Fitness and your vacation

Fitness and your vacation

Travelling?! Are you joking, I hear you ask. We know, that times are tough and the world we live in is complicated but bear with us, because with luck and cooperation we may just get back to our old normal soon enough! So travelling, does that mean a trip? Not necessarily, in fact right here we will take travelling and apply the same approach to being with relatives during the festive season, whether hosting or visiting. 

We here at MORE have a saying, “There is so much more to life than fitness, we just want to be a little part of what makes you you!”

This statement inspired this post because in recent times, it seems like most peoples idea of training, or exercising, is some hard core kettlebell swinging barbell thumping dumbbell hoisting ladder stepping ball slamming sweat-a-thon. Believe us when we say, we know. It is so easy to get engulfed in the no gym no fun mentality and think that a holiday is just a different way to lose gainz and feel like you’re wasting money by not attending a class. 

So then what? Well, suppose you can do push ups, or sit ups, combine them with lunges and jumps, add some high knees and on the spot sprinting with burpees and you’ve got yourself a sweet sweet sweat going. The question here is, why? 

This post is coming from a place of pain, experience and view that comes from a person that’s been obsessed with the gym and centred entire vacations around that sweet agony of the pump. Let’s start with the pain. Why pain? As fatherless children, we were lucky that our grandfather stepped up and loved us in a manner so kind, nurturing and befitting to his own children. The pain stems from having lost that man to illness a few weeks ago. 

There were many things I have reflected since then and the fact is that personal records didn’t matter, very few things that are tangible really did. What I did remember is holding him by the pool and dragging him around as his legs no longer worked. I remember carrying him out of the swimming pool and taking him to his bed where he could rest and enjoy the views of the sunlight. At no point was there regret that I didn’t gym because I was tired from tending to him, or that I didn’t do a routine because he needed physical therapy. Did those missed sessions halt or hinder my progress towards that 180 kilo bench press? Not really, it was a week or two of not training. If they had, would I have changed my approach? No, and never. Seeing as I am not a competitive athlete with a chance at a medal, it doesn’t matter when one arrives to that moment. 

So while we get engulfed in the minutia of maintaining our health, we may miss important moments. No one is saying stop and don’t train, that’s not the point here, the point is learn what really matters to you and adjust around that. 

Me and my girlfriend took a small trip and we didn’t go to a mountain summit because I wanted to train. We are still together, she is still awesome but I still regret missing that picture perfect sunrise atop the rock. So that’s the point, of this emotional ramble, take stock in what’s important to you and who, and realise that taking that trip to the mall with cousin Sylvia from Austria who you meet once a year is not necessarily a session missed, it’s a moment gained. 

So, let’s deviate from this and turn the tune to the actual travel. Can you really go two weeks without training? Yes

What about a month? Sure 

Is there anything I can do or should do? Absolutely

So let’s start with things you can do to prep for a trip where training won’t be a priority. We know that recovery is a phenomenal and necessary part of anyones fitness journey. It is imperative for the sake of progressive fitness to give the tissues ample time to heal and recover. Why not take the two weeks holiday around the time you’re scheduled a rest?! 

Personally if I have a trip coming up, let’s say for the sake of this -to Mexico City- I will try and do a two month program before leaving that culminates a couple of days before leaving. I will (personally) amp up intensity and generally aim to reach a crescendo of performance and fatigue. Now the only thing I will have to think about is a) souvenirs b) protein intake for recovery but tacos so yay and c) how do you say tequila in Spanish? (That last one is a lol)

If there’s a gym will I use it? Maybe but genuinely Mexico City looks to be so awesome, it has so much to do and I wouldn’t do anything that would get in the way of seeing, learning, growing from this experience. One might indulge a local in an arm wrestling match would a cerveza be at stake but other than that it’s time to diffuse and deflate. 

What if you took a spontaneous trip?! Well again, two weeks won’t do much in terms of losing strength based gains. Mostly the rule is it takes 3 weeks for strength to dissipate where speed and high twitch movement tends to wane after a week. Again, one should ask themselves, am I an Olympian? Am I a high level athlete that needs that to perform? No? Then great, work to get it back once you return, and if you’re loyal to your process the gains will return! 

What about travelling but wanting to stay active? Friend, do it! Have a ball. Here’s where experience comes into play, and this point is probably aimed more at the novice trainer or a younger rabid gym goer. You can do some amazing things that will tax you physically and mentally but will enrich you in a way you wouldn’t believe. Going back to a recent trip, I wanted to train and there was a gym at the hotel but there was also something called underwater rivers. You can bet I went into those caverns and explored them (with a guide) for three hours. I was so exhausted when I got home I could barely have dinner. 

Similarly I wanted to do some free diving and jumping so I drove into the jungle and found a few cenotes where I did just that. It was so beautiful and amazing and it was a physical challenge that happened outside the gym but which enriched and humbled me. Plus I’m now great mates with strangers who gave me a few tips and tales of the good ole days. 

Holidays and trips is where you should enjoy what you train for! You are stronger, fitter, more confident than before you started right?! Well then go zip line and enjoy the activities that are now easier and more accessible thanks to your hard work! This is why the gym at the end of the day, not because you’re going to play in a World Cup final or run for an Olympic medal, but because you want to climb that hill, you want to go for a hike along the glaciers, you want to play longer with your kids or you want to be more helpful around the house or pain free. It doesn’t matter, you do what makes you you! Fitness is a small part of it, but when it comes to fitness, we want to play a small part of it! 


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