Gym in a Carry-on – The Business Travelers Fitness Packing List

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Business travel can make staying on a workout program very challenging, especially if you travel to remote locations where none of the hotels have a fitness center or access to local gyms. Regardless of whether or not the hotel has a fitness center, I always bring my own gym in a bag. It allows me to add a little more variety to my workout and it gives me the convenience of turning my hotel room into a fitness center.

Don’t let good be the enemy of great. It’s better to do what you can to maintain your current workout routine than to do nothing and wait until you get back from your trip. I recommend you lay out your workout clothes in the bathroom, next to your smartphone/alarm clock; get-up a half hour early, drink some coffee or tea than squeeze in a quick workout. Warm-up 5-minutes, perform 15 minutes of strength training in a circuit and then finish off with 10-minutes of interval cardio. My go-to cardio workout is alternating shadow boxing with jumping rope using an interval timer; 45-second bouts followed by a 15-second recovery. Did you know a 10 minute interval workout can be as effective as 50-minutes of steady state cardio? A 2016 study found that three weekly 10-minute HIIT sessions consisting of three 20-second sprints within the 10-minute HIIT workout produced comparable health benefits to three weekly 50-minute steady state workouts.

I always travel with the following items in my suitcase:

  1. Wireless Headphones (I leave this inexpensive pair in my carry on as a back-up)
  2. Lifeline Power Up Chin-Up
  3. Jump Rope
  4. Resistance Bands
  5. Sports Watch or Heartrate Monitor
  6. Boxing Timer app (downloaded on my smartphone)
  7. Running Shoes (I usually wear them on travel days)
  8. Workout Clothing

Another item to consider is:

TRX Knockoff straps

9) TRX Style Straps


The simplest exercises you can perform in your hotel room for each body part are:

  • Legs: One-legged squats and lunges.
  • Chest: Dips between furniture, push-ups (feet elevated or using the resistance. bands across your shoulders).
  • Back: Pull-ups using the Lifeline Power Up Straps.
  • Shoulders: Jack-knife push-ups.
  • Triceps: close-grip push-ups or resistant band triceps extensions.
  • Biceps: resistant band curls.

Remember to, “Do what you can, with what you have, where you are.” Theodore Roosevelt. Don’t let perfect be the enemy of good.

Discipline pushes us, motivation pulls us, but intentional habits keep us moving towards our goals. Change your habits, change your life!

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