How do you stay fit and on plan during the holidays? This is one of the most common questions I get this time of the year, so I wanted to offer some thoughts and ideas on how to manage your goals while still enjoying yourself.
First, you need a plan. Fail to plan, and you plan to fail. So, start by realistically looking at your month and commitments and determine how many days you can actually get a good training session in. I would rather you have 3 or 4 BOMB training days where you are fully rested and recovered instead of trying to cram in a 6 day split, while having a company holiday party, in-laws coming to town, and filling your days with Christmas and holiday activities to do with your kids/family. Being intentional and present in your training is just as important as the frequency, if not more important.
Tell your coach/mentor/accountability partner that you want to make a plan and talk with him/her on how best to execute and navigate your training and nutrition, and other health bench markers.
Some other key things to keep in mind:
Plan your heavy workout days or the muscle groups that need the most attention on the days that sandwich your "refeed/free" meals.
UTILIZE those Christmas cookies to hit a new PR on your hip thrust OR deadlift.
Workout EARLY - I usually train in the afternoon, but during the holidays when we have family visiting, I always make sure to get my training in early in the day before everyone else is awake so I have the rest of the day free and don't have to stress about when I'm going to be able to workout.
Remember: what you do the majority of the time is what matters most - one day off from training/nutrition isn't going to kill your gains. I would rather you be 80-90% compliant done consistently is ALWAYS going to be more effective that inconsistent perfection
Do YOUR best with training/recovery - if you are tired, overworked, holidays have you stressed, don't put so much pressure on yourself to be just like an IFBB Pro who may be competing around the holidays and you HAVE to hit the gym hard 6 days a week. Your "best" is going to look different for everyone. Focus on what you can control
Use time traveling to check out new gyms or workout classes. Try something new - if you normally do a hybrid hypertrophy training maybe switch it up and do more of a circuit style OR just some heavy ass training.
Regardless of whether you are training or not that day, keep moving daily! Even going for a 10 minute walk after each of your meals to get some movement in will help with digestion, get the body moving and hopefully relieve some holiday stress.
Things I always bring with me during my travels:
Boss Bodies Mini Bands,TRX straps (you can do so much with these and they take up little space in your bag!)
Long resistance band Glider discs (wash cloths are also a perfect substitution)
Pre-workout/EAA/protein sample packs, etc.
And lastly, putting “Bells, Bows, Gifts, Trees" by Todrick Hall on REPEAT will get you in the Christmas spirit while still ready to rock the weight room.