You just spent the last eight to ten weeks making sure you were in the best shape of your life for your vacation this summer, how about a little damage control to make sure that you don’t look like complete crap by the end of the week?
I’ve done it myself.
I got into great shape for a vacation where i’d be pool or beach side all week, and looked pretty damn good on day one, only to spend all week completely free of exercise, decent food, and drinking enough booze to get Charlie Sheen* at least tipsy. Looking back at my photos, from day one to day seven, I gained a solid 11 pounds, and looked considerable less muscular and more bloated.
*(Fingers crossed Charlie hasn’t completely imploded by the time this runs…)
Now I agree, on vacation the gym and your six bodybuilding meals a day should not be your very first priority, but there is no reason to completely ditch them altogether. You want to have some fun, spend as much time with your loved ones as possible, and enjoy the kind of excess that doesn’t have a place in your “regular” life back home.
The trick here is to find a happy medium, and I’ve got my plan set for myself for my upcoming trip to the beach that should help fight off fat gain during a week of higher calories, while still keeping plenty of your day free for the fun stuff.
- jump rope
- 30 lb and 55 lb KB ( you could also bring a set of moderate weight DB’s)
- a gigantic list of bodyweight exercises
- a stretch of beach for sprints
If you’re flying, odds are that means you won’t be packing a kettlebell or dumbbells, but you can still bring along a jump rope, and brush up on your bodyweight exercises. Sure it might seem strange to bring along exercise equipment on vacation, but this plan is all about getting the work done quick, and getting back to more important stuff, like playing volleyball, and drinking drinks that come with little tiny umbrellas in them.
The last thing you want to be doing on vacation is driving 20 minutes each way to a gym, spending money on ridiculously overpriced day passes, when you could just as well get a decent workout in on the beach, for absolutely free.
30 minutes in the morning, and the rest of the day is mine
Each day, I’ll be doing 30 minutes of work, it might be mostly sprints, bodyweight exercises like chin ups, dips, and pushup variations, and KB work, or circuits that include all of the above, but the important thing is that I keep moving for those 30 minutes. Doesn’t matter if I spent the previous night hoisting brews in the hot tub, or playing a marathon game of quarters, once morning comes, it’s time to get that workout in.
If I’m feeling particularly bad ass, I might decide to push it to an hour or more, but the minimum is 30 minutes of work.
An example of a mornings workout could be…
10 sets pyramiding down (10, 9, 8, etc.)
- 10 kettlebell swings with my right arm
- 10 kettlebell swings with my left arm
- 10 clap pushups
- 30 seconds jumping rope or sprinting 20 yards and back
That workout might look simple on paper, but like a lot of the truly ass kicking conditioning workouts I’ve done in the past, it’s a real bear to actually do. I did this exact workout today at the gym between clients, and even though it took less than 30 minutes, it had sucking wind and rethinking my plan about three rounds.
Benefits, tips, and what not to do
- When it’s July in Georgia, a workout at one in the afternoon on the sand will not last long, early mornings work best if you aren’t a fan of heat stroke.
- Keep your water intake high, it’s summer, it’s hot, and you might have had some alcohol the night before
- As far as diet goes, try to keep it fairly healthy and lower calorie during the day, leaving yourself more fidget room for extra calories at night, it is vacation after all.
- Use sunscreen, that’s just common sense, I successfully made it through vacation without a sunburn on my shaved head, not something I imagine is very much fun.
Not only will this morning workout get me up and going earlier in the day, but I’ve talked the rest of my family into joining me for these morning workouts. My dad in particular has fallen in love/hate with the kettlebell conditioning work, and everybody else has signed up for sprints on the beach in the mornings, thought we’ll see if I can get them to stick to that plan by day two of vacation.
Lesson of this, if you’re going to try to exercise on your family vacation, get the rest of the group to join in, God knows it’s not a bad thing to get more people exercising, and you’d be amazed how fun it can be. I’ve also learned that my Mom does not appreciate it when I leave for two hours while on vacation to go hit legs, and the rest of the family is trying to go to a dinner…..
It may or not have been my own birthday dinner that I was late for because I was looking for a gym in Hilton Head, South Carolina with a full squat rack…
Is it Summer yet?