Working out in cramped places has never been more relevant. No more excuses when you’re on the road! Here’s your hotel room workout.
Many people travel these days whether it is for business or pleasure. That doesn’t mean you should forego your gym workout. Still, this could be a hard thing for newer fitness enthusiasts who have finally started noticing their gains.There are many ways to prevent muscle loss during vacation. They want to stay fit. These gains took a lot of hard work and dedication through proper training and dieting, but the travel means gym access changes and that threatens their workout routine.
But, you do not need to be afraid of losing your gains just because you might be missing some weight training days. Plus, weights are not even needed since you can do dozens of gym workouts within the comfort of your own hotel room. You will come to find that a hotel room workout is great for keeping your body active and keep gaining muscle.
And, that’s not to mention the hotel gym workout you can still get in.
Let’s take a look at the facts about skipping weight training and using your bodyweight for resistance.
Resistance Does Not Discriminate
Resistance is an external force that your muscles must contract against to overcome gravity and cause movement. The common belief is that weight training is the only way to provide resistance for your body since all the talk is about how weights build muscle. In a sense, this is true because the weights allow you to easily increase the resistance. But this is, of course, not the only thing used for resistance training.
Your body has no idea what type of equipment you are using to cause the resistance. In fact, it has no idea if you use just your bodyweight for this type of training. It also doesn’t know if you’re getting a routine gym workout in or if it’s a hotel fitness day.
Your brain only knows that your muscles are being used to contract at a heightened state. This causes hormones and nutrients to be released into your bloodstream for energy, growth, and power. All of this could be gained by simply performing an effective exercise program with only your bodyweight.
Bodyweight training can be mixed with equipment such as parallel bars for dips or the well-known pull-up bar for pull-up variations. These, of course, are likely not available, so other types of equipment can be used instead. Other equipment to add into this type of training include the jump rope, exercise ball, and resistance bands.
The exercise ball may not be the greatest since you have to air it up and deflate when traveling, but it is still an option for you. The thing to take from this is that resistance comes in all forms and not just the equipment available at gyms.
You don’t need a gym workout.
Why Resistance Bands?
While traveling, you usually want to only have items that take up a little room, are light weight and can easily be taken out and put back into your luggage. A resistance band is somewhat like a rubber band with handles on each side. Of course, sometimes it can simply be a flat band with no grips. The purpose of this equipment is to provide resistance depending on the elastic strength the band has.
This resistance is usually labeled as light, medium and heavy so you have an idea of which band you should use. Sometimes the brands will use colors to help you distinguish them. They range from warm colors to dark colors. For example, light resistance is usually a yellow band, then red for medium and purple for heavy. You generally want to just look at what the advertised resistance is as opposed to the color.
These bands can be used for many different tasks such as muscle isolation for both your upper and lower body. The best part about them is that you can get a decent set for under $20. Sure there are brand name resistance bands out there that cost much more, but they provide the same service just at different prices.
This is your basic tool to get more out of your strength training while in a hotel fitness setting.
Why The Jump Rope?
The jump rope is another useful tool to invest a few dollars in because it allows you to get a highly effective cardio and calves workout in. Your hotel room is most likely not the biggest room to train in, but a jump rope can make things easy for you to get your heart rate up and start burning more calories for fat loss. Plus, the way you have to hop quickly makes you contract your calf muscles.
This equipment is very light and it can be stored away quickly for travel. You can still use this at the hotel if the ceilings are low by stepping out to an open area outside the hotel. The jump rope is pretty simple and easy to use considering the cost and effectiveness. It’s a no-brainer. After all, you want to stay fit and a hotel gym workout is often lacking.
But, you don’t necessarily need either of these two types of equipment. They are just an option for you to choose if you want more exercises to consider. Your body is truly the only thing needed to perform both strength training and cardio.
Your Muscles Will Not Disappear That Quickly
The biggest reason people who train hate traveling is because they fear the loss of muscle.
Want some good news?
Muscle is not going to simply disappear in the matter of one or two weeks. Sure, you will notice they do not appear as full, but that is because they have no pump at the time.
On the other hand, studies show that strength starts to decrease after two weeks of no training. This is the reason why you need to do some type of strength training while traveling. And, yes, a hotel gym workout qualifies.
