So, you're going away on that much-awaited summer holiday to exercise or to take a break from training, that is the question.
Many people are concerned that their training gains will go to waste if they take a break. We all work hard and we deserve a rest. The truth is that if we train hard and eat healthily all year long then we don't necessarily need to train when we're on holiday.
However, I always encourage my clients to remain active when they're away from home. If you're travelling for longer than two weeks, I would recommend incorporating some sort of training so that your body and mind stay in practice and you make sure to maintain all your hard work pre-vacation.
No Pain, No Gain
While two weeks is the maximum amount of time that I'd recommend taking a break from training entirely, you may still be wondering about the impact the break will have on your gains. The answer is that it differs when considering what type of training you've been doing.
If you've been strength training and using maximal muscular power output (from lifting weights), then the effects will usually be maintained for longer. Detraining effects on strength training are very limited in the first two weeks. For example, a recent study found that following a strength training program and subsequent two-week break, weight lifters showed slight but non-significant reductions in bench press.
For me, when I go on holiday I am already in pretty good condition and I will remain fairly active during my break. I therefore don't need to worry that much about damage limitation when it comes to my body fat levels or muscle mass.
I tend to just hike, swim and cycle as opposed to following a strict training regime. After all, the endorphins from exercise are a lovely way to build on that happy holiday feeling! However, it's not always so easy to train on holiday as you may lack the equipment. If you are on a long holiday of two weeks or more, if you're on a shorter holiday and really don't want to take a break from your fitness or you simple just want to work out, then I've put together this great 30-minute workout. You can do this at any time you fancy. Limited equipment is required so you'll be good to go whenever you fancy.
DECK OF CARDS
Shuffle the deck very well. Then pull cards from the top. The number on the card is the number of reps for the exercise. Picture cards are 10 reps, if you are fit Ace is the 11 reps , if you are not as fit ace is 1 rep.
Hearts - Squats
Clubs - Shuttle Runs
Diamonds - Pushups
Spades - Dumbbell Shoulder Press