You had a pleasant flight, got settled in your hotel, explored the area a bit, and had a good night’s sleep. Then, you decided to have a workout the next day, so you walked down to your hotel gym. But as you walked into the training facility, you could not help but feel sheer disappointment. There were barely any weights or machines, and the dumbbells only went up to 10 kilograms. Your training enthusiasm deflated instantly, and you found yourself thinking, “What am I supposed to do with this?”
Does it mean you are bound to have bad workouts in most hotel gyms? It does not have to. But you need the right tactics. Let’s discuss what these are.
1. Do more Repetitions
The simplest thing you can do to challenge yourself with lighter weights is to do more repetitions. For example, instead of doing 5 to 15 repetitions on most exercises, do 25, 30, even 50 if you have to.
Your muscles understand stress. So long as you challenge yourself, you will see positive results even with lighter weights. And hey, doing that many reps is great for aerobic conditioning.
2. Rest less between Sets
Aside from doing more repetitions, keep the challenge high by resting less between sets. For example, if you usually rest for two minutes, cut that time in half and see how long you can last.
You can challenge yourself surprisingly well even with light weights if you are willing to push yourself hard. Plus, doing so can help you finish your workout quicker by doing more work in less time.
3. Do more challenging Exercises
As we start training and gain experience, we find our favorite exercises and stick with them. There is not anything necessarily wrong with that. So long as the movements challenge you, train the right muscles, and help you progress, do them.
But when you are at a hotel gym and the heaviest weights barely challenge you, consider doing more difficult exercises. For example, if you usually do barbell back squats, but your hotel gym does not even have a squat rack, do Bulgarian split squats with dumbbells instead. If those are too easy, do single-leg squats.
The same applies to all sorts of other movements. If one can not challenge you much, find a way to increase the difficulty. Other ideas include:
- Do repetitions more slowly
- Add a pause to each repetition
- Do dropsets
- Do supersets
4. Use a good Fitness App
Putting everything together can be tricky. Between finding new exercises and putting together an effective routine, it is easy to get overwhelmed and not enjoy your trip to the fullest.
Because of that, we also recommend using a good fitness app, such as Strong, FitBod or Alpha Progression. With it, you can take your fitness with you and put together fantastic workouts in minutes. Plus, you can make changes to your workouts on the go, depending on what weights you have at your disposal.
You can also pick from a rich library of exercises and make your workouts bodyweight, calisthenics, bodybuilding, and much more. The app also tracks your progress and learns about your goals, which allows it to make good suggestions for your training. It is almost like a personal trainer in your pocket.