I’m a planner. I make no apologies. When I take a vacation, the planning usually begins several months in advance of the trip. I love to plan so much, that it’s a big part of the overall vacation.
My next trip is to Movara Fitness Resort in Utah. After healing from two injuries (my right shoulder, then my right knee), I’ve gained a lot of weight, and lost a lot of strength and mobility. Terrified to step foot in a gym, I let the injuries control me. I missed working out, feeling accomplished, being strong. I decided that 2016 will be the year I transform. The trip to Movara is my jumping off point. It’s a way to incorporate my resolve with what I love the most – travel, nature, hiking and self-improvement.
Back to planning. Hitting this resort cold, is just begging for either a new injury, or at least being uncomfortable to the point of not enjoying it one bit. Planning for this trip is sort of like cleaning the house before the maid arrives. There’s still work to do, but let’s reduce the clutter.
Plan #1 – Work out the Knots and Prepare my Muscles to Work Hard
I signed up for a specialty Boot Camp at Goodlife Fitness. The program runs for 6 weeks and is called Stretch and Flex. The coach has a degree in Kinesiology and Exercise Science, and is a certified Strength & Conditioning Specialist. I attend 2x/week and lengthen and strengthen all my dormant muscles. Picture a yoga class without the incense and quiet. Although I don’t break a sweat, believe me, I can get pretty sore a day or two afterwards. I feel amazing after these classes, like I just had a massage.
Plan #2 – Cardio and Strength Training
I suck at cardio. I hate it. BUT, if I want to get fit, I have to appreciate the role it plays. My own unscientific google research tells me that HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) is the way to go. So I signed on with Orangetheory Fitness. It’s a 60-minute workout session split into intervals of cardio and strength training with heart rate monitors to track your intensity. I love that I can look up at the screen during my workout and get a report on how I’m doing. At a single glance I can see my current heart rate as well as how many minutes I’ve spent in the “orange zone” (85 – 92% of my maximum HR). This is cardio accountability at its finest. I can’t convince myself I’m dying, if my heart rate is up there on the screen telling me I’m not! The coach also gets to see how hard I’m training – and who wants to disappoint the coach?
Bonus: I just found out my Orangetheory Heart rate Monitor (made by Polar), can now be synced with their app. This will allow me to monitor my heart rate in the same way even while I’m in Utah!
Once we get off the treadmills, the second half of the class is strength training. This can include TRX, dumbbells, ab dollies, and just plain body weight exercises. At the end of the hour, you know you had a well-rounded full body workout. And just in case you didn’t know it, Orangetheory emails your summary to you:
So to summarize Plan #1 and Plan #2, – my schedule goes like this:
- Monday – Stretch & Flex
- Tuesday – Cardio & Strength Training
- Wednesday – Stretch & Flex
- Thursday – DAY OFF
- Friday – Cardio & Strength Training
- Saturday & Sunday – Nutrition (see Plan #3)
Plan #3 – Nutrition Coaching
There is no way anyone can get truly fit without a good solid nutrition plan. Most of us have hired a personal trainer at some point, but I don’t know anyone who has ever hired a Nutrition Coach. I’m not sure why that is. Maybe because there are so many diet books and schools of thought, that we just pick the one we like and follow it. I’m as guilty as anyone.
After many attempts with fad diets, I have come to realize that I know very little about nutrition, and I need help. Enter Kyle Byron, my Nutrition Coach. With Kyle’s help, I’m learning to eat right. No supplements or gimmicks, just real food eaten in the right combination, at the right time. There’s a lot to learn. This is why I’ve been dedicating my weekends to nutrition. Saturday I decide what my menu plan will look like in the week ahead, and I shop for the ingredients. Sunday I batch cook. Everything goes in their little containers, ready for me to grab and go each morning.
At first I questioned if this way of eating is sustainable. I think it’s because I’m learning habits. At first it’s hard – I have to break old patterns and develop new ones. I’m always thinking “is this right? where’s my protein?”. It’s hard. However, I believe in time these habits will become second nature and will be automatic instead of hyper-planned. With Kyle as my coach, scoring my food logs, and providing me with information, I know I’m on the right track.
So what does this have to do with my trip to Movara? The resort feeds you in very much the same way – healthy portions of carbs, proteins and fats. I want my body to be ready and to crave the meals I’ll be getting. When you switch up your eating habits, it can play havoc on your digestion at least for a few days. I want to enjoy my trip, not suffer through it. Besides, I’ve come to realize that the more I learn before my trip, the better prepared I will be when I come home and begin to incorporate it all. I won’t be as over-whelmed.
So there we have it – 3 plans to get prepared for Movara Fitness Resort. I suppose most people don’t “train” for a vacation. But I know from experience that if you want to enjoy an active vacation, you have to prepare yourself.