Wednesday, December 7, 2011

The Time and the Place, Part 1

I've grown a severe aversion to people who run on at the mouth, or punching keys and creating piles worthless words, discussing things that they have no clue what it is they're talking about. There are places all over the internet that overflow with such mindless shit. I've grown up around too many people like that much of my life.

I've never claimed to be an expert on anything up until now. Today will be the day that I declare myself to be an expert on working out on the road. After several internet explorations, I've discovered people who think that a piece of exercise equipment that fits into a duffel bag is portable and others who think that it's feasible to check a doorway pull-up bar in their luggage. I wonder if these are the same bone bag metrosexuals who travel with no less than 5 shirts no matter if they're taking a three day weekend to a nudist colony.

Well, they could be halfway right if they were traveling by car, or especially by truck. Most of last years business travel for me was done by car. That makes things a lot easier since you can bring a modest amount of gear. Kettlebells tuck neatly behind the seats of most pickup trucks and my much-worn, much-loved sandbag doesn't mind the ride in the bed. A set-up like this provides a very-wide variety of training, no matter where traveling may take you. Within reason, you're only limited by your desire to bother loading it into your respective automobile.
Traveling by car is easy enough. Where things get really tricky is the airplane. Thanks to fat bastards all over the USA, your bag weight is down to 50 lbs each. Things get exacerbated when you have to travel in the winter time. The 50 lbs bag weight is very easy to exceed when you need jackets and sweaters. There's not a lot of room for exercise gear.

You're probably back to BW-only. We're all here reading because we love BW. Chances are good that part of that devotion is precisely because we can do it anywhere with marginal amounts of equipment. Well, air travel combined with hotel living will put that to the test.

Still, some stuff helps out a lot. Near the top of the list is something for pull-ups. Too often, a collection of running machines are what passes for a gym in most hotels, if you find anything at all. In spite of how simple the needs for pulling up in a gym are, they're just not common. That doesn't make you too down and out if you stay in one of those multi-story hotels where all of the rooms' doors are outside. They usually have railings and stairways that you can attach a suspension trainer to. Easy.

Not so if the hotel room entrances are inside of the building. This quickly renders a suspension trainer less useful. What I've used through the years (until I lost my pair. SHIT!)are doorway pull-up handles. As long as you're not too heavy and you're using them on a solid-core door with durable hinges and a good lock (which, if your room doesn't have that, I suggest you find another hotel) they work great. You can also use them for ab leg raise work as well if you place them at the bottom of the door.
Both of these options are very lightweight and don't take up much space in a bag. While you're at it, it might be helpful to pack something to make push-ups more interesting. To popular candidates are either some sort of push-up spikes or a travel Perfect Push-up. If you topped off your travel kit with a jump rope and some sort of gym timer (preferably a Gymboss), you're good to go.

Now, if you're difficult and you have to have some weight, then go back to the sandbag. I packed my Alpha Strong Sandbag on a trip to the beach in Peru. When I finished up, I washed, dried and re-packed it in my suitcase. If you're not going to the beach, then take a discreet walk through your hotel's landscaping. Chances are good you'll find a stone that you can build a workout around. Did you rent a car? That could make a good piece of workout gear if the hotel isn't too crowded.

I've done all of the above when I'm traveling. I can vouch that with enough imagination you can see a source of a good workout if you're willing to look at things in that light. Yeah, it's helpful to bring some of your own stuff when the opportunity presents itself. The best advice I can possibly give is not to let yourself fall victim to thinking that your workouts are made and broke by your access to stuff.


Anonymous said...

What you said here made me think... it seems a lack of creativity is rampant in society and that, perhaps, is one of the most crucial aspects when trying to solve any problem. True strength comes from within is something also that came to mind reading this.

K said...

I've been asking to myself if you have ever done a back lever or a planche. Enlighten me

Justin_PS said...

Nope. I'm working on Flags at the moment.

K said...

I'm pretty sure that you could master the plance/back lever/whatever in a month or less. Now I'm working on handstands and levers and... being 6' 1'' doesn't help a lot really... fucking gravity

Justin_PS said...

I've got piles of goals that I want to burn through. It's just a matter of priority.