Advertising
Advertising

Stay in Shape on the Road with These Resistance Band Workouts

Stay in Shape on the Road with These Resistance Band Workouts

Do you worry about how to stay in shape when you travel? Going out of town can be a great way to relax, break up your routine, and give you a fresh perspective. When it comes to fitness and weight maintenance, however, the list of benefits stops. Whether you’re trying to lose fat or gain muscle, traveling can halt or even hurt your progress because your daily routine is thrown off, you’re constantly busy, you may not have access to a gym, and you eat out more.

There’s good news, though!  With a little planning and creativity, you can stay in shape while you travel, or even improve your fitness level. Use these travel hacks to stay healthy and return even better than you left!

1. Carry Your Gym With You

If you’re staying with family, friends, or at an Airbnb, you may not have a gym nearby. Even if your hotel has a gym, there’s a good chance it’s nothing more than three old treadmills, a bike, and a rickety multipurpose machine that appears to be from the 80s.

Advertising

Rather than get stuck with whatever you can find, pack a portable resistance-training workout in your suitcase. Three of the best items to include for both men and women are a set of resistance bands with door anchor and ankle strap attachments, loop bands, and a jump rope. It’s also a good idea to take a flat band, which is ideal for warm-ups and post-workout stretching. All of these are compact and lightweight so they’ll easily fit in your luggage, and will equip you to do both strength-training and cardio in your hotel room or outdoors.

    2. Rely on Resistance Bands

    Resistance bands offer a unique benefit from free weights because they create tension throughout the entire movement, requiring more control during an exercise. By forcing the muscles to constantly work, this form of resistance will increase the muscle fiber recruitment for better results. They also allow you to work from more angles, which gives you greater variety with less equipment, and aids in increased mobility and flexibility.

    Advertising

    Using a door anchor with resistance bands adds multiple exercise options to hit your full body, and an ankle strap will make leg and glute workouts much simpler. Loops bands will allow you to do a greater variation of lower body exercises with more effectiveness than bodyweight alone. These are great for activating the glute (butt) muscles as well. And by activating them before heavier leg exercises like squats and lunges, you’ll see better results because you’ll be using the correct muscles to perform the exercise, not relying on stronger muscles like quads and hamstrings to take over.

    Even if you’re an experienced gym rat, when you switch to bands during vacation, you’ll stimulate your muscles in new ways, which is a helpful trick for busting plateaus!

    Make sure to take a set of 2-4 bands, because you’ll need different levels of resistance for different muscle groups. See below for sample workouts you can use on your trip!

    Advertising

    3. Do High Intensity Cardio

    Whether your travel is for work or vacation, you’ll have time constraints and higher priorities than working out (Mai Tais on the beach, anyone?!). So keep your cardio short but effective. A great way to do this is high intensity interval training (HIIT) or Tabata. The method behind both types of exercise is to perform the moves with all-out effort for a short period of time, followed by a short period of rest. For Tabata, this looks like 20 seconds on, 10 seconds off for 8 rounds. For HIIT, there is more flexibility, but may be something like 30 seconds on, 1 minute off. The key to both methods is to work as hard as you can during the work period (we’re talking sprint, not jog), then rest completely to let your heart rate drop back down.

    The benefit of both is that all you really need is your bodyweight. You can also do this on any cardio equipment. You’ll likely burn as many calories as you would during  longer duration, steady-state cardio, plus you’ll use more muscle, which torches additional calories post-workout.

    Example HIIT:

    Advertising

    • Jump rope, sprint, or run stairs – 30 seconds
    • Rest – 1 minute
    • Repeat for a total of 15-20 minutes

    Example Tabata:

    • Mountain climbers – 20 seconds (rest 10 seconds)
    • Jump rope – 20 seconds (rest  10 seconds)
    • Squat jumps – 20 seconds (rest 10 seconds)
    • Burpees – 20 seconds (rest 10 seconds)

    (Repeat 8 times)

    Sample Workouts

    Start with the following warm up, then complete 3-4 sets of each exercise, either in a circuit or one at time (if one at a time, rest 30 seconds between each set).

