8 Quick Steps To Finding A Decent Gym While Traveling

Let’s get ready for a productive business trip with the plan of working out at a decent gym while traveling:

  • Bags packed…check
  • Favorite shirt…. check
  • Favorite tie…check
  • Laptop……….check
  • 10 different cords for all your electronics…check
  • Gym clothes…check

Hmmmm what’s missing?

An actual decent gym while traveling to workout in!

You’ve been lifting weights for the pass two months and want to continue your momentum.

But the problem is that the hotel you will be staying at doesn’t have any barbells, dumbbells or modern machines.

Not even a Swiss ball or yoga mat!

What’s a fit traveler to do!

Listen to Aaron Rodgers:

Yes, that’s right…R-E-L-A-X!

Your pal, MicVinny is here to help you figure out how to find a gym that will meet all your bodybuilding, powerlifting or barbell weightlifting needs.

Step 1: Visit the hotel’s website

Before the trip take a look at the hotel’s website. Look for quality pictures of the gym.

If all you see are the standard treadmill and elliptical pictures, you can assume there’s no real weightlifting equipment.

Step 2: Call the hotel

Yes actually CALL the hotel.

Despite our advance technologies we simply forget how important it is to connect with people. You can save yourself a lot of time and hassle by calling the front desk.

These people’s jobs are to serve and keep hotel guests happy. Call the hotel and ask them what exactly is in their gym besides what you see in the picture.

Pictures don’t always give you the true story. Most major brand hotels have strict policies and use the same stock photos on their websites.

Also always know that the cheaper the hotel, the cheaper the amenities.

One of the first amenities to get cut in cheaper hotels is the hotel gym. That’s why most budget friendly hotel gyms are so bare.

Step 3: Ask the hotel about local gyms

Now that you’ve got them on the phone, ask the staffer if their hotel has any agreements with local gyms. This is one of the most overlooked aspects of staying at hotels.

The majority of hotels understand that their hotel gym doesn’t meet fit people’s fitness requirements. They are in the business of making guests happy and making a profit.

An easy way to make guests happy is by making special arrangements with local gyms.

Most hotels will have a list of local gyms that their guests could visit.
A really good hotel will establish some sort of discount with that gym.

Some hotels go above and beyond and have specials where their hotel guests can use that gym for free if guests show their hotel’s room card key.

You would never know any of this information unless you TALK to the hotel staff.

Step 4: Do a Google Gym Search

As obvious as this choice is, I list it as the fourth step because you could save yourself so much time by doing the first couple of steps.

After speaking with the hotel staff, you now know what gyms they recommend and which one’s you could use for free or at a discounted rate.

This makes doing your Google search easier.

Additionally, you should have somewhat of an idea of where you will be spending most of the time on your trip. Knowing where that job site is, maybe there’s something on your way from work that would be convenient as well?

Personally, I would recommend whatever gym the hotel recommends and/or a gym that’s closest to your hotel. The reason I recommend those is that it eliminates the excuses.

Most of you will need to go to your hotel to change into your workout clothes. If you remembered to bring them with you to work, then you get a gold star!

But for those that need to go back to their hotel to change clothes, it gets easier to lose motivation to work out once you’re back inside your room.

If the gym you’re working out in is farther away, that excuse only get’s amplified!

Step 5: Visit the gym’s website

Take a look at the gym’s website and see what they’re all about.

What equipment do they have in there?
What hours are they open?
Do they have a locker room?

Remember that the reason you are going to a local gym is because you want more than what your hotel’s gym has to offer.

If there’s nothing special, then why go?

An additional reason to visit the website is because if your hotel doesn’t have a special agreement with this gym, you can check the website for a free guest pass or some other discount.

Step 6: Visit the gym’s social media sites

This is a small but significant step. Analyzing a social media page gives you an idea of what type of crowd goes to that gym.

If you see energetic people, expect an energetic place. If you see a dark damp cave, expect a dungeon like atmosphere!

Also pay attention to the gym equipment and how people are using it.

That will help determine if the gym will meet your needs.

The better the social media page, the higher the odds of that gym having a great vibe to it.

Step 7: Call the gym

Yes again, actually SPEAK with a person! There’s information you can gather from the gym staff that you can’t get from a website.

“What are your peak hours?”
“Do a lot of people use the squat rack?”
“Can I do deadlifts?”
“Could I take a class?”

