Bodybuilding is most certainly not the easiest discipline in the world, in fact, many bodybuilders would agree that it is probably one of the hardest and toughest disciplines in the world, because it requires so much care, attention, and consistency, at all times. It can take months, even years, to gain some decent muscle mass and definition, yet if you allow your diet to slide, or if you miss a prolonged spell of training in the gym, those gains that you worked so hard for can disappear very quickly. When it comes to bodybuilding, as well as putting in the hours in the gym, which in itself is very difficult, it’s also important that you get your diet and nutrition nailed perfectly, down to a tee. Eating clean and regularly, whilst finding the time to fit in workouts and take various supplements is not easy at the best of times, particularly if you have a relatively busy schedule at home and in the workplace. If however, you find yourself travelling a lot and on the road a lot, bodybuilding can be an incredible struggle. A lot of people out on the road regularly, often simply don’t even bother trying to keep up the bodybuilding lifestyle, and opt instead to try to pick things up when they get home, which is never the right way to go about things, if you want to progress anyways. In order to truly make a success out of bodybuilding, you need to eat, sleep, and live the sport itself, including when you’re on the road. Here’s a look at bodybuilding on the road and what you can do to eat well and maintain your gains whilst travelling.
Pack and prep in advance
If for example, you know that you’ll be on the road and out of town for a few days, don’t just play it by ear, instead, take the time to pack in advance, and pack as smartly and effectively as you possibly can. First and foremost, if you don’t have a cooler bag, invest in a large sized one with good reviews and write ups. This will allow you to keep your food cool as you travel, helping to keep it fresh and prevent it from going off. As far as which foods to pack, there are a few staples that you will need, including: oats for complex carbs, protein bars, protein powder, a shaker cup, a few bananas, and organic peanut butter. All of these ingredients would make for the perfect pre-workout shake/meal, meaning you won’t need to cook or prepare anything at all. simply add everything, minus the banana and protein bars, to the shaker cup, and give a good mix.
Contact the hotel where you’re staying in advance
Another great tip to help keep your diet in check and keep you on track with your training and nutrition, is to take the time to contact the hotel where you’re staying, well in advance of your stay, and request a room with kitchen facilities such as a microwave and refrigerator. Of course you won’t land a room with a full kitchen set up, unless you spend a fortune on a suite of course, but in reality, a fridge and a microwave is all you need to keep you ticking over for the next few days.
Cook your meat in advance
Another benefit of investing in the cooler bag we mentioned previously, is the fact that it will also help keep cooked meat fresh, which can go off pretty quickly in warm temperatures I.E long journeys in hot cars. Before you hit the road, grab some Tupperware containers, and cook up enough meat to last you for the next 3 – 4 days. Once cooked, allow to cool, portion it up, and then place it in your cooler bag as you make your way to your hotel. Even if your hotel doesn’t have microwave facilities, this won’t matter because you can eat cooked meat cold. That means that when you do need some protein quickly, you can simply grab a few pieces of chicken, and tuck in.
Boiled eggs are your friend
Bodybuilders seemingly can’t get enough eggs in their diets, and rightfully so, due to the fact that eggs are ideal from a bodybuilding perspective. Eggs are rich in protein, they’re packed full of amino acids, they contain healthy minerals, and the yolks themselves offer energy and healthy fats. If you’re on the road a lot and don’t have time to prepare food, before you leave, simply cook up a batch of boiled eggs, leave them to cool, peel them, and store them as needed. Obviously hard boiled eggs are not a nutritionally balanced meal, but if you need some food/nutrients, and won’t be able to eat properly for a few hours, they will keep you ticking over perfectly, as any food is better than no food.
Train whenever possible
A lot of people don’t tend to bother training when they’re away from home for a few days/weeks, which is far from ideal, so make sure that you do. Your hotel for example, may have a gym, and even though it may not have hardcore bodybuilding equipment, any gym is better than no gym, so you will just have to make do. If the weights are ridiculously light for example, try performing unusually high reps until you feel the burn. If there is no hotel gym, explore downtown and look online for local gyms. Again, if there aren’t any, don’t think you’re getting off that lightly, because you can perform bodyweight circuits in your hotel room. Think about packing a set of resistance bands and a set of dumbbells as well, as that way, you will have all of the essentials to help keep you ticking over.
Make smart choices whilst eating out
If you are forced to eat out a lot, as well as in the hotel for example, take a look at the menu and look for the healthiest and smartest choices you can find. For example, if you find a restaurant serving cheeseburgers, as well as grilled chicken and veggies, don’t use being away from home as an excuse to cheat, and opt for the burger and fries. There are always healthy options to choose from, and whilst a chicken salad may not be the most appealing meal in the world, it will give your body the macros it needs to grow, and will help to keep your weight under control in the process.