With the holiday season approaching, you may be anxious enough about how to keep your body in top shape. Now you need to add to it the fact that you may go for days, if not weeks without seeing the insides of the weight room. Depending on your holiday travel plans, keeping fit might feel like an unreachable goal.
I’m here to tell you it’s not.
First, realize that one missed workout is never the end of the world. In fact, sometimes forced time off does you more good than harm, especially if you’re someone who has a very hard time staying out of the gym. A day or two off over the holidays while you enjoy yourself might help you get an edge on your recovery so that when you do come back, you’re able to give 110%.
Beyond a day or two, too much time away will start to hinder your results - unless you do something about that.
Fortunately, you definitely do not need a gym to get your training in. Let me walk you through three different ways you can train without ever stepping foot in the gym.
Your first option for an intense, quick workout when you can’t hit the gym is Tabata training. This is great for those who have a busy holiday schedule and who may not be able to sneak away for a full hour. Consider using the time away from the weights to work on your cardio fitness, boosting your metabolism in the process to help torch fat. It’ll also prime you for that holiday dinner ahead.
Tabata training is a very intense form of training that takes just 4 minutes per session, but will give you a challenge you won’t forget.
To perform tabata training, you’ll choose one very intense movement that utilizes as many muscle groups as possible. Uphill sprinting or burpees both work great.
From there, you’ll perform the exercise for 20 seconds, taking 10 seconds to rest. This is then repeated 8 times total, making up the four-minute workout session.
Make sure that you begin with a warm-up and end with a cool-down in order to prevent injuries and reduce muscle soreness.
The second workout approach you can use if you find yourself away from your favorite home gym and in need of a workout without equipment is a bodyweight circuit program.
Choose a series of 5-6 bodyweight exercises such as bodyweight squats, lunges, step-ups, dips, pull-ups, push-ups, or any ab move you desire.
Now, set the timer and see how long it takes you to do 100 reps of each exercise. Perform 100 reps of the first exercise and then immediately after that, move to the second. Continue on until you have worked your way through the entire circuit.
Note that you should only rest where needed, picking up again as soon as possible. Always maintain good form throughout however.
Once you’re all finished, check the timer. Next workout, that is the time to beat.
Finally, the last quick way to get a workout in without hitting the gym is to instead, find a local park. Make use of the park’s monkey bars, balance beams, and any other structures that you can use to perform exercises with.
Here again, consider setting up a fast paced circuit where you move from one exercise to the next, doing 10 reps of each for a total of 8-10 rounds.
If you take your total rep count for the entire session high enough, you’ll still be providing a great overload that will boost your muscular endurance.
Then, when you move back to your normal lifting sessions again at the gym, you might just find you can do more reps before hitting a point of fatigue.
So there you have three terrific ways to get a workout in around the holiday season when hitting the gym is out of reach. Don’t let the fact that you are busy with family and holiday events deter you from keeping your fitness level up.