Saturday, 22 May 2010

2 Weeks of Hotel Workouts and Bad Living

Last Friday I returned from a 13-day business trip to Asia. It was a whirlwind of busy schedules, flights and unhealthy living (a post about the horrific diet I had is on PNLL.)

I drank a lot, ate a lot and tried to do a lot of working out to compensate. But as time went by, fears about burning the candle at both ends and a lack of motivation shortened my workouts. Here is a summary.


On day one, I did a round robin of weights in the gym - dumbbell chest, chin-ups, dumbell bent-over rows, upright rows. No rest in between, about 20 minutes. I had binged on the flight the night before so felt the need to work hard.

The gym in Singapore

The following day, an hour-long run around the botanical gardens. I didn't feel like it, but had eaten a stack of food the night before (again!) and lots of beer. This is breaking my own rules - fighting food and beer with cardio is not the answer.

On day 3 I did a Tabata burpees session to clear my head for a presentation I had to give. My legs were already shot from the run, not to mention that I had eaten bad food and drank beer the night before. But I did feel better after the burpees, if a little wobbly.

This had been three days of exercise in a row. Not like me.

I managed to have a rest on day 4; then on day 5, before the flight to China, another punishing round robin of weights in the gym, this time including Romanian deadlift with a slippery bar and no straps to help. Once again this was to combat a night of buffet food and beers.


In spite of consuming an impossible amount of buffet food on arrival, on the following day there was no time for working out because we had so much to do. The day after that, though, I got up early and jogged down to the river front where I did some much needed sprints following.... yes, you guessed it, after a night of too much food and beer.

The river front, ideal for sprinting

In case you were wondering, yes, coffee was an essential ingredient in the ill-advised balancing act I was performing.

The following day, before the flight to India, I did a standard bodybuilding workout in the gym, regretting the seated pulley row immediately because I had forgotten it inflames an old whiplash injury on my right trap. Those 3 x 10 workouts with rest between sets seemed easy compared to the stuff I normally do and it was welcome, given my increasingly poor state of health.

The gym in Shanghai, China

The inviting pool in Shanghai, which I didn't go in


I rested on the first day, then the next day did another round robin, this one only 10 minutes, as I was not feeling great. I also did, later in the day, a spontaneous BBS-style 90-second leg extension set in a vain effort to reduce the flight-induced swollen feet and ankles, made worse, I suspected, by bad living (more on that in the PNLL post.)

The gym in India. Small.

At this point you can assume that every night is buffet, cakes and beer. I was not feeling much like working out, which was just as well, because the gym was not good.

I had a couple of days without exercise, then a day before flying back to the UK, a perfunctory weights session consisting of a single set of about 30 Romanian deadlift. By now I was just trying to produce some beneficial hormones and keep my insulin under control.

Back in the UK

Once back, it was detox time. I was still not ill, and utterly baffled by that fact. Determined to keep it that way, I have have stuck to short, sharp, varied workouts and, naturally, pure eating (you can see that on the meals page of PNLL)

Thursday REST
Friday REST
Saturday Single round of Mixed Tabata Circuit Intervals (4 mins)
Sunday REST
Monday Swimming sprints - 10 mins total - 6 sprints 25 seconds each
Tuesday REST
Wednesday Weights circuit - 8 minutes - Press Ups, Chin Ups, Deadlift, Crunches, Box Jumps
Thursday REST
Friday (yesterday) Tabata rowing machine

So I didn't get ill, in spite of my wife having a cold and my UK office being full of coughing, sneezing people. I am feeling fit again. I am back in the game. But it was a struggle.


Asclepius said...

I reckon a good old O'Neil Test is what's required to get you back in to the groove. Add on a few chins and job's a good-un!

Good to have you back.

Methuselah said...

Asclepius - those chins are going to be hard with this human weight vest I am wearing at the moment ;-)