warming up, much less training. That’s OK. It’s also more than fine if you have to eat some bread here and there (Europe!!!), or if you miss a meal or two. This comes with the territory.
Your stress will be up, your immune function down. All that. So, take it little easy. Don’t freak if you miss a meal or session. Also, consider dropping your overall volume by 10% or more depending on how you feel.
If you do that, overall, you’ll have a much more productive experience.
4. A little bit of something’s better than nothing.
If you can get to a gym for serious barbell work, great! However, take what you can get.
In the middle of a long flight or layover, get up and do some air squats. Sit in the hole and stretch your groin and ankles. Roll your joints. Maybe do some jumps or quick sprints if you have room. If there’s a hill near your hotel, even better! Run up it a few times, nothing beats that anyway.
Do some pushups, sneak a band into your luggage for some mobility and light resistance work. The point is, all this sort of thing adds up. Do at least this much and you won’t miss a beat in the gym when you’re back home.
5. Pack your snacks.
If you do not pack your snacks a head of time then you’ll eat whatever you can find. Sometimes there will be good options, like salad joints, great taco stands, whatever. Other days you might be stuck with Burger King, bad stir-fry, or a shitty Chili’s to-go wrap, all of which are far less than ideal.
Pack something better. One option we love is to stash some Steve’s Paleo Kits for our journeys. You can’t go wrong with that.
…And one more for the road.
6. Place a priority on rejuvenation.
Nothing fatigues quite like travel. If you add a busy schedule and training sessions into the mix, you’ve got a recipe for crashing.
You MUST take care of yourself as a matter of priority!
Get enough sleep. Drink plenty of water, especially when flying. If you’re hotel has a message, sauna or spa option, take full advantage! If not, just enjoy a few hot showers or baths in your room. You are not paying the water bill, right? Also, feel free to run around your room naked. It’s just the best thing to do.
As one final note, you can use supplements to help with your rejuvenation. Mike’s probably most on the ball with this.
Give these essential supplements and foods a try…
- A spoonful of coconut fat goes a long way. Getting good fat in on the road is hard.
- Try drinking a greens supplement first thing in the morning. Mike loves his Athletic Greens.
- Always make sure you pack your vitamin D.
- For your minerals and all that, consider subscription based supplement packs. They are super easy and convenient when you’re out on the road, and you’ll always have some handy.
I hope you enjoy the show. Have fun out on the road.
Travel hard, grow stronger.
- Dig the artwork from this weeks show? Yeah, we went full Van Gogh. Check out how Vincent influence us on our recent trip to Amsterdam HERE.
- Need to stay loose on the road? Learn essential mobility drills, tips and tricks in Maximum Mobility.
- Get strong and program better with the Simple Strength seminar.
I was hoping for a longer episode to hear about everything you guys learned but I guess that will come distributed through the next few podcasts. Love to listen to you guys and it’s fun to see your continuous growth since I discovered your podcast two years so. Keep giving it your all I will always be listening!
Oh just wait for next week’s episode my friend!
Sooo want one of those croissants right now!
I put on like 15 pounds in 2 weeks. Time to go low carb 🙂
Am just coming back from Jeddah KSA training the Ministry of National Guard’s medical command. So, I fell into one trap…”not getting to the Affiliate that is here”…traffic/driving is insane, have you ever driven in a middle east country?…so I will go to it end of the month when I come back to conduct training at the Medical Command.
But, what I did do…in a country that frowns on showing anything above the knees (guys and especially women), e.g. running outside…Treadmill & BW exercises…
1K Run + 4 Rds of 20 Push Ups / Sit Ups / Squats + 1K Run…all in the little Hotel gym.
5 Rds of 400M Run + 21-15-9-15-21 Push Ups / Sit Ups / Squats…same little gym.
Would love to hear type of bags used; How did you pack; Etc… Love listening to your podcasts…its a nice treat from the US to hear.
Yeah, good show. All of this stuff people usually figure out after traveling several times but good ideas and good to know what you guys are doing as a sanity check for us. I’ve learned more from barbell shrugged in the past 6 months than I’ve learned in 18 years of weight lifting. Thanks!
Great episode Gentlemen, keep it up. A practical question reference Mike’s coconut oil: how does he travel with the stuff? It’s solid most of the time but could go liquid with temperature and TSA hates liquid in carry-ons… Recommend any brand baby food containers or similar? Does he just chuck a jar of the stuff in his checked bag and forget the carry-on?
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