Vacation workouts

I usually tell clients going away on vacation to take it easy, especially if it’s going to be an active trip with lots of walking and other physical activities.

This isn’t one of those trips. Visiting family for the holidays usually involves lots of sitting around, talking, catching up, and eating too much of everything including junk (is it just my family?)

I got to Phoenix on Saturday. Today, I finally got to a gym in the morning. LA Fitness. Big place, probably 3 or 4 times the size of NYSC in Forest Hills. Besides a large free weight section, a huge weight lifting machine section, 2 large cardio areas, a cycle room featuring Kaiser bikes, and a large aerobics studio. They also have 5 racquetball courts, and indoor full court basketball.

The gym was clean. Really clean, but no housekeeping was visible. The members cleaned up after themselves. Every piece of free weight equipment was in place, in order, and the members automatically put their own stuff away. It was a very nice environment to train in. So what did I train?

God knows when I’ll get back to the gym, so when in doubt, go big! I did big movements that incorporate all the major muscle groups and force core stabilization and recruitment. My workout today:

Squats. 6 sets. 95 lb. x15 (warm up), 135 lb. x 12, 185 lb. x 10, 205 lb. x 8, 205 lb. x 8, and finally 225 lb. x 5 (not very deep range of motion, it’s been awhile since I’ve attempted that weight.


Romanian deadlift. 4 sets. Starting at 85 lb., then 95 lb., and 2 sets of of 110 lb. great hamstring, glute, lower back/lumbar strengthening exercise, but with a history of sciatica you have to be careful.

0611 rom deadlift

Push Ups. 60 in 2 sets as a warm up

IMG 5182

Dumbbell flat bench press (click for video link). 5 sets. 65 lb. x 11, 10, 8, 6. 75 lb. x 3.

Pull Ups. Body weight (161 lb.). 5 sets. 10, 9, 7, 5, 4.


Bent over, one arm, cable rows. (click for video link) 5 sets. 110 lb. x 12, 11, 8, 6, 6.

Dips. (click for video link)  Body weight. 3 sets of 10

All big, multi-joint, compound movements. Total time 54 minutes. My body consumed 489 calories strictly weight training. No circuits. No aerobics. My goal was to enhance strength, and to force my body to put all those crap calories I’ve been forced to eat to the best possible use! Make sure you all put whatever you’re eating to use…you know where it goes if you don’t!

If my plan stays on track I’ll get back to the gym tomorrow and do a spin class. Thursday a hike at Camelback before turkey time. Then it’s back to NYC on Friday, and work on Sunday. Stay tuned to see if the plan holds up…