Training, Food & Short Breaks – by Jamie Bolton

A few weeks back, unexpectedly I had to travel on business to Argentina. When I say unexpectedly, I mean pretty much on the day of travel, so I had little to no time to prepare. But what I did have was the intent, as ever, to continue my usual ‘lifestyle’ and make things work, whatever that might end up meaning.

I’m sure you’ve all been there. When away from the usual routine, fitting in diet, let alone training, can be quite a trouble, but it needn’t be.

I was away for 3 days, and here’s what I did.

From the off, I made sure to pack my training gear. Not all the usual bells and whistles (by that I mean as a metaphor, not literally!), but just some trainers, shorts and a top. Simple. I also tossed in my ‘pillbox’ with my usual omega 3’s, curcumin & vitamin D – not that I actually needed the latter, it’s summertime in Argentina! No protein supplements (Argentina is the place to get a steak or 5 after all) – but regardless of where, for such a short trip, it’s just not worth it. Moreover, look up a little on protein cycling and you’ll see a low period isn’t necessarily a bad thing for a few days and utilisation thereafter can be improved, but I digress.

Aeroplane food isn’t always the greatest, so I find the easiest way around this is to ignore the usual ‘carby’ suspects like bread, and if needed – fast. I’ll mention quite a few fasts on this trip, but this article isn’t the place for a fuller discussion – as an intro for those interested I’d recommend reading this article by John Romanellio as a start or checking out Martin Berkhan’s www.leangains.com for the real nitty gritty, but the benefits are numerous, not least for sidestepping otherwise crappy meals.

I’ll confess now and admit what I did also have was a few glasses of red wine too! I could try to claim it was for the purported health benefits from reservratol and other nutrients, but in reality, I like a glass and it also helps to get to sleep – it’s a 13 hour flight!

The rest of the time while I was there, I kept my nutrition pretty simple. I tended to fall back to 2 good meals a day, and didn’t snack either. I also walked – everywhere. I must have covered a good 6 miles a day by foot.

I probably under ate overall while I was away, but I kept my protein as high as I could and didn’t sweat the rest, it’s just not worth the cortisol release! As to what I ate, well, mainly eggs & bacon for breakfast each day, and my other meal was always steak – heck I went through about 2kgs of it in 3days. With that in mind – here’s some food porn:

Breakfast

STEAK!

More steak

and a rare treat for me!

And yep that is an ice cream sat there. And it was darn good. I’m only human! And it was also my only indulgence, minus the wine!

That leaves the training. My hotel had the usual fayre – the under-equipped joke. So, I spent 5 minutes on google and found something a 10minute walk away a little better. And so I headed to the “Megatlon” gym chain locally, and was surprised and unsurprised in equal measure. 3 squat racks – and only 2 bench presses, so far so good. But the rest largely matched up to the standard commercial equipment, but it was good enough. So I got in my 5/3/1 squats and presses regardless, ample assistance work too, and was pretty happy. Job done.

And that more or less sums the trip up. Was it ideal? Not from a strength training perspective. Could I have made it better? Sure, I could have dropped the deviances from diet, but it’s important to live a little too, and those who know me know how strict I am the other 90% of the time so it’s nothing in the grand scheme of things. But what I did, absolutely do, was made it work. My diet was largely on check. I got in the training I needed to do. And I did 10x more walking than I would have done at home, some good NEPA there.

The way I did it may not be for everyone. The fasts in particular. But for me it works. And that’s what this is all about. Don’t let unexpected trips away from the usual routine deviate your route to progress. Find a way. Be clever about your food choices. Make the training sessions happen if they’re scheduled. And don’t be afraid to improvise if needed – remember the jungle gym series anyone!

Wherever you are – make it work.

Until next time. Train Hard. Train Smart. Be Strong.

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About Elite Kinetics
Ben Coker CSCS & Jamie Bolton UKSCA. Elite Kinetics Strength Training Systems offers a no BS approach to strength training and athletic development. Our moto: 'Train hard. Train smart. BE Strong', is applied to elite-level peformance athletes right through to your recreational warrior wanting abnormal, outstanding results in all areas - bigger, stronger, faster.

3 Responses to Training, Food & Short Breaks – by Jamie Bolton

  1. Joe says:

    Nice blog Jamie. Those steaks look immense! Have you read Berardi’s ebook on IF? Definitely worth checking out if not.

    Speak soon.

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