Taking Your Weight Training on the Road - dummies

Taking Your Weight Training on the Road

By LaReine Chabut

If you’re looking for an excuse to skip your weight-training workout, vacations and business trips won’t cut it. You can keep your muscles strong no matter where you go, whether your destination is Caribou, Maine, or the Mongolian desert.

Although you may not always find a health club with 16 shoulder machines and aromatherapy baths, strength training on the road is well worth the effort. Even fitting in one short workout a week can help you maintain the strength you’ve worked so hard to build.

Here are some tips for getting in a strength-training workout away from home:

  • Book a hotel with a gym, if possible. Some hotel gyms have facilities that rival those at regular health clubs, including personal trainers, towel service, and massage. And these days, even many of the less posh hotel gyms offer a decent array of free weights and weight-training machinery.

  • Look for a gym in the neighborhood. If your hotel doesn’t have a gym, ask the concierge, or simply find one online by searching for “health club” or “fitness.” Expect to pay $15 to $20. Some upscale Los Angeles and New York clubs charge as much as $35 or more.

  • Stick to free-weight exercises and machines that you recognize. If you’re in a gym that’s foreign to you, unless you ask someone on staff to help you, this isn’t the time to test whether you have a knack for figuring out how weight-training contraptions work.

    When you work out away from your home club, expect to sign a waiver essentially saying that any torn muscle, broken bone, or smashed toenail you sustain is your fault and yours alone.

  • Pack an exercise band. If you have no access to weight equipment, you can perform dozens of exercises with a single band, which takes up about as much space as your travel toothbrush.

  • Lift your own body weight as a last resort. If you get stuck without even a band, you can do equipment-free exercises such as push-ups, triceps dips, crunches, back extensions, squats, and lunges. Outdoor workouts are also a great way to see the sights and experience local flavor, enjoy the outdoors, and keep up with your fitness program.