Training and eating on the road

Written by Jason Ferruggia Topics: Nutrition, Training

Last week I was on a five day adventure trip in Mexico with a couple of my buddies. When I got to the airport I realized that I had forgotten my supply of food that I always travel with and was not happy. It was definitely going to be a long (and hungry) trip.

When I unpacked my bag I also realized that I forgot my jump rope and my TNT cables and Jungle Gym straps that I always travel with. Another bad sign.

You see, I despise training in most public gyms and would rather train outside on the beach or in my hotel room than set foot into one of these nightclubs. When I found out that our hotel had no weight room I was instantly devastated when I realized that my only option was the Gold’s Gym across the street. For some reason I assumed that a Gold’s in Mexico might be better than a Gold’s here. I have no idea why, but I did. Boy, was I sadly mistaken.

I walked into the sounds of pumping techno music and the sights of countless spandex clad gym goers pumping up their biceps and glutes on more machines than I had ever seen packed into 5,000 square feet. As I shimmied my way between all the Cybex and Nautilus machines in search of the small free weight area in the back corner my desire to train began to plummet by the second. When I saw that they had hexagon plates instead of round ones my plans to deadlift were ruined and I had to improvise.

After taking ten minutes to do a few sets of chin ups (because I had to wait for all the guys to finish doing cable kickbacks in between sets) I went over to the dumbbell rack to complete my workout with some rows, shrugs and Romanian Dead Lift’s.

I left, vowing to never leave for a trip without my training equipment ever again. The next morning, since I forgot my trusty jump rope, I had to improvise. I found an empty 25 yard stretch of sand on the beach that allowed me to run a few 300 yard shuttles in 12×25 fashion. This workout was much better than the one the night before at Gold’s.

As far as the eating goes; this was one area where it was hard to improvise. Since I avoid eating animal products because of all the negative effects that their consumption has on your body and on the environment I was pretty limited. For five days I survived on nothing but fruit, pasta and a nightly salad consisting of pretty much nothing but iceberg lettuce. I had barely a gram of protein or healthy fats the entire time I was gone. And by the end of the trip I felt terrible.

At this stage of the game, there is no excuse for me making these types of mistakes. But unfortunately I did and had to pay for it. When traveling in the states you are usually never too far from a health food store or a Whole Foods market so it’s not as big of a deal. But as I have already experienced three times this year in the Bahamas, the Dominican Republic and Mexico, you are not always so lucky when you leave the country.

Even so I will be more than prepared this Thursday when I head down to Austin, Texas for five days. I went out yesterday and stocked up on enough nuts to feed a football team and got two boxes of Raw Organic food bars. I also always bring a small container of Vega with me on every trip. Vega is one of the only supplements that I highly recommend to everyone and is packed with protein, healthy fats, fiber, probiotics, digestive enzymes and vitamins and minerals. I mix up one of these every morning when traveling to ensure that no matter how limited my food choices are, that I have gotten in a healthy, nutrient packed breakfast.

And I already threw my jump rope, TNT Cable and Jungle Gym in my bag so there is no forgetting them. With those three small, lightweight pieces of equipment I can get a great workout anywhere in the case that there are no good gyms around.

The bottom line is that when you care about your body, train hard and watch what you eat you always have to be prepared when you travel. That means bringing the right food or going somewhere you know you have easy access to it. That also means being prepared for the worst and packing some training equipment or learning and mastering numerous bodyweight only exercises so that you can train anywhere.

For some great ideas on how to train and eat on the road and for muscle building workouts that can be completed just about anywhere in 40 minutes or less, check out

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