Just tell them your story:

“I’m staying at X hotel for X amount of days and was thinking about using your gym? Do you have any specials for travelers?”

You never know what type of deals they have that’s not being advertised.

Gyms like to make money but they understand that a traveler is only going to be in town for a few days. A good gym staffer will tell you about a price that’s not advertised anywhere.

One of the gyms I use to work out had a cool work around for travelers.

One day passes were $10, one week passes were $25 and one month passes were $50.

But how much was a month to month membership?  Just $29!

If you told them your story (I’m in town for three days and would like to work out), they would sign you up for a month-to-month membership, charge you your first month, cancel your enrollment fees and then cancel your next month!

Something they would NEVER advertise!

Again, something nobody would have ever known unless talking with the staff.

Step 8: Make the decision

Now that you have all the information, it’s time for the easy part.

Make a decision!

Make sure that you analyze all of the important decisions like equipment, distance from hotel, hours it’ll be open, how long you will be staying at the hotel, and the types of workouts you will be doing.


Hopefully now when you travel, you’ll always have an idea of what to do when it comes towards finding a great local gym.

Do you have any advice that I forget? Leave a comment below!

How To Quickly Transform Any Hotel Room Into A Gym

Here’s the situation…..

Your job has you on the road for 5 days straight.  Normally, your company has it’s employees stay at luxurious Marriott brand hotels.  Well, there’s been a slight change in plans because all of the major hotel brands in this town are booked solid!

As you look for another hotel, you realize that the only option you have is some local hole in a wall motel.  You previously had planned on working out at the Marriott’s nice gym facility. 

After arriving to this new motel you find out that:

  1. The only amenity is a continental breakfast consisting of 3 month old stale muffins! 
  2. There’s no gym!
  3. Additionally, there’s no other gym facility within a twenty mile radius of your motel!

“Oh man!  This is going to be a crappy week!”

What’s a traveler to do!!??


First off R-E-L-A-X! 

MicVinny is here to make it all better. 

No matter if you’re traveling for work or pleasure, all you need is a room.  One simple room is all you need in order to have a great workout

Don’t worry about the fancy gym equipment.  I’m here to teach you how that simple room on the road (or even in your own house) can still help you achieve a good workout.

Quick Hotel Room Observation

When you first walk into any room, look at all the objects that are around.  In a typical hotel room you will normally find the following:

  • Bed
  • Desk
  • Chair
  • Table
  • Pillows
  • Sheets
  • Dressers
  • Luggage
  • Lamps

Are all those items bolted to the floor?

If not they can be moved!  Moving the items means that you can create your own workout space.  Additionally you could use some of those objects to do some exercises with.

Creative Hotel Room Exercises

Flip the mattress

When you’re at home, you know the mattress should be flip about every 2-3 months right. You know how hard it its to flip that bad boy right?  Isn’t that the reason you take so long in finally flipping it over?

Well why not turn this “painful” chore into a great exercise game.  Take the covers off and see how many times you can flip that bad boy!  Make sure no objects that could get damage are near the bed and go to town!

See how many times you can flip it in 10 minutes.  Or set a specific amount of flips for the day like 5 flips.  Increase that number during each trip.

Don’t feel to bad about leaving the covers off the mattress if this is your last night in your room, because you’ve just helped the cleaning staff! 

(Please be sure to tip the housekeepers if you do this activity while you’re still actually staying in your room!)

Hotel Room Farmers Walk

Pick up an object and walk side to side with it in your room without putting it down.  This will work out your arms, abs and legs.  Sounds easy but the longer you do it the harder it becomes.

Depending on the shape and size you will either hold it by your side, to your chest or above your head.  Anything over your head will provide your shoulders with a great workout.

Table Inverted Rows

This comes with a warning!  If you’re a person over 225 lbs, you might want to attempt with caution.  Regardless of your size you should still be careful.  One of the best back exercises you can do is pull ups.  Unfortunately you can’t find a bar in your hotel room, so a good pull up substitute is a Reverse Row.  In this case instead of a bar we’re going to use a table or desk instead.

Bodyweight Exercise

Did you know that you had a 24/7 gym with you at all times?  It’s called your body.  It is capable of doing amazing things if you learn how to do it properly. 

Bodyweight routines are the perfect type of workouts to do inside your room.  Nothing is required excepted your imagination and ability to be humbled.

