5 Ways to Keep Your Gains on Vacation
It's that time of year when a lot of people decide to go on vacation. You have worked hard for a good part of the year, crushing your training and having your nutrition and sleep dialed in. Then when you go on vacation for 1-2 weeks, a good majority of the time it gets wrecked. You are in the car driving for hours, hitting fast food restaurants along the way.
I had this happen to me recently when my family and I went to Montana, Mount Rushmore and Colorado. We drove for multiple hours per day and ate CRAP. I don't know what it is about driving but you just mindlessly eat; you probably aren't even hungry, it's more or less bored eating.
My go to junk food is Fritos BBQ twists. I have no idea why I get those when I drive, but they are pretty delicious. Doritios are also a great crunch snack. But then once vacation is over, you put on at least 10 lbs, and we aren't talking muscle. So now it is back to the grind of eating way better, training and trying to reset your system.
So how can you avoid this happening to you, destroying all of your gains? It may take a little work, but it is something that you can do fairly easily with a little bit of planning and discipline.
#1: Meal prep.
I know, you don't want to have to do that; it takes time and can be a hassle. I am not talking about cooking 2 weeks worth of chicken and veggies. I am talking about road snacks. Carrots and blueberries are an easy snack to put in baggies or plastic containers for you to snack on when you are wanting to eat. Carrots give you that crunch similar to chips but are obviously healthier for you.
#2: Drink Water.
This seems like a no brainer, but a lot of people like to fill up on soda when you stop for gas. Get a insulated cup, keep a small cooler with a jug of water and use that instead. Soda has so many empty calories that when you are just sitting and driving will pack on the pounds over your vacation.
#3: Get out and move.
Driving makes your body and neck super stiff when you are driving for many hours, trying to get to the next state so you can get to your destination. Every few hours, hit a rest stop, and do a little walking. If there is a bench there, do some box jumps (or I guess bench jumps?); jog on the trails, or do some air squats. It will only take a few minutes and your body will thank you. Plus if you are pounding the water, you will need to pee anyway (unless you decide to use your insulated cup😉 )
#4: Bodyweight workouts
You have been dominating your training up to this point, then go on vacation and do nothing. You won't lose all of your gains, unless you are dormant for like a month. Try to find a hotel with a gym. Most of the time, they are pretty minimal; there is always a cardio machine of some sort and if you are lucky, some dumbbells. A great bodyweight workout is the EO3 5k. This workout only requires running shoes. You will do 6 rounds for time of: Run 800m, then do 3 rounds of 5 push ups, 10 sit ups, 15 air squats. Once you complete 6 rounds of the above, rest for 3 minutes. Then run 100m, rest for 1 min, then run one more 100m. It is a great workout and you don't need any equipment.
You are on vacation, so hopefully it isn't too regimented with agendas and schedules. Spend some time in the morning to just relax. Get up, get some coffee, and just sit. You can do some deep breathing exercises as you sip your java and just enjoy the morning. Try to do it outside to soak up some vitamin D if you can.
Vacations are great: memories are made, you spend quality time with your family and get a mental break from your daily grind. Once you get back, it is hectic for a while but you will get back on track. Try these things to make it easier for you to pick up where you left off. If you slip and don't do any training at all, that is ok too. Just start off slow when you get back. Take the first week and ease back into training. Cut your volume by around 40-50% and then increase it the next week.