How To Make The Holidays Fit Your Training
The Holidays are here once again and we are getting closer to the time of year when our fitness goals can become compromised if not disappear completely. Many people view their fitness as all or nothing, and particularly during the holidays this method of approach will only backfire. The holidays bring food (usually in ridiculous amounts), drinking (usually in similarly ridiculous amounts) and travel. It’s a fantastic recipe for breaking all your hard earned habits and putting on a fair amount of weight. But it doesn’t need to be this way. By taking some fairly simple steps you can still enjoy the holidays and stay in shape.
Prepare Yourself to Indulge: Diet
It’s Thanksgiving and Christmas and yes, you are going to eat some food that is not on the diet plan. It’s ok, the world is not going to end, and by consuming some simple sugar and gluten you will not transform into a carb craving monster. Just make sure that you don’t overindulge in the foods you love. Eat your holiday meal in all its glory but then get right back on your diet. Do not let the holidays become holiweeks or holimonths.
A week before Thanksgiving and Christmas take seven days and make yourself a superhuman, eat extremely clean and exercise every day with no exceptions. Also during this time consume no alcohol and make sure you are getting plenty of sleep. This will help shed some body fat and drop a few pounds before you gorge yourself on stuffing and gravy. If you are unsure as to what clean eating looks like, please see my last article: nutrition hacks.
Make the Food Work For You: Exercise
Make exercise a priority during the holidays, the more you move while eating cheat meals the less weight you are going to gain. Regardless of traveling or being with family and friends make sure you can exercise at least once per day. I also recommend that you go on walks several times a day to ensure that you body is using up all the extra calories you have been consuming. Also walking after meals aids in digestion and can be a fun way to hang with the family.
For those of you who will be traveling for the holiday and will not have access to a gym, below are five workouts the can be done with zero equipment. Before performing any of the below mentioned routines please remember to practice your flexibility and mobility drills for 5-10 minutes. Do not just jump into one of these routines without properly getting your body ready for exertion or potential injury may occur.
Also keep in mind that when training, your focus should always be on producing quality movement, not just trying to do as many half ass reps as you possibly can in the allotted time. The way to your goals is with quality not quantity. If you are not familiar with the exercises listed below, please consult with a personal trainer before performing the routines.
With that being said I wish you the best in your training, if any of you have any questions regarding the movements or programming please feel free to ask at any time.
Body Weight Workouts
A1. Single arm push up x1/1
A2. Pistol Squat x 1/1
X 10 sets
B1. HBH x 45sec. (hollow body hold)
B2. Bridge x 3@5sec.
X 5 sets
- Take rest as needed between exercises and sets. This routine should take about 25 minuets to complete.
- If the exercises become too difficult to perform with proper technique, digress to a more basic movement.
A.Speed squats x 10 sets @ 40:20
B.Push up x 10 sets @ 20:10
C.Leg raises x 10 sets @ 30:15
- This Circuit is based on the Tabata method, which means that there will always be a 2:1 work to rest ratio. After completing all sets of one exercise rest for 2 minutes before starting the next exercise.
3 mile run: every quarter mile perform 10 jumps squats and 10 push ups. Do not rest after completing the strength exercises, immediately start jogging again to reap the full benefits of this training protocol.
- To minimize wear and tear on your lower body joints pay particular attention to how your foot strikes the ground. When striking the ground the foot should be totally straight and your weight should gracefully transfer from the ball to the heel of the foot.
- If 3 miles is too aggressive of a number, this workout can easily be scaled to fit any distance. Simply subtract a mile or half mile.
Abs & Glutes
A1. Single leg hip bridge x 10/10
A2. HBR X 20 (hollow body rock)
x 4 sets
B1. Cossach squat x 10/10
B2. Plank x 30 sec.
x 4 sets
C1. Donkey kicks x 15/15
C2. V ups x 10
x 4 sets
- use power breathing with the abdominal exercises for this workout. Always keep tension in the stomach muscles to protect the lower back and maximize the benefit of the movement.
Whole Body Blast
A1.Jump squat x 20
A2. push ups x 15
A3. HBR X 20
A4. Calf raise x 15
A5. SL hip bridge x 10/10
A6. Panther crawl x 20 sec.
Repeat this routine AMRAP in 25:00 (as many rounds as possible), rest as needed