How to get the most effective workout at a hotel gym

I just came back from a quick vacation to The Grand Oasis Cancun and I have a few tips for those who aren’t familiar with the place.

1) If you’re looking for peace and quite, this wouldn’t be the first place I’d look
2) If you like to drink alcohol, they have plenty of it and lots of friendly people to drink with
3) If you’re concerned about staying on top of your diet while on vacation, they have plenty of healthy options at the buffet (egg whites, broccoli, chicken breasts) Warning!!! Those healthy options are directly beside some awesome desserts and french toast.
4) If you’re looking to workout they have a hotel gym that has the basics: Dumbbells, 1 leg extension 1 lat pull down, a workout bench and an elliptical.

If you come to think of it though that’s all you need!!! Over the past month you’ve watched me transform my body from 165lbs, with a few pounds to lose to start seeing my abs, to 145lbs with a full six pack. I’ve been able to do this by eliminating a lot of the fancy machines that I used to incorporate from my previous training regimes. To prepare for this shoot I’ve recently switched gyms and workouts, I now go to Fortis gym in Toronto, where they have some really cool Westside Barbell pieces of equipment, battle ropes, kettle bells and chains that have helped increase my strength on squats and bench press. The gym focuses more on strength training and the fundamentals movements of weight training and not so much the “pretty boy” exercises.

The vacation was a bit of a challenge for me as I’m also doing my fitness shoot in 7 days and I cheated more than I wanted while on vacation but I plan on rebounding using some last minute tricks, that I plan on posting in my next blog! Below are some pics from my last shoot

20120611-212250.jpg

This time around, preparing for my fitness shoot has been very different from many diets and training methods I’ve done In the past. In terms of diet I’ve used an intermittent fasting approach and strictly paleo diet minus the cheat meals I have once a week. (my meal plans for losing weight will be laid out completely in a special blog )In terms of workouts I haven’t done much cardio as I’ve incorporated complex workouts twice a week into my regime. While on vacation I was able to sneak two of these killer workouts in.

What is a complex?

Complexes are AMAZING for fat loss as they provide strength training and cardio at the same time. A complex essentially is a series of exercises (typically 4-6) performed in succession without dropping or letting go of the weight. Because of the way complexes are completed you’re typically focusing more on the cardiovascular side of your conditioning rather than the strength side. Typically when you do the first round it doesn’t feel that bad, but when you go into the third, fourth and fifth round of your complex, you’ll be looking for an excuse to stop.

How to perform a complex

Below is a series of exercises you can do from any hotel gym that has dumbbells.

You don’t have to go to heavy, I recommend start off with 5-10lbs and increase the weight by 5LBs for 4-5 Rounds with 60-90 seconds in between rounds

Perform 6-8 reps for each exercise
Renegade row (6-8 reps each arm)
Left leg lunges
Right leg lunges
Romanian deadlift
squats with DB on shoulders
Shoulder Press
Rest 60-90 seconds then repeat

You can also do the following exercises with a single dumbbell or kettlebell. Here’s an example of a complex you can perform with a single dumbbell

1 Arm Row
left leg lunge
DB swing or KB swing
Single leg deadlift
repeat the same motion on the opposite side
Rest 60-90 seconds then repeat

Tips to keep in mind

  • Do movements that you are already comfortable doing. Don’t try something new when performing complexes or you might hurt yourself.
  • The movements should easily flow from one to the other, if you have to change grips in between exercises make them quick with little to no rest. The less downtime you have the more effective the complex will be!
  • Complexes shouldn’t replace your regular strength training regime, incorporate them as a cardio replacement.
  • When picking a weight make sure you can perform your weakest exercise at that weight.

So there you have it, A few posts ago I offered $100 to anybody who catches me on a treadmill, and this my friend is the reason why you won’t see me on one. Try out a complex workout next time your on a business trip and you want to sneak in a workout before you start your day and let me know how it works out for you by leaving your comments or feedback below. Thanks for stopping by!

6 Tips to getting your 6 Pack ready for the beach in 6 Weeks

On April 11th, my good friend  Mike called me up and told me that he won an all-inclusive vacation to Cancun through his company for top sales, and his girlfriend used up all her vacation days earlier in the year so he wanted somebody fun to go party with him. It was a hard decision, okay not really..obviously I said HELL YA!

Later that evening after my workout I took my shirt off, looked in the mirror and realized that if I went on vacation today,  I personally wouldn’t be happy with the way I looked. So I grabbed my iPhone and took my “BEFORE” shot on the left. For the next few days I would look at that picture and look at myself from my competition days and get hungry to get into the best shape of my life again. Not that I would say my before picture is humiliating because I stay relatively lean throughout the year, but my training and diet weren’t as intense or serious as I knew it should be to get into “Beach body shape.” I was simply in maintenance mode during that time.

Below pic April 11th 2012 to June 2nd 2012

Continue reading