Too many folks over estimate just how strong they really are.  Doing bodyweight exercise allows you to find imbalances in your body and address key weak points.  A few days of bodyweight exercise will do you good if you do go back to your normal weightlifting routine at the gym.

Here’s a simple list of good bodyweight exercise to get you started:

Upper Body

  • Push Ups
  • Wall Push Ups
  • Incline Push UPs
  • Pike Push Ups
  • Bench Dips

Lower Body

  • Sit to Stands
  • Squat
  • Front Lunges
  • Walking Lunges
  • Stiff leg Bodyweight Deadlifts

Abs & Core

Cardio

  • Burpees
  • Jumping Jacks
  • Fake Jump rope (no actual jump rope involved)
  • Mountain climbers

Now when picking a routine, make sure you do it smartly.  In traditional workouts you try to pick your workout based on groups.

I would simple start with a workout consisting of:

  • 1 Upper body movement
  • 1 Lower body movement
  • 1 Ab/Core movement
  • 1 Cardio movement
Example bodyweight workout Routine
  • Incline Push Up
  • Forward Lunge
  • Crunches
  • Burpees

Training Style

Once you know which exercises you want to do, you now just need to figure out what style of training you will be doing in your room.  Here’s some examples:

Time Based

You pick an exercise and just try to do as many as you can during a time period.  Example:  5 mins of Push Ups

Sets/Reps

You repeat the exercise for set amount of repetitions with a break in between. 

Example:  5 sets of 10 reps.  Rest 30 secs between sets.

High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT)

HITT is geared more towards getting your heart rate up.  It’s a sneaky way to get a great cardio workout in a short amount of time.  You do the exercise nonstop for a set amount of time before taking a rest for a precise amount of time.  You then repeat.  HIIT should not last for long periods of time (think over 10-20 mins) otherwise you’ll burn out!

Example: 20 seconds nonstop.  40 secs rest.  Repeat 8x

Tabata

Tabata consists of four minutes of specific exercises done at a specific high intensity pace. 

It is not for rookies! 

You are to keep the rates on/off as prescribed to reap the cardio benefits.  If you do more than 4 mins continuously, then you’re not doing it correctly!

Example: 20 secs on  10 secs off  for 8 rounds. 

Stretching

The simplest exercise you’re probably overlooking when exercising in your hotel room is probably stretching.  One of the greatest stretching exercises is yoga.  

Yoga is a great way to stretch and get in tuned with your body while being in a hotel room.  All you need is your laptop and a good yoga site.

Here’s some good yoga sites:

https://www.doyogawithme.com/

http://www.yogajournal.com/category/beginners/

 

There’s also one more exercise you can add in for fun…….

SEX!!!!

Didn’t see that one coming did you?

This is a room is it not? 

If you have your loved one traveling with you, don’t hesitate in getting some good loving in to help burn some calories!  I think it’s an activity that you both would enjoy!

(Now if you’re traveling solo, I’m not giving you an excuse to cheat.  I KNOW how some of you think out there….)


So next time you find yourself in a crappy hotel situation, why not give these creative exercises a try!

4 Simple Bodyweight Squat Progressions You Should Learn

It’s 8 AM and Larry had just arrived to work with his lunch box. Larry proceeded to go towards the break room to place his lunch in the refrigerator and pour himself his usual morning cup of coffee.

As Larry made his way down the hallway, he noticed a crowd near Thomas’ desk.

Curious, Larry made his way towards the crowd. He wondered what today’s water cooler gossip would be about.

“What seems to be the buzz guys?”

Thomas proceeded to reveal this blog post from this cool, handsome guy named MicVinny.

“Check this out!

I see this all the time at my gym. I can’t believe this MicVinny guy called people out on it!”

Larry read the title, “Stop Embarrassing Yourself and Learn How To Squat!”

“Oh this should be good”, thought Larry. He had been squatting for years and look forward to telling the crowd how awesome he was at the movement.

As Thomas scrolled down the page, he stopped on a video of a man named Johnny doing a 495-pound squat. Thomas proceeded to press play.

The whole crowd erupted in immediate laughter…except Larry.

Larry realized he wasn’t laughing like everyone so he quickly forced out a nervous laugh so he could join in on the fun.

“Can you BELIEVE that guy? He serious thinks he’s doing a squat! Oh man that was funny!” –shouts out Thomas.

“Wow guys, that really was something, let me put my food away. Good laugh!” –says Larry.

