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Posted by Barry on Nov 4, 2010

P90X and Traveling

One of the challenges I faced during my first round of P90X (and still do) was how to keep on schedule when my job has me travel quite often.  As many of you know from my transformation video traveling for my job is one of the reasons I got so out of shape and put on weight.  There were several factors that helped me to stay on schedule and to make sure I continued to “Bring It” even while away from my home.

Packed all my supplements and protein bars: In order to stay on the 1500-2000 calorie diet I had to pre-plan as many meals as I could and to make sure I had quick substitutes when I could not stop to eat a meal.  I packed enough Shakeology packets so that I could have one a day.  Packed up enough protein bars so that I could have a least one a day (I also put these in my backpack that I take on the plane with me in order to have something good for me to eat while traveling).  I also made sure I had the right amount of recovery drink along with me to take after my workouts.

Packed all my equipment : In order to do the P90X routines you do need a few things.  I would disassemble my doorway chin up bar and pack it into my checked in luggage.  I also threw my Leatherman in as well so I had the screwdriver and pliers I needed for reassembling the bar once I got to the hotel.  I would put a towel over the contact points of the bar (usually on the bathroom doorway) to make sure I did not leave a mark on the wall.  On the chance that none of the doorways work (I only had this happen once) I used my bands hooked over the top hinge of the bathroom door (once again using a towel so the bands did not get cut by the metal hinge).  A set of bands is a necessity if you are going to travel and work out in your hotel room.  While I personally prefer weights they are just not practical to travel with.  I get a good burn with the bands and it also helps that I am doing something different to challenge my muscles.  All the videos show you how to use the bands to do each exercise and they really work.  All hotels have a chair in the room.  You can use this chair for the tricep moves as well as the cardio and balance moves.

Loaded all the videos on my laptop: I found it very convenient to load all the P90X disks onto my laptop and then play them on the laptop screen for the workout.  I even stayed at one hotel where I could hook my laptop up to the flat screen TV via HDMI cable and played them on the big screen.  This way I did not have to worry about having to hope the hotel room had a DVD player (most do not) and I had a portable system that played the videos, I could pause (you know we all have to do it), and control the sound.  Most of us have to take a laptop for work anyway and adding the convenience of playing the videos from your own laptop made it easier to workout.

Accountability: Motivation is key when you are tired, on the road, away from your normal schedule, and on your own.  On the days when it was late, I was tired, and trying to convince myself that skipping just one day won’t hurt, I would think of the promise I made to my son that I would work out every day while I was away while he was working out at home.  I knew that if I did not work out I would have to answer the question the next day when I talked to my son that I had not worked out.  He had to work out without his workout buddy and if he could make time with school, sports, homework, chores, and the family then so could I.  Find someone and make the promise to them.  It can be your wife, family member, buddy, or even your Beachbody coach (I promise you if you ask me I will stay on you, because I am working out).

The day I traveled was always my rest day: During my first round I had to travel from Huntsville AL to Oahu HI for work.  This is a minimum of two plane changes and 12-14 hours of travel.  With this being such a long day whatever day it was I would make it my “rest” day.  If my normal P90X schedule had me exercising from Monday to Saturday with Sunday as my normal rest day, I would shift it so that the day I traveled was my rest day and continue working out for the other six days.  This allowed me to have a long exhausting day of traveling several time zones without having the extra stress of feeling I had to work out.  The truth of it being that if I tried to work out I would not have put in a strong effort due to being tired.  Now if you your travel day is shorter or you feel energized when you arrive at the hotel then by all means “Bring It”.  But knowing I did not have to work out on such a busy day was helpful to me.

Scheduled my workouts in the morning: There is not a lot you can control when you are out of town on business.  Meetings run late, testing runs for long hours, customer keeps you late, but you can control what time you get up.  I would get up early and get my workout in before I had to leave the hotel.  Sometimes this was not possible, but I always tried to get it done first thing in the morning.  When it did not work out I would do it before I went to sleep.  I found out that even if it was late (or too early) I still slept better when I worked out then when I would skip it.  The extra hour did not “ruin” my sleep or leave me feeling drained or tired.

How to eat while traveling: This is just as hard as doing the workouts.  When you travel your choices are limited by where you are at and the amount of time you have.  This is why so many of us end up eating fast food even when at home.  I handled it by doing what I could.  In the morning I would put my Shakeology into my shaker cup (these cups are great when you travel or are in a hurry) and have at least one good meal.  I also used my shaker cup for my recovery drink and between that and the Shakeology I had already started off my day healthy.  I would have a protein bar with me and would eat it after I had been up for three or so hours, this way when lunch came in a couple hours I would not be starving and would just eat the best I could from what was offered.  This way my lunch was kept at a small portion and all I had left to worry about was dinner.  When eating dinner I had to learn that it is OK to leave food on your plate.  Growing up I like most people felt compelled to “eat everything on your plate” when I went by the following rules I found myself eating a lot less:

Protein (chicken, fish, meat) – the size of your fist

Veggies – the size of three fingers

Carbs (bread, rice, potatoes) – the size of two fingers.

I also would take whatever I had ordered and as soon as I got it I would cut it in half and only eat one half.  The other half I would take as a doggie bag if I could otherwise I would leave it behind.  The sizes of the servings in America are ridiculous.  They put twice the food you need on the plate (or in the bag) so they can charge enough to make a profit and we think it is great that we got all this food for our money.  It may seem weird to take the knife out at Chili’s and cut the burger in half, but it works.  If you work late and are just looking at fast food then go to Subway or stop in the local grocery store and eat from the deli.  I found an awesome poke (type of raw fish dish) bar in the local grocery store on the way to my hotel and ended up eating from there several times.  The key is to just do the best you can.  Be prepared and just keep pushing play.  It isn’t easy but if you want the results you are going to have to work at the eating too.

Click Here to Learn My Main Secret to Eating While Traveling!

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2 comments
Jeff Kiene
Jeff Kiene

Barry, Thanks for the Traveling tips. I travel 3 days a week and will use your advice. I just started P90X today and have to tell you, I felt like I did only P15X...I passed all my tests except for pull ups (only could do 2). Do you recommend the recovery drink. Can I get by without it? I'm thinking of ordering the Shakeology but can I get an equivalent at the local Hth food store? Thanks, Jeff