A common question I get asked from a lot of our clients is, “What do I do when I’m on vacation?” Well, it depends. I’m going on vacation next week, and I’m only going to be gone for about a week, and I’m not going to do any exercise. Here’s what I’m going to do. We’re going to the beach. I’m going to walk around the beach. I’m going to go for walks with my wife. I’m going to play on the beach with my kids, and we’ll play in the waves, get beat up by the waves, hopefully. And that would be great activity for myself.
But I tell people, if you’re going to be gone for at least more than a week, and you want to actually exercise… Now obviously, doing what we do at MaxStrength Fitness is very different. The equipment’s very specialized, the protocol itself. You’re always under the watchful eye of a personalized trainer, because left our own devices, we’d probably do it wrong and don’t do it correctly anyway, hence the reason you come to us.
But, that being said, if you want to venture on your own, a very safe and effective method I tell clients to do is what we call a “static hold.” Static hold is simply getting on a piece of equipment and holding in the mid range. So, for example, if I’m doing a biceps curl, if I was on biceps machine or just simply holding a biceps dumbbell or barbell, I’d get in the mid range, somewhere in the mid range, and pick a weight that I could tolerate holding for about 60 to 90 seconds. And so by that 60-second mark, you want to start to get fatigued. And by the end of the 90 seconds, you can no longer barely hold it up, and then just slowly lower it down. So you can do an entire total body workout by doing a static protocol.
We do that a lot of times for therapy purposes with clients. If they had a surgery and they’re immobilized and we can’t go through the full range of motion, that’s a great therapeutic modality as well, is to do a “time-static contraction,” we call that. But you could do that on vacation if you wanted to hit a gym because, let’s face it, they’re not going to have the fancy equipment that we have. And you need that fancy equipment, by the way, in order to move at the slow speeds that we do, because we don’t want friction on the machine, and all those machines are going to have a lot of friction, so you can’t move those slow speeds. They’d get choppy and segmented anyway. And then why do they even help bother, right? All right. So you could do a static hold. That would be one thing.
As far as nutrition goes, look, you’re on vacation. Enjoy life. Live it. But don’t sabotage the whole thing. It’s not a free-for-all for the entire week. What I like to do is always try to have a great breakfast with some protein with it. And I’ll have a veggie omelet, maybe as well. And then maybe at dinner is when I’ll splurge, or maybe we’ll go out for ice cream or something, but it’s not a free-for-all the entire week. I’m going to try to make it at least only one meal is going to be more, let’s say, not as good as it would normally be. But I still get to indulge. And then, I like to go, if we’re going on the coast, experience other foods, right? So we’re going on the coast, and I’m going to experience a bunch of seafood that I can’t usually get here in Ohio at this time of year, so it’s going to be a great adventure.
So engage in the foods. If you’re going to a foreign country, try them out. Try out your palate. Try some different things. Be adventurous. Just don’t sabotage it and let it be a free-for-all, and then you come back and say, “Oh, I gained 5, 10 pounds.” That’s probably not going to happen anyway, but you can’t out exercise a bad diet, so dial that in a little bit. Live life. You can do a time-static contraction protocol for strength training. You can walk on the beach, you can go hikes, whatever it is. Just be active and move, and most importantly, enjoy your vacation.