Pack Light, Train Hard

How to get your sweat on when you're on the road.


Suitcase
Well traveled suitcase.
Soon the holidays will be upon us and many of us will be traveling to be with family and friends. This can be a "dangerous" time for many because our training routine will be interrupted and replaced with all the caloric and sedentary temptations the holidays bring.
How can you still stay engaged in your training and yet not miss a beat? It is unlikely you can bring your kettlebells and certainly not your barbell and bumpers on your trip! In fact, now the airlines are charging for checked-in baggage, so that compounds the problem and streamlining for travel is now more important than ever. If you are runner you're set; all you need are your workout clothes and shoes. But for the rest of use who train hard with resistance exercises, I would like to offer up a few simple ideas.

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I am visiting my sedentary family soon and I will not be near a gym so here is my plan:

First, there is a wide variety of bodyweight exercises I can do including push-ups, sit-ups, mountain climbers, burpees, squats, pull-ups and jumping rope. I can fashion these as a circuit or even as a Tabata workout. So, the first thing I will pack is the Gymboss interval timer. Since I will already have my laptop with me, I could also use an online Tabata timer.

To make the bodyweight exercises even more challenging, I will bring along my jumpstretch bands; specifically the mini-bands. I can add resistance to any exercise I do and can also use it for assistance in pull-ups and range of motion (ROM) work. I also have a couple minor, nagging injuries that would benefit from some band work.

I will bring some running gear and would run in areas where I could also find some things like rocks to lift and throw. I may add in some hills and speed training. (I do use the word "speed" with a sense of humor)!

I'll toss in a Captains of Crush Gripper. I can use that while watching sports on the tube.

OK, so far so good. But I really would like to do some heavy lifting so what can I do that is the same as what I would do at my home gym? Sandbag training! All I have to do is to take my sandbag liners of 50, 25 and 10#, empty them at home and then go buy a couple of 50# bags at a hardware store close to where I'll be staying. Sand is cheap.

That about covers all I could possibly need to get in great workouts while out of town. Since I am going to a colder clime, it may be unlikely there will be a heavy snowfall this early in the season, but if I happen to be in a big snowstorm, you can't beat snow shovelling! Snow shovel intervals could be interesting, challenging and fun. Come to think of it, I'll have to look in my dad's garage. I wonder if he has a sledgehammer? I may be able to talk my mom into steering the car while I push it down the street for time or reps!

Time now to pack. Here is what my packing checklist will include:

All of this should equal just a couple of pounds and take up very little space.

Can you think of anything else that would work in our travel scenario? Remember, it has to be lightweight, easily packed and of course, highly functional.

My training should be so good that when I get back home, I'll need to take a rest day!


Mark Konen

Mark Konen is a long-term fan of Olympic weightlifting, Powerlifting, CrossFit, kettlebell-training and the Green Bay Packers. It's an excellent mix. Find out more at MarkFu's Barbarian Blog.



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