It’s easy to fall out of a routine when on vacation – isn’t that the point? We escape from the demands of everyday life for an opportunity to avoid responsibilities and press the reset button. For many, this works just as it should and we come back feeling rejuvenated from our time off.
However, for others, it can be a total derail and make it harder to get back into the gym, meal prep, etc. Sometimes we feel like we lost strength gains when we’re away, which can be discouraging the first time we hit the gym post-vacation. For those, it might be worth getting in 1-2 quick workouts while away on vacation to stay consistent.
This is when a HIIT (high intensity interval training) workout will be your best friend. It’s short and sweet and can be done without equipment. HIIT training has been designed to be the most effective cardio workout for overall cardiovascular fitness and fat loss thanks to EPOC, excess post-exercise oxygen consumption, meaning we continue to burn calories long after the workout concludes. The idea is to “work until you can’t, rest until you can.”
Here are some ideas to get a quick HIIT sesh in on your vacation:
- Sprints: all you need is running shoes and activewear. Find a path or some scenery and run at an easy jog for 5-10 minutes to warm-up. Sprint all out for 30 seconds, then walk for 30 seconds to recover. Repeat 20 times for a total of 20 minutes, walking for 5-10 minutes post workout to cool off.
- A true “sprint” means heart pounding in the red zone and you could not continue for another 5 seconds. Try using a Fitbit or other heart rate monitor to ensure you’re truly hitting the training zone associated with sprints.
- Change up your sprints by doing it pyramid style (10 on/10 off/20 on/20 off/30 on/30 off)
- Tabata: training protocol that involves working for a period of time followed by recovery for half the working period. Traditional Tabata is 20 seconds on/10 seconds off for a total of 8 rounds, adding up to 4 minutes, sometimes alternating between two different exercises. Pick a few of the sets below to create a 20-minute workout:
- Squat Jumps/Mountain Climbers
- Change it up: squat jumps can be done laterally side to side or with a 180 degree turn
- Change it up: add a push-up at the bottom of the burpee or go single-leg
- Long Jump Forward & Run Back/Pushups
- Change it up: add a row at the top of the pushup or a shoulder tap. You could also turn it into a plyo pushup by jumping the feet forward into a squat
- High Knees/Drop Squat with Alternating Reach
- Drop Squat with Alternating Reach: jump feet wide into a squat and reach one hand down, jump feet together and then jump feet wide again reaching with the other hand
- Jumping Lunges/Frog Jumps
- Squat Jumps/Mountain Climbers
- EMOM: stands for “every minute on the minute.” Set a timer to go off every minute for 20 minutes and complete a certain number of reps when it does. EMOMs encourage you to move quickly because the faster you move, the more recovery time you get. A sample EMOM:
- Minute 1: 15 Pushups
- Minute 2: 15 Squat Jumps
- Minute 3: 15 Donkey Kicks
- Minute 4: 20 Jumping Lunges (10 each leg; alternative is Backward Stepping Lunge)
- AMRAP: stands for “as many reps as possible.” Set a timer for 12-16 minutes and go through the round as many times as you can:
- 10 Burpees
- 15 Pushups
- 20 Skaters (10 each side)
- 20 Cross Mountain Climbers (10 each side)