This past week, I was out in Los Angeles with the basketball teams that I work with. It was a great trip (fun, sun, and basketball, how can you go wrong?), but it also threw me way off my fitness and nutrition routine.
Instead of home cooked meals, I was at the mercy of college basketball players to decide where I would be eating. Don’t get me wrong, In ‘N Out Burger is pretty damn tasty as far as burgers go, but it doesn’t settle well in a stomach that’s used to home cooked goodness with lots of veggies. Along the same lines, instead of my weight room, I was stuck with a fitness center that included, you guessed it, cardio equipment and weight machines.
Anyone who follows along with my workout routine knows that I don’t do much work on machines, except the occasional cable work. I don’t spend a ton of time on the treadmill normally, but in a gym like this, there wasn’t much else available. There weren’t even any dumbbells! I realized, after being in there for 5 minutes, that I was either going to have to get creative, or I was going to have to sell my soul to the devil and do squats on the Smith Machine. Don’t worry, my soul is still intact.
I also would have gone to run hills outside, except for the fact that I saw multiple Coyotes in the hills around our resort during our stay there, so that was kind of out of the question.
But instead of throwing up my hands in frustration because I couldn’t get my normal workout in, I decided that something was better than nothing, and started figuring out what I could do in there.
I used a few machines here and there; I put the treadmill on a serious incline and power walked a few times; I did plenty of push-ups; I grabbed the plates off of the Smith Machine and did farmers walks back and forth; I also flipped those plates up into rack position and used that for squats/split squats/and reverse lunges. And when I needed to take my workout outside (I was in California afterall!), I ran up and down the 3 flights of stairs outside while bumping Girl Talk on my iPhone. (No Coyotes on the stairs, you see).
And then on the last morning we were there, my co-worker and I got up early to hike up to the Hollywood Sign. Combining touristy activities with a workout? WINNING.
So while it wasn’t my ideal week of lifting, and I didn’t really get any heavy lifts in at all, it was better than nothing. I was able to partially offset my less-than-stellar food intake enough to avoid feeling like a total blob, and now I’ll be ready to get back to my routine much more so than if I had avoided the gym all together.
I also tried to salvage my diet by buying this drink one day…
So many times when we travel, or even if we’re at home but there’s a lot going on, people get stuck in the mindset that if they can’t do their normal routine, that it’s not worth doing anything at all. In fact, just Saturday, I knew I wasn’t healthy enough to hit the gym hard yet due to a lingering cold, but does that mean I need to sit on my ass all day? Nope, I went out for a nice long walk to get some fresh air and get my blood pumping. Hard workout? Not at all. Good for me and better than doing nothing? You bet!
So next time you’re stuck in a crappy fitness center with no squat rack in sight, or entertaining your in-laws with no more than 20 min to yourself, remember that anything you can do to get your blood pumping is much better than avoiding it all together. Hate running on the treadmill? Do an incline walk or interval run. Hate weight machines? Either suck it up or use your creativity to come up with something better. Find a hill and walk/run up it (but avoid the coyotes, they’re vicious. They eat cats.) The point? Do something.
This also goes for New Years Resolutions/Goals. If you’re stuck in an all-or-nothing mindset, you’re basically doomed when it comes to your fitness/nutrition goals. Keep yourself on track by knowing that some things are just out of your control, but as long as you keep moving forward, even if it’s only by the tiniest of baby steps, you’re headed in the right direction.
Did you get stuck in a fitness/nutrition rut over the holidays? What steps did you take to make sure you didn’t get totally off track? What’s your plan of action when you can’t go through your normal gym routine?