Making the Most of a Hotel Gym

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Whether you’re traveling for work or vacationing at a resort, most hotels offer some sort of gym or fitness space (and if you’re lucky, maybe even a pool or sauna!). Equipment may be bare-bones, and the space might be tight, but there are still plenty of ways you can take advantage of this amenity to squeeze in a workout and keep your fitness routine going on the road.

Most hotel gyms come equipped with at least a treadmill and some dumbbells. Performing sprinting intervals on the treadmill is a great way to maximize your workout while being efficient with time. In fact, research has shown that short, high-intensity interval workouts burn more calories than longer, lower intensity aerobic workouts (American College of Sports Medicine). In other words, it may be better to do an intense 30 minute workout (like the one below) rather than take an hour jog on the treadmill– which really means you get an extra 30 minutes to spend exploring, relaxing, or ordering room service.

The 30 Minute Hotel Gym Workout

This workout utilizes only a treadmill and your own body weight. You will need enough space off the treadmill to be horizontal on the floor. If you have access to dumbbells, you can add those in with some of the bodyweight exercises to make them a bit more challenging.

5 Minute Warm-Up:

Get on the treadmill, just press the “start” or “go” button (i.e. don’t bother with any of the preset programs). Set your incline to 1%. Begin walking briskly, around 3.0 – 3.5 mph, for 2 minutes, then move up to a jog for the last 3 minutes.

5 Rounds, 4 minutes each:

Everyone’s jogging, fast run, and sprinting paces are different. Jogging should feel comfortable and you should be able to hold a conversation. Fast running is difficult and pushing you towards being out-of-breath. Sprinting should feel uncomfortable, very difficult and breathless when finished.

Round 1:

30 sec sprint – 30 sec jog – 30 sec sprint – 30 sec jog – 30 sec sprint – 30 sec jog

Off treadmill: 1 minute of reverse alternating lunges

Round 2:

1 minute fast run – 2 minute jog

Off treadmill:  1 minute push-ups

Round 3:

30 sec sprint – 30 sec jog – 30 sec sprint – 30 sec jog – 30 sec sprint – 30 sec jog

Off treadmill:  1 minute squats

Round 4:

1 minute fast run – 2 minute jog

Off treadmill: 1 minute mountain climbers

Round 5:

30 sec sprint – 30 sec jog – 30 sec sprint – 30 sec jog – 30 sec sprint – 30 sec jog

Off treadmill: 1 minute full sit-ups

Finisher:

Off treadmill: 1 minute of burpees

Off treadmill: 1 minute forearm plank hold

3 minutes of stretching to cool down

**Special Note: Some hotel gyms may have a cable machine– if you’re familiar with using this machine, go for it! If you’ve never used one before, it’s best to wait until you’re back on home turf before experimenting. Cable machines are awesome because you can really target isolated muscle groups, but it can be a little confusing to get it set-up correctly and know if you’re using the appropriate amount of weight.

-Emily Koches, Nutrition Coach and Fitness Instructor

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