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$300 loan.

This weekend, I traveled to Madison, Wis., with a friend for a bridal shower. Our hotel accommodations were just swell: comfortable and clean rooms, a pool and hot tub, and a complimentary breakfast that included hard-boiled eggs. My only complaint was a fitness center that left much to be desired.

Sure, it had cardio machines — treadmills, elliptical machines, and upright and reclining bikes — but I’ve become accustomed to circuit training with free weights, exercises like renegade rows, squat thrusters and man-/woman-makers. Yes, I could’ve used the machines, but the thought, at least right now, makes me yawn. An open floor, dumbbells, plates, barbells, kettlebells, bands and boxes…now we’re talking.

Add to fitness snag #1 was the fact that we were traveling, and I was very tempted to sleep in. I mean, I’m on vacation!

But I knew my Boot Camp team in St. Paul was meeting that morning (a few were planning to meet early for hill sprints), so I dragged my body out of bed, suited up and headed downstairs. I had hill sprints and pushups in mind, and I thought back to our November 2011 story, “Body-Weight Training for Beginners,” for inspiration (for ideas, check it out online and watch the video, produced and narrated by yours truly, for demonstrations).

Summer is usually my busy time for travel, so I’ll be experimenting and blogging about my workouts along the way.

Here’s what worked for me last weekend:

  • Hill Sprints x10: Quite literally. Run up a hill as fast as you can, walk or run back down the hill. Note: Because of the softness of the grass and the incline of the hill, this exercise is lower impact and nicer on the knees.
  • Parking-Lot Sprints x5 + Incline Pushups x10: Using the lines of parking spaces, pick lines 10-, 20-, 30- and 40-meters apart. Run to the nearest line, then back, then sprint to 20 meters, and back, repeating to the farthest distance. No need to worry about exact measurements — just choose your markers as every other line or every third line. Between sets, perform 10 pushups on a low wall. (You can also use a sturdy tree if you are building strength; the higher the incline, the easier this move will feel.)
  • Squats x10 for 2 sets: Just because I was ad-libbing.
  • Walk/Run for 10–15 minutes: You can walk the entire way, run the entire time, or sprint and walk to get your heart rate pumping. Or, for fun and a great challenge, skip.
  • Jack-Knife Sit-ups x20 for 2 sets (or crunches if this stresses your lower back; you can also hold a plank pose for 30 seconds, 2–3 times)
  • Mountain Climbers x20 for 2 sets
  • More Pushups! (on my knees) x20 for 2 sets
  • Stretch with a few yoga poses: downward dog, warrior 1, warrior 2, triangle pose. Add a few more poses that feel good, if you’d like. Incorporate ujjayi breathing with your movement and clear your mind to make it more “yoga” than simply stretching.

It took me about 45 minutes to complete this workout, but it could easily take less time. It could have been a 30-minute workout, but I did allow for adequate rest during the sprints. I was on vacation, after all.

Thoughts to share?

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