Hello from China!
You know, when you work in the fitness industry and you have to travel for work, people around you generally get it when you choose to eat well while abroad. Usually, if I have a cheat day (or three) when I travel, it’s a conscious choice I make on my own because I want to, not because someone makes me feel obligated to do it. I plan for it, and then relish the experience.
This weekend though, I am experiencing what a lot of you have told me you experience when you travel. I feel like I have to eat food that’s not so good for me, and I feel like I don’t really have a choice.
You see, I’m on vacation with my dad in China exploring my roots, embarrassing myself by trying to speak Chinese, learning about my ancestors and hanging out with family members I’ve never met before. It’s been an amazing experience so far, and I’ve learnt a lot of inspiring things about my great grandparents and other ancestors.
You know what though, belive it or not, when Chinese people entertain, they don’t give a @#&* about your gluten sensitivity, omega profiles, nutrient timing or macronutrient ratios. You’d think they’d at least let me order RitualStyle….
Anyway, i just finished a super quick workout from the travel program and felt like this would be a good time to write a quick post about the tricks I use to manage the amount of damage done on trips like this. Realistically speaking, if you’re only gone for a few days, you should be able to maintain your level of fitness and even keep body fat levels in check. So whether you decide to jump off the wagon for a few days, or get forced into sketchy noodle and bread territory, here are a few things you can do to help keep things in check:
1) for 7-10 days before the trip, go super strict with the food you eat, and ramp up the intensity and volume of your workouts by about 20 – 30%. For example, push for maximal intensities at Ritual 3x per week instead of 2x, and come for a workout 5 times instead of your usual 4.
2) use the travel program we’ve given you, they really feel great when your body isn’t functioning optimally.
3) acknowledge that you’re working out for maintenance, not for improvement. Movement is key.
4) Have a secondary goal when you train. You’re eating crap. You’re not sleeping well. Your breathing will be off, your muscles will be stiff, your mind might not be in it. Don’t expect to be able to perform like you do at the gym. Instead, have a specific secondary goal like “just finish the 5 sets even if I have to take more rest” or “do less reps but keep the breathing constant and in rhythm with the movement”. Trust me, you’ll feel better when you have a strategy (almost quit at my third set just now)
5) pack your fish oils, and take some every single day. You’re eating bad oils and lots of inflammatory foods. Help your body out with some omega 3 goodness.
6) stay hydrated, it makes it easier for your body to flush sh*t out 🙂
7) try to work out before your first meal so you create a bit of a metabolic effect. If you can’t, just get the workout in whenever you can, it’s waaaay better than not working out.
8) Walk as much as you can. Say yes to more sightseeing, take the stairs, go for a long walk after lunch. Do anything can that will force you to walk more, especially if your body is crashing after the 5th serving of noodles, because really, it’s just walking. You’ll feel better after walking and reduce some of the damaging effects of pastries
9) embrace the experience and enjoy the company. Life is way more fun when you are fully, intentionally, positively present.
How about you, what tricks do you do to manage damage when you travel? Add to the list if you have cool tips to share!