How to Modify Your Workout Routine For Vacation

You CAN stay on track during vacation, here’s how!
By: Marley Carviou, Rierson Fitness Personal Trainer

Spring Break typically is a time that families head out of town and leave their worries behind, but that doesn’t mean your fitness goals should be left out for the entire week! Traveling presents many roadblocks to a normal fitness routine that we may not be prepared for. Of course we want to enjoy our vacation and time with family and friends, but if we remove the roadblocks, staying on track during break isn’t as difficult as you might think. 

Plan a Circuit

Did you hit the snooze button too many times or have a day jam packed with activities? Don’t be afraid to shorten your normal strength training routine by creating a circuit! Although we typically wouldn’t suggest rushing through your strength training routine, it can be helpful to set a timer on your phone to keep you focused and on task. Pick one upper body, one lower body and one core exercise that you can complete 10-12 reps of. Set your timer for how much time you have total to work out, for example let’s say I only have twenty minutes. Get your equipment ready, and hit the start button. The first minute will be the time I have to complete my first movement for 10-12 reps. Whatever time is left in that minute is the time I have to rest, for example, if my first movement is goblet squats and I take 20 seconds to complete 12 reps, the 40 seconds left in the movement will be my rest time and time to prepare for my second movement. At the start of the second minute, I will start my second movement and do the same thing. You continue this pattern with the clock running until your time is up and the workout is over. This style of training is called an EMOM, or every minute on the minute. It keeps you focused and efficient when short on time!

Add tempo or a pause

Hotel dumbbells not heavy enough or does the gym have less equipment than what you are used to? We can keep the intensity up by adding a tempo or a pause to your strength training exercises. If you typically perform barbell back squats but the gym doesn’t have a squat rack, you can opt for a dumbbell goblet squat with a pause. We suggest adding a pause anywhere between 3-5 seconds at the bottom of the exercise. For the goblet squat you’ll want to hold that pause at the bottom of the squat while keeping good posture and that weight in front of your chest. Another option is to add a tempo which will increase the amount of time you are performing the exercise for, therefore increasing the intensity. To continue our example of the goblet squat, instead of holding a pause at the bottom, you could slow down how long it normally takes you to get to the bottom of the squat. This slow lowering occurs during the eccentric phase of the movement, when the muscle is lengthening, and is a great tool to build strength and power in a movement. This tempo can be any amount of time you choose, depending on how difficult you want to make it. 

Get outside and enjoy the weather!

Typically spring breakers are flocking towards the warmest weather and places with a little more sunshine than normal. If this is true, don’t be afraid to get outside and try a new activity that is outside of your normal workout routine. This could be as simple as a walk or jog on the beach, or playing pickleball or tennis outdoors for the first time with family and friends. Not only is this a great way to get some physical activity in, but it doubles as a stress reliever as well! The stingy hotel workout room is not exactly where we want to spend most of our vacay time, so don’t hesitate to choose more exciting activities when you have the chance to.  


Whether it is spring break of life throwing you curveballs, there are times we need to adjust our workouts because doing something is better than doing nothing. You can add your typical movements into a circuit, add difficulty with a tempo or pause, or you can go a different route and choose a fun activity that gets you outside and moving. There are always options, and the one that is best for you may not be the best for everyone else. Fitness is meant to fit your life and create lifelong habits and lifestyle changes, not be the bane of your existence. If you have more questions or concerns regarding what you can do to be more prepared for vacation, you can send us an email at or give us a call at 319-290-6319. At Rierson Fitness, we teach you how to make those long lasting changes that build health, strength and confidence.

And don’t forget to follow us on Facebook at and Instagram @riersonfitnesss. 

On March 14, 2024 this entry was posted in Health and Fitness by Jeff Rierson.