Triathlon Training Without Equipment

March 20, 2016

There will be times when you won't have access to a gym, like during business trips or when you're on vacation. In such situations, if you want to work out you'll have to make your own gym; a nearby field or playground  works just fine as someplace to get in a quick workout. Although weights and advanced workout equipment are certainly beneficial, a bodyweight workout can provide some amazing results in these circumstances. And while progress gains might be temporarily limited,it is possible to maintain your current training state. This guide will provide some insight into equipment-less workouts, along with tactics and sample workouts you can utilize.

Customize your Approach

Intensity is one thing you can reproduce regardless of location. Approach your on-the-road workouts as you would in your typical training environment.

Because your strength isn’t going to be challenged as much as it is in the weight room, you should focus on the complementary aspects of the workout: Cardio, endurance, flexibility, balance, agility, speed, and range of motion.

If you’re looking to burn fat, take brief, intermittent rests to allow the heart rate to drop slightly just before you start it back up again. If you’re looking to improve endurance and aerobic stamina, it’s best to complete workouts in a single effort as to minimize rest. This will carry over when you hop back on the bike or into the pool for more triathlon training.

Use What’s Around You

Any place can be a gym with the right outlook, and improvisation is the key. For instance, plyo-boxes can be substituted with chairs, benches, or tables. Similarly, 35 pounds doesn’t have to be in the shape of a dumbbell; anything that weighs 35 pounds can be lifted like a dumbbell. Tree branches can instantly become pull-up bars.

There are many exercises you can do that simply rely on bodyweight movements. Not only do bodyweight exercises help tone and burn fat, they also develop pound-for-pound bodyweight strength. Stability is also recruited in an alternate fashion than it is in workouts that require a lot of weight.

Here are a couple workouts that require nothing more than your body and a pull-up bar:

  1. Complete as many rounds as possible in 20 minutes of:
    • 400-meter runs
    • Sets of 20 pull-ups
  2. Complete in any order for time:
    • 100 pull-ups
    • 100 air squats
    • 100 push-ups
    • 100 sit-ups

Don’t Neglect Your Diet

Maintaining your training habits shouldn’t stop at exercise. Nutrition and healthy eating are just as important. It’s easy to stray off the path of a healthy diet while on vacation, but healthy alternatives are all around you. Pay attention to nutrition facts, and look for the “lite” or “healthy eating” sections on restaurant menus.

Don’t sacrifice the enjoyment of your vacation just to keep the calorie count low. If you’re on a trip or just away from the kitchen for a meal, enjoy the experience. However, when the opportunity presents itself, choose the healthiest option. Keep your triathlon season in the forefront of your mind, even while on vacation. You’ll be happy that you did come race day.

There are approximately 160 calories in each 12-ounce serving of beer, whereas there are over 600 calories in an average margarita. Where do all these extra calories come from? Sugar! By avoiding sugar-filled mixed drinks, you will save yourself hundreds (if not thousands) of empty calories.

Functional Movement

Regardless of the exercises you employ while on the road, make sure that whatever you choose is a functional movement. All functional movements are safe for the body to perform (regardless of repetition count) and offer a real-world value, unlike isolation movements that you would commonly see in the gym. The squat, for example, carries over into every time we get in and out of a seated position,as it’s the same movement.

Pursuing Alternative Activities

It can be difficult to find fun, recreational activities while on the road — but it doesn’t hurt to look. Nearby parks might offer a pick-up basketball or soccer game. Be assertive and ask to join. Yes, playing a sport is a workout, too. By playing a sport, you might even recruit muscles you normally don’t recruit with your regular training.

If you see the opportunity to pursue a sport, take it. After all, one of the primary goals of training is to prepare for athletics and competition. Put your training program to the test by competing in sports. You’d be surprised how well the pursuit of other sports will help train you for your triathlon events.

No Rest for the Weary

Don’t let your next vacation regress your training. Maintain regular activity and a healthy diet so your performance level doesn’t take a dive. Modify your workouts based on your surroundings and use your body and everyday objects as training tools. You will be surprised to see how great of a workout you can achieve if you think outside of the box!

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