Ring ring ring, a call from a number you don’t recognize is coming through. You answer and it’s a director on a project in a different state welcoming you as the new consultant on the project. You’ve found yourself on a traveling project and now you are living more than half of your life out of a hotel. Let us burst your bubble if you don’t already know – not all hotels are created equally – and not all hotel gym workouts are created equally.
Hotels come in all different shapes and sizes from good quality to crap. Some have wonderful amenities, free breakfasts and beautiful rooms and views – others not so much. The only thing we know is that we judge a hotel by its gym and lack of bed bugs. But let’s focus on the gym, not all hotel gyms are equal either. If you’re a planner, you’ll call ahead to ask what the facilities are like – we are more of the type of person who simply checks to see if the hotel’s advertisement offers “gym” or “fitness center” and we’re sure many of you are in the same boat. So, let’s talk hotel gyms, staying fit while traveling, and hotel gym workouts.
We would argue that like the tiers of cities we travel to, there are tiers to gyms. For our purposes we’ll call tier 1 the gold standard, the crème de la crème. Tier 2 we’ll call the shrug and go. It is like that bar you go to when you’re visiting home or college, it does the job but it’s nothing to brag about. Tier 3 is the bottom of the rung and to be honest you should avoid it if possible if you want to consistently have a good workout with reliable equipment. We’ll call tier 3 the toxic relationship.
But don’t fear, we’re here to break down how to get the most of your gym, and hotel workouts no matter the tier.
Tier 1: The Gold Standard
I’ll be frank there are far and few between of the Gold Standard gyms that you’ll come across. So, when you do stumble upon your fortune of fitness, cherish it and take full advantage of the time you have there. Because as we all know and eventually become something you’re thankful for at thanksgiving, projects end. The gold standard is easy to spot right off the bat. The facilities are nice and shiny – well maybe not shiny but clean and well kept.
Tier 1 gyms have an arsenal of workout equipment for the modern fitness enthusiast that happens to be a consultant. The host free weights, machines, pullup bars, cable machines, treadmills, bikes, foam rollers. The list goes on, but you get our point.
We bet at this point you’re wondering where we’ve seen, let alone heard about these hotel mecca’s for fitness. Of course, let’s start in a top tier city San Francisco. The JW at Union Square is a prime example of a robust gym that offers everything you need no matter what your workout is that day. But as you know, we don’t all travel to top tier cities. Not to fret, there are hidden gems all over the country.
Tier 2: The Shrug and Go
Now imagine, it’s 6am and you walk up to the gym in your hotel. As you approach to open the door, you see through the window into the gym – you see some well-kept equipment but not a lot of variety. You shrug and walk in, yup that’s a tier 2 gym. The shrug and go gyms are manageable but not great and that’s okay. They offer enough space that if you are curling dumbbells you won’t hit the person on the treadmill with it. These gyms will certainly get the job done for staying fit while traveling. Tier 2 gyms have treadmills, a minimum of two benches, dumbbells only, maybe one machine, and a handful of cardio equipment.
Tier 3: The Toxic Relationship
Okay, let’s say you get to your hotel and you’re not impressed with the lobby, the amenities, or your room. You know you’ll be on this project for a while and there aren’t really any other accommodations nearby. Again, you, being a hustler, get up at 6am ready to take on the day. Only today, there’s a bit of dread in the air and you have a feeling in your stomach that you aren’t walking into a well-kept, clean “fitness center,” but more like your friends unfinished basement gym set up. And you know there’s no end in sight to the project. Welcome to the toxic relationship of gyms. These gyms, if you’d even call one that, offer few things and even less space.
The toxic relationship may supply 1 or 2 treadmills that are likely and unbelievably somehow already in use. That leaves you, but only if you’re lucky, the bench and a narrow range of dumbbells. Deep breath in, deep breath out. We’re going to give you some tips on how to turn that toxic relationship into a fruitful one. There are ways to utilize a tier 3 gym correctly and efficiently and these tips can even be used to supplement your tier 2 gym. If you’re in a tier 1 gym, skip this and go back to your gold toilets and free minibars.
Fixing Your Toxic Relationship
The first and easiest way to turn that dilapidated gym into something worthwhile is to invest in fitness equipment for travel. Jump Ropes, Resistance bands, Core Sliders, Fit Deck Card are all great options. If you’re full-heartedly convinced that there is no salvaging the gym in the hotel, we recommend hotel room workouts. Not optimal but definitely better than being in a small, maximum capacity of 2 sauna full of sweat with you and four other strangers. One hidden gem that not all hotels have or even promote is that few hotels offer complimentary gym passes during your stay. It’s becoming more and more popular and an all-around awesome perk wherever you are.
If fitness is important to you and your life style, do your research before hand. Find out specifics of what the hotel gym has to offer as you’ll be spending your time there trying to lose the Consulting 50 (if you don’t know what that is, consider yourself lucky). This means calling ahead to find out what equipment the hotel gym has, the max occupancy, and any other information that is important to you. Remember, if you have limited options with hotels and their gym, make the most of it with travel equipment. And if you need a little guidance, don’t worry as always, we’ve got you. Check out our free limited equipment 30 workout PDF plan for small hotel gyms or hotel rooms