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Vacation Workouts

I’ve done an unusual amount of traveling this summer, and it’s forced me to adapt my eating, supplementation and workouts. I made a point of booking hotels that had an acceptable gym or were close to a commercial gym. The good thing is that my family shares my enthusiasm for working out—further motivation to fill our mutual “need.”

One trip was to New York with my son Justin, and another was to Washington, D.C., with my daughter Lilli. In New York City, where I attended the annual Association of Oldetime Barbell and Strongmen awards dinner (see page 160), Justin and I ended up training at a Crunch gym about four blocks from where we were staying. It was very well equipped, and he and I had some great workouts, which translated into feeling good in general. I made the arrangements with Crunch before I left California, which also felt good—one more variable under control.

By their nature, New York and its subways create a lot of walking and stair climbing—I opted out of leg work for the week, but Justin’s 19-year-old body could do both—and did.

As for eating, New York has unlimited choices and places to eat too much. My strategy on this trip was to use meal replacements—Muscle Meals—instead of breakfast and lunch. That’s the best solution for me because if I take away the choice, I save myself from an overindulgent breakfast. With the meal replacement I not only conserve the calories for an indulgent dinner, but I can also be more active and not spend precious daytime hours in restaurants.

New York was typically 12 to 14 hours on the go. My mantra became “never stuffed, never hungry.” In addition, I always kept walnuts and dried fruit in a small plastic bag to stave off the hunger pangs before they struck. With those snacks and the Muscle Meals plus a “regular” dinner, I was able to eat something five or six times a day. I organized my supplements as I do at home by filling ziplock bags, usually three per day. Our seven days in New York netted four workouts and a return to L.A. at my same bodyweight—I call that a successful trip.

Washington, D.C., was a short four days, and the hotel had an adequate gym. I still used the Muscle Meals to get me started in the a.m.—I was at the Washington Monument to photograph the sunrise—but added protein bars to my “essential equipment” plus my nutrition arsenal. Again, miles and miles of walking but not the stairs of New York.

Lilli and I had three workouts in the hotel gym—she doing her favorite, the Life Fitness elliptical plus abs and an upper-body dumbbell-and-pulley workout. All the walking was getting to my chronically injured ankle, so I just did a weight workout. The ankle is a 30-plus-year-old injury that flares up every once in a while—all that walking really aggravated it. That’s another thing to deal with: reality! In the past I’ve denied the reality of pain, and it’s always made the recovery more extended.

Lilli and Justin were both tremendous motivation for me to get the workouts in. Both wonderful trips were enhanced by our training and the camaraderie of the gym. IM

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