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The Road Warrior Workout

Next time you’re traveling and have minimal time and equipment, try this quick and efficient upper body blast.

By Justin Grinnell, CSCS, co-owner of State of Fitness in East Lansing, Michigan (MyStateOfFitness.c
The Road Warrior Workout

If you are an avid bodybuilder like me, the first thing on your mind when you plan a road trip is “how am I going to get my workouts in?” Ever since I can remember, my main focus for each trip was to strategize a way to get a good workout in with minimal equipment and little time to spare. The upper body workout below is perfect for the business traveler who’s forced to do his or her workout at a hotel or the family man who can only sneak away for 30-40 minutes to squeeze in a good pump. All you need is your own body and a dumbbell rack.

Since you’re short on time and equipment, the focus is on the larger upper-body muscle groups: chest, back and shoulders, with a little abdominal work as part of the warm-up to get you started. You’ll perform the workout in tri-set fashion for three sets of 10-15 reps each, moving as fast as you can through the three-exercise circuit. After you complete the tri-set, take a 60-90 second break, then repeat two more times for a total of three rounds.

Since most hotel gyms don’t carry heavy dumbbells, you’ll have to rely on creative high-rep combos to tap into some endurance muscle fibers that likely haven’t been hit in a while. Use this time to mix up your workout and ignite some new muscle growth in the process.

Start the workout with a quick dynamic warm-up, a light jog outside or, if the hotel has a decent fitness center, 3-5 minutes on a bike or treadmill. From there, you’ll do your ab work, then chest, back and shoulders.