Three weeks, no gym and no kitchen. It can sound like a pretty terrifying prospect if you’re somebody who is in a regular training routine which relies heavily on weighted equipment and who cooks the vast majority of your own meals. I have to admit the in the past the prospect of travelling for three weeks would have got me a little worried. What will I eat? When will I train? How will I stay on track? I was under the illusion that there was one way to workout, that meals needed to be “clean” and that deviating from this would lead to a severe loss in gains.
How wrong I was!
Luckily over the past few years my approach to fitness has grown and developed. I have stepped away from strict regimes and towards a more flexible routine. One which combines weights, bodyweight training, classes, running and a little bit of whatever I fancy to be honest. I just enjoy moving my body. My relationship with myself has blossomed. I am at a point where I just want to look after, nourish and strengthen my body, rather than plough it into the ground in pursuit of aesthetic changes. I am doing this for long term health.
So how did I handle three weeks without a gym, a kitchen and any form of regularity in my life?
I love to train, so I factored in time most mornings to do a short, sweet no-equipment workout in my hotel room. This varied from 10 minute HIIT blasts and 30 minute bodyweight circuits through to sporadic morning jogs. On the occasions I didn’t have time to train first thing, I just tried to stay active throughout the day; walking as much as possible and taking the stairs. Truth be told, I also had days where I did absolutely nothing, because we all need those.
If you’re eating out for three meals a day every day, you need to be a little mindful. When it came to food, I made good choices the vast majority of the time. I chose meals which I viewed as being the most nourishing. For me it wasn’t about staying super “lean” or avoiding holiday weight, it was about making sure I got the nutrients my body needed. I chose the most balanced plant based options I could when I was out and about; but also indulged in my fair share of vegan desserts, ice creams, cookies and treats!
So, did my body change?
No, not significantly. In fact, I think my body actually got fitter over the course of the three weeks. I came back and ran my fastest 5km ever. The following day I went to a HIIT class and pushed the hardest I think I ever have, I had energy coming out of my ears! Perhaps these more flexible three weeks benefited me?
Currently my life is a little all over the place, meaning all over the world! I am travelling fairly extensively for work and this means the getting into a regular routine is almost impossible. As far as I can see, there is no use wasting energy getting stressed about the limited food options and the lack of gym. Instead use that energy to fuel a hotel room workout or to search for a healthy restaurant. Ultimately, what is three weeks out of your whole life? Nothing. If all else fails, eat the damn fries and make a better choice tomorrow!