As Larry makes his way towards the break room he can’t help but think to himself:

“Hmmmmm. …that Johnny guy looks a lot like ME when I squat. Oh gosh, I don’t want to become the joke of the office, what should I do?”


R-E-L-A-X Larry!

You’re in good hands. Your travel fitness pal, MicVinny is here to teach you some basic squat progression techniques.

Whether you’ve been squatting for years or just started, these are some simple squat progressions that you can use around the house or hotel.

Squat progressions are just an intelligent way to work on your squat technique by isolating your weak points. They are a great way to test where you are at currently with your squat.

The Perfect Bodyweight Squat

When it comes to a perfect bodyweight squat, here’s a video demo of yours truly doing the movement to perfection!

If you find yourself unable to get your upper thighs parallel to the ground, these next progressions are some of the best ways to get yourself the flexibility and mobility to finally achieve the perfect squat.

4 Squat Progression Exercises

Bodyweight Box Squat

This movement focuses on getting use to lowering your butt down to a stable surface. For many the hardest part of the squat is the act of sitting backwards.

Not knowing just how far down you can go on your own usually prevents a person from testing their limits. Having an object to sit down helps build your confidence because you know there’s something to catch you if you do go down to far.

The lower the chair, the lower you’ll be able to squat. When first starting out you will want to squat down to a height that’s just above parallel.

As you master the movement, you will want to lower the height of the chair or object you are squatting into. Go as low as what ever is around your house.

Box Squat Progression 1

Go from a standing position to a sitting position. Repeat for at least 10 good reps. You should not stop at the bottom for more than a second.

Box Squat Progression 2

Go from a sitting position to a standing position. This movement places your body at a different angle and forces you to focus on getting “up” from the bottom of a squat.

Try to use as little help as possible for both progressions. Concentrate on having your legs do the majority of the upward movement.

Do at least 10 good reps.

If you can do 25 reps in a row without using your hands to help you up, move to the next progression.

Stair Squats

An alternate to squatting to a chair is to perform the squatting movement on some stairs. Just like with chair squats, start with the highest step and work your way down.

Practice on all levels of the steps that you can safely lower your bottom on.

If you can do 30 reps in a row without using your hands to help you up, move to the next progression.

Chair Assisted Squat

Using a chair is a great way to assist you when coming up and down in a squat. The goal of the chair-assisted squat is to get you comfortable with going to parallel as well as slightly below parallel squats

The reason I want you to go slightly lower than parallel is so you can have a full range of movements. Knowing that you can go beyond parallel will boost your confidence when you stop using the chair for assistance.

Do 3 sets of 10 reps to start off with.

Add 1-2 reps until you can easily do 3 sets of 20 reps with no problem.

Door Assistance Squat

A great addition to chair assisted squats is to simple use a door handle for assistance. All you have to do is slightly open a door and grip the handles with both hands.

When first attempting, it’s understandable to want to user your upper body to pull you up. As you progress you will want to make sure the majority of the work is coming from your lower legs.

If you are above 250 lbs., please be sure that the door is capable of supporting your weight.  You can’t use the excuse “MicVinny told me to do it” as an excuse for damaging a door!

Do 3 sets of 10 reps to start off with.

Add 1-2 reps until you can easily do 4 sets of 20 reps with no problem.


After practicing the above for a few days/weeks, now it’s time to see if you’re ready to do a non-assisted bodyweight squat.

If able to go down to parallel, congratulations!

You’re now doing an actual squat!

If you can’t go down to parallel, no problem!

Just keep working on your progressions and you’ll get there!

Remember that the goal is to do the movement correctly. This is not a race!

One healthy bodyweight squat done correctly is better than a thousand awful barbell quarter squats!

Stop Embarrassing Yourself and Learn How To Squat!

Once upon a time, I was an innocent naive weight lifter. I remember walking into my college’s gym and seeing the football players lifting weights on a cage looking thingy.

“I’m not an athlete, so I should avoid doing that!”

A few months later I read articles about what those guys were doing. It was something called a Squat.

Every bodybuilding magazine and website said I should be doing it.

I researched for weeks before finally getting the courage to approach the squat rack. Given how much weight those athletes were using; I knew I could easily slide on some 45s and get started.

Boy was I an idiot.

I probably moved the bar less than 2 inches before realizing that I was not strong enough for that weight.

Instead of facing my reality on needing to get better while doing a lower amount of weight, I decided that this workout was beneath me. I glanced over and saw this thing called a Smith machine.