Your muscles will be able to remain more effective if you are consuming enough calories from sources rich in protein and BCAAs. These feed your muscles and allow them to stay where they are. Eating nutritious foods on top of training enough to maintain your strength and gains is the most effective way to stay fit and keep your body in good standing until you return from your travels.
Rest And Recovery May Be Different Than Normal
Usually, you want 24 hours of rest to repair your muscles after training. This could apply to two different scenarios. Isolation training at higher intensities means you have to rest that specific muscle group or groups for 24 hours. But, it could also mean you completely rest for an entire day if you trained your entire body at higher intensities. With that said, if your workout routine is sub-par, this rule may not apply to you.
When you do not train at a high enough intensity, you have no need for a rest day.
Your muscles do not need it. They are not damaged, so there really is no point. This would be known as maintenance training. This was designed to just keep your body in shape with little focus on increasing muscle gains or decreasing body fat. A hotel room or even hotel gym workout may fall under this category if you were planning on only training for a few minutes.
What is the purpose of this rest time?
Your muscles will most likely become damaged when they are recruited more than what they would be during a normal day. A process that sends protein into your bloodstream to repair these muscles along with other nutrients takes 24 to 48 hours to completely finish.
During this time the proteins are being used and helping speed up the time your muscles need for repair. If you do not eat enough protein to support this, then you will find that your muscles will be much more sore than usual. Rest also replies to how long you sleep.
A good night’s rest is vital for you to recover properly. This is the time your body is working its hardest to completely repair.
These Are The Main Bodyweight Exercises
There are three primary bodyweight exercises that are easy to perform and should always be used during a workout that is intended for the entire body. These three exercises are
push-ups, squats and planks.
These particular body weight workouts are highly effective at what they are meant to do. Push-ups help strengthen all of your upper body muscles and also recruit core muscles. The squat is great for targeting your leg muscles and glutes. Planks effectively target your core muscles and have been noted to recruit your all of your abs muscles. These are a bit different because they do not require movement of your joints to work.
This is referred to as being an isometric exercise. That is when you get into a certain position and then hold the form for 30 to 60 seconds. Anything more than this is not really needed for strength gains to take place. Squats and push-ups are based on movement with a specific amount of repetitions.
This Is Your Hotel Room Workout
Let’s face it: A hotel workout regimen just isn’t the same. Their gyms are often lacking. That’s why this is a workout routine meant for your hotel room. This hotel room workout is effective and can be used every time you travel.
Be sure to do each exercise with proper form if you truly want to benefit from it.
Exercise Sets Reps
Squat x5 x20-25
Bulgarian Split Squat x5 x15-20 (alternate sides)
Wall Sit x3 Hold 3-45 seconds
Push-Up x5 x20-25
Bodyweight Seated Floor Dip x5 x15-20
Plank x3 Hold 30-45 seconds
Lying Down Leg Raise x5 x20-25
Stretch for 5 minutes
Here Are Some Alternate Exercises
These exercises can be added in if you brought along a jump rope and/or resistance band. Sets and reps can vary depending on the resistance of the band so that info has been left out. But, if you know the resistance is moderate level, which is what you really need, then the reps would be x12-15 for 4 sets.
Triceps Back Extension
Triceps Overhead Press
Lateral Shoulder Raise
Front Shoulder Raise
Resistance Band Squat
There are plenty of different exercises to choose from. All of these are very effective for you to notice changes in your physique. Sometimes keeping it simple is all you really need for a great workout to take place.
What About Cardio?
This workout routine for your hotel fitness maintenance effort can also be converted into cardio training. Instead of taking a rest between sets, just do all the exercises back to back with no rest. Also, instead of doing multiple sets, just do one set and then move on to the next exercise. After you have done all the exercises, you should rest for one minute and then carry on to doing the routine for two more times. Throw in jumping rope one minute consecutively for five sets to maximize your cardio output.
Cardio training does not always mean you have to perform a repetitive action for 30 minutes or more in a row. You just have to continuously keep your body in motion to increase your heart rate in a good way. This keeps your heart and lungs much stronger compared to other types of training.
A hotel gym workout is possible. It really is. But, their gyms are often lacking. That doesn’t mean your workout routine should. You can stay fit while away from home. You just need to always be smart with your workout routine when it comes to your hotel fitness efforts.
For example, using chairs can be a great way to include more exercises, but if the chair is unstable you might get injured. Remember: Gym workouts are great, but there is no reason why a hotel workout routine can’t be just as good.
By Brian Pankau, CPT