I never met a hotel gym I didn’t like
Now don’t get me wrong. There are nice hotel gyms and then there are NICE hotel gyms (and everything in between). There are also those that have one treadmill in a makeshift hotel room turned “gym” that looks as budget as it does creepy. BUT I’ve still never found a hotel gym I couldn’t conquer. Here’s my step by step guide to make sure you make the most of what has been presented to you.
If you’re a planner and have a five day split or some other schedule start at step 1. If you’re more of a gym grazer and don’t have a plan skip to step 2.
Step 1. Determine your travel days and where they fit into your schedule. Are your travel days falling on leg day? Cardio day? If you want to be rigid and stick to your schedule keep in mind that leg day may fall on the day you’re in a minimally equipped gym.
Step 2. Check the hotel website to see what the gym looks like. Chances are if its a nice gym, the hotel will have a few pictures of the machines and weights available.
Step 3. Take a minute to think about how your days are going to look. If you know you are going to be short on time on travel days you may need to rearrange so that a 20 minute high intensity interval training (HIIT) workout falls on those days. OR, maybe you’re drained after a long day of travel, meetings and conference calls. By the time you get to the hotel the only thing that may fit is a nice yoga session. Similarly, if you’re on a vacation and touring all day the last thing you want to do is be on your feet doing a HIIT workout. OR, maybe you can do that HIIT workout before the sightseeing even starts. Again, map out your days, see where you can reshuffle workouts and where it’s a non negotiable. Plan for long days, plan for dinners and squeeze that workout in where you can.
Step 4. Now that you know what’s available, what needs to get done and what you can realistically do given your plans, determine what are you going to do? Here are some options:
Cardio Only (Steady State) – If cardio machines are only available then opt for a cardio and abs day.
Cardio Machine (Remix) – What does that mean? You can get creative with the treadmills and do some lunges, kickbacks and shuffles to get a leg workout. Raise the incline to 15 (and don’t you dare hold those rails) and get a nice glute burn.
HIIT – If you’re short on time, already did steady state cardio OR if you want to add some plyometric work while training your muscles then HIIT is a great option. I love doing HIIT when I need to get cardio and a lower body blast in at the same time.
Weights / Strength Training – If there are free weights, benches, medicine balls, etc., plan a circuit workout and target the body parts that fall on that day (if you have a plan). If you’re a grazer get a full body workout in! Either way weight training is the best of both worlds you can lift heavy, bounce from exercise to exercise with relatively short breaks and get a cardio workout in without thinking twice!
Step 5. Pack some workout equipment. If the gym is really looking scarce and you know you’ll need some extra toys consider packing the following: resistance bands, jump rope, discs or paper plates for sliding exercises.
Step 6. Plan your exact workout! There are days where I like to plan my own workout/circuit based on how I feel. There are other days where I just need to follow someone else’s plan and not think. Some of my favorite go-to resources include magazines that are geared towards bikini competitors. I feel like they have the most well thought out/effective workouts.
So now that you know what your travel days will look like, what body parts / types of workouts will fall on those travel days and what the gym look you can set yourself up for success.
Does anyone have any other recommendations/tips for scheduling and planning workouts while traveling?