What To Do When You're On Vacation

I don't think I'd be exaggerating by saying that last Friday was the best day of my life.  Why?  Lindsay and I finally got hitched, a massive dance party ensued, and there may have even been a little (too much) moonshine.

As for the wedding itself, it couldn't have been more perfect. She cried. I cried.  In fact, I'm pretty sure a few people wanted to roundhouse kick us in the face for simply oozing cuteness.

Flash forward to our reception, and not only was there 4 hours of dancing (and that was probably insufficient), but there may have been an impromptu lip sync performance of "I Want It That Way" by the Backstreet Boys.

Hear that, Nick Carter!? I'm coming for ya.

Anyway, since it's my blog, I wanted to share a couple great photos from the special day:

 Pictured: A great lookin' bunch of people.  Not Pictured: The Purell in my pocket, as my inner germaphobe prepares to cut the cake.

Pictured: A great lookin' bunch of people.  Not Pictured: The Purell in my pocket, as my inner germaphobe prepares to cut the cake.

 #awwwww

#awwwww

 #smooches

#smooches

Yup, we're so cute I think I even threw up in my mouth a little.  Sorry, but I had to.

Contrast those photos with the ones below, and you'll get a good sense of how great of a day it really was:

 Now performing: Alex Tanskey and D'em Moonshine Boys (complete with Beer Can Holsters)

Now performing: Alex Tanskey and D'em Moonshine Boys (complete with Beer Can Holsters)

 Dat. Cowboy. Hat.

Dat. Cowboy. Hat.

As you can tell, it was a good ol' fashion hoedown, and will be a night that Lindsay and I never forget.  To everyone that was there, we'd like to thank you from the bottom of our hearts.

Anyway, one question I'm asked pretty frequently is what to do/how to work out when someone is traveling.  I bring this up because 1) I'm currently sandwiched in between two separate weeks off from work and 2) the answer depends on your goals, the frequency with which you travel, as well as what's available to you.

But having said all of that, most times my advice is pretty simple: Enjoy the time off.  Don't workout.

Huh?  Am I really saying that in a country where obesity is 150,000 times the epidemic that Ebola is, that people shouldn't train when they're on vacation?

Yes, I'm saying exactly that.  Don't get me wrong, I haven't missed a scheduled training session in well over 2 years.  When it's time to train, you can bet that I won't be finding excuses to get out of it.  However, rest days and time off is equally important as training days for a variety of reasons.  Plus, I'm all for any type of exercise that is out of your comfort zone (walking, surfing, swimming, biking, etc.) while you're away.

If you still don't believe me, here are three reasons why I'm in favor of taking a vacation truly "off" and just relaxing:

  1. Taking time away from the gym will help your body AND your mind rest.  I've said before that deloading and worrying about overtraining tends to be somewhat of a conundrum: those that don't need time off usually take it, while those that do, never rest.  Nowhere is that statement more true than with myself.  While taking a deload week every now and then can help your body heal, I've usually noticed the biggest difference in my mental attitude.  It's exhausting when you're constantly hitting it hard in the gym, and by taking a few days off every couple of months, it usually allows me to recharge my batteries.  In all facets of life, there's times to put your foot on the gas, and your foot on the brake.  The key is knowing the difference.
     
  2. Fatigue masks fitness.  There's a reason why so many sports (powerlifting, running) often build in a rest week before a big event - it's to help you recover from your own training.  We all have a tendency to go off the deep end when we're training, especially when we're really close to a goal.  By taking a week off, you may finally realize the potential that isn't bogged down by the constant grind.
     
  3. It's real life.  Many of us are under a ton of stress already, the LAST thing we need is worrying where we're going to workout when we travel.  We're stressed in almost all facets of life, so worrying about losing progress (you won't) after a week of missing the gym isn't something you need.  Strength and conditioning takes very little to maintain, but a lot to gain.  Missing workouts happens (even if it's not to me), and it's simply life's deload.
 I'm just hangin' out.  With 480 in my hands.

I'm just hangin' out.  With 480 in my hands.

Now, it'd be one thing for my to write this article without the evidence to back it all up.  I'm happy to report, however, that after not touching a weight for 9 days, I was able to hit a new PR (480 lbs) on the deadlift yesterday.  The time off was something I needed both physically and mentally, and with several more rest days looming next week, it was the appropriate time to try and hit it.

There's a reason even professional athletes have an offseason.  Sometimes you simply need to take a break.  And for me?  Well, as I'm about to head out on my honeymoon....that time is now.