A couple of years ago I wrote a three part blog series on Holiday Fitness. With the majority of schools now broken up and a lot of the Saxon membership setting off on their holidays I thought it a good idea to repost them all in a shortened, condensed single post. Enjoy:
“Summer is pretty much here and no doubt you will soon be off on holiday. Some sun, some drink and most likely a shit load of food – it’s what holidays are made for right? Whether it’s one week or two, with the kids or without, abroad or in the UK most of us relax our diet routines, do as little as possible and sleep a little longer than normal. All of this adds up as pretty destructive for all the fitness progress we’ve made over the last few months.
You’re probably expecting a preachy article on how to eat clean on holiday, why you shouldn’t over indulge, why you should find your local box and keep going beast mode on holiday – not from me.
The vast majority of us work pretty fucking hard all year in our careers, with our families and in the gym. We get precious little time where we have zero concerns and a thousand of life’s little stress tests ruining our days. Two weeks in the sun, away from your boss, your neighbours, the news (who reads the news on holiday?) and hopefully your phone (no one wants to see holiday pictures on Facebook is the perfect time to take a break from training too.
In CrossFit, we put our bodies through a lot and we don’t always give it the recovery it needs. Use holiday time, providing you don’t holiday 5 times a year, to take a proper rest and let your body fully recover and adapt too all the training you have done in the months before.
You might feel a bit sluggish when you return and the first few sessions might seem a bit spicier than normal but you’ve survived worse and chances are you will again.
Obviously for those of you set on not nose diving out of your fitness regime there are loads of holiday hacks to keep you semi on track whilst away and for those of you liking what you’re reading – relax on holiday, you’ve earnt it, no one spends £1000 to do burpees in their hotel room!
Now if the idea of relaxing, unwinding and enjoying some well earned rest isn’t your jam there are a few little things you can do to keep on top of your health and well-being whilst still enjoying your time away:
Train – the obvious one is to keep working out. Now we don’t mean driving 45 minutes every day to the nearest CrossFit box or spending an hour trying to make the hotel gym fit your programming. Screen shot some ‘holiday’ WODs before you go and get them done first thing in the morning. These short, no kit and no faff workouts will get you feeling good, on top of your fitness and won’t eat into family time.
Be active – training is fun but using your fitness is even more so. Swim, bike or hike on holiday and you’ll be training without even realising it. Getting out and exploring your new surroundings is a great way to get more from your holiday and keep your body on point. Water sports are also a fun and interesting way of keeping your fitness up without feeling like your missing out on stuff.
Drink sensibly – we all know drinking all day on holiday is ok but if you’re serious about keeping all your gains this is any easy habit to avoid. You can still enjoy a beer with lunch and go nuts in the evening but that gin and tonic with your breakfast just isn’t a necessity.
Eat sensibly – similar to the drink, just keep it moderate. Everything you eat on holiday doesn’t need to be sugar coated or deep fat fried. We can all agree fruit always tastes better on holiday and it’s a great alternative to that doughnut you were planning on having for brekkie! Trying to eat sensibly for one or two meals a day will make a huge difference to your end of holiday fitness.
Be a kid – on holiday kids are pretty much non-stop. They charge about all day, spend hours in the pool or sea, crash out early in the evening and wake up with the sun to do it all over again – sounds like a sweet holiday to me!
Relaxing completely on holiday is not a bad thing, nor is wanting to keep active and continuing with a healthy lifestyle. Whichever option choose just remember to enjoy yourself, do something new and refrain from posting beach pictures on social media!
Now if I still haven’t convinced you to relax and working out on holiday is an absolute must then here’s my do’s and don’ts.
DONT drive 40 minutes to the nearest box/gym every day. If you are near a box or want to drop in once that’s cool, just make sure you contact them first.
DONT ruin days out/excursions for the sake of training. You can workout anytime so make sure you take advantage of things you can do on holiday and workout around them.
DONT try and take heavy kit with you. That kettlebell is not going to be counted as a carry on.
DO take minimalist kit. A set of gymnastic rings is cheap on Amazon and can open up a load of workout options. A skipping rope is also an easy pack item.
DO be resourceful. Can’t find a gym? Find anything you can use. A rock, a log, an old tyre. Find it, lift it, repeat. Simple.
DO take a list of simple holiday workouts with you. My top five are below:
WOD 1: An alternating EMOM (each minute on the minute) of:
1 – 15-30 Push Ups
2 – 40 air squats
In the first minute, complete between 15 and 30 push ups or whichever scaled variant you might normally use. Then rest for the remainder of the minute. In the second minute, complete 40 air squats then rest for the remainder of the minute. Repeat 10 times.
WOD 2: 7 minutes of burpees. It sucked during the open, its sucked every time I’ve done it since. It’s fast, its effective and you can literally do it anywhere. Set a clock and do as many burpees as you can in seven minutes. 100 is a nice goal, over 120 if you’re feeling super fit.
WOD 3: AMRAP 20:
Find a beach, a lawn or a driveway and work out roughly 200m (do multiple lengths if you need to). Set a clock then get to work. Get a couple of towels down if burpees on concrete got you feeling delicate.
WOD 4: Hotel ‘Cindy’. AMRAP 20:
10 Sit Ups
10 Push Ups
15 air squats
‘Cindy’ would normally have pull ups but a sturdy pull up bar isn’t always available on holiday. If you need to sub in 10 sit ups and get after it – its a guaranteed sweat fest!
WOD 5: ‘Fight Gone on Holiday’
My twist on the infamous ‘Fight Gone Bad’ WOD – complete 1 minute max reps at each station for a total of 3 rounds:
1 – burpees
2 – jumping lunges
3 – push ups
4 – V-ups
5 – air squats
6 – rest
This one is best done head to head with a holiday buddy for a nice little bit of competition.”
So there you have it, our condensed guide to holiday fitness. Please remember it is as important for your fitness to rest as it is to train. Leave your phone in the suitcase, unplug from social media and the news at home, grab yourself a beer, do something new/fun and switch off and enjoy. You will remember the amazing holidays and experiences you had a lot more than that day your abs looked good by the pool.