Staying beast mode while abroad

Staying beast while traveling

A couple of months after I finished grad school I took a trip around the world. Japan, India, Thailand, Egypt, and France were a some of my stops. It was right around a 10 week journey with roughly about two weeks our so in most locations. Just enough time to soak up some culture, wander around aimlessly, and embarrass myself with the locals.

I’m addicted to being active and working out. So needless to say I was a bit lost as to how I was going to keep my fitness up while living out of a back pack for the next 2-3 months. Let alone what the heck was I going to eat. I wasn’t planning on staying in any fancy hotels nor would I be stopping by any local gyms or crossfits. No barbells, dumbbells, or kettle bells to speak of.

While in Japan I ended up doing most of my workouts on top of a building I was staying at. It was August so most days were ridiculously hot and humid…. like ring out my shirt hot. I ended up bringing some rubber bands along with me to get in some resistance work. To be honest I probably could have saved myself the room in the back pack but at least they gave me some variety other than the body weight stuff all the time.
When I’m traveling I like to just walk around with no real direction. I find it the best way to engulf yourself into the country’s culture. So light cardio was never a problem. I probably was walking around a good 12 hours each day. Also quite possibly the reason why I lost 12 pounds the first ten days in Japan. Needless to say I learned my lesson after my first stop and made sure to get my grub on everywhere else.
Egypt, Thailand, India, and France were much of the same. Most of my workouts were done outside in a park (Next to the Eiffel Tower in Paris… totally awesome). I even got one in out by the pyramids. I ended up doing some sprints with some little kids towards the end. Group fitness at its finest. I made sure to include every major muscle group in each workout. I kept them to roughly 25-30 minutes. I wanted to get in and out. There was too much to do and enjoy. A typical day looked like this
  • Air Squats with back pack on and anything heavy I could put in it. Pretty sure I put a small baby in their one time, 50 x 4 sets
  • Clapping push-ups, As many as I could do in a row x 4 sets
  • Door pull-ups, as many as I could do x 4 sets
  • Sit-ups, 50 reps as fast as possible x 4 sets
  • Handstand push-ups. Try these on the side of a pyramid. Totally awesome!, 10 x 4 sets
  • Step-ups with back pack on. Usually used a dining room table, 20 per leg x 4 sets

Pretty much tried to limit rest as much as possible between each exercise in order to keep my heart rate up.

So I didn’t get bored with the same ol’routine I incorporated a few of these bad boys… and girls. Minimal equipment and tons of bang for your buck ya dig me!

I tried my best to stick to an every other day workout schedule. This seemed pretty sufficient in order to keep some of my hard-earned muscle I had added before I left for my journey.

Nutrition wise I stayed paleo as much as possible but part of the fun in traveling is taking in some unique food. PS: If you are in Japan I highly recommend staying away from the Natto. Apparently fermented bean is fantastic for you. Well it smells like feet and tastes like it too.

Long story short. Here are a few quick hits:

Prioritize: Before you even hop on that plane, train, or automobile think about what kind of workouts you will be able to get in. Are you staying at a hotel with a gym? Is there a crossfit near by? Are you going to have to do workouts in a cave? Seriously, think about it ahead of time a plan accordingly.

Set aside time each day: the best thing I can say is to wake up and make it the first thing you do. No chance you are going to want to get a workout in after walking around all day. Especially if you all have kids. Forget it. I remember when my parents took myself, sister, and brother to Disney World for the first time. Nightmare for them. Mickey never knew what hit him. Get on a schedule and stick to it. Every other day is probably good enough while traveling. It is going to be able to make any real gains while away unless you have access to some good old-fashioned metal. But there is not reason you can not maintain your sexy!

Eat right: Traveling is not an excuse to eat like POO! make sure to enjoy the local cuisine otherwise you will be missing out. But try your best to keep your portions under control. Focus on lean meats and veggies. Keep the booze to a minimum. No Mel Gibson rants.

Don’t stress: Your seeing the world for crying out loud. Enjoy the journey. If you miss a workout, I am sure you will live. Just pick it up the next day. Take in all you can and experience everything!

Final thoughts

Health and fitness is very much an important aspect of our life. I truly believe it is a great way to build confidence, push personal boundaries, and smash limits we originally thought we had.
If changing your body, establishing exercise as a habit, and eating clean is a goal than it needs to be prioritized. However, prioritize are allowed to be changed. Sometimes we feel like me might be stuck in a rut and feel the need to shake things up a bit.
DO IT! Just pull the trigger. This trip was taken at a time in my life where I needed to grow. Pay attention to your life, yourself, and the world around you. Ask the universe the right questions and you will get the right answer.

If any of you have some great traveling workout photos send them my way. I want to get those bad boys up here!

Looking to travel the world on a budget? Let me know as well. I’ll tell you how I did it!