Over the Christmas period I was fortunate enough to spend a week unwinding in the Caribbean on my Honeymoon; my family has roots in this part of the world (Cuba and Jamaica in particular), but I got to relax in the lush and beautiful paradise of the Dominican Republic.
This year has been insane what with all the stress of the immigration process from the UK to the USA, and although I made it back to Spain and the U.S. earlier in the year, it was all very much “on official business”…
I finally moved to Oregon [permanently] in October, and my other half took it upon herself to book our Honeymoon – a much needed break for us both! However, I had been getting into a really nice groove with my training since being back on U.S. soil, so I was determined not to let that slip.
We were going to be spending SIX days chilling by the pool, down by the beach, wining & dining, and all the rest of it, so I figured it was reasonable to take 3 days for myself and peel away for a cheeky workout on those days!
I’d seen on the hotel’s site that they did, in fact, have a “Fitness Centre”. However, there were ZERO images of it, which made me slightly skeptical. Nonetheless, I knew I could make it work with whatever they had; worst case scenario, I could always have done pure bodyweight-based stuff – my inner masochist even contemplated sand-dune sprints…
‘By the end, I think the rep total hit around the 800-mark…’
Fortunately, the gym wasn’t too bad though. Basic AF. Untouched since circa 1978. But doable! So, I head in and see what cards I’ve been dealt by the “Gym Gods” of the Dominican Republic…
This first workout was figured out on the fly as I had no idea what to expect exactly until I walked through the door, but I figured the equipment would probably be a) limited, and b) dated. Upon seeing the Roman Chair though, I very quickly figured out a tasty little (big) routine:
A Ten-Round Circuit of…
5 Pull Ups / 15 Incline Press Ups / 10 Hanging Leg Raises / 10 Dips / 10 EZ-bar Curls
Total: 500 Reps!
Then “running the rack” from 35lbs down to 5lbs performing AMRAP*:
Dumbbell Shoulder Press [Superset w.] Dumbbell Biceps Curl
Set 1: 35lbs (AMRAP – for every set!)
Set 2: 30lbs
Set 3: 25lbs
Set 4: 20lbs
Set 5: 15lbs
Set 6: 12.5lbs
Set 7: 10lbs
Set 8: 5lbs
*AMRAP = As Many Reps As Possible
This was a killer upper-body workout focusing primarily on Back/Shoulders/Arms/Abs. By the end, I think the rep total hit about the 800-mark… So, I definitely got a LOT done! Pretty much burned roughly one calorie per rep, which isn’t bad.
But then, if you check out below – I was racking up the steps & miles too! Getting in over 10,000 steps a day, which – in theory – should be the equivalent of an extra 500kcal burned.
You’ll see in my next blog post (coming on Jan. 9th) exactly what I was eating while holidaying at this *ALL Inclusive* resort. If you’re adding up the numbers, you’ll find that I was burning a buck-load of calories, so I made sure to eat at a “maintenance load” (which was in the region of about 3,500+kcal/day).
‘My body would have been working overtime… trying to keep me cool.’
This first workout was definitely the biggest result of the week in terms of calorie-burn. There was the 853kcal from the 78mins I spent in the gym, plus at least 500kcal from the Steps. I also did a little “boogie boarding” too, so no doubt burned another 200ish with that. So, with TEA (Thermic Effect of Activity) alone, I was blazing through about 1,500kcal; but then, let’s consider NEAT (Non-Exercise Activity Thermogenesis)…
The average temperature throughout the trip was about 28°C (82°F), so just considering thermoregulation by itself (the body’s automatic response to temperature fluctuation in order to maintain optimal internal function), that’s going to yield a higher energy requirement.
My body would have been working overtime around the clock just sweating and trying to keep me cool. Where NEAT would normally come to about 200kcal, I’m thinking 300 isn’t a stretch.
So, with my BMR (Basal Metabolic Rate) at about 1,800+kcal, TEF (Thermic Effect of Food) at 200kcal (or so), NEAT rocking in around 300ish, and TEA at 1,500kcal – I was getting close to burning through [almost] 4000kcal per day [when working out]!
