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Friday, July 10, 2009

Vacation workout plan

I mentioned in my last post that we were away last weekend. In fact, we traveled out to a piece of family property in western Maryland. It's a lakefront property, but it's been in the family for years, and conditions are...let's just say...a bit rustic!

So with no gym nearby, and no large space to use exercise equipment, I had to come up with Plan B if I wanted to keep up with my workouts.

Rather than leave things to chance, I made plans for two workouts before I left. The first was a bodyweight circuit spiced up with some kettlebell work. I adapted this workout from Craig Ballantyne's Turbulence Training Bootcamp Program, making adjustments for the space and the fact that I had just one, relatively light kettlebell. (I only have one 20 pound kettlebell at home, and that's not quite as heavy as what I'm used to using at the gym (12-16kg, which is 25-35 pounds)).

Here's a brief synopsis of my circuit workout:

Various bodyweight exercises - lunges, jumping jacks, push-ups, cross-crawl

Superset 1:
60 seconds one-hand alternating swings
5 clean & press per side
10 one-arm rows per side
2 min rest; repeat above 2x

Superset 2:
30 seconds Bodyweight squats
30 seconds Kettlebell front squats
10 one-arm rows per side
30 seconds kettlebell alternating front lunges
30 seconds mountain climbers (done quickly)
1 min rest; repeat above 2x

Superset 3:
30 seconds Kettlebell overhead swings
30 seconds Bodyweight squats
30 seconds push-ups
1 min rest; repeat above 2x

Superset 4:
30 second plank
30 seconds push-up burpees
1 min rest; repeat above 2x

Cool down
Walking & standing stretches

I like to work out at night, but it was a little too dark to do this workout in the grass, and there was simply no room inside, so I did this out on the deck. Although I used a kettlebell, it would be easy to replace the kettlebell weighted exercises with bodyweight exercises. The workout got my heart rate pumping, and gave my muscles a decent workout to boot!

I also planned a tough HIIT session for myself, scheduling some hill sprints for later in the weekend. My 22 year-old cousin decided to come with me, and she's a former athlete, so I was a little intimidated that she'd show me up!

We jogged down the road for a warmup, going until we'd been jogging for about five minutes, and then picked a good hill for our sprints. As I expected, her sprint speed was MUCH faster than mine, but the important thing was that we both were pushing ourselves to our maximum ability. We sprinted up the hill, and then jogged or walked back down, waiting until our heart rates came down to about 60% of maximum before doing another sprint. If this took longer than walking down the hill, we'd do some lunges or squats while we waited, just to keep moving.

I sprinted up the hill eight times, and my cousin sprinted six times. We were pretty wiped out! We walked back towards the property for about 3-4 minutes and then jogged the rest of the way there. It took us 25 minutes, start to finish, including the warmup and cool down. It was a great workout, and absolutely one of the easiest ways to get in an HIIT session without any equipment at all!

What's the story here? Well, the important point, in my opinion, is that going on vacation isn't an excuse to stop being active. You may not be able to follow your normal workout routine (if you can - GREAT!), but you can still find something to do to stay busy and on-plan.


  1. this looks like an awesome workout! I'm going to try this one when I hit our cabin later this month!

  2. Cool! Hope it gives you a good workout, and you have a great trip.