Guide to Bodyweight Muscle Building:
Learn how to build muscle WITHOUT a gym membership
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I’m going away to India in February for my cousin’s wedding. I like to call it the “Land of Tea” because everywhere you go, you are offered “Chai” or Tea. In fact, after my first visit to India (as a teenager), I became addicted to Indian Chai.
One of the problems I always have is maintaining my weight. Last time I went to India I had gained a tremendous amount of weight due to horrible food choices and lack of exercise. I have prepared a video to explain what went wrong and how I plan to remedy the situation in the future:
How to Design an Effective Vacation Training Program
Creating a vacation program is easy once you have the right tools in front of you. So before you leave for your vacation I want you to do three things:
Step One: Determine the type of training equipment you have access to. If you do not have access to a gym, then you can create a bodyweight or resistance band training program. If you do have access to a gym, try to figure out what kind of equipment will be in that gym.
If you have no equipment, then here are some options: Going on Vacation? Stay in Shape without Weights
Step Two: Determine the amount of time you have to exercise. Be practical here. Try to figure out what your itinerary is ahead of time. If you have a family like mine, there won’t be any itinerary. In that case, prepare for the worst.
Step Three: Use the methods below to develop your training program.
3 Methods to Training on Vacation
It’s a good idea to have a “bag of tricks” while you’re on vacation. Here are three more tricks to add:
Max Rounds in 20 minutes – This is classic density training and something that’s been repeated several times on this website. I’m repeating it again because not enough people use this format of workout design.
- When you’re on vacation, you have limited time. You may have 10-20-or 30 minutes to workout before you leave for some enchanted getaway tour bus. I know for myself, I’ll be needed in more places than I can pronounce.
- The main idea is to set up a circuit and perform it as many times as you can within a given time frame.
Tabata Training – Here is another training method I’ve talked about numerous times on my site. I think people are too scared to try this method. But I’m telling you, it’ll save you a lot of time and prevent you from gaining any vacation weight.
- Tabata training revolves around intervals of 20 seconds work, and 10 seconds rest. Traditionally, you perform 8 rounds for a total of 4 minutes, and then you’re done. Most people will choose 3-5 exercises for a 12 to 20 minute workout.
- Create a Tabata routine based on the amount of time you have. Don’t be afraid of modifying already established training protocols.
One of the best ways to help you with your intervals is to use the GymBoss Interval Timer. It costs just $19.95, and you can program it to help you keep track of any sort of intervals you may use. Click here to grab yours today.
Singles for Strength – Here is something I have never talked about on this site. If you get a chance to hit a gym with a lot of free weights (most hotel gyms just have machines), then you can perform something called Singles Training.
- Choose one barbell exercise and perform anywhere between 5 to 10 sets of singles. You can gradually add weight to the bar as you progress, or just start off with 80-90% of your maximum and perform 10 sets of singles. (By the way, singles means performing just 1 repetition)
- Singles are a great way to maintain or even boost your strength levels while on vacation. If you have just ten minutes to workout, then perform 5 singles with 60 seconds of rest between each set.
What a Great Way to Workout while on Vacation! – Image by tinatinatinatinatina
Bodyweight Training Resources
I’ve come across a lot of great bodyweight training resources along the years. Check out these two resources before embarking on your journey:
Bodyweight Bodybuilding – This is an eBook written by Coach Lomax. It has taught me pretty much everything I know about bodyweight training. The eBook is concise and easy to follow. It’s 3-phase bodyweight-only program, complete with video tutorials, a beginner 4-week program, plus advanced training technique. Check it out here.
Bags, Bells, and Bodyweight Training System – This is a no nonsense program that uses three portable training methods – sandbags, kettlebells, and bodyweight training. The program is a bit advanced, and suited more for athletes (or at least those that have graduated from the basics). The amount of training techniques you will learn in the program is mind blasting! Check it out here.
Fitting Exercise into Your Busy Itinerary
As mentioned earlier, when you’re with my family, anything can happen at any time. I have thought of some survival techniques to help you fit in at least three workouts per week while you’re on vacation:
Technique #1: Exercise First Thing In The Morning – Before anyone can tell you to do something, or before that tour bus leaves, just get up a few minutes early and perform a quick workout.
Technique #2: Get it Done on the Side of the Road – When your family or tour bus makes a rest stop find a good park bench or open area and start cranking out pushups, jumping on benches, and pulling on tree branches.
Technique #3: Make it an Event – If you’re going to be with cousins or friends, then get them to workout with you. If they’re not interested offer to teach them, or make a compromise. Say, “Your Art Museum on Sunday, and my Gym on Monday.”
Relaxing While on Vacation
Most often when you’re on vacation, you want to get so much done in such a short amount of time that you forget to relax. I’ve had my best memories when I’m with my family, all sitting around at the dinner table, or playing cards at 2 in the morning, or with my cousins lounging around at a hookah bar. Don’t forget that you’re there to see family and old friends, not just to take some picture of the Eiffel Tower.
Relax, Have some Chai – Image by Veralyn AdeyinkaRelaxing your body is important. If you want stress, then go to work. But if you’re going to spend money on a plane ticket to a distant land, do it stress free. If you are extremely limited on time and need to choose between relaxing and exercising, choose the former. You can always get back into the groove when you come back home.
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