    Warm-Up (using a flat therapy band, perform 15-20 reps of each)

    • Pass throughs
    • Bent over rows
    • Pull-aparts
    • Squats (standing on band, holding ends in each hand by shoulders)
    • Jumping jacks

    Upper Body Resistance Band Workout

    • Plank – 1 minute (no band needed)
    • Back row (anchor in door) –15-20 reps
    • Resisted push-ups (with flat band)– 10-15 reps
    • Mountain climbers (no band needed)
    • Bicep curl – 15-20 reps
    • Shoulder press – 12-15 reps
    • Triceps Extensions – 15-20 reps

    Lower Body Resistance Band Workout

    • Lateral walks (place loop band around lower thighs) – 15 each direction
    • Glute bridge (place loop band around lower thighs) – 20 reps
    • Squats (holding band in hands at shoulders )– 15-20 reps
    • Jump rope – 1 minute
    • Stationary lunges (holding band in hands at shoulders) – 10-12 each leg
    • Glute kickback (using ankle cuff and door anchor) – 15 reps each leg
    • Leg extensions (using ankle cuff and door anchor) – 15 reps each leg
    • Jump rope – 1 minute

    Full-Body

    • Plank – 1 minute
    • Core rotations (anchor in door) – 12 reps each side
    • Fire hydrants (with loop band around lower thighs) – 12 each leg
    • Squat with bicep curl – 15 reps
    • Bent-over row – 15-20 reps
    • Jump rope – 1 minute
    • Lunge with shoulder press – 10 reps each side
    • Burpees – 10 reps

    Be sure to stretch at the end using a flat band, including hamstrings, quadriceps, glutes, chest, back and shoulders.

    More by this author

    Prosource

    Brand Publisher

    Stay in Shape on the Road with These Resistance Band Workouts

    Trending in Exercise

    1 8 Yoga Poses to Help You Achieve Strong and Toned Inner Thighs 2 5 Breathing Exercises for Anxiety (Simple and Calm Anxiety Quickly) 3 3 Home Exercises To Fix Your Rounded Shoulders In One Month 4 Workout Every Day: Thursday Music Playlist 5 Cut down on drinking! Time for a post-holiday detox

    Read Next

    Advertising
    Advertising
    Advertising

    Last Updated on September 4, 2020

    How to Lose Fat and Gain Muscle to See Results Fast

    How to Lose Fat and Gain Muscle to See Results Fast

    There’s a lot of confusion, mystery, and desperation around how to lose fat and gain muscle. We applaud body transformation pictures we see on Instagram, Facebook, and magazine covers but are never able to replicate the results ourselves.

    Well, that mystery is over because I will tell you exactly how to achieve those results in this article.

    The journey to getting there is straightforward but not easy. Most people give up too early in the game, when they stop making visible progress.

    Keep reading to learn how to utilize your metabolism and the laws of muscle building to lose fat and gain muscle fast.

    Skyrocket Your Metabolism to Lose Fat

    Learning how to lose fat and gain muscle at the same time is one of the biggest misunderstandings of body transformations because they are opposite metabolic processes.

    To lose fat, you must have calorie deficits each day, and to gain muscle, you must be in a caloric surplus, but you cannot do both at the same time.

    When you look at pictures, it looks like it can be done simultaneously, but what is actually happening is a change in fat and muscle percentages.

    If your weight stays the same through your journey, and you lose body fat, your percent of lean muscle mass automatically goes up by default. You didn’t gain any muscle, but your fat and muscle ratio percentages have shifted.

    Calculating Your Calories to Lose Fat

    There are many good calorie calculators out there that will give you an estimate on how much to eat to start losing fat for weight loss. You usually need to cut about 10 to 15% of your TDEE (total daily energy expenditure) calories to start the process.

