It’s interesting to think that most people would describe travelling as the number one reason not to train or eat right, yet the people who train for their job (Bodybuilders, fitness models etc) travel as much, if not more than anyone.
Seriously check out the schedule of any bodybuilder that you have heard of, it’s filled with travelling to compete in competitions, to attend conventions, and to promote supplements.
Yes travelling can make it very difficult to train as often as possible and it can be a nightmare for food prep but it is still possible.
If you are planning on bulking (or are already half way through a bulk) and you need to travel then this article will hopefully be able to help you to manage this. We also have a more comprehensive bulking guide to follow once you get home.
By teaching you every tip and trick that you need to be successful.
Just a final note, if any of these points seems a bit extreme to you then just remember this article is aimed at amateur bodybuilders who are serious about gaining size.
If that’s not you then no worries you should still be able to pick up some useful tips about managing a healthy lifestyle whilst travelling.
Step One: Research the area you are travelling to
The important first step is to control what you can, are you going to be staying somewhere that provides you with a kitchen?
If so then you have no excuse not to cook your own food. Are there any gyms nearby that offer day passes? If so great, if not are there any gyms who can offer you a cheap monthly rate (even if you’re only there for 2 weeks)?
What are the restaurants like in this area? Do they have menus that you can view online beforehand? Are there supplement shops in the area (if you can’t bring your own)?
Almost all of these questions can be answered within a few minutes research and will potentially remove all obstacles to success.
Step Two: Adapt to what you can’t control
What if there aren’t any gyms? Or the gym that you had your hopes set on is closed? Do you give it up as a bad job or try to find an alternative? Are there other gyms around? What about personal training studios? Could you get away with a home workout?
If you really can’t manage a workout you could just lower your calories slightly and accept that you will have to stall your bulk for a bit.
Don’t get stressed (Cortisol kills muscles) and just adapt. Go for a walk or a run for the hour that you had originally set aside for your training.
The point is to adapt to a new situation rather than letting it affect you too much, stuff like this happens and there are normally a few workarounds.
Step Three: Maintain your diet
If you are able to prep meals then do so, buy cooler bags, Tupperware, travel bibs (joking) whatever you need to keep your diet as steady as usual.
Track your calories whilst travelling even if you never bothered at home, for two reasons 1) You might end up with completely different food to what you’re used to which is a lot harder to estimate (protein, calories etc) and 2) You should be tracking calories and macros anyway – You want to bulk without too much fat gain right?
Try to find similar foods to those you would eat at home, but if you are travelling to a different country be prepared for changes.
Embrace this because there is nothing worse than experiencing a new country but not embracing it. Again though, track your calories and macros.
Step Four: Supplement your Diet
Whilst many consider protein bars a waste of money compared to protein shakes or most high-protein foods, it is when travelling that they demonstrate how effective they can be.
You can get protein bars with creatine in them – which covers two supplements you need (whey and creatine). They last for ages and are easy to store, you don’t need to add anything to them, and some of them even taste nice!
Step Five: Sleep as much as you can
One of the biggest downsides of travel in interrupted or poor quality sleep.
You will want to get this situation sorted as soon as possible as bad sleep can affect your performance, concentration, and hormone levels. None of these are conducive to bulking.
Try to get at least 8 hours (if possible) and spend an hour before bed winding down so that your sleep quality will be at its highest.
Following all of these steps will give you the best chance of successfully maintaining your bulking phase.
Obviously travelling is not ideal, but if it is unavoidable it’s best to make the most out of the situation.