The Holidays are here once again! The time of year when fitness goals are often compromised and in some cases, disappear completely. Many people view their fitness as all or nothing and during the holidays this method of approach will only backfire. The holidays bring food (usually in ridiculous amounts), drinking (usually in similarly ridiculous amounts) and travel.
It’s a sinister recipe for undoing all your hard work in the gym and putting on a fair amount of weight. But it doesn't need to be this way. Follow these simple steps to enjoy the holidays and still stay in shape.
It’s Thanksgiving, Christmas, Chanukah and yes, you are going to eat food that is not on the diet plan. The world is not going to end. Consuming some simple sugar and gluten will not transform you into a carb-craving monster. Just make sure you don’t overindulge in the foods you love. Eat your holiday meal in all its glory but then get right back on your diet. Do not let the holidays become “holi-weeks” or “holi-months.”
A week before Thanksgiving and Christmas take seven days and make yourself a superhuman, eat extremely clean and exercise every day with no exceptions. Also during this time consume no alcohol and make sure you are getting plenty of sleep. This will help shed some body fat and drop a few pounds before you gorge yourself on stuffing and gravy. If you are unsure as to what clean eating looks like, please see my last article: Nutrition Hacks
Make exercise a priority during the holidays, the more you move while cheating, the less weight you’ll gain. Regardless of travel or being with family and friends make sure to exercise at least once per day. I also recommend walks several times a day to ensure that your body is using up all the extra calories. Also, walking after meals aids in digestion and can be a fun, healthy way to hang with the family.
For those of you traveling for the holidays and without access to a gym, below are five workouts the can be done with zero equipment. Before performing any of the routines below please remember to practice your flexibility and mobility drills for 5-10 minutes. Do not just jump into one of these routines without properly getting your body ready for exertion or injury may occur.
Also keep in mind that when training, your focus should always be on producing quality movement, not trying to do as many half-ass reps as you possibly can in the allotted time. The emphasis is quality not quantity. If you are not familiar with the exercises listed below, please consult with a personal trainer before performing the routines.
Happy Holidays! I wish you the best in your training. If any of you have any questions regarding the movements or programming please feel free to contact me at any time.
Body Weight Workouts
A1. Single arm push up x1/1
A2. Pistol Squat x 1/1
X 10 sets
B1. HBH x 45sec. (hollow body hold)
B2. Bridge x 3@5sec.
X 5 sets
- Take rest as needed between exercises and sets. This routine should take about 25 minuets to complete.
- If the exercises become too difficult to perform with proper technique, digress to a more basic movement.
A. Speed squats x 10 sets @ 40:20
B. Push up x 10 sets @ 20:10
C. Leg raises x 10 sets @ 30:15
- This Circuit is based on the Tabata method, which means that there will always be a 2:1 work to rest ratio. After completing all sets of one exercise rest for 2 minutes before starting the next exercise.
3 mile run: at every quarter mile perform 10 jumps squats and 10 push ups. Do not rest after completing the strength exercises, immediately start jogging again to reap the full benefits of this training protocol.
- To minimize wear and tear on your lower body joints pay particular attention to how you foot strikes the ground. When striking the ground the foot should be totally straight and your weight should gracefully transfer from the ball to the heel of the foot.
- If 3 miles is too aggressive a distance, this workout can easily be scaled. Simply subtract a mile or half mile
Abs & Glutes
A1. Single leg hip bridge x 10/10
A2. HBR X 20 (hollow body rock)
x 4 sets
B1. Cossack squat x 10/10
B2. Plank x 30 sec.
x 4 sets
C1. Donkey kicks x 15/15
C2. V ups x 10
x 4 sets
- Use power breathing with the abdominal exercises for this workout. Always keep tension in the stomach muscles to protect the lower back and maximize the benefit of the movement.
Whole Body Blast
A1.Jump squat x 20
A2. Push ups x 15
A3. HBR X 20
A4. Calf raise x 15
A5. SL hip bridge x 10/10
A6. Panther crawl x 20 sec.
Repeat this routine AMRAP in 25:00 (as many rounds as possible), rest as needed