“Yeah, that’s what I’ll do my squats on.”

Despite my bad form I proceeded to do my lifting on that smith machine. In less than a month, I realized that the machine was doing all the work. It was harming me more than it was helping.

It was time to put my ego to the side and finally learn how to do barbell squats.

Why Squats Are Important

The basic fundamental movement of life is squatting. No matter how rich or poor you are, we all do one form of squatting every day.

Whether that’s in your car, at your job, watching TV or handling your “business”, you squat every single day.

Besides just our legs, squats are a total body movement. That’s why squats should be the stable of everyone’s workout routine. When gaining muscle or losing weight, performing squats is the magic cure for both!

But only when used properly!

The Case Of Johnny and His Ego When Squatting

Warning:  The following is a quick story about an incident that typically happens at gyms nationwide every day. Don’t be surprised if you find yourself laughing.  That is ok.

Johnny is your typical guy at the gym. He works out at least four days a week. On one of those days, he focuses on exercising his legs. Today is his leg day.

He does a quick stretch and proceeds over to the squat rack.

Without hesitation, Johnny proceeds to put four 45 pound plates on the barbell.

“Naww, let me go higher! That’s too easy”.

Johnny then places two more 45 pound plates on the barbell.

“Nawww, that’s still too easy! Let’s go higher!”

Johnny then places four more 45 pound plates on the barbell. Johnny knows that he has 495 pounds on that barbell.

“Yeahhh…that looks about right”

Other guys look over and think to themselves:

“Oh man, that guy must be a beast! He is about to do some heavy lifting today! I got to see this!”

Johnny feels their eyes looking. He looks in the mirror and gives a slight smile.

He knows he’s the man!

He proceeds to have a determined look on his face.  He’s completely focused on lifting that weight.

You can see him preparing for the awesomeness display of power that’s about to come!

He proceeds to get into position. The barbell is positioned perfectly on his upper back. He takes a deep breath and lifts the bar from the rack.

The entire gym looks on with curiosity

“Yup here it comes! This should be exciting!”

Johnny then proceeds to do the following:

As he places the barbell down he goes over to the guys

“Did you see that!! I just squatted 495 pounds! I’m a beast!”

Enter The Machine Abuse Unit

All of a sudden there’s flashes of light and loud sirens heard throughout the facility.

The M.A.U (Machine Abuse Unit) has pulled up to the scene.

Officer:  “Sir you’re in violation of code 234”

Johnny: “What’s code 234?”

Officer: “Code 234 is bragging about doing a false amount of squats when in reality you only did a quarter of a squat. You wasted people’s lives by looking like a dummy due to failing to do an ACTUAL squat. That’s a $200 fine, plus the right of the M.A.U. to post this video on YouTube and have everyone laugh at you!”

Don’t Do Squats Like Johnny!

Now I don’t mean to get the M.A.U involved but whenever I see the following scenario at a gym, it drives people like myself CRAZY.

If the above story sounds like you at the gym, please stop squatting immediately!

Why?

Because you are NOT doing a squat!

I repeat ………That is NOT a Squat!

If you find yourself at the gym doing those and bragging about your squat numbers……..You will only make Officer MicVinny angry!

I will gladly send the rest of the M.A.U. to your gym and have you locked away!

There’s nothing worse than seeing a perfectly healthy individual do partial squats. By doing quarter squats, YOU ARE NOT DOING ANYTHING!

It’s a waste of a movement!

You’re taking an awesome total body movement and just rendering it useless.

It’s the equivalent of buying a beautiful $300,000 Lamborghini and driving 5 mph because you don’t know how to shift out of 1st gear.

Just a waste of money!

Sure you can brag to all your friends about the way the car looks, but the reality is you’re not doing anything with that car!

That’s the same with squatting.

Are You Doing Real Squats?

There are so many muscles involved while doing a squat. By only doing a quarter squat you’re barely tapping into anything significant.

There are some people who have legit reasons for not being able to do a full squat. That is totally understandable.

Back pain, knee pain, etc. If you are rehabbing an injury and trying to get back into squat shape, I get partial squats.

The sad reality is that 99% of the people that do half squats or quarter squats are not aware they are doing them! They are stuck in a fantasy like Johnny.

People like Johnny have let their egos prevent themselves from actually learning how to do a real squat. They are too focused on the number of weight plates instead of the exercise.