    You can find a visual explanation of TDEE below[1]:

    Advertising

    Use TDEE to learn how to lose fat and gain muscle.

      Remember that the calculators are just an estimate. It’s up to you to track your measurements and to adjust your caloric intake to ensure you’re getting the results you’re looking for.

      Metabolism calculators take into account four different ways your body burns calories to come up with your TDEE, or how many calories you burn in a day:

      • Resting metabolic rate
      • Thermic effect of food
      • Thermic effect of activity
      • Non-exercise activity thermogenesis

      Resting Metabolic Rate (RMR)

      This is your baseline metabolism at rest, or how many calories your body needs to survive if you spent the entire day lying in bed awake.

      RMR accounts for about 60 to 75% of your total daily energy expenditure. Your RMR is mostly determined by how much you weigh.

      A heavier person has a higher RMR than a lighter person, even if the lighter person has a higher lean muscle mass, because the metabolism of muscle only contributes to about 20% of your total RMR energy expenditure[2].

      Thermic Effect of Food (TEF)

      You’ve heard that to lose weight and gain muscle, you should be eating lots of protein. This is true for a number of reasons:

      • Lowers your intake of other types of foods, like processed carbs.
      • Increases satiety, so you continue to feel fuller, longer.
      • The building blocks for your muscles are found in protein.

      About 30% of the calories from protein intake are burned off during the digestion process, which includes absorption and waste removal of it. Eating more protein as opposed to other macros increases the amount of calories burned during digestion. That’s why you feel fuller with a higher protein diet.

      Thermic Effect of Activity (TEA)

      The calories burned in TEA are relatively minor in your entire TDEE equation. TEA is any calories burned during official exercise, like going to the gym, doing an aerobics class, or going for a run. It covers any exercise you do outside of your normal activities.

      Non-Exercise Activity Thermogenesis (NEAT)

      The calories burned in NEAT is the big game changer for most people and can vary up to 2000 calories burned per day between people with identical RMRs[3].

      For the majority of us, when we’re done with our workouts for the day, we don’t do much else for movement. We spend about an hour in the gym, and instead of using the other 15 hours awake as an opportunity to move and burn more calories, we spend it sitting.

      This is how there can be such a big difference between the amount of calories burned between two people who have the same RMR.

      Advertising

      Outside of your gym workout, any additional body movements count towards burning additional calories. The quickest way to add this to your day is to make everything you do as inconvenient for yourself as possible.

      Examples of inconvenient activities that count towards NEAT include:

      • Taking the stairs versus the elevator
      • Parking farther away
      • Getting up to change the TV channel versus using the remote
      • Pacing and walking while on a phone call instead of sitting down

      Increasing your NEAT goes a long way to helping your burn calories faster, leading to quicker fat loss. For more ideas on how to make life a little more inconvenient to up your activity level, check out this article.

      The Laws of Building Muscle

      Congrats on reaching the stage where you want to tone and get some definition! Learning how to lose fat and gain muscle isn’t an easy process, so if you’ve taken it on, that’s a huge step.

      To build muscle, first you want to increase your calorie intake.

      Based on your TDEE, you want to add about 10% more calories as a starting point. This is enough calories to build muscle, and any excess can lead to fat storage if you’re not training hard enough or aren’t active enough.

      Again, be sure to track your measurements and adjust your calories if necessary.

      Second, follow a muscle-building program that you can sustain for at least 3 to 6 months.

      Consistency is key with building muscles because they need to be stimulated and broken down on a regular basis in order to build back up. You want to strength train at least twice a week for at least an hour each time to start getting results.

      Of course, more often is better but requires better planning and a more complicated body parts training plan. So, start simple if you’re a novice. It’s not necessary to train 6 times a week unless you’re training for a competition.

