The life of an opera singer is filled with travel. I thrive on routine, as it is the bedrock of discipline. Being away from my kitchen, my gym, and my usual practice room facility throws a wrench into my carefully crafted days.

However, you can be out of your environment of discipline and still fit into your audition outfits. When you’re on the road, focus on simplicity. If you can’t hit your macros (but you usually can), then just stay at your caloric target; if you can’t find a deadlifting platform, get a pump and break a sweat with your own body (I have one later in this post). Don’t try to re-invent the wheel, just keep it spinning.

MACROS AND CALORIES

To oversimplify an important concept: a calorie is the unit of measurement of energy in food. These units fall into 3 categories:

  • protein (very important for building muscle)
  • carbohydrates (your body’s preferred fuel source)
  • fats (hormone health and satiety)

You can make a lot of progress re-comping your body through proper macro ratios. But no matter what your macros are, eating more than you burn will result in weight gain, less than you burn in weight loss, and right at maintenance in body weight homeostasis.

If you’ve been tracking macros (you have, haven’t you?) you’ll already eyeball servings of food and keep an automatic macro balance as your day goes along. You’ll gravitate towards options that won’t sneak hundreds of calories into your body, like creams and breading over an otherwise macro-friendly salmon filet.

As always, but especially when traveling, simple is best. Look for options that allow to see all of the ingredients in your meal. Good fuel for your body shouldn’t have more than a handful of ingredients anyway. This will make staying near to your mark much easier. Hidden calories are aesthetic assassins. Constant vigilance.

CONTROL WHAT YOU CAN CONTROL

Everywhere you travel to isn’t going to have a gym. When you travel, maintenance is your minimum goal. Don’t obsess over breaking personal records or losing weight at the same rate you were when you had more control over variables. You can always control:

  • how much you eat
  • whether or not you make time to train
  • your hydration

In some circumstances, you can’t control what you eat. Suppose a company is providing meals for you, and you just don’t have the money to provide food of your own. That doesn’t mean you have to gorge yourself on breadsticks and dessert just because it’s free.

Just because you’ve had a long day of travel that included an audition and a rehearsal doesn’t mean you don’t have time to break a sweat. You do have time. If you don’t, you have chosen not to have time. If President W. Bush can maintain a steady ~7:30 mile time while holding the hardest job on Planet Earth, you can wake up early and get in 100 pushups and a quick run.

Adequate hydration makes or breaks you. Your body is 70% water, not 70% diet coke and iced coffee (your body does absorb water from these drinks, but they shouldn’t be the bedrock of your fluid intake). Being hydrated also prevents mindless eating. Often times, we misunderstand signals of thirst for signs of hunger. Before you give into an impulse to eat, down a glass of water (this is another way calories can creep up on you). Proper hydration also has a massive impact on mental clarity. If you’re properly hydrated, you’re much less likely to encounter the mid-afternoon “crash” that affects most people. Stay hydrated, and you’ll stay energized and focused.

HOTEL ROOM TRAINING

You’ve gotten up early. You drank a liter of water, and you’re ready to break a sweat. Here’s what you do:

5 rounds, as fast as possible. No rest in between rounds.

  • 25 pushups
  • 25 airsquats
  • 15 burpees
  • 10 Bulgarian split-squats (on bed or chair)

THEN

  • Run 3 miles. Include 5 all-out sprints for about 60 seconds a piece.

That workout will take no longer than 40 minutes.

Easy? Probably not. Who said anything about “easy”?

I only said it’d be worth it. 

In iron,

Michael

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