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28 September 2011 ~ 3 Comments

Tips from the Road #3 – Be Flexible (Continued…..)

A few days ago, I wrote about some observations from a recent spate of trips where I wasn’t able to keep to my preferred workout routine.  And the point I made was to be ‘flexible’ – go with the flow and allow you to be open to alternative ways of working out.

I listed 7 items that had come to mind as worth sharing, and if you each find one or two of interest then great.  Else chalk it up to me looking for ways to make the business trips more exciting.

Here again is the original list of 7 snippets upfront – the first four were covered in the previous post, and this post continues at number 5:

  1. Routine is Everything – Not!
  2. Training Schedule – Day/Night preference
  3. Some new machines/tools
  4. The ‘tightening’ training program
  5.  What when you have “no weights”?
  6. The 24-Hour Fitness “Lite”
  7. 20 minutes in a Hotel Room

Starting were I left off:

# 5.  I was at the hotel and the fitness center had the usual equipment (one treadmill, one stationary bike and a stair stepper).  The regular gym was a good drive away, and I decided the cardio would do for the day.   However, after I had finished cardio, I was somewhat energized and really wanted to do some ‘weight-training’ having missed a couple of days in travel.  No weights to be seen, and my water bottle was of course pretty light by then.  I recalled an experience from the days of “aerobics”.  One of the classes was a “whole body” workout which meant we worked out with hand weights – this was pre-boot-camp days.  The classes were very popular and one time there weren’t enough dumbbells for all participants.  The instructor told us that we really could get as good or better workout without the hand weights – just “focus on the muscle being worked and tense and release the muscle as though you were holding a weight”.  In other words, feel the intensity in the muscle rather than relying on the dumbbell to do the work of fatiguing the muscle.  I also had a long resistance exercise band with me (its home is in the top zippered section of my bag so is almost always with me – in case).   I don’t often use the bands because for some reason it bothers me that I don’t get resistance on the negative part of the exercise (personal quirk).  However, between the bands and my no-dumbbell exercises, I got a pretty good workout.  And focusing on the intensity in throughout the full movement, I got the resistance on the negative part of the exercise!  Win-win!

#6.  When I am traveling within California, I am never concerned about finding either a 24-hour fitness or a Gold’s gym.  (I give no endorsement or opinion since quality varies from city to city – but I just expect to find one or the other within driving distance, to work out in.)  Imagine my shock when I was in Berkeley, and discovered there was no Gold’s gym around, and the 24-Hour Fitness was pretty far from me.  I preserved (switch search engines and it’s like getting a second opinion), and found two gyms at a reasonable distance with the name 24-hour “Fit-Lite”.   I didn’t question the name; I simply went there and found a workout venue the approximate size of many living rooms.  My heart sank!  But since I was there and I needed to work out, I remembered to be ‘flexible’ and I went inside. 

Fit Lite Berkeley

The gym is set up for ‘circuit training’ with around 30 stations, two elliptical machines for cardio and a small section at the rear for stretching and for additional optional workout with dumbbells.  Since I had had trouble finding the place I had less than an hour for the workout at this point; so 15 minutes of cardio a little stretching and 30 minutes on the circuit gave me a decent if not spectacular workout.  (It has been a few years since I last used a circuit – likely when I was recovering from an injury and just easing back into working out.)  I made sure I worked out intensely for the 45-50 seconds allotted to each station.  The highlight was discovering that within the circuit were 3 Hoist Roc-It machines.  In keeping with the theme of this post – being flexible can make any situation work out!

#7.  One morning I found myself very frustrated, when realizing I had woken later than planned and didn’t have time to get to the gym and back before heading to the client.   I was flying out that evening so there would be no time after work.  In fact I calculated I had about 20 minutes in between packing and showering.   So the hotel room became my workout space, and during rest periods I was folding clothes and putting personal items into my bag.  Some notes:

  • The chair works well for dips
  • A towel or bedcover on the floor lets you do pushups and other floor exercises and not be concerned about the cleanliness of the carpet/floor
  • The no-weight exercise and the resistance band exercises given a mention in 5. above all come into play.

I focused on arms that day, and must have worked intensely, because my triceps were sore the next day. 

Bonus note:  I just read about an exercise routine that requires only that you carry a deck of cards when you travel…… So here goes.  Take a deck of cards and shuffle them well

Turn the top card face up and perform the exercise allocated for the value of the card, as follows:

  • Hearts = burpees
  •  Diamonds = lunges
  •  Spades = press ups
  •  Clubs = bent leg sit ups
  •  Jokers = 300 reps of skipping (Skip with or without a rope)

e.g. 6 of hearts = 6 burpees, queen of clubs = 12 sit ups.

Work through the entire pack as fast as possible but only move on to the next card when you have completed all of the reps of your current card. If you get a run of high cards or same color cards… well, sorry, that’s bad luck!

This comes from a ‘Royal Marines Fitness Training’ guide by Patrick Dale

I hope you all enjoyed the tit-bits from the road.  And as I am on the road extensively over the next three months, I may have some new ones come December.

3 Responses to “Tips from the Road #3 – Be Flexible (Continued…..)”

  1. Twin Fitness 23 May 2012 at 7:39 am Permalink

    Great information, thank you!

  2. admin 23 May 2012 at 3:09 pm Permalink

    So glad you stumbled on this post! thanks for the comment.


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