Geeky businessman lifting a dumbbell on grey background

So, your job has you spending plenty of time on the road or in the office. While it might be rewarding work, you’ve probably already noticed how difficult it can be to stick to those workout plans when you’re working crazy hours. You’re probably so fatigued from the constant travel and your daily grind that you find it challenging to get into the swing of things.

And who could blame you? A solid fitness plan is built around consistency, and nothing is more inconsistent than constantly traveling from place to place.

Still, there are a few things you could do to make sure your profession doesn’t get in the way of your health. We’ll touch on important concepts to pay attention to while you’re traveling, but that’s not all. We’re even going to give you a sample workout plan that has been scientifically proven to help you build more muscle mass.

We get it: work can be demanding. Honestly, that’s why taking care of your body is such a priority. The cortisol cocktail of travel and work can wreck havoc on your immune system, energy levels, and even mental health. It’s time to take a look at the professional approach to fitness.

The Power of Proper Nutrition

Now, there’s nothing particularly sexy about discussing the details of maintaining a proper diet while on the road. Still, take an honest look at your diet while you’re traveling and you’ll almost certainly end up with some cringe-worthy results.

When you’re home, you can plan your meal efficiently, even bringing food with you if you know you’re going to need a meal in a few hours. While you’re on the road? You’ll be lucky to find a salad that doesn’t make you sick to your stomach when you take a bite.

So, you can’t control every aspect of what you get to eat while traveling. So what? There’s still plenty you can do to tune-up your diet! You’re just going to need to be a bit more creative than usual.

For starters, avoid the common “I’m too busy working to eat” excuse. You may think it’s a sign of toughness, but you’re putting your body (and muscles) at risk whenever you do this. For starters, your body can’t really run efficiently without food. But beyond that, avoiding meals for extended periods of time can lead to a loss of muscle mass.

That’s right: if you avoid eating for long enough, those gains you worked so hard for? Gone. Lost to the process of catabolism of lean protein (where your body breaks down muscle fibers for use as energy).

When it comes to your approach, your best bet may be to look into the IIFYM plan (If It Fits Your Macros). By focusing on getting enough protein, fats, and carbs, you’ll be one step closer to mastering your diet, no matter where you are.  

Full-Body Workouts: How to do More with Less

Having a proper diet is important, but making sure that you’re following the right kind of training plan is the entire focal point of this post! Now, Weekly Gravy has always been a proponent of full-body workouts. However, today we have more than just our experience with weight training to back up this claim.

Dr. Brad Schoenfeld (a world-renowned fitness expert) published a peer-reviewed study this summer with conclusive evidence that a total body approach to training was actually a more effective way to build muscle than your typical isolation splits.

And the best part? The study was done with a 3 day-per-week training cycle that can actually be done in under 45 minutes.

Before we go into the actual routine (and how you can take advantage of it), we need to understand why full-body exercises are so powerful.

Every bodybuilder on the planet seems to believe that isolating certain parts of the body is the secret to building muscle mass. In reality, isolation exercises are great… but only if you’re a bodybuilder.

See, there’s nothing inherently wrong with isolation exercises. In fact, if you have muscle groups that are lagging behind and holding back your overall development, isolation exercises might be the perfect way to break through that plateau.

But unless your goal is to have the most defined biceps on the planet, you’re better off doing total body exercises.

First off, the time factor. Let’s assume that, being the over-worked/over-scheduled professional you are, you barely have the time to hit the gym (let alone the energy). You could try hitting the weight room 5 days a week and using a classic bodybuilder split, but you’ll probably wear yourself out within the first month.

Face it: hitting the weight room 3 times a week is just more manageable than trying to go 5 times a week. Plus, isolation exercises emphasize repetition and end up promoting a longer training session. Translation? You get marginally better results, with twice as much exhaustion at the end.  

Your New Routine

So, according to the study that Dr. Schoenfeld published (make sure to check his site out for even more information about hypertrophy), this particular routine showed “significantly increased hypertrophy” in the arm and leg muscles.

Sidenote: with a 1-minute rest interval (with 8-12 reps per set), these entire routines could be finished within 30 minutes. Assuming it takes some time for you to get set up and cool down, there’s no reason this routine should take you any longer than 45 minutes.

Day 1:

  • Squats x3
  • Stiff-Leg Deadlift x3
  • Bench Press x3
  • Lat Pulldown x3
  • Shoulder Press x2
  • Hammer Curl x2
  • Cable Pushdown x2

Day 2:

  • Leg Press x3
  • Hamstrings Curl x3
  • Incline Press x3
  • Lat Pulldown (close grip) x3
  • Hammer Shoulder Press x2
  • Barbell Curl x2
  • Skull Crusher x2

Day 3:

  • Leg Extension x3
  • Good Morning x3
  • Hammer Chest Press x3
  • Seated Row x3
  • Upright Row x2
  • Preacher Curl x2
  • Dumbbell Overhead Extension x2

So, there you have it. With the right training plan, the right diet, and the right frequency, there’s no reason you can’t crush the weights while you’re out traveling and taking care of business.