If you follow me on Instagram and Facebook, you know that I was in the Berkshires of Western Massachusetts all of last week assisting my teacher and mentor Sage Rountree in some yoga for athletes trainings. The venue was Kripalu Center for Yoga & Health, a building which was once a Jesuit seminary, now it’s a yoga and wellness retreat center.

This was my second time at Kripalu. The first time was a year ago and while I did go for a couple of runs with Sage and my fellow trainees, I didn’t work out at all while I was there. But this time around, it’s CrossFit competition season which means I’m in full scale prep mode. If you’re curious about what that looks like, check out this video of me and my competition partner Liz.

I had a few pockets of time throughout the day but I know myself well enough to know that if I was going to actually hit the weights, I’d need to get it in first thing in the morning. That meant getting up early to work out. But since the Fitness Room (and yes, it was literally just a long hallway-shaped room) was pretty much just down the hall and a flight of stairs away from my bed, I really had no excuse. Well, I almost had no excuse…

Once I saw the Fitness Room, I initially questioned my ability to get an effective workout in such a small room with such limited equipment. I had access to some cardio equipment, a lat pull-down machine as well as a few other weight machines, some dumbbells, an ab roller, and a convertible bench. I also brought my own assortment of resistance bands and mini bands since those are super easy to pack.

It was a long way from from my usual playground of barbells, kettlebells, and WOD mates. Yep, I’m a little spoiled. But with a competition only three weeks away, getting solid workouts in was non-negotiable — my partner was counting on me.

This isn’t the first time and it won’t be the last time I’m forced to get super creative with just the dumbbells and limited space available. And it was perfect timing to practice what I preach since I’m working on a series of posts for Fit Bottomed Girls called “The Best Dumbbell Exercises for Your [insert body parts here]” — this one for your chest has already rolled out and there are more coming soon so look for those.

So, I made it work and I actually really enjoyed the challenge. It got me inspired to try different things in my training — bye bye comfort zone. Some of what I did while I was away is now included in my workout schedule that I’m home again.

I’ve listed out what I did each day while I was away. Should you ever find yourself in a hotel fitness room wondering WTF you can do with little equipment and little space, try these workouts out. Trust me, you’ll feel them. Simplicity can be very effective — I definitely left feeling strong.

A quick note on dumbbells: The Fitness Room had a nice selection of dumbbells but there were some gaps that made it challenging to find the right weight for the rep counts I was targeting. For example, there was a pair of 12 pound dumbbells the next higher weight was a pair of 20s — no 15s or 17s. In the instances where a pair of 15s or 17s would have been perfect, I alternated between doing a set at the higher weight but with less reps and a set at the lighter weight with more reps.

My Week of Travel Workouts

SATURDAY — “Leg O’Rama”

3 rounds (quickly) of:

3 rounds of:

3 rounds of:

5 rounds (for time) of:

SUNDAY — “I Can’t Feel My Arms (and Shoulders)” + 4-Mile Run in the afternoon

4 sets of 8 Arnold Presses

3 rounds of:

3 rounds of:

3 rounds of:

MONDAY — “Back, Glutes & Hammies Oh My!” + 3-Mile Run in the afternoon

3 rounds of:

5 rounds of:

4 rounds of:

3 rounds of:

Finish up with 12 minutes on the StepMill

TUESDAY — “Chest Day is the Best Day”

3 rounds of:

4 rounds of:

4 rounds of:

3 rounds of:

4 rounds of:

WEDNESDAY — “Pull-Downs For Days” + 3-Mile Run in the afternoon

2 rounds of:

5 rounds of:

5 rounds quickly with little rest:

Finish up with 12 minutes on the StepMill

THURSDAY — Rest (well, except for the YogaDance class at noon)

FRIDAY — “Final Upper Body Burnout”

3 rounds of:

4 rounds of:

4 rounds of:

And for more travel workouts, check out this mini band circuit and this bodyweight workout.

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