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Should I Work Out On Vacation?

The main reason that I’m writing this post is because I didn’t do so hot on my diet or workouts while on a cruise a few weeks back. I think that’s putting it a little too lightly, so let me rephrase. I completely and utterly destroyed my diet and slacked on the workouts while on the cruise a few weeks back, so bad that I ended up gaining about 9 lbs in about 7 days. Better? To hold myself accountable, I even sent an email to all the people that I coach (If I’m not your coach, here’s how to make me your Beachbody Coach), admitting my faults, but more so to hold me accountable while I got back into shape preparing for my next adventure vacation, Cabo, which is coming up next week. Crazy enough, even though I slacked in the health department while on my trip, it only took me about 2 weeks to get back into shape. Really, I feel I’m in better shape now than I was before I even left for the cruise! Anyways, back to the point of this post, should you work out on vacation?

I have to back up a little bit and share a story of another time I went on vacation, and this was back right after I finished my first round of P90X. I was on top of the world, in amazing shape, and thought that I could take a vacation and eat what I wanted, when I wanted, not work out, and still come back this insanely ripped guy, but of course, that wasn’t the case. I didn’t work out, and even remember eating 2 whole loaves of white bread each time I went to Carrabbas, which was about 3 times out of the week. I had enough carbs and calories right there to last me the entire trip, and sadly enough, that was just a small fraction of the crappy food I consumed! I got back, weighed myself, and about crapped the bed when I saw that I had gained something like 10 lbs or so. It took me an entire month to get back into great shape, and I swore I would never let that happen again. I guess that didn’t hold up.

My next trip was 100X better than the first, and I actually worked out and ate healthy every single day while in the Cayman Islands. The only thing that I really cheated on with my diet was the alcohol intake, but it wasn’t a ton. I remember getting back and actually looking better than when I had left, and it felt great! I didn’t have to bust my rear in getting back into great shape.

Fast forward to the Carribbean cruise that I just went on. What went wrong? I’m in the new P90X that’s coming out this fall, and the filming for the Shoulders & Arms video was the day before I headed out on my Caribbean journey, so I really dedicated myself hardcore to working out and a healthy diet for 3-4 weeks beforehand. After I got done with the shoot, I just wanted to relax a bit and enjoy what I had accomplished. Apparently I relaxed a little too much! It’s funny because Melinda and I both started the cruise out strong, eating pretty healthy and working out in the mornings, and then something changed. We no longer had the desire to work out, and really just wanted to relax and enjoy the vacation, and believe me, we did just that! We enjoyed that crappy food and had no regrets because we accepted what the repercussions would be when we got back home. This cruise was dedicated to spending time with the people that we care about most, friends and family, and we really enjoyed it!

Now, I go to Cabo in a few weeks and I’m going to be put in a similar situation like I was on the cruise. However, even though I knew that I was going to gain weight, I didn’t realize I would gain THAT MUCH weight, so this time I’m going to be making a few adjustments. Believe me, I’m going to enjoy this vacation, have a few (well, maybe more than a few) drinks, and eat unhealthy food, but I’m going to get up and commit to working out every single morning. It will help speed up my metabolism and make the recovery time when I get back home much shorter than it was this time.

So after all that, should you work out on vacation? Yes. Work out every single day, burn those calories, so that you don’t feel so guilty when you relax and eat some foods that might not be the best for you. Vacations are a time for you to relax and enjoy life, not worry about gaining weight and eating healthy. Enjoy the time with your friends and family, and just don’t go extremely overboard!


  1. jeet /

    I totally agree. We are all human, life is too short to be dieting all the time, even on vacation.

  2. Sara /

    I feel your pain! I ALWAYS struggle on vacation. In fact I struggle lots of times when I leave my house and have to eat out anywhere, vacation or home. I am going to Peru in a few weeks with my husband and I am going to start to prepare to workout and eat healthy. have a great time in Cabo! You really deserve it!

  3. Josh /

    @Sara. Splurging every once in a while on vacation is fine, but it’s important that you at least stay committed while you’re home. I know it’s tough to eat healthy while eating out, but you can do it! 🙂

  4. Taro Yamashita /

    I appreciate this post because its honest. I respect you more for acknowledging the fact that you are human, also that there is hope for those people who would rather enjoy a vacation then sit in their room and count calories.

  5. Antony Stubbs /

    What kind of exercise are you planning to do on holiday? Can’t take the dumb bells and chin up bar with you eh? I’m just asking in general for strategies..

  6. Josh /

    @Antony. Now that I have my Powerblocks I can bring them with me. I usually bring my laptop as well and just pop in the DVD’s, working out in the hotel room.

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