Staying Strong Over The Holiday Season
Thanksgiving is upon us! Which means the holiday season is officially here. It also means dinner parties, late nights, and missed training sessions. With all the time spent catching up with family and friends, how are you supposed to stay strong over the holiday season?
Well in case you’ve missed it, I tend to promote a program called Simple and Sinister quite often. If there’s ever a time of year to get on it, now might be that time. But, rather than post another article on how effective and efficient Simple and Sinister is, I thought I’d share a few tips to embrace over the holiday season. Hopefully if you put these tips to the test you’ll find yourself with a head start come New Years.
Take a look at your schedule and determine how many weeks you’ll be able to train in the comforts of your own gym.
If you’re traveling a ton I’d also recommend thinking about what the local gyms offer at your destination(s). If you plan on starting a deadlift program but find that you’ll only be in town a couple weeks and the gyms nearby don’t have barbells, you might want to think twice. Same goes for heavy kettlebells – they’re sometimes hard to come by depending on where you are.
You likely have 1-2 skills you like to train the most. Perhaps now’s a good time to work on honing those skills through variations you can take with you – like say – you’re bodyweight?
Working on high-tension drills like…
- Hollow holds
- Hardstyle planks
- Pistol squats, and
- 1-arm push-ups
could actually transfer than you’d think to your squat, deadlift, and bench press. Again just to remind; no gym needed, just your bodyweight. Before you hop on that holiday program, take into consideration what you’ll be able do when traveling.
Less Is More
As I mentioned earlier, this time of year you’re likely to find yourself strapped for time. Do you REALLY want to wake up early after a late night to head to the gym? Some of you will, and to that I say more power to you! But most of you won’t and therefore likely won’t do much this holiday season.
Sticking with the notion of using bodyweight drills to increase your powerlifting/kettlebell skills, the best way I can think of sneaking some strength into your life is Grease The Groove.
In other words, wake up and do a set of pistols, while talking to grandma bust out another quick set (she’ll tell the town all about it!), and maybe just before you grab another piece of pumpkin pie you’ll bang out another set. When it’s all said and done, maybe you’ve done close to 10-12 reps for the day. Not too bad!
You can apply this same idea with just about any skill; push-ups, pistols, and hanging drills (should you have a bar accessible to you). Feel it out but more importantly shift your mindset before you start. You want to enjoy your holiday season, not stress over trying to find a place to cram your workout in.
Find Some Headspace
It’s great to reflect – period – but this time of year reflection tends to happen a little more naturally. The end of the year is here, family and friends bring up old memories, and you take a look back at what you accomplished this past year. It’s not a bad idea to find some clarity between your ears in the process.
Meditation has become a part of my daily routine, but that wasn’t always the case. In fact, I’ve had Headspace on my phone for the past 2 years but it wasn’t until just recently that I was able to find some consistency with it.
What changed? My mindset.
A lot of people view meditation as a band-aid (my former self included); something they should do only when they’re stressed. When in fact that couldn’t be further from the truth.
Meditation is a skill, just like a swing and a getup is a skill. It takes practice and consistency to reap the rewards. Some days are good, others you’re just happy to be finished. The key ingredient is the desire to learn, grow, and better yourself.
Traveling is stressful for most people. For some people being around family is stressful. My recommendation is to find time to close your eyes and take just 10 breaths, in through your nose and out through your mouth. Should you want to go the extra distance and pick-up meditation, even better! But find the time NOW before your travel picks up for the holidays.
How will this make you strong you ask? Well it takes a strong mind to forge a strong body.
Happy Thanksgiving and