Learn from my experience – the good and the bad

Before dispensing any more exercise advice, I suppose I should get the disclaimers out-of-the-way. If you have any pre-existing medical conditions which could make strenuous exercise dangerous, if you have recently experienced a serious injury, if you are a novice to exercise, do consult a physician prior to attempting any of the workouts I’ve shared on this website.

My guess is, however, if you are serious enough about your fitness to work out while on vacation, you have some idea what you’re doing already.

But why take advice from me in the first place?

I don’t own a degree in a fitness-related field. I don’t have any certifications. What I do have is what is known as “time under the bar.”

What that means is I’ve worked out a lot. And I’ve learned a lot from all those hours with a bar in my hands.

I’ve been in the gym four, five, six days a week for 25 years. I’ve tried every exercise and virtually every workout known to man. I’ve had successes and failures. At 183 pounds I totaled 1355 pounds in a USA Powerlifting sanctioned raw powerlifting meet.

I’ve had the good fortune to have close relationships with some of the best strength coaches in the country. I’ve learned from them. I’ve learned from those countless hours in the gym.

What I lack in formal education, I like to think I more than make up for in practical education.

That’s where this blog comes in. The advice I share here has been gained from personal experience.

These are the routines I use when I travel and there is no gym, no equipment and all I’ve got is my hotel room, 20 minutes and my experience.

The workouts I’ve posted here previously have been effective for me and I believe they will be effective for you. I recently tried a new workout I thought of and it didn’t work, and I want share that with you as well.

Kristi and I walk a great deal on our trips. For us to walk six, seven, eight miles a day is not at all uncommon. A recent trip during which we would be doing a lot of walking came one day after I had squatted at home in the real gym. My legs were shot and I knew I would need them later in the day. I wanted to get some exercise in, but nothing lower body.

I also continue battling a bad elbow so I didn’t want to perform my typical high rep push-up workouts.
What I came up with was a workout based on planks – simply holding a flattened-back position with my arms locked out. I started with 30 seconds of a plank hold, followed by 30 seconds rest up to a minute hold, then 1:30, and then two minutes of holding a plank, each work set followed by 30 seconds of rest.

This was tougher than I expected.

After I completed my two minute plank, I started dropping back down to 1:30, then one minute until after about 20 total minutes I was only doing 30 second planks followed by 30 second rest to 25 minutes total.

By this time, my shoulders were on fire and I felt as though I had gotten a decent abdominal workout as well from holding the position. I was out of breath, sweating, and tired. I thought I was really onto something.

Next day however, I had no muscle soreness. I was very surprised by this.

After my push-up workouts, I always have chest and lat soreness, telling me the work I had done achieved something. I’m not so sure about that here.

The 25 minutes I did put in was better than nothing at all, I didn’t hurt myself – that’s always a bonus – but I don’t think this work out really “did” anything. And for that reason, I’ll be dropping it.

After 25 years “under the bar” this remains a learning process. There is still trial and error.

Learning your body, and what it responds to and doesn’t, from different exercises and programming, takes years and it’s a process I continue to experience – and share with you.

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