The challenge

Everyone loves to travel. It’s pretty common especially for young and independent people to leave home and discover the world. I started my trip to the United States in Mai 2014 and have just 10 more days to stay here. Travelling is one of the best thing you can do in life in my opinion, but it’s definitely not easy to stay in shape while you travel around.

There’s is (hopefully) no more routine you stick to as every day is different and does not consist of working and hitting the gym. There are thousend of things you want to see and some of the touristy excursions will take up all day, so there’s no more time for exercising. Furthermore, your usual eating habits will change as there are different food choices in other countries and there’s not always a kitchen or even a fridge and microwave in the hotel room.

Training

I’ve not always been travelling while I was in the States. Three of total six months, I stayed in Santa Monica in an appartment. It was definitely easier for me to stay in shape during this time because I had my own kitchen and a membership at Golds Gym. The real challenge began when I started driving from North California to the South while staying in hotels for only a few days.

Sometimes hotels provide access to their own gym, but I’m not a fan of them because their equipment is usually pretty old and there’s often only one “all-in-one-machine” and not more. One thing I enjoyed in California was the gym called “24 hours fitness”. Those gyms can be found in almost every big city all over California (also in Hawaii) and they allowed me to train wherever and whenever I wanted for only 70$ a month. Unfortunately, they have different “gym levels” and you’re only allowed to enter the “regular” gyms and not the “Super Sports”. However, most of their gyms are on “regular level” and they provide, dependent on the location, basketball courts and swimming pools in addition to all the machines, free weihghts, TRX etc.

24 Hours Fitness allowed me to workout even on days when I made long excursions and even though I was tired, I always had enough motivation for a short gym session.

As you might have seen on my Instagram account, I’ve also worked out in parks and also at the beach. A pull-up bar and parrallel bars is all what you need for a bodyweight workout and it’s even better than the gym because you can tan at the same time as you work out! I also bought some wooden rings since I really like to work out on them. I found them online for 60$ and it’s definitely worth the money as you can bring them to any place and have a training session.

My workout routine was pretty random. Sometimes, I worked on same muscle groups multiple days in a raw as long as I wasn’t completely sored. There were times I had to take a day off because I was so f*cking sored from the day before, but it didn’t happen often.

Diet

Everyone who’s into fitness is aware of the importance of a balanced diet. It’s at least as significant as the training itself. Eating the right amount of calories and finding “good” food was the hardest part on my trip. It’s proably especially hard for all those who prepare their meals at home as there is no kitchen where you can prepare your meals and sometimes you have no idea how long you’ll be on the road or on a excursion.

I tried to eat as healthy as possible but it was often simply not possible. For exmple, the food choice in a theme park like Six Flags or Universal Studios is pretty limited and you’ll not really find healthy food. It was never really an issue for me, because I’ve spent a lot of my time with walking these days and I think I literality burned all the calories from those high-calories-meals.

Not only in theme parks, but also in cities it’s not always easy to find the food you’re looking for. I was pretty shocked in the beginning when I saw how fattening the american kitchen is. It seems like they fry pretty much everything. There are restaurant where you can order vedgebles as a side but you’ll get more oil than vedgebles. You’ll also find salads completely tossed in sauce but of course they sell it under the “healthy options” category.

It has to be said that there is healthy food even in the United States! It’s just five times more expensive than fast food. I seemed to me like a conflict “money vs quality”. I either had to pay a lot for a healthy meal or I ate crap food for just some dollars. The trick is to find “good” food in cheap restaurants. There are some fast food restaurant who provide more or less balanced meals like Chipotle, Wahoo’s fish tacos and EL Pollo Loco to name a few of them. They all provide bowls with chicken, beans, rice etc. in it. A healthy choice is definitely Whole Food Market but like I said before it’s just double the price as a bowl of Chipotle for example. I’ve also often eaten Teriyaki Chicken. Not because it’s healthy, but just because I like it and there’s at least some protein and carbs and this is what I was looking for and also what I needed. Carbohydrates to fuel my body for the heavy gym sessions and protein to recvor from them.

On my whole trip, I’ve rarely eaten fruits or verdgebles. In my opinion, they don’t give me the macronutritions I need and at least vedgebles are not very delicious, so it had been only a waste of money.

Below you’ll  find all the things I ate yesterday just to show what I eat on daily basis:

  • Breakfast: Oatmeal with water sweetened with raisins, and  artificial sweeteners
  • Lunch: Rice, Beans, Fish at Wahoo’s Fish Taco
  • Snack: Quest Protein Bar
  • Dinner1: El Pollo Loco Mango Chicken Tostada
  • Dinner2: Teriyaki Chicken with brown rice
  • Before bed: Yoghurt with almonds

I’ve never followe a strict plan. I ate different kind of food in different times of the day. Sometimes I ate two meals at theend of the day just to make sure I eat enough calories 🙂

Supplements

There is one thing I want to menton when it comes to travel with supplements: Don’t be surprised if the security at the airport check all your stuff after scanning your luggage. They told me that powder often is showed as liquids on their scanning computer, so they have to make sure it’s not any dangerous substance.

I took multiple flights while I was travelling and there was the one time they checked my luggage three or even four times, as there was protein powder and a pre workout product in my hand luggage (Why I put in in the hand luggage you’re asking? I mean, you never know when you’re motivated for a short session, right? :D)

However, it was never really an issue to fly with supplements. Products I used during my trip were whey protein and pre workout for heavy sessions.

Since I went to the Mr. Olympia expo in Vegas, my rental car is full with protein bars (Quest bars are definitely the best!) and a hundred samples of different products like BCAAs, aminos, whey, pre workout and so on.

I tried one of those pre workout products yesterday before the gym and it was a crazy experience: instead of getting focused and ready for the gym, I just got super happy and my mood was enhanced like never before. No idea what exactly was in there, but I should probably read the ingredient list of the product before I use it to make sure there are no unknown chemicals in it.

The quest bars I got are super handy! They’re ideal snacks as they’re low in sugar and also in fat. I always eat them when I’m hungry and there’s no restaurant around or even as dessert. 🙂

My two cents

To summarize,  it’s not always easy to handle the “fitness lifestyle” while travelling but it’s definitely not impossible. Here are some advices I’d like to give on your way:

  • Be consistent. Set a goal, for exmaple 45 minutes of sports every day single day, without excuses.
  • Use parks, beaches or other public places as your training location.
  • Eat healthy food. Increase your food budget if necessary.
  • Plan ahead! Leave your home with a protein bar. Maybe you’ll get hungry and the right bar is definitely better than to eat at McDonalds.
  • Be active! It’s not only about hitting the gym. There are other options like hiking, playing tennis or volleyball at the beach, climbing and so on.
  • Aim for progression. If your goal is to put on some muscles and you’re losing weight day per day, you do something wrong. You have to increase your calorie intake in this case.

Let me know if you’re interested in further information or have any questions.

 

– Tinu

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