Most of us like to break a sweat while traveling. But typically it’s by sitting it out on a sun-soaked beach rather than keeping on track with our fitness goals. The appeal of a hotel gym workout is probably pretty low in that situation.
But whether it's a hotel gym workout or bodyweight workout you do on the floor of a relative's living room next to a Christmas tree, the Spartan mindset is that it will be done, no complaints or excuses.
That said, if the timing is right, it’s fine to take time off from training when you’re on vacation or traveling for business. Not to mention traveling for the holidays. But the point is you don’t have to. As long as you have your body and a commitment to ensuring your fitness program doesn’t backslide while you’re away from home, you’ll always have the ability to work out while traveling. Your hotel gym workout can be the kind where you just use the space and don't even touch a weight.
And, sure, rest is a prerequisite for all regular Spartan racers, but a few days of enjoying the local food washed down with one or four margaritas is going to cramp your chances of burning fat and staying fit. Truth.
So, if your reason for traveling this summer is something besides attending a Spartan race somewhere out of town, then you’ll need to pack some fat-burning workouts while on the road. We’ve enlisted the expertise of some Spartan coaches to help you stay consistent with your training, even while enjoying new environments and everything they have to offer.
1. Tabata-Type Workout
Bastian Daubmeier, a Spartan SGX Level 2 coach who runs Big Kahuna Fitness in Munich, in southeast Germany, claims that the best kind of training to do while on holidays involves using what you have—nature and bodyweight.
“I like Tabata-type training,” Daubmeier says, giving the nod to the high-intensity interval training (HIIT) workout discovered by Japanese scientist Dr. Izumi Tabata, “because it’s short, intensive, and burns lots of energy.”
“This part is primarily cardio,” Daubmeier explains. “If you have access to the beach, perfect! Running—preferably barefoot—in the sand works some of your foot and calf muscles that you barely use while running on concrete.” He adds, “Animal movements are absolute classics for warming up and working on the shoulders.”
- 1- to 3-minute run at the beach
- Duckwalk for 3 × 25 meters
- Bear-crawl for 3 × 25 meters
- Inchworm for 3 × 10 meters
Hotel Gym Workout (Even If There's Only a Treadmill)
Work up and down the ladder (1–10, 10–1):
- Squat jumps
- Jumping lunges
“The workout part is hard,” Daubmeier says, but adds, “In my opinion, the muscle groups worked here are best for burning fat, and if you’re a serious racer, then you need the power and stamina.”
“However, exercises can always be changed.” For “easier” ladder drills, Daubmeier suggests jumping jacks, single-foot hops, and walking push-ups.
2. The 1000!
Easy isn’t a word that most Spartan trainers or dedicated racers like, though, and Spartan SGX Coach and OCR Athlete Richard Sopinanukul from Palmdale, California, is no different.
A deep workout in the morning or afternoon while you’re on the road shouldn’t be a problem to those committed to their health, as far as Daubmeier sees it.
“If you are short on time you can always scale it by reducing the number of rounds,” Sopinanukul says of his recommended holiday workout, “but doing 10 full rounds shouldn’t take you more than 45 minutes.”
Sopinanukul recommends three rounds of warm-up exercises executed for 20 seconds with a 10-second rest between each.
- Jumping jacks
- High knees
- Air squats
- Alternate kick, left foot to right hand and then right foot to left hand
Finish with a one-mile run.
10 exercises, 10 reps each, 10 rounds total
- Reverse lunge to high knee (left)
- Reverse lunge to high knee (right)
- Squat knee to elbow (left)
- Squat knee to elbow (right)
- Push-ups shoulder taps
- Plank knee tucks
- Mountain climbers
- Starfish crunch
- Leg raises
3. Spartan Strong
As far as New Jersey-based SGX instructor Jennifer Brunet is concerned, you can’t go wrong with a Spartan Strong-inspired workout when life or work takes you out of town. “You can take your Spartan training everywhere,” she says. “No equipment needed!” In other words, if the hotel gym workout you do is in a hotel gym where the only equipment is a treadmill and a TV.
Three rounds of 30 seconds each:
- Squat with cross-body reach
- Reverse lunge into a knee drive
- Side plank rotations
- Run in place for 60 seconds
- Take a break for 60 seconds
One minute of cardio/one minute of strength.
Six exercises of three rounds with a one-minute recovery after each round.
- Lateral shuffle: stay low as you shuffle three to four steps to the right, tap the floor, shuffle three to four steps to the left tap, and the floor
- Alternate reverse lunges with an overhead reach
- Squat thrust lateral jump
- Push-ups with a reach
- Split squats
- High to low planks
“This is the part of the workout when you get to be your own competition,” says Brunet, “so it’s AMRAP—as many reps as possible!”
- Burpees for one minute, keeping count
- One minute recovery
“Repeat burpees and beat the count,” says Brunet. “Push past your perceived limits!”
- Crab-walk with a reach 1 minute, keeping count
- One minute recovery
“Repeat and beat the count,” she encourages. “You’re stronger than you think! When you think you’ve reached your max, you’re only 40 percent there! Keep a strong mind and your body will follow!”
- Hip flexor stretch
- Shoulder stretch
“End with child’s pose,” suggests Brunet. “Sit down on your heels and stretch your arms in front of you. Breathe! You finished stronger!”
Looking for additional quick workouts on vacation? Download the Get Fit Fast Program