When traveling on business trip after business trip, it is very easy to fall into a hotel fitness rut. With so many easy excuses to not exercise, getting to the hotel fitness center is a feat unto itself. But being creative with your workout regimen requires even more energy. As a result, we trudge down to the gym every morning or evening on auto pilot and fall into a comfortable workout routine. Granted, getting to the gym is better than not, but taking the time to mix up your workout routine will make your hotel fitness time a lot more effective.
Whether you are on a business trip or working out at home, it is best to continually challenge your body, just as you would your mind. Doing so will keep your body in better shape than if you hadn’t. Further, mixing up your hotel fitness program will keep boredom from setting in…something that will sabotage even your best of intentions.
Changes can be very minor and simple, regardless of how well stocked the hotel fitness center is. Here are some ways ways to change up both cardio and strength training workouts:
- Hotel Fitness Equipment: If walking on the treadmill day after day is your default hotel fitness plan, change up your routine by using different cardio machines in the facility. Make use of the arc-trainer, the StairMaster, the elliptical, the bike AND the treadmill. Further, if you are lucky enough that the hotel fitness facilities include a pool, consider doing some laps. Even if there are only a couple of different options, do something different for cardio each time you workout to keep things interesting.
- Pre-Programmed Programs: If the gym only has one type of cardio machine, you can still bring some variation into hotel fitness. Today, most cardio machines offer “pre-programmed” workouts. Some of the more popular programs include interval training, hills, fat burning, cardio and heart rate training. Build some variety on your business trip by alternating through the pre-programmed workouts. If for some reason the machines do not offer these features, try this:
- Day 1: Interval training course – Exercise at a high intensity for 2 minutes and then at a lower intensity for 5 minutes – alternating for a total minimum of 30 minutes.
- Day 2: Hills – Begin with a flat incline for 5 minutes. Then increase to a slight incline for 5 minutes. Go back to flat for 5 minutes and increase to a higher incline for 5 minutes. Continue to lower and increase the incline every 5 minutes, for a total minimum of 30 minutes.
- Day 3: Fat Burn – Maintain a steady pace and incline that would allow you to exercise and hold a conversation consistently for 45 – 50 minutes.
- Change Equipment: An easy way to add variation to hotel fitness is to switch between free weights, machines and body weight exercises. Each way of working the muscles offers different benefits.
- Vary # of Repetitions: Different numbers of repetitions of an exercise will have varying effects on your muscles: the more repetitions you do, the more you will tone, while fewer repetitions will build muscle. If you go on a business trip every week, keep your hotel fitness workouts varied by doing sets of 8-10 repetitions per exercise for a week or two. Then, for the next couple of weeks, reduce the weight and do 12-15 repetitions of each exercise. With each variation, however, make sure your last repetition is extremely difficult…as if you couldn’t do anymore.
- Vary the Set Types:This means varying how you combine muscles together during your hotel fitness workout. The most simple set types are as follows:
- Circuit Sets: Do an exercise for 8 – 15 repetitions for each muscle group (Legs, Back, Chest, Shoulders, Biceps and Triceps) to form one circuit set. Then repeat the whole circuit set for a total of 3 circuit sets.
- Single Sets: Do 3 sets in a row of one exercise for each muscle group.
- Supersets: Create a workout that combines exercises that work similar muscles or group of muscles. For instance, combine chest exercises with triceps exercises or back exercises with bicep exercises. The exercises are performed with no rest period between a pair of exercises.
- Push-pull Supersets: Create a workout that utilizes exercises that work opposing muscle groups. For instance, combine bicep exercises with triceps exercises, or back exercises with chest exercises for the entire workout. Again, do not rest between the two opposing exercises.
- Change Grips on Exercises: Changing your grip will work muscles differently. For instance, when doing bicep curls, use an underhand grip one day and then an overhand grip the next time.
- Change Exercise Types: Choose different exercises for each muscle group. For instance, instead of standard bicep curls every time you work your biceps, try doing hammer curls one day, reverse curls another, isolated curls the next, etc.
When exercising on your business trip, try something new and get out of your comfort zone. How do you maintain variety with hotel fitness?