So I've talked recently (a lot) about all the amazing activities you can do while visiting Sri Lanka, and of course I used the opportunity to shamelessly plug our upcoming retreat in April 2018............Oh you didn't know? Well, if you're asking, of course I can tell you more.............We're running an awesome retreat that's going to be jam packed with once in a life time activities, as well as our usual high energy workouts at our beautiful beach front villa where guests will have delicious food prepared for them by our talented in house chefs. You can read tons more about it HERE, and i'll just shut up and get back to my Blog.............Right, where was I?
What I haven't talked much about is what the "Fitness Scene" is like in Sri Lanka and how we found it staying on track while we travelled this interesting country.
To sum it up in one word I would have to say "challenging". Not impossible. But definitely challenging! Why was it challenging? Well for many reasons really. The first being the almost universal lack of air conditioning in a country that is predominantly tropical rainforest, meaning the sheer volume of sweat that pours from your body during even the lightest of workouts is enough to warrant at least 12 sachets of electrolytes, 8 litres of water and 24 sweat towels per session (ok, maybe that's a minor exaggeration, but it's bloody HOT!)
Our second challenge came in the form of Women's facilities (or lack thereof). Most of these gyms had never even had a woman set foot inside them, let alone a woman that could probably lift more than most of the men in there! Though the wide eyes following Ina around the gym may not have exactly made her feel as much at home as if she were training at her local Virgin Active, she wasn't phased at all by it. The challenge was the fact that there generally was no toilet or changing facilities for women in any of the gyms we visited. One of the gym owners was very kind and offered Ina to use his bathroom upstairs in his apartment, but she passed and opted for a quick workout and a dash back to our hotel.
Challenge number 3 was the level of improvisation required in most gyms to have a good session. Again, most of the guys that frequent Sri Lankan gyms (or the one's we visited in the South) weren't exactly big lifters, and although there's absolutely nothing wrong with that at all, it did mean that in order to have a good session I had one of two options: Steal every single plate in the gym so nobody else could use them, or go for a volume session and just use what I had at my disposal. I generally opted for a mixture of both - Starting my session with one main exercise for strength, then giving the guys all their weights back and completing my session as a volume workout. It did the trick though, and at least kept my body in some sort of condition during our travels.
Our next challenge was a biggie - The food! Sri Lanka is a fantastically diverse country when it comes to most things, but food.............well that's a different matter. Now, don't take that as me saying the food is bad by any means. Actually on the contrary, the food is bloody amazing, but it's still mostly traditional Sri Lankan food, which I can tell you doesn't do your body as good as it does your taste buds. Luckily we did our research and managed to find a few places that were serving up delicious healthy food. They were amazing, and given the choice we would have eaten in them all day, every day, but unfortunately our busy schedule of activity hunting for the retreat, and constant movement between locations meant that we had to eat what was available. This is a challenge that our guests absolutely won't have to deal with though, as we've got a whole team of talented chefs that will be serving up a delicious mix of local, and western foods every day. Our villa also just so happens to be on the doorstep of a couple of amazing restaurants as well (Don't worry, we've got you covered!)
All in all, the main obstacle for us keeping our (usual) fitness regime up during our time in Sri Lanka was actually just our daily schedule. Our priority was creating an amazing retreat for our guests next year, and that meant that we were constantly on the move and never quite sure of where the next gym would crop up. That didn't stop us from training every day though, and whether it was the daily surf sessions (which require a crazy amount of energy), testing out the SUP yoga, or the times we did manage to find a gym, there was always some sort of a workout in our day, and that's the point of our retreats. Guests won't even step foot inside a gym during their week with us. We'll have people sweating, aching, and most importantly smiling like a Cheshire cat through a ton of different activities every single day. We will challenge people's perceptions of what "Fitness" should look like, and show guests that staying (or getting) in shape does not have to be done in the traditional sense.
We did the dirty work so guests don't have to, and i'm so excited to show you what we've put together. We've got an absolutely epic week of Sun, Fun & Fitness just waiting for you in Sri Lanka, so if you want to be part of something truly special, GET BOOKING NOW!