Here are some helpful tips from Bodybuilding.com to help you maintain a workout routine while traveling on the road for work.
STEP 1 DO YOUR HOMEWORK
Look online at the hotel you booked, and make sure there is some type of gym there to get in a few quick yet effective workouts while staying there.
“You can do so much more online than we could a decade ago,” says Jay Cutler, 4 x Mr. Olympia. “Book a room with a microwave at the very least, or get one with a kitchenette with a small fridge. Spend some time emailing to find out what they have for room service. Find out if there’s a supermarket nearby. Who wants to pay $4 for a bottle of water when you can get a case at the corner store for that same amount? And if you want to work out, even if it’s just cardio, check whether the hotel has a fitness center.”
Even if your gym does not have a gym, you can always do push-ups and planks in your room.
STEP 2 PACK WHAT YOU NEED
What Jay puts into his bags when he’s traveling may seem like overkill to you, but it’s the necessary equipment that helped build a four-time Mr. Olympia physique. Depending on the length of the trip, he’ll even prepare and pack many of his meals.
“If you prepare food ahead of time, you’ll want to freeze it,” he advises. “That’s because airlines won’t let you bring ice. When you get to your hotel, immediately put it in ice. Every hotel has an ice machine along with a microwave downstairs to heat up your food, even if your room doesn’t have one.”
Bars and supplements can also be a godsend when your diet is tight and options are few. “I’ll drink more protein shakes and bars when I’m out of town,” Jay says. “Even when everything is going right, it’s harder to get the right macronutrients on the road.”
STEP 3 FLY RIGHT
Your biggest fear when flying might be that you could be stuck sitting next to a guy as big as Jay. (Yes, he does travel coach, but only on fairly short trips, he says.) But his concerns are more about the inflight meal. It’s usually small, loaded with sugar and fat, and devoid of any substantive nutrition.
“He says you’re much better off bringing your own fare: “The food airlines serve is never good. I always bring enough food to get me through a flight—always. Yes, I’m eating cold food. No, it doesn’t taste good. In the end, what’s the alternative?”
If you’ve ever had a water bottle or other item confiscated and tossed at the gate, it may come as a surprise that you can take packaged food through security. You can! Depending on the length of your trip, a small sack of jerky, trail mix, protein bars, or sealed pouches of tuna might be sufficient. Jay’s trips are often longer, and his meals are immense. (No surprise if you’ve watched Living Large)
“If I pack food, I’ll always have Ziploc bags,” he explains. “It’s easier to pack many more meals than when using Tupperware. Write on each meal what it is, and eat with a plastic fork right out of the baggie. If you don’t want to bring food, bring some nuts and protein shakes.”
STEP 4 SCOPE YOUR NEW HOME AND GET TO WORK
You’ve touched down in a new town. Now what? Find your gym and get a sweat on.
“I always tell people, especially coming off of flights, that one of the best things you can do is to go to a gym and work out,” Jay says. “It really gets a lot of water out and just helps you feel better.”
Nearly all hotel gyms are, of course, insufficient, but don’t let that excuse keep you from doing anything. Even a brisk walk around the hotel is better than nothing, and Jay has done plenty of them.
These are all good tips to consider on your next work trip. Be sure to check out our line of Checkpoint Friendly laptop bags that help passing through airport security checkpoints quick and easy. Click here to learn more.