      Progressive Overload

      Muscle needs to be challenged in order to grow. You need to gradually and consistently increase the amount of load and volume you are lifting.

      Advertising

      Load means the amount of weight you’re lifting during weight training. Up to a certain point, it becomes unrealistic to keep adding pounds to each exercise every week, at which point you need to switch exercises and work on your weaker points to break that plateau.

      However, the goal with load is to keep increasing the amount of weight you lift.

      Increasing the volume you do is another method to progressive overload. Volume means the total number of reps for that specific exercise. If you’re doing 3 sets of 12 reps, it means you’ve done a total of 36 reps.

      But increasing volume doesn’t mean doing super high reps of 20+ unless you’re training your muscle for endurance versus strength.

      You want to use a challenging weight and be able to lift more of it each week through increased reps and sets.

      Here is a visual explanation of how you can engage in progressive overload[4]:

      PROGRESSIVE OVERLOAD FOR MUSCLE MASS by @jmaxfitness - Visit the link in my bio to claim your free 1-week muscle bu… | Muscle, Gain muscle, Weight training workouts

        Training Intensity

        Paying attention to what you’re doing is required if you want to lose fat and build muscle because you want to build and improve the mind-muscle connection to optimize growth.

        A healthy mind-body connection means you’re able to better feel your muscles working during each lift.

        You know you’ve picked the right weight when the last 2 to 3 reps of your intended rep range is challenging. On occasion, you want to push past the burn and muscle fatigue for the last reps.

        This little bit of pushing past the discomfort is the difference between an average body and a body with more definition. Lifting almost to failure increases muscle recruitment, metabolic stress, and anabolic recruitment to grow muscles.

        Advertising

        Proper Recovery

        This is the most overlooked aspect of building muscles. We focus too much on pre/post workout meals, macro tweaking, and supplements, forgetting that we already have the ultimate tool for recovery: our own body.

        For best recovery practices, allow at least a day, but no more than 3 days of rest between workouts that stress the same muscle group. Overtraining results in diminished exercise capacity, possible injury, and illness.

        Remember, muscles are broken down in the gym and built outside of it during recovery.

        Get 7 to 8 hours of sleep, and be mindful of your stress levels to optimize recovery time. A lack of sleep and excess stress will spike cortisol levels, leading to hunger cravings, decrease regulation of burning fat, and cause faster aging.

        You can learn how to lower your stress levels fast here.

        Stop Program Hopping

        Every day, there is new workout, new exercise, new program on a website, in a magazine, or in your social media feed. No wonder we’re tempted to try a little bit of everything!

        Frequent program hopping stops you from getting any results.

        When you change programs too often, you don’t make progress on each exercise. It becomes hard to gauge whether you’re getting stronger or even getting results because you’re not allowing enough time for your body to adapt.

        Strength is a skill that needs to be built and developed by practicing it consistently. If you’re changing the skill set too often, you won’t know if you’re improving, and, therefore, cutting yourself short of future muscle gains.

        Conclusion

        The steps to losing fat and gaining muscle are simple, but the journey to get there is not.

        Tracking and measuring your calories is the quickest way to lose fat, along with increasing your activity level outside of the gym. Having a stronger, more toned body can be yours when you follow the laws of building muscles consistently.

        Applying these methods will guarantee that you get the results you’re after!

        More on How to Lose Fat and Gain Muscle

        Featured photo credit: Benjamin Klaver via unsplash.com

        Reference

        [1] Cheat Day Design: What is TDEE?
        [2] International Journal of Obesity and Related Metabolic Disorders: Determinants of energy expenditure and fuel utilization in man: effects of body composition, age, sex, ethnicity and glucose tolerance in 916 subjects
        [3] Current Opinion in Clinical Nutrition and Metabolic Care: Variability in energy expenditure and its components
        [4] J Max Fitness: PROGRESSIVE OVERLOAD FOR MUSCLE MASS

        Read Next