If you are unable to do a full squat with that amount of weight, you should not be squatting that weight!

Just because you can complete the movement does not make you better than the person doing a full squat using only the bar.

As a matter of fact, the person using only the bar to do a full squat is using more muscles and burning more calories than Johnny was with his quarter squats!

Even those who can only do bodyweight squats are getting more than Johnny with his partial squats.

Do yourself a favor and do a full squat! Whether it’s bodyweight only or using weights.


What’s the worse squat technique you’ve ever seen at the gym? Share the story below!

7 Creative Ways To Use The Treadmill Machine

What’s the one thing that almost every commercial and hotel gym have in common?

{Hint: Look at title of this article}

It’s the treadmill!

There’s nothing more depressing than walking into a gym and seeing a lonely treadmill machine. For those people who have spent weeks perfecting their bodies with dumbbells and barbells, the treadmill is like being forced to work at your first high school job all over again.

Sure it was exciting when you were first starting out, but now that you’re somewhat more experienced and seasoned, you need more than just a treadmill.

Just like you eventually moved on from that first job right?

Right??….(ummm I truly hope you’ve moved on)!

The treadmill is the first piece of equipment fitness newbies gravitate towards. That’s why they are normally placed at the front of the gym. It’s known that the majority of the newbies (especially the New Year’s Resolutions crowd) will locate the closest treadmill and hunker down for 20-90 mins of walking.

As most healthy people know, you have to do more than walk on a treadmill if you want to be fit. But what are you supposed to do when the treadmill is the only option?

No need to fear!

Mr. Travel Fitness, MicVinny is here to teach you some cool tips to turn that boring treadmill into a perfect workout companion whether at home or on the road.

Cardio vs. Fat Burn Education

The first question I have for you is why are getting on the treadmill?

Are you trying to burn fat or are you trying to improve your cardiovascular system?

Most folks have no clue what either of those mean. They just hop on.

It’s very important to know the distinction between burning fat and cardio because they work different energy systems. Different energy systems work different types of muscle groups which also works your heart differently.

When doing cardiovascular activity, there’s three “zones” you need to be primary worried about. You have Zone 1, Zone 2 and Zone 3. Each zone triggers a different response in your body.

Zone 1

Before you get to Zone 2, you should be able to have a decent conversation while performing an activity.

As soon as you start huffing, puffing and can no longer hold a conversation, you have hit your ventilatory threshold (VT1). Getting pass your VT1 means that you have entered into Zone 2.

Zone 2

Your body has excess carbon dioxide and is trying to make up for it by getting your body back to a normal steady state. This is where having a good cardiovascular system comes into play. The healthier you are, the faster you’ll be able to adapt.

After being in Zone 2 for a few minutes, you will start to notice that it becomes easier for you to breathe. That’s because your body has received enough oxygen to handle this increased work demand and finally reached steady state again.

If you keep pushing yourself, you’ll end up at a new ventilatory threshold (VT2) which will place you into Zone 3.

Zone 3

Zone 3 is kicking your body to an even higher threshold. Just like going from Zone 1 to Zone 2 caused you to lose your breath, the same will happen when going into Zone 3.

This is a zone that average people can’t spend long bouts of time at due to massive amount of energy required to stay. Too much time here can be very detrimental to your health. This zone is where high endurance elite athletes train to reach their aerobic peak performance.

What’s Your Treadmill Goal?

Well, it all goes back to why are you on that treadmill?

Are you there for cardio or fat burn?

Those zones determine just how much work your heart and lungs need to do to get your body through the stress. That’s the point of cardio!

Cardio is all about getting you better at having getting your heart and lungs to efficiently pump oxygenated blood throughout your body. The more efficient your heart works, the better you will become at moving in the different zones, thus increasing your cardio endurance.

Fat burn is not the same as cardio!

The two words get mixed up a lot but they are really different. Being in a fat burning zone is all about…….burning fat.

To burn fat, your heart rate needs to be at a certain rate for a given period of time. That specific rate is what taps into the energy system that burns fat. When running very fast your body is trying to do its best to survive.

To adapt to that stimulus your body needs energy ASAP! Your body naturally get’s that energy from glycogen located in your liver and muscles.

Do you know what makes glycogen in the body? Glucose!

And what must we eat to get glucose inside our bodies? Carbohydrates!

