Excerpted from our "Travel Workout Trailguide" eBook--get your own copy by signing up for our newsletter HERE. Enjoy!
Writing a workout--any workout--is both a science and an art. Much like a recipe is designed to communicate the vast information needed for preparing a delicious dish, a written workout is intended to lay out the basics that one might need for a successful sweat session. Of course, just like recipes, the actual written information is just a starting point. Several different components can and should influence the final result.
Success, in terms of exercise programming, is when that final result truly reflects the needs and wants of the person doing the actual workout(s). Oh, and you should finish feeling strong, mobile and "worked", too.
Here are the basic components to keep in mind as you set out to write your own workouts.
- Lean toward movements and workouts that you know you can do well. Many people have fallen off the wagon because they have tried to do too much, too soon and realized it too late. A simple way to prevent this is to think of each workout as a building on the last, rather than trying to win the "Most Exciting New Workout" award every day. That is a recipe for injury, not success.
- Have an intention. "Working out" is one of those general terms that doesn't actually mean very much unless it's attached to a goal or intention. If you are training for a half-marathon, getting in your training runs should be your number one goal while travelling. If on the other hand, you are aiming for fat-loss, your hotel workout time should include some full-body strength training and some high-intensity drills. The more experienced you get, the better you'll be at honing in on what works for your goals, and what doesn't, but aimless working out is the fastest route to losing your fitness motivation.
- Be creative. While you definitely want to be smart with the movements you select (see above point), get creative with how you implement those movements. Completing 200 air squats and 100 pushups as fast you can might sound a little boring or daunting (or both!). What about if instead you went for a run, stopping to do 20 squats and 10 pushups at every stoplight, park bench or other landmark? Not so bad. We love all different organizational patterns to keep things fresh, and you can see some examples to get you started in the workouts of this book (WA #3, HG,WT #3).
- Let the circumstances inspire, not limit, you. It's easy to get attached to the movements, equipment and little, friendly details of your regular routine, and that routine is often very important for on-going success. However, the road will always present unforeseen circumstances that demand new and innovative solutions. If you can take those curveballs in stride, and fold them into your workout, you just might surprise yourself with your own strength and resourcefulness. That might mean doing pullups from a treebranch, using the stairs in your hotel for short, intense sprints, or even just trying out a new exercise class.
- Aim for 1% improvement, every day. Travel often means stress as all the little deviations from your personal normal add-up. When you are staring down a workout at the beginning or end of a long-day, don't put too much pressure on yourself. Instead, strive to improve yourself, in some way, by just 1%. Got 10 minutes? Great--that's enough time to warm-up, practice a few sets of pushups and lunges. Just start moving.
- 3x52. Looking big picture, this is the only SETS X REPS scheme that really matters: 3 workouts per week for 52 weeks (that's 156 workouts). If you stay committed to consistently aiming for getting 1% improvement every workout, imagine what 156% improvement might look like!
If writing and executing these "successful workouts" still seems daunting, then go ahead help yourself to one of the workouts found in this book. The more experience you have guiding yourself through workouts (even those written by us), the better you'll be at knowing what works for you and what kind of workouts you like to do.
Honestly, it's not the creation of the workout that's really the challenge. Instead, it's the awareness required to execute the workout well that determines people's true success, especially over the long-term. However, when circumstances require that you exercise on your own, or even come up with your own workouts, you simply must bring a higher degree of awareness and intention to your work, and that is the secret ingredient to finding long-term fitness success.
Originally from our "Travel Workout Trailguide" ebook. Pick up your copy by subscribing to our newsletter! If you're already a subscriber, but don't have the ebook, shoot us an email and we'd love to send it to you.