Makeshift bench press

How to workout while traveling

This is my first time writing in a while.  I’m going to make an honest effort to begin posting again, but I really need ideas on what to talk about!  I have so much to say, but I feel like there are only so many topics in the bodybuilding space.

Anyways, I recently traveled a month in Japan and Thailand.  I wasn’t in any one place longer than 4 days which made it incredibly difficult to get in a solid gym routine.  Additionally, while traveling, you obviously want to have some fun!  This means that you might have a few too many drinks or eat a bit too much (or too little) during the excursion.  For a competitive bodybuilder, this is incredibly challenging.  However, during my trip I found some ways to mitigate muscle loss and to meet my macros. In this article, I’m going to strictly focus on working out and maybe in another I’ll cover nutrition while traveling.

  1. Trial Gym Membership

    This one isn’t really that tough to figure out.  I’m sure you’ve gone on a weekend trip before and requested a trial membership.  The same concept applies here…except in a foreign country.  I haven’t been to every country in the world, but I’ve been to a lot of them and I know that gyms are….let’s say…different when you’re overseas.  Less weights, more functional equipment, more focus on cardio, you’ll see it all if you do enough traveling.  Different cultures place emphasis on what the ideal body type is and gyms cater to that ideal.

    I urge everyone to use Tripadvisor communities page to lookup where the closest/best gym is.  A lot of times the gym website will be in another language if you’re traveling overseas so TripAdvisor and basic google searches for “bodybuilding” or “powerlifting” gym near *insert foreign city here* usually does the trick.  Get your trial membership in advance or use the comments to figure out the process for getting setup.  I assure you that when you show up in foreign country to sign trial membership paperwork, it’s a lot harder when it’s not in your native tongue.

  2. Workout Bands

    Bring some workout bands with you.  Particular resistance bands.  They are immensely helpful when you’re on the go and you don’t have time to find a trial gym.  Pretty versatile as well and very easy to carry in your luggage without adding extra weight.  I used my bands 7-8 times on the last trip from squat workouts to strictly upper body to stretching.  Do a search for some exercises you can do with these because I’m not going to go over them in this article.

    If you’re interested, these are the bands I used last time.  Available with the Amazon Prime.

  3. Use your surroundings

    Chair dips, Off the bed tricep presses, air squats, rock lunges, luggage bag curls, luggage bag overhead presses.  The list goes on and on.  Get creative with your exercises.  My luggage when travelling overseas was pretty damn heavy so I used it for all sorts of stuff, but normal everyday furniture can easily be converted into your next pull up bar or chest exercise.  Don’t forget the basic bodyweight stuff like push ups and crunches either.  You might have to vary the rep ranges as you likely won’t be able to lift as much as you’re used to.  Up the volume and you shouldn’t see a significant reduction in overall power output when you get home.

  4. Workout when you can and Where you can.

    Listen.  Real talk.  A vacation is a vacation.  If you’re with your loved one or friend traveling, please don’t spend your entire time fretting about working out.  I can assure you that when you get home you’ll bounce RIGHT back into it and it’ll be like a drop in the bucket.  A few weeks of not working out or hitting your max is not going to break the bank.  That being said, if you do want to workout during your travels, then workout when you can.  If you get back to the hotel 3 times in a day and you want to do some short supersets with your bands each time, do it.  Workout around your travel schedule. Don’t travel around your workout schedule.

  5. Hotel Gyms

    Hotel Gym
    This is my bread and butter when it comes to traveling.  If you’re younger, you likely haven’t graduated to the hotels yet, but if you have…use the hotel gyms.  Almost every hotel has a crappy little gym inside of it that you can use.  It likely won’t have the massive weights that you’re used to (because you’re just soooo strong), but it will possibly have a small selection of dumbbells, cable-based machines, and some cardio equipment.  Get up early and use it so you don’t have to break up your day of enjoy the sites and sounds.


That’s it for now!  If you have any other suggestions for working out while travelling please leave them in the comments section below!  I will add them to the list if they really work.

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