Summer holidays are in full swing and many people are taking time off to relax and recharge the batteries. One of the questions I often get is “how can I continue my training on holiday without access to a gym”?
First of all I’m a firm believer that holidays should be holidays. A time to switch off, eat, drink and be merry with friends and family. I understand that people get worried about losing any hard earned gains they made prior the break, but a couple of weeks off is not going to do any lasting damage.
Nonetheless, for those that want to keep a basic level of maintenance there are plenty of options to get a sweat on wherever you are.
Running and swimming are going to be readily available for those that go for the beach holiday. Running in sand is particularly tough and a great way to train the legs. Add in some simple calisthenics like push ups, squats and sit ups and you can quickly put together a short but effective training circuit.
A very simple workout would be to do sprint intervals of swimming or running. Try to sprint 100 metres 5 times with 1 minute break in between. If you can find a sand dune to run up, even better!
Some other examples could be:
Run 200m, 20 squats, 10 push ups, swim 200m – repeat 3 times
1 minute of push ups, rest 1 minute, 1 minute of sit-ups, rest 1 minute, 1 minute of squats, rest 1 minute – repeat 3 time
Enter the burpee
The burpee is one of the simplest yet most heinous conditioning exercises known to man.
To perform a burpee start off in a standing position. From here you drop the floor (chest should be touching the ground) to the bottom of a push up. The next step is to explosively push away from the floor with your arms and legs and come back to a standing position. You must finish in a fully extended position (arms and legs straight) and finish with a jump and clap overhead.
A key point is that the descent should be relatively fast, although still under control. If you drop down into the top of a push up position, do a push up, then jump back to standing it will get very difficult very quickly.
Burpee combinations are endless. You can add them to other circuits of you are really masochisitc, just do burpees. Set a clock for 5 minutes and see how many you can do (if you can reach 100 you are in seriously good shape), do sets of 10 with 1 minute rest in between or just try to do 50 as fast as possible. You are only limited by your imagination.
Burpee step 1 (the easy part!)
Burpee step 2 – drop to the ground under control
Burpee step 3: finish in a full prone position on the floor (chest should touch the ground)
Burpee step 5: push yourself away from the floor and jump your feet forwards
Burpee step 6: finish the movement with a small jump and clap overhead to reach full extension