Rock on to the next day…
This second workout was pretty simple:
A nasty blend of German High Volume Training, and some good ol’ Conditioning! All of it targeting Chest & Legs…
It looked like this:
10 x 10 [Smith Machine] Squats [Superset w.] Incline Press Ups
10 x 10 Bench Press [Superset w.] Plyometric “Tri-Planar*” Jumps
10 x 10 Incline Bench Press [Superset w.] Sumo Squats
(So, that’s TEN reps of the first [upper-body] exercise, followed [immediately] by TEN reps of the second [lower-body] one, done for TEN sets before moving to the next pair!).
*With the ‘”Tri-Planar” Jumps’ I performed 3 of the 10 sets as simple forward/backward jumps over the EZ-bar, 3 sets as lateral/side jumps over it, 2 sets of 180° [twist] jumps over it, and finally, 2 sets of loaded jumps (landing in the lower squat position and exploding straight into the next consecutive squat with no “de-loading phase”).
It’s a horrendous twist to double up like that – especially with GHVT… however, the PHA-style (Peripheral Heart Action) involved [through super-setting an upper-body exercise with a lower-body one] makes for stellar conditioning, while promoting fat burning! Plus, it makes the sets fly by even quicker!
You can see below that I still cranked out well over 700kcal (over 1,200kcal really – counting the Steps!).
I felt pretty damn good after getting in two back-to-back workouts, but alas, Sunday (17th) was to be my day of rest! To be fair, we were due to fly out the following day, so making sure to spend our final [full] day just relaxing was a must!
Granted, there was a solid half-hour where I was anything but relaxed! We went on a Catamaran-ride… 🤐 Okay, so it wasn’t *that* bad; but I was holding on for dear life the first ten minutes!
Roll on my final day in the Caribbean. We were flying out after lunch, so I wanted to get this workout done in the morning and round my trip off right! 💪😎🇩🇴
This third and final workout was a quick ‘n’ dirty one! Twelve Rounds. Three exercises. And a little bit of sweat for good measure. Short, sweet, and effective! It looked like this:
Half-mile brisk walk to the gym [as a warm-up], which took five minutes…
12 Rounds of:
4 Pull Ups (Strict Form!)
12 Incline Push Ups
That’s a total of 48 Pull Ups (with full ROM), 144 [Incline] Push Ups, and 180 Squats.
Overall for the entire workout that’s 372 Reps, which I did in 24mins (I tried to spend TWO minutes per round – one performing the repetitions of each exercise, and one minute rest; repeated for twelve rounds!).
Then a quarter-mile walk back across the resort to the main lobby to get wifi and log the workout data through the MyZone app.
As you’ll see from my results below (from the Apple ‘❤ Health’ App) – I got in significantly fewer steps/miles throughout the day, but that’s because with it being our last day, we weren’t walking as much (only up and down terminals at the airport later on!).
However, in knowing that we wouldn’t have many chances to eat on the journey back to Oregon (what with an 11-hour [“after-hours”] layover in Charlotte, NC), I figured I’d need every ounce of energy I could muster, so apart from having breakfast and lunch, I also made room/time for “second lunch” (slight twist on traditional Hobbit-custom 🤓😜).
On top of that – and as you’ll notice from the picture of the final workout – I had an “au natural” sort of pre-workout in the form of some watermelon (natural source of L-Citrulline), cantaloupe (jam-packed with phytonutrients) and passion fruit (brimming with anti-oxidants), which together gave me a nice little “tropical boost” ahead of my ’12-Round Circuit Blitz’!
So, as you can see from these workouts – even with a gym as raw and ancient as this one at the resort we stayed at in the Dominican Republic, you can still put together super-effective workouts that you can make longer and push through if you want to be more thorough, or just brutally smash out if you’re pressed for time!
Feel free to give these workouts a try yourself – assuming you have access to this standard of equipment or better! For your convenience, I’ve even included a link [below] to a free download that includes all three of them.
Click here for a FREE Mini Workout Guide
Training while travelling doesn’t need to be complicated, and you don’t need access to a bunch of fancy, state-of-the-art stuff either. (Although that never hurts!) Stick to the basics and keep it simple.
I hope this inspires you to keep up with your routine even when on holiday – it doesn’t need to “eat up” a ton of your time, and you’ll feel better for it!
Hoping you travel somewhere just as stunning and amazing, and blast through some tough workouts while also taking a break from “normal life”!
Remember: Train Hard, and Train Smart!
Yours in Training,
Chris Atkinson | Master Personal Trainer, SDO