I don’t know about you, but after an extended amount of time on the road away from my normal routine, I start to get restless and crave a good sweat and sore muscles. It’s pretty rare to have weight machines at your disposal while traveling, so when they are available take advantage of them. In Berlin I was lucky enough to have free weights and lifting machines so I decided to combine a cardio workout with a much needed lifting session. I did my cardio inside during this workout, but I would normally head outdoors for a run and explore whatever city I may be visiting. On this day in Berlin it was over 100 degrees, and I am not about the fainting in the middle of a strange city life, so I hit the treadmill and imagined I was outside. Here is my cardio and lifting workout, though very basic it always gets the job done.
Outside – 3-5 mile fast paced run or tempo run. The goal is to get your heart rate up, if you are like me and long distance running isn’t in your bag of tricks, opt for a tempo run. If you are one of those people who has mastered long distance running, 5 miles at a fast pace is your best option, and I will forever envy your stamina. A fun alternative option for either kind of person is outdoor stairs. I didn’t find any stairs in Berlin that were long enough, but if I had I definitely would have considered them even in the scorching heat.
Inside – treadmill or elliptical (this is ideal for anyone with bad knees or shins) for the same 3-5 miles. Running on a treadmill and definitely on an elliptical, it can be difficult to tempo run especial if the machine isn’t equipped for quick pace changes. In this case, run for a distance that is a bit longer than you would run a tempo run at a consistent challenging pace.
Arms – chest press, shoulder press, pushups and tricep dips. 3-4 sets of 10 reps each exercise increasing in weight each set. The goal is to exhaust your arms by the end of your 3-4 sets. The gym I used had chest and shoulder press machines, but these exercise are easily modified with free weights and a bench.
Legs – alternating dumbbell step-ups onto bench, dumbbell deadlifts, dumbbell squats (holding weights at ears), and alternating dumbbell side lunges. 3-4 sets of 10 reps each exercise increasing weight each set. To do dumbbell step-ups, hold dumbbells in each hand and step-up onto a bench completely straightening your leg at the top before stepping back down and switching legs. You should complete 10 reps each leg or 20 step-ups all together. As for dumbbell deadlifts, hold dumbbells in each hand, slightly bend your knees and with a flat back and your shoulders pinched together opening up your chest, lean forward keeping the dumbbells glued to your shins all the way down and all the way up. If your back begins to round, don’t bend as far forward, this will prevent injury and you will still benefit from the exercise with a smaller range of motion.
Core – weighted sit-ups, dumbbell standing side crunch, plank hold 45 seconds. 3-4 sets of 10 reps with increasing weight. Hold a heavier dumbbell or plate to your chest when doing weighted sit-ups. As for side crunches, hold a weight in one hand, place your opposite hand on your opposite hip and lean to the side holding the weight close to your leg all the way down and back up. Make sure to keep your arm holding the weight straight, and do not lean forward or backward at anytime throughout the movement. It should be as if you are moving within two panes of glass, strictly side to side not forward or backward. Like deadlifts, you do not have to have extensive range of motion to benefit from this exercise.
Stretch, stretch stretch!!!