The Contrast

The Contrast
Lift Big, Sing Big, Look Great Doing It.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Training While Traveling.

Being an opera singer, and a young one constantly looking for work at that, I'm required to leave the comforts of home to pursue potential jobs.

Traveling sucks. There is nothing worse for your training, fitness and diet than the inconvenience, stress, and irritation of traveling.

When faced with preparing for time away from home, you've got the tough choice of either skipping your workouts all together or finding a place to workout while you're away.

Option A.) Skipping your workouts all together.

If you choose this option I strongly recommend that you eat according to your level of physical activity during the day. If you don't train, maybe don't make this trip a full on vacation and say "YOLO!" and eat everything in sight if you don't have the metabolism to keep you safe from the potential weight gain (if you do, then forget every piece of advice I ever give you. Go crazy, eat to your hearts content and never touch a treadmill). If you're in a city where you're required to walk around a lot, feel free to indulge a bit more, specifically in the area of carbs.

Regardless of your physical activity, make sure you get your protein. I recommend 1 gram of protein per pound of body weight. If you are doing low carb because you're not gonna work out, increase your fats. Not dramatically, but you'll need those fats for energy and for the extra calories so you're not starving. These are easy to get with an ounce of nuts of your choice (almonds, walnuts, peanuts, pecans).

Option B.) Finding a place to train and training like you would at home.

This is always my preferred option, but I can understand situations getting in the way of this happening. However, if you can find a gym, lift like there is no tomorrow and celebrate in the spoils of training day calories. Don't go super crazy, get your protein in and then fill the rest of your calories with foods you like and try not to go too much over your regular training day calories.

I recently documented a trip to Philadelphia for an audition. During this visit, I trained, I feasted, and I had fun with friends. Check it out!

Now, I'm very fortunate to have a job at the YMCA and thus I have access to a lot of gyms all across the country. If weight training is important to you and you travel a lot, I recommend you invest in a membership that allows you to have access to multiple gyms around the country, not just where you live. Most YMCA's have free weights, barbells, dumbbells, and will always have cardio equipment, some are more stacked than others. I'm very poor, so I can't afford a membership to anywhere else, but if I could, I might still invest in the YMCA just because of their multiple locations that are often times located in cities where I audition. Not always true for Golds or 24 hour fitness or other chains. It's actually become a hobby of mine on trips to see what the local YMCA has to offer Ol' Yeargain.

The exact same outfit at two different YMCA's in two different states.

Another option is to invest in day passes at some gyms. Most of the time they are relatively cheap or negotiable. You should call ahead (you see what I mean about planning ahead?) and see what their day rate is, and then plan when you're going to workout. I always workout right when I wake up in a fasted state, which I control completely, and it always leaves me open for lunch dates and dinner plans with friends I'm staying with or who are also traveling. You don't have to do what I do, but I suggest it to everyone.

There is always the hotel gym option, but I have very often been disappointed with them. The weights aren't usually heavy enough (for me) and they sometimes only have 1 treadmill and are small. I also don't usually stay in very nice hotels, or hotels at all really because I have very gracious friends. This could potentially change in the future, but I usually scoff when I see "gym" in the description for a hotel.

If you just need to get your blood flowing, and you're a person that doesn't mind circuit training. Give this 20 Minute Hotel Room Workout a Try from Nerd Fitness.

Frankly, you're not going to lose all of your strength/muscle or gain all your weight back from a few days off from the gym. But, if you're a gym addict, and just feel way better whenever you get a really great workout in, there are solutions to your woes! I have a feeling I'm always going to wanna be the guy that goes to the gym 6 times a week, and when you have the resources to do so, why not? If you're on an extended stay (at a gig in another state) the gym is a great place to meet locals and get a taste of the community. When I was singing at Lawrence Opera Theater this past summer, I got to know the staff well enough that they asked me to sing them an aria...I obliged. Live the life you want to live, y'all!

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