I’ve been to a gym 17 times in 230 days
How to travel, keep fit and workout. Below are 7 fitness tips I’ve consistently followed whilst travelling that I found aided and a proof in the pudding video.
I’m by no means ripped, overly strong or big but I have wanted to try maintain some level of fitness whilst travelling South America. Body weight. TRX and simple consistent nutrition can be all that’s needed.
You honestly don’t need to be member of a gym, have all the fancy machines. Know the latest trends or eat the latest supps to achieve and maintain a condition that YOU are happy with. Just follow simple proven nutritional science, a little knowledge in exercise and most importantly know what works for YOU.
Know what works for you
I’ve overindulged in cultural cuisine, drank excessively and been injured but I have always came back to one consistency, diet and training. Let the bad habits spike but don’t let them be the one consistent.
The number one aspect for that consistency is understanding your metabolic output based on your lifestyle and body type – without knowing what your body uses and thus requires how can you ever feed it right to achieve your goal.
Supps and nutrition I travel with and keep stock of (all available in most of SA)
- Krill oil tablets: heart and joint health
- Spirilina tablets: multi vitamins and minerals
- Amino acid tablets: see below
- Glutamine tablets: see below
- Vegan protein/whey: after exercising
- Quinoa: when cooking for its nutritional value, specifically its high amino acid profile
- Tumeric: for it’s high antitoxin and anti free radical properties
- Oats: for their good energy supplying complex carbs and to mix with a protein shake after exercise, see below
1) Keep your nutrition consistent based on your body needs – your metabolic output. How?…
Think of it like a car, without knowing exactly what petrol, oil and water is needed to make it run effectively you will never achieve it’s best performance, the same goes for your body. Understanding what you need to put into your body to maintain or loose weight or gain mass can be known from a few calculations. You can easily to those calculations here. From a little info such as your age, weight and lifestyle we can calculate:
How many calories you need to eat to stay exactly the same
How many calories you need to eat to loose weight over time slowly (thus effectively)
How many calories you need to eat to gain mass i.e muscle and size
How much protein you need to eat to maintain muscle and shape or to build and to prevent your body from breaking muscle (protein) down for energy
You can easily to those calculations here.
Keeping your nutrition consistent…
Comes with using the myfitnesspal app (the apps calculations itself aren’t as accurate, it’s best to work them out individually and enter the info). You may think using an app and essentially tracking macros takes time and is boring but it’s actually extremely easy, quick and after a few months you naturally learn food nutritional values and can become less reliable on it. You’ll probably also shock yourself by realising what values foods actually contain and how much you are missing out on certain vitamins and minerals.
2) Eat your daily required protein amount
You will know this from the calculation above. Your body is an incredible machine and it will happily turn to breaking down muscle protein for energy over fat depending on your physical exergertion. Keep your required protein levels up and it will turn to the ingested protein for energy rather than your muscle protein thus saving that hard earned bulk
3) Stick to your daily required calorie amount
You will know this from the calculation above. A lot of people look to suddenly diet hard and fast while on holiday. Unfortunately the body isn’t that daft, loosing weight so it is maintainable needs to be done slowly overtime so you are not shocking your body but slowly tricking it into thinking your weight is lower. Shocking only makes it store and breakdown muscle protein. Not to mention restricting carbs will give you a flat look as your muscles won’t be absorbing water, which is what makes them look full and round. Whilst travelling it’s best to try and just maintain your not look to shred or gain.
4) Take a Glutamine and amino acid tablet supplement each day
When you wake your body is in starvation mode and looks for energy, without easily available carbs digested into your blood stream it’s going to turn to muscle tissue, specifically the breakdown of amino acids to use as energy. Often when travelling it’s hard to have a complete nutritional breakfast in hostels and when camping. Feeding the body these essential amino acids will prevent it from breaking down muscle when you begin to exert yourself for the days requirements
They are also great to take if you know you can’t meet you daily required protein amount
5) Stick to a 2:1 ratio of carbs to protein in your shake after exercising
For every 1g of protein you should mix 2g of carbs with it. The average good quality protein powder delivers 25g of protein so mix 50g worth or carbs from your oats with it and have it straight after your workout.
You need to spike insulin to absorb nutrient (protein, vitamins, minerals) into your muscle after training to replenish them and aid their growth and improvement. Insulin is a type of protein cell that attaches to your your muscle cells and opens up a gate to rush nutrient into them Without spiking your insulin you have no insulin cells in your blood so the protein you in take can’t as effectively enter your muscles, most of it will just be used as a form of energy rather than to improve your muscles. The simple carbs in the oats spike your insulin levels
6) Keep your exercises simple
Press up and pull ups are king. One of my favourite simple splits when camping in patagonia or the wilderness was 100 press ups completed by breaking at failure until you achieve the 100. Followed by 50 pull ups (knees to chest for the abs) on a tree in the same way. The hiking the mountains will build your legs but just grab the TRX for one leg squats off a tree if you want more.
7) Always Keep a record of your activity, reps sets and improve overtime
Without keeping a record (you can use your iPhone notes) you will never remember what you did or how many reps you achieved overtime. And without pushing yourself a little overtime and improving on reps or sets you won’t change. Below is an example of my lower body TRX workout in my iPhone notes. It sometimes dips from weeks of a different workout when up in the mountains etc but always I’m looking to slightly improve overtime.
One leg squat: 8887, 8888,8888,8888,9888,8898,9888,9988,9988,9998, 9999, 9999, 9999, 9888, 9999, 9999, 10999, 101099, 1010109
One leg Lunge non stop: 101010,1699,161010,181010,191010, 151010,171010, 151010, 151010, 161010, 161110, 161010, 161010, 161010, 161111, 161110, 171212, 181212, 201212, 181313,
Reverse lunge leg behind: 666,888,887,8888,8888,9888,9888, 9988, 9998, 9998, 9999, 777, 8888, 8888, 8888,9888
Stomach superman: 10888,1087,18147,888, 8888, 10888,10887, 121076, 1087, 1288, 121010