One of the hardest obstacles to consistent serious training is if you travel a lot. I spent this past week on a training course in Myrtle Beach, SC for my day job. This meant a lot of time in airports, in a plane, in taxis, having to get up early, and having to stay up late. It also meant having to make a lot of choices, basically every time I had to eat there was a myriad of choices presented to me.
I’m not going to say I made the best choice at every meal, but I did make an effort to minimize the damage that can come from the indulgence that is the Southern United States. Myrtle Beach is definitely a tourist town, and the tourist traps are all over the place. I mean, this is the kind of temptation I had to deal with:
When it comes to eating though, at just about every normal restaurant, there’s usually a salad option, and the option to add meat. Sometimes the dressings can get kind of junky, but just stick to something oil and spice/herb based or a simple vinaigrette. Most of my lunches looked like this, and some of my suppers as well.
Breakfast was actually pretty simple to do, as the hotel I stayed at had a buffet that included eggs, bacon, sausage, and lots of fresh fruit. It also had a whole table full of breads, cereals, and a waffle maker that I stayed far away from! For suppers, a few starchy carbs found their way onto my plate, but I kind of allowed myself this as I managed to get evening training sessions in Mon, Tue, Wed, and Thu. Sunday was a travel day, as was Friday, so they kind of became my rest days for the week.
As far as my training sessions went, I planned ahead and researched a few weightlifting friendly gyms in the area. There was a social event planned for our course the Monday night, so I thought I wasn’t going to have time to train, but there was a small window between the end of the coursework for the day and when we were meeting for supper. Anyway, it wasn’t quite enough time to go out to one of the gyms I researched, so I went to the Planet Fitness that was just around the corner from the hotel. Big mistake.
After paying my drop in fee, I changed and wandered aimlessly around the sea of machines in search of a squat rack or barbells. Surely a large (probably 10,000+ sqft) and expensive looking facility would have such basic workout equipment. I wasn’t expecting a set of Eleiko competition plates or anything, but a squat rack, is that too much to ask? I went to the front desk after my search and asked them if they had any squat racks. They told me no, and that Planet Fitness doesn’t allow them. I turn around. He yells back “We have Smith Machines!” I keep walking away, grab my bag from the locker room, and go back to the front desk and ask for my money back…Lesson learned.
I ended up that night at the Gold’s Gym just down the street toge, and they at least had a squat rack and some barbells!
Fitness Edge MMA/CrossFit Grand Strand
The next few nights, I spent training at Fitness Edge MMA/CrossFit Grand Strand. This was the main spot that I researched and Coach Mike Kelley and I had about a 17 message e-mail exchange. The guys there were pretty awesome and super accommodating. They let me take over a platform and squat rack and just do my thing. They even had a few members that were interested in improving their Olympic lifts that I was able to coach in between my sets. I had a lot of fun training here, and it was well worth it even though it was a bit further away from my hotel and I had to fight a bit with rush hour traffic (which is apparently way less this time of year). It was great to see a few of their athletes really want to improve their technique though. They were super attentive, ready to learn, and worked hard! You can’t really ask for much more than that.
CrossFit Grand Strand Crew Post-WOD
So yes, it is possible to keep things going on the road. It’s not going to be ideal, but with a little bit of work and planning ahead, you can come up with something that works!