Hitting the road on around the world adventure is one of the best decisions you will ever make… Unfortunately though, there is usually one cost of long-term travel which most people don’t take into account – It can be extremely tough to stay fit while travelling!
I’m a fitness fanatic and always do my best to try and stay fit while travelling, I eat well, I trek often and I hit up travel WODs that don’t require equipment at least three times a week.
What the heck is a WOD I hear you ask? A travel WOD is…
Whenever I am in a place long enough, I try to find a Crossfit Box (Yep, I’m part of the cult) or at least a gym with an Olympic bar so I can work on some heavy lifts. You can easily pick up a skipping rope or running gear although Ultimately though, the only piece of equipment you need for a travel WOD is your own body… I only travel with one piece of fitness equipment (more on that later) and most of my travel WODs are made up of bodyweight exercises like press-ups, pull-ups, squats, sit-ups and burpees!
If you want to combine your travels with staying, or getting, fit – consider going on a dedicated fitness retreat in Bali. My buddy Will Henke runs awesome holistic fitness holidays for those who want to train hard and also explore the magical island of Bali with a group of likeminded people.
If you’re already travelling and looking to get fit on the road, this is totally possible – chances are you will have more free time whilst travelling than when you are at home and ultimately getting fit and staying fit only really require a decent time investment (45 minutes a day, four days a week is my preferred minimum) and a good attitude. Here are some of my favourite travel WODs to help you stay fit whilst travelling the world…
Ten Travel WODs To Keep You Awesome
To start off my workout, I always spend about five to ten minutes stretching out and then I work in a quick 500m run or, if I’m in an enclosed space, twenty burpees to warm me up.
I usually then spend twenty minutes working on strength conditioning or a skill – like handstands. Sometimes I fill my backpack up, or try to find a good rock, and work on overhead presses, bench presses or bent over rows.
Once I’m sufficiently warm and have gotten a bit of strength training in, it’s time to move on to the actual workout – I tend to pair two to three exercises together in a series of sets.
Travel WOD 1 – Press ups and Squats
Perform 21, 15, 9 reps of Press ups and Squats. Finish with 10 burpees.
Travel WOD 2 – Burpees and Sit ups
10 rounds of 10 Burpees and 10 Sit Ups.
Travel WOD 3 – Death To The Core
Set a timer on your phone for eight rounds of 90 seconds on, 30 seconds off. Find something that you can hang from with your arms fully outstretched. Do a pull-up so that your chin is over the bar, keep your toes pointed and your abs and glutes engaged. Hold the position as long as possible, when you are close to failure, slowly let yourself down so that your arms are fully outstretched and you are hanging. Hold this position for as long as possible. When you fail, hold a plank for the remaining time. The 30 seconds is to be used as a rest.
Travel WOD 4 – Pull-ups Max Effort
This is one of my favourite travel WODs but isn’t always possible as you need to find something that can be used as a pull-up bar. Max effort pull-ups (as many as possible) followed by a 400m run (or 10 Burpees if you have no space). Eight rounds.
Travel WOD 5 – Full Body Blast
10 rounds: 10 press-ups, 10 squats, 10 sit-ups.
Travel WOD 6 – Death To The Legs
10 rounds: 10 lunges, 8 squats, 6 burpees
Travel WOD 7 – Upper Body Builder
21-15-9 reps of Handstand push-ups, tricep dips (use a chair or bed) and push-ups. If you don’t yet have handstand pushups, you can put your feet on a chair or bed and work on doing handstand pushups without actually being vertical. Handstand pushups are my favourite movement so I always try to incorporate them into my travel WODs.
Travel WOD 8 – Burpee and Sit Up Ladder
Assuming you have space, mark two stations about ten meters away from each other. If you don’t have space – you can still do this workout, just take five seconds rest in between movements. Start with 12 burpees and then go to station two, do 2 sit ups. Return to station one and do 11 burpees, go to station two and do 4 sit ups. Return to station one and do 9 burpees, go to station two and do 6 sit ups. Continue decreasing by one burpee and increasing by two sit ups until you hit one burpee and twenty sit ups. If you find this tough, start with ten burpees rather than twelve – this will make the whole workout about 25% easier.
Travel WOD 9 – Running and Push Ups
60 Pushups, then run 400m.
40 pushups, run 800m.
20 pushups, run 1 mile.
Travel WOD 10 – Cardio Blast
100 Jumping Jacks, 75 Air Squats, 50 Pushups and 25 Burpees. You can make this travel WOD a bit more manageable by splitting it into five sets of 20 jumping jacks, 15 air squats, 10 pushups and 5 burpees or, if you’re a traditionalist, tackle it one exercise at a time.
So there you have it, ten of my favourite travel WODs to help you stay fit whilst travelling the world! On top of my travel WODs, I utilise a few other techniques to stay fit on the road…
Five Tips For Staying Fit While Travelling
Travel Fitness Tip 1 – Soft Exercise
Staying fit becomes a lot easier if you constantly engage in soft exercise; take the stairs, have lots of sex, do some yoga.
Travel Fitness Tip 2 – Skipping
Have you got any idea just how great skipping can be for your body? There is a reason that boxers and martial artists skip religiously and I always travel with a skipping rope. Five minutes a day, especially if you are doing double unders (the rope passes under your feet twice whilst you are in the air) is incredibly good for you. I often pair skipping with my workouts when there is not room to run.
Travel Fitness Tip 3 – Avoid sugar
Most fitness gurus now agree that sugar is the enemy… Avoid sugary drinks and beer and stick to coconut water and gin and tonic instead, it’s the best way to keep those abs within sight! I sometimes travel with protein powder on the road to maintain muscle mass – be sure to pick one without too much sugar. This post covers some of the best tasting protein powders for weight loss.
Travel Fitness Tip 4 – Rock Out!
Rocks are your best friend… Whenever I find a good rock I always tend to pick it up and, depending on the situation, throw it around. It’s a great way to get some impromptu strength training.
Travel Fitness Tip 5 – Go Trekking
For me, the mountains are my happy place. Whenever I am in a country like Pakistan, India or Nepal I always make time to head off for a ten day trek into the mountains – you will come back having lost a ton of weight and will tone up quickly… Plus, mountain sunrise views are the best kind of views…
Ultimately, you are on your travels to have fun and to explore a new place – don’t worry too much if your fitness slips a little bit but do try to budget four forty five minute sessions a week, at a minimum, to travel WODs that will keep you strong, healthy and attractive to the opposite sex! Personally, fitness is a pretty big part of my life and although it does decline when I don’t have access to a gym I try to make that decline as minimal as possible by staying fit on the road and utilising these travel WODs!
Good luck staying fit amigos!
Need More Inspiration?
- Backpacking the World with a Baby
- How to Travel the World on $10 a Day
- Ultimate Backpacking Packing List
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Ralph is a former manager in the hospitality industry turned wild child. With a desire to experience all things unconventional, Ralph enjoys visiting the lesser-known landscapes of the world and has ended up in some pretty strange and wonderful places. Recently, he spent eight months travelling around Africa, the Middle East, and Europe, spending as much time as possible in the wilderness and doing everything to avoid the crowds.