If you want to burn fat, you need to be using the correct energy system that targets fatty acids not the system that targets glycogen! That’s the mistake too many people make when thinking they are “burning fat”.

Are You Burning Fat Or Improving Your Heart Rate?

Now that I got those two distinctions out the way, its time for you to decide why you’re getting on that treadmill for the day. If you are mainly interested in fat burning, you need to be on that treadmill for 40-60 mins with your heart rate lower.

The speed(s) you will be going should be slow enough where you can still carry out a conversation for the majority of the walking/jogging pace.

If you are trying to improve your heart rate, conditioning or training for a marathon, then you will be using the treadmill for cardio. Ideally you will work in the zone ranges at the time/pace desired to reach your goals.

I personally believe that too many utilize the treadmill in the wrong way. If you truly are doing conditioning cardio, there’s no need to go more than 20-30 mins. The exception is for those who are actually training for a long distance endurance event. That’s the only time doing long intense periods of cardio is acceptable.

What most people who gravitate towards using treadmills for their exercise fail to understand is that by doing too much cardio your body will start to eat away at its self. Your muscles will begin to disappear.

That’s not what we want!

You should always strive to keep (and possible gain) lean muscle. You should never lose muscle! For most folks, that’s what they are doing when they abuse the treadmill.

Yeah, I know I went on a little educational spell. I’m sorry that took so long. I just wanted to make sure you understood the importance of using the treadmill properly. Now that the education is over, here’s what you came for:

Your 7 Creative Ways To Use A Treadmill

#1 Do High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT)

A good balance for those that want to lose fat but do it in a short period of time. When done right, you’ll easily put your body inside Zone 2 (and maybe Zone 3) for a short amount of time before you go back down to Zone 1.

This allows your body to burn more calories over a 24 hour period than just being in a steady state fat loss walk.
When first starting off, try 10 secs fast then slow down for the next 50 secs. Repeat 5 – 8 more times.
Over the course of a month or your trips, you can start increasing the active time and decreasing the rest time

Examples:

  • 15 secs on, 45 secs off
  • 20 secs on: 40 secs off

#2 Do Treadmill Sprints

Using the HIIT protocol you could actually jump on and off the treadmill. This requires skills and I recommend you start slowly. If you start at a pace that’s too fast, you’ll most likely fall down and humiliate yourself.

The proper way is to choose a speed that causes you to flat out sprint. Once you run for your pace you simply place your feet to the sides of the treadmill. You can either catch your breath, or just walk around the gym for your designated rest time.

Repeat 5 – 10 more times.

#3 Shadow boxing

Burn more calories by shadow boxing when you’re on the treadmill. Just throw some simple right, left alternating straight punches. Mix it up over time.

Go high, go low. Try to go longer each new session. These will wear your arms, shoulders and back out in a jiffy!

Great way to burn some extra calories if you’re doing a fat burning walk.

#4 Do Some Arm Circles

Get those shoulders involved in your workout. Just hold your arms to the side and let gravity plus you’re walking stride force your arms to go around in mini circles.

To get more out of it you could even slowly rotate your arms by pointing your thumbs slowly down, as if you were pouring a pitcher of lemonade. Similar to what you be doing if you were doing lateral raises.

#5 Walk Backwards

How often do you actually walk backwards?

Give those muscles groups some love and practice this for a few minutes while being on a treadmill. You’ll be amazed at how sore & out of breath you will get!

#6 Treadmill Farmer Walks

If the gym has some weights but not a lot of space, try doing farmer walks on the treadmill.

For safety I would recommend you start off with a goblet type farms walk that will exercise both your arms but provide the safety of you being able to use one hand quickly if you needed to turn the machine off.
Again be cautious and don’t go too heavy at first. Go for time or for distance. Take a rest and repeat 2-4 more times.

As you get more comfortable, you can have a dumbbell in both hands.

#7 Do supersets every 5 mins

Every 5 mins, get off that treadmill and do some sort of bodyweight or weight lifting exercises

Example:

  • 5 mins walk, 1 min As many push ups as possible. Repeat
  • 5 mins walk, 1 min DB bench presses. Repeat
  • 5 mins walk, 1 min DB Bench Rows. Repeat

Total workout time can be between 20-45 mins.


There you have some cool ways to make using that treadmill more enjoyable. Just do me a favor and always remember to have fun when you’re in there.

Do you have any other creative treadmill ideas that you would like to share?

Leave a comment below.