Vacation Workout Plan – No, I’m Not Joking


Vacation. The word alone brings a smile to my face. The thought of sitting on a nice, warm beach somewhere. The sun shining down while the waves crash on the shore. An icy-cold drink in my hand – amazing. I’m sure most of you can relate or at least have your own idea of what an ideal vacation would be for you.

This is time for us to get away from our everyday routines and escape the stress and problems of our daily lives. But maybe there is one “stress” you don’t want to avoid completely. This is where having a solid vacation workout plan comes in. I am not saying to should be in the hotel’s fitness room every day you are away, but getting in a couple of solid workouts will help to keep you on track and help minimize any set-backs you may have had, had you decided to take the whole week off.

My Experience

While I am far from well-traveled, I do typically try to take at least one small vacation a year to reset my mind and get that break we all so desperately crave. This year’s destination was Ocean City, Maryland.

It was nothing fancy – mid level hotel with a couple of pools, and access to a private beach – but that’s all I really need to be happy. Personally, feeling the ocean breeze and warm sun rays is all I could ask for. Anything else is just extra.

Between all the laying around I did, I managed to hit the small exercise room inside our hotel three times during our 5 day stay. Far from luxury, but it had plenty of equipment to get in three solid workouts – and the pumps were great!!

I decided to switch my routine up a little and changed my split to a Pull/Push/Leg breakdown. By doing this, I was able to exercise my whole body in only three visits to the weight room, instead of my normal four sessions – saving me time and maximizing my beach time.

The fitness room consisted of dumbbell couple of treadmills; two exercise bikes; an elliptical machine; a dumbbell rack with the dumbbells going up to 50 lbs.; a flat bench, and a universal machine with a few different stations on it, including a pretty cool station which could be adjusted to go from seated rows, to military press, to incline chest press, to flat chest press, depending on the adjustment of the backrest angle and machine arm positioning. I had personally never seen a machine quite like that before.

hotel gym pic

Exercise room at the hotel I stayed at while in Ocean City, Maryland.

Warmed up on either the treadmill or bike for 10-15 minutes before moving on to the weights on each of the three days.

Pull Day

This day consisted of targeting my back, rear delts, and biceps, as typical pulling exercises target these muscle groups. The exercises I decided to perform this day were as follows:

  • Dumbbell Deadlifts – After a couple of warm up sets with lighter weights, 3 sets with the 50 lb dumbbells – really did this to focus on my lower back.
  • Bent Over Dumbbell Rows – 4 sets of 8-10 reps
  • Row Machine – Adjusted universal machine to the appropriate positions and did 4 sets of 10-12 repitions.
  • Lat Pulldowns – 4 sets of 10-12 reps
  • Bent Over Lateral Raises – really trying to focus on utilizing my rear deltoids – 4 sets of 12
  • Standing Dumbbell Curls – 4 sets of 10 reps
  • Reverse Dumbbell Curls – 3 sets of 12 reps

I really felt great after this workout. I had a great pump and was really looking forward to push day.

Push Day

Push day was for targeting shoulders, chest and triceps. Again, typical pushing exercises will target these muscle groups. This routine looked like this:

  • Dumbbell Military Press – started out with a couple of warm up sets to loosen up, followed by 4 sets of 8-12 reps
  • Dumbbell Incline Press – 4 sets of 8-12 reps
  • Flat Chest Press – on universal machine – 4 sets of 8-10 reps
  • Dumbbell Side Lateral Raises superset with Dumbbell Front Raises – 3 sets of 10-12 reps each
  • Dumbbell Flies – 4 sets of 10-12 reps
  • Overhead Dumbbell Triceps Extensions – 3 sets of 10-12 reps

Another great workout with another great pump. At this point, I was starting to like the hotel weight room :).

Leg Day

Pretty self-explanatory, but you want to make sure to hit your quads, hamstrings, glutes and calves on this day. Routine was as follows:

  • Leg Press – On universal machine – a couple of warm of sets followed by 4 sets of 8-12 reps
  • Calf Extensions – on same station as leg press – 5 sets of 15 reps
  • Dumbbell Lunges – 4 sets of 10-12 reps
  • Seated Leg Extension – 4 sets of 10-12 reps
  • Seated Leg Curls – 4 sets of 10-12 reps

Admittedly, I could have added another exercise or two to this routine but I was feeling pretty good afterwards and since I was doing a lot of walking to different locations on this vacation, I didn’t want to push it too far.

And Now For the Relaxation

There you have it. Complete body workout in only three days, for about 90 minutes each day. Still had plenty of time to spend with my family and enjoy all the little things Ocean City had to offer. It was a great time and I will definitely be going back in the future. It has a nice vibe out there.

I recommend performing these workouts as early in the day as you can, this way it’s done and you can focus on having fun and nothing else. Vacations are meant to be relaxing and that’s exactly what you should be doing. Just don’t do it at the expense of all your hard-earned muscle. Remember, It’s all about sticking to the plan.

Comment below and let me know some of your favorite vacation workout plans. Or maybe some destinations I should check out on my next yearly trip.

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Nick F

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