ABC’s Fitness Travel Essentials


Traveling is great right? New sights, new sounds and a complete break mentally and physically from the old everyday routine. It does us all good once in a while. When working towards improving our body composition or just improving general fitness, if you’re not careful a holiday can quickly become a slippery downhill slope right back to where your metaphorical fitness journey started. However if you make sure you pack my travel essentials, you can minimise the damage, enjoy yourself and return home feeling fresh and ready to get back on it.

A Bodyweight Workout
Has anyone ever been on holiday and come back to say “Oh my god, the hotel gym was so much better than my home gym!” No? (Okay maybe a couple, but perhaps you need to re-think your home gym if that’s the case). My point is, hotel gyms are never that well equipped and sometimes you’re lucky if you even have a gym to use at all. So with that in mind, it’s important to have a bodyweight workout to hand you can use if you wanted to keep training. This simple timed-set bodyweight circuit is a great option for general fat loss and fitness goals and can be performed anywhere, from the confines of your hotel room to on the sand under a shaded Palm tree on the beach.

The Circuit
1A: Burpees
1B: Bodyweight squats
1C: Press-ups
1D: Alternating lunges
1E: Seated bodyweight twists

Beginner Protocol
30 seconds on each exercise
10 seconds rest between exercises
90 seconds rest between circuits

Intermediate Protocol
40 seconds on each exercise
10 seconds rest between exercises
60 seconds rest between circuits

Advanced Protocol
45 seconds on each exercise
10 seconds rest between exercises
30 seconds rest between circuits

For exercise descriptions, click here.

Water Bottle
Travel usually means aircraft air conditioning, stress, extended sitting in one position, poor food options and warmer climes which are all going to dehydrate you. By the end of your journey don’t be surprised if your tissues feel as dry as the sand on whichever beach your planning on sunning yourself on. But with a little bit of forward planning, this can be avoided all together. I know, getting liquids through airport security is a bit of a faff. So for that reason I’m going to say as soon as your past security, buy a large water bottle to take on the plane with you. This bottle will become your companion for your journey and your travels. You can fill it up whenever you need, just make sure you do your research to see if it’s safe to drink tap water at your location. Or unless buying a bottle everyday is a finically viable option for you, find a local shop and look for a 5L+ bottle of water. You can then refill your smaller bottle with this on a daily basis.

If your main goal focuses more around the bodybuilding side of body compositional changes, or even just maintaining lean muscle, making progress whilst on holiday can become tricky. You’re out of the routine, hotel gyms are often mediocre at best, and nutrition tends to be up and down. During a holiday your main goal should be prevention of muscle breakdown. And a great way to do this without taking a suitcase full of supplements, is to simply pack some Branched Chain Amino Acid (BCAA) capsules. BCAAs are made up of leucine, isoleucine and valine and are vital for recovery, muscle growth and prevention of catabolism AKA muscle breakdown. Dosage depends entirely on your size, but on average we should aim for 10-20g per day. Kick each day off with 5-10g at breakfast and follow it up with another serving of a similar size later on in the day.

Don't forget this on your travel adventures

Massage Ball 
Some people love to continue their training regimes during travel, which is fine. I personally like to take the opportunity to relax, and let my body recharge. I may do a few light workouts, but nothing more than to get blood flowing. I’ll also always pack a small massage ball (Mwod 80mm supernova massage ball pictured)  in my suitcase so I can give a little more attention to mobility. This pretty much guarantees I’ll come back from a holiday feeling fresh, strong and ready to smash it again. It’s actually something I recommend all my clients to do. Especially on active holidays, like skiing or fitness breaks. During active holidays. You never know when a niggle might arise.