We have all been in the situation where it's a workout day and we're at a hotel. All they have are light dumbbells, a treadmill, an elliptical, and maybe a pull up bar (or a lat-pulldown machine that is broken). Every time you get to the hotel work out room, you just kind of depict if you can even get in a good workout. Without a doubt, you can indeed get in a good workout. EVEN A GREAT ONE!!! How so? Here's how!
1) Body Weight Exercises: Regardless of what level you are, you will always be able to find a difficult variation for you and have a good work out. If push-up are easy, you can either do clap push-ups or do your push-up with pauses/4 count tempos. If squats are easy, then use one leg. If there is a pull up bar and pull ups are easy (usually are quite hard for most), then try dead hang pull ups or tempo pull ups. Finding a variation that best fits the rep range of your goals (8-15 for hypertrophy) is vital towards getting a workout that fits your goals. Manipulate the exercises to which you fail and you can get in an efficient workout with just body weight exercises.
2) Body Weight/Dumbbell Superset: If you fail to find a difficult enough variation of body weight exercises to which you can perform for your desired rep range, you can superset these exercises with the light dumbbells. I like to do a body weight exercise, followed by an isolation exercise with the dumbbells. This way I can tax specific muscles the way I want to. That could be doing push ups, then immediately after your push ups do some tricep extensions. The exercise selection will be based off of the muscle you want to tax most.
3) Complexes: Complexes and giant sets are my favorite when it comes to using light weights. The hotel only have 25 pound dumbbells? You can still get in a killer workout! A good example would be doing a set of 10-20 front raises, side raises, rear deltoid raises, upright rows, and dumbbell press. All of these in one set! It'll burn, be effective, and be efficient with your time.
4) Body Weight/Conditioning Combo: Remember how I said there is usually an elliptical and a treadmill? Combining conditioning and body weight exercises are perfect for hotel work out rooms! Usually no one else is in there so you have plenty of room to yourself. Combining conditioning and body weight exercises will help you do more in less time and fully fatigue the muscles. You could do your sets of squats and immediately go into treadmill sprints, repeating this for a few rounds.
5) Swim: If you truly have no set goals in mind besides to be active and lose fat, swimming is one of the best forms of exercise you can do. If your hotel has a pool and the weather is fine, I would suggest just going for a swim. Try doing a few round of treading water as long as you can with adequate rest periods. Try to swim some laps around the pool. Being active does not mean having to stay inside a little gym/work out room. Make a game out of it with the family and you will get in a good work out, have fun, and bond with the family!
When it comes to working out at hotels, it can be quite frustrating. You're stuck with minimal equipment and hardly any room. With what you have you can still get in a great work out! Sometimes you just have to think outside of the box and/or combine your resources. Who said you couldn't make progress while traveling?
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