Awesome Hotel Room Workout

     You’re on the road, away from your home gym for a few days. That’s the perfect time to slack off, right? No way.

     Being stuck living in a hotel isn’t ideal for making your gains, but it doesn’t mean you can’t still train.

     You’re going to want to make sure that you keep your diet in check. Being away from home makes it even more tempting to stray from your ideal calories and macros. Remember most of the results you’ll see are going to come from what you eat, not your workouts. Make the best choices you can.

     If your hotel has a decent gym, that’s a plus. But from my experience that’s rare. Most of them have a couple treadmills, ellipticals and machines. For some reason, I almost never see one that has a pull up bar. I have no idea why.

     You’re going to want to make sure that you keep your diet in check. Being away from home makes it even more tempting to stray from your ideal calories and macros. Remember most of the results you’ll see are going to come from what you eat, not your workouts. Make the best choices you can.

     The good news is you can still get in a quality workout even in your hotel room. I like doing a circuit that trains the whole body.

     You’ll hit all the major muscle groups with a push exercise, a pull exercise, as well as work your core and legs. The benefit of a circuit is you’ll get a quality workout in about 20 minutes.

     Let’s begin! Use your smart phone or watch as a timer. Set it for 20 minutes.

First Warm up with some jumping jacks or jogging in place. Do some trunk rotations and arm circles too.

Next You’re going to do each exercise in a row. This adds an element of cardio to help you burn fat. It’s critical that you make sure your form is on point for all the movements so you can get the most benefit from them and avoid injury.

Ready? Start the clock!

  1. 10 Bodyweight squats. (If you’re advanced, you can do 20. If you’re a hero, you can use a piece of luggage as added resistance. Hold it against your chest as you do the squat repetitions)
  2. 10 Pushups. (If you’re advanced, do 20. If you need more of a challenge, elevate your feet on a chair and do decline pushups).
  3. 10 Lunges (each leg)
  4. 10 One-Arm Luggage Rows (each arm). Brace yourself against a chair or table with one arm. Keep your core nice and tight, your spine neutral. Use your other arm to lift your suitcase as a weight.
  5. 10 crunches (or reverse crunches)
  6. 60 seconds rest. Catch your breath and drink some water.

Repeat from step 1 until the 20 minutes are up. That’s it!

For the sake of variety, you can do chair dips instead of pushups; mountain climbers in place of lunges; perhaps try inverted rows using a table (carefully!) rather than luggage rows; you can substitute 30 seconds of planks for the crunches.

Give it a try!

Ten Things I Wish I Knew When I Started

Hopefully you won’t make the same mistakes I did.

1. Stick to the program. Find a fitness program and stick with it. It’s so tempting to hop from one to another and to another. But if you do that, you’re just hindering your progress. Every time you switch, you’re starting over.

2. Track your lifts. Keep a journal. It doesn’t matter if it’s a notebook or an app on your phone, just have it somewhere. Any program worth a damn is based on progressive overload, getting stronger over time. You can’t do that if you don’t keep track of your weights, sets, and reps. Plus, whenever your motivation starts to flag you can look back and find inspiration from seeing how far you’ve come already.

3. You can’t out train a bad diet. Along with noting what you do in your training, you have to stay on top of your nutrition. I’m naturally a super skinny guy, so for a long time I was able to eat whatever I wanted and not get fat. …But I also didn’t put on much muscle either. Needless to say it was frustrating. In order to make the changes you want, you have to stay on top of your calorie intake and your macronutrients. Food is the body’s fuel. You wouldn’t put crappy gasoline in your high performance car, would you?

4. Focus on the compound lifts. Getting proficient squats, deadlifts, bench press, overhead press, pull-ups and chin-ups should be the foundation of your workouts. The thing is, they’re hard and I admit that I neglected some of them when I started working out.

5. Squat. Yeah, it’s hard. Do it anyway.

6. Have a plan. This is similar to tracking your food and lifts. Don’t just show up at the gym and expect to figure things out there. It doesn’t matter if your goal is losing fat or building muscle, if you don’t have a plan and execute it, you’re going to waste a lot of time. If you were in New York and you wanted to drive to Los Angeles, you wouldn’t just jump in a car and hope to get there, would you? You’d map out a route and follow it.

7. Use good form. You only get one set of knees, shoulders, etc. Treat your joints well… or else. Ego lifting will eventually get you injured. It might be hard to accept but no one in the gym cares if you have 25’s or 50’s in your hand. But if your biceps curls look more like hip thrusts/calf raises you’re just delaying your progress and inviting injury. It takes time to get strong, don’t add on to it by using terrible form. In order to get strong, you have to train. You can’t train if you’re injured.

8. Discipline. The days you don’t feel like training are the most important days to train. No one is amped to train every single session. But consistency is the key to improving. You have to show up and put in the work even if you don’t feel like it. You will be glad you did. The discipline you develop from sticking to your plan regardless whether you feel like it or not will help you achieve your goals in the gym and outside of it.

9. Recovery is key. You have to take care of your body. When you train hard but eat mostly junk food and never get more than 3-4 hours of sleep per night, what do you think is going to happen? You’re undermining your progress. If you spend an hour a day training, that leaves 23 hours outside the gym. Make sure the things you do away from the gym don’t undermine your hard work.

10. Have fun. Enjoy the process. It will take time. It will be difficult. It will be worth it. If being in great shape was easy, everyone would do it and no one would be impressed by it. Set goals, get after them, achieve them, set new ones.

1% Better

If you’re reading this then you’re highly motivated. Good. This is absolutely for people who are already motivated. This blog isn’t for designed for people who aren’t ready to take action.

No matter who you are, where you are, or what your current shape is, you can get better. You can do better. You can be better. Constant improvement is the ultimate goal in life. There’s no such thing as perfection, yet in striving for it you can become greater than your wildest dreams. If you put your efforts toward being just 1% better each day, do you think that’s achievable? How much better could you be over the course of a few months? Or a year? Or a decade?

Take action. Today. Not tomorrow. Do something today that moves you in the direction of achieving one of your goals. It doesn’t have to be a giant leap. Just a small step. It may be going to the gym. It might even be going for a walk. Do something today. And then tomorrow, do it again. Take another step.

You won’t accomplish your goals in one day and that’s good. If you could, then your goals are way too small. Set a big goal and go after it one small step at a time. You will amaze yourself with what you can get done over time if you just step one foot ahead of the other. And you will inspire others.

Your goal should be big and your steps small. Break down the goal into the smallest parts. If you want to lose 100 lbs., start with aiming to eat just a little less food and eating healthier food. Try to lose 1 lb. per week. That’s it.

Change one habit. Trying to change several habits at once is setting yourself up to fail. Pick one thing to focus on. We’re looking at the long game here. There’s plenty of time. When you’ve dialed in that habit, choose another one and replace it with an alternative one that’s aligned with self-improvement. Do you see how this can work?

You don’t learn to scale Mt. Everest by first scaling Mt. Everest. Start small, strive for consistent improvement. When you stumble (and we all do), that’s okay. Get up and get back after it.

What’s one thing you can do today to make yourself 1% better? Leave a comment below. Most importantly:

Get after it.