Noooooo! My gains! My beautiful gains!..........
Is this you when you travel? That feeling that with every passing day another pound of muscle is replaced with a pound of fat? The harsh reality that when you return home you're going to have to wear hoodies for at least 6 months until you look the way you did when you left?
Yeah ok that's a little dramatic but it doesn't change the fact that travel is a bitch for destroying a hard earned physique. If you set off on your journey shredded, you're bound to come back as soft as the latest Silent Night mattress, and if you were looking pretty big and holding some good muscle mass, you can guarantee that a good stint of travelling is a sure fire way to coming home looking like a champion racing snake.
NEWS FLASH: It doesn't have to be this way! There IS a way to keep yourself in top shape while you travel and i'm going to tell you the key:
- Be realistic - Let's face it, the likely hood of you maintaining a heavy 5 day split routine while you're travelling is pretty slim. Be realistic with how many days a week you really can commit to training. 2 solid weights sessions a week is enough to maintain muscle mass as long as you're eating enough.
- Plan ahead - It's a little bit of extra work, but whenever I travel i will always plan my route of travel and do some research into gym locations along the way. Try to ensure that every few days you're stopping in an area that has some sort of training facility (they are out there I promise!).
- Toys - There are certain toys that can really help you with maintaining a training regime whilst travelling, the TRX is the perfect example. There's not too many things you can't do with a TRX and you can hang it from doors, trees, & all sorts so there really is no excuse to not train.
- Work with what you've got - Take a look around you, there will always be something you could use to train with: your backpack, logs, rocks, your travel buddy, the possibilities are endless!
- Stay focussed - This is the one most people find hardest. When you're travelling, meeting new people and having a great time it can become pretty easy to just forget the diet, forget the gym, drink every night and trust me it's a downward spiral from there. I'm not saying be a complete boring bastard but just be mindful when ordering food, try not to drink EVERY night, and just keep training in the back of your mind the whole time. Unfortunately this is the only way to ensure you don't turn into skinny-fat traveller.
So as you can see, on paper it's pretty simple to train and keep yourself in shape when you travel, but to be honest, the reality is MUCH harder. There will always be distractions and things to throw you off your game, but if you're determined to stay in shape you WILL find a way, it just depends how badly you want it. Maybe you have great genetics and hold onto your shape really easily, maybe you're confident that muscle memory will mean you'll regain everything as soon as you get home and start training again. Unfortunately I do not have great genetics, nor do I regain my body very easily once it fades, so for me, there is only one option, Keep at it!