Keeping Your Muscle Gains On Vacation Don't be afraid to stop training and travel no more.

Bodybuilding maniacs have many fears and one of the biggest is, of course, losing muscle mass. That’s one of the worst things that can happen to them. Losing an inch of arm growth is enough to cause serious depression. To prevent it bodybuilders do all kinds of crazy stuff and one of them includes avoiding vacations or at the very least prolonged ones. However, it is possible to keep your muscle gains even when you’re traveling. How?

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What exercises should I do?

In times of need bodyweight exercises are your best friend. If you do pull-ups, dips and push-ups, you are guaranteed to preserve your muscle mass and strength. Of course, if your hotel or the place where you’re staying at has a gym, you can use it. However, often it’s unequipped and/or very expensive. That’s why you should consider yourself lucky, if you have access to local monkey bars – all you need for your upper body is there.


If there is absolutely no gym equipment nor monkey bars near by,  you can stick to push-ups and rows. The goal of the push-ups is to train your pushing muscles {chest, triceps, front deltoids} while the rows are supposed to workout the back. You can use your travel luggage as a weight and do one arm rows with it. Another option for your back would be Australian pull-ups a.k.a. horizontal bodyweight rows. They can be done with the help of a stable table as shown in the video below:

For the lower body you can do jump squats, pistols, Bulgarian splits squats or sprinting. The chances of finding a good place to perform barbell squats are slim and looking for it may be taking away from your vacation time. The mentioned exercises will help you maintain your muscle mass and strength to some point before you’re able to finally get back.

One problem with training legs on vacation is that the lower body may already be tired from all the walking. That’s why you may have to skip all leg work and especially the calves.

A common overuse issue people suffer from when they are on vacation is Achilles pain caused by a lot of walking. The last thing you won’t to do is perform even more calf work.

Remember – you are maintaining, not building!

Obviously, when you’re on vacation your main focus isn’t building muscle – it’s maintaining it. You are not looking to kill yourself for a muscle gain that is not going to happen anyway. When you’re traveling you have to deal with bad food, less sleep and poor training conditions. Unless you’re a professional bodybuilder going on a tour with all his needs covered, it’s hard to be anabolic, so to speak. Even professional bodybuilders have really hard time doing proper workouts when they’re traveling. Not to mention the troubles with finding and transporting steroids. Unless you have friends to help you, going to places where there are strict laws against steroids is a dangerous adventure. But what do I know? I am not a professional bodybuilder, am I?

Don’t worry!

Many people overestimate the negative effect of breaks from working out. The truth is that unless you are going to be traveling for months, you won’t lose anything. For example, if your trip is only for a week, you can skip training altogether. A cool way to flip the tables on your side is to increase your training prior to the vacation. The goal is to sort of overtrain and use the vacation week as a recovery/deload. If you are going to be traveling for months, than you will suffer more significant losses. There is no way to maintain your strength 100% when you are not doing the exercises. Working out anyway you can is your only option. On the bright side, you have a chance to become a bodyweight master.

Nutrition is the bigger problem.

The bigger problem when you are on vacation is finding the right things to eat and preparing your bodybuilding meals. It could be quite hard to get a decent meal, especially if you are traveling abroad. Also, you most likely won’t have the luxury of preparing your bodybuilding meals and the people you’re on vacation with will probably try to convert you into eating the typical junk food. You have two options – either make an effort to find ‘bodybuilding foods’ and/or take some with you.

Sources of protein. One of the best sources of protein when you’re traveling are tuna cans. They can safely be transported and contain a lot of protein. When you are traveling transporting tuna cans is much easter compared to boiled eggs or chicken breasts. Another option would be nuts and peanuts. They are both high in calories and protein.

Related article: Eating Six Meals A Day To Get Ripped: SCAM or not?

A little junk won’t kill you. While your diet should not be made out of junk food, a little of it won’t do you that much harm. There is no point avoiding some delicious meals when you are on vacation. A few meals won’t destroy years of proper nutrition.

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