I go out of town to visit family in Alabama often and over time I’ve had to learn how to adapt to training in other gyms. I am spoiled at NBS and when it comes to the equipment and training atmosphere, I have yet to train in a gym that compares. So, when I go out of town I have to make a few adjustments to my training to make sure I’m successful. It’s easy to put your training to the side for vacations, weekend getaways or work trips but let’s face it, doing that isn’t going to get you closer to your goals. Here are a few things I do when I know I have to leave town and I can’t carry NBS with me. Hopefully some of these will help you stay on track and train when on the go.
Have a plan
How easy is it to say you will pick it back up if you never even have a plan to begin with? Super easy! Using programming is a whole other article itself, which Bobby covered last month, but if you don’t have a plan then you can pretty much guarantee you aren’t going to do it. Plan your workouts ahead of time and make yourself do them. Google is an amazing thing and it will tell you what gyms are in the area you are visiting. Most websites will list hours, day pass prices, and have pictures of their equipment. If they don’t have that then simply call and ask if they have what you are looking for. Something like “Hey, do you have a squat rack with a barbell and a deadlift platform?” will work. Obviously, your questions will be different depending on your training, but you get the picture. Having a plan is your first step to being successful and not getting off track when it comes to training out of town.
Have a backup plan
Not all gyms are as awesome as NBS and some might not have all the equipment you need. If you’ve done your research and are still out of luck when it comes to specific equipment then have a backup plan. Look for some substitute exercises to do with standard equipment that you can find in almost every gym. No prowler? That’s okay, go outside and push your car. No GHR? Well, get someone to hold those feet down and do a Nordic hamstring curl. There are ways to mimic different movements, just do your research and plan ahead. If you can’t find some dumbbells and barbells then you aren’t in a gym! Also, if you can’t get to a gym at all then try doing a bodyweight workout. This isn’t ideal but something is better than nothing. Keep up your cardio routine too, that’s the easiest thing to do when out of town.
Rearrange your workouts
Another option is to rearrange your workouts so that you can use the equipment you need without making changes. This wouldn’t work for a full week of travel, but if you’re just going for two or three days then this works perfectly. Sometimes, if I’m heading out for the weekend and my Saturday consists of heavy deadlifts, anything involving bands or specialty equipment, I will move that workout and swap it with something more simple like an upper body day. This has been a great way for me to make time for friends/family while out of town because my upper body workouts are usually shorter and I don’t have to trade out exercises or equipment. It also keeps me from having to carry my own chalk, bands, or worry about slamming weights in the gym.
Do what you can but don’t stress about it
If you do all the planning and make an effort but still can’t get any training in then don’t stress about it. Enjoy a walk outside, stretch or do some yoga. You can still do some sort of activity to feel good and stay somewhat active. A couple days off won’t kill you but making your goals a priority is definitely a good habit to have. If you’re serious about your goals and training is a part of your life then you will find ways to keep it there when life happens. You wouldn’t just quit sleeping for a week if you couldn’t carry your bed with you everywhere right? No, you’d probably find a different bed that might not be as comfortable but does the job.
If you tend to struggle when you go out of town or away from your normal schedule then use some of these tips next time and try to stay on track. The more you do it and get used to making adjustments the easier it will be and you will find what works best for you. Don’t let traveling get in the way of what you really want. But, if you don’t REALLY want it then this isn’t the article for you!