320+ Days On the Road

This is my first forum thread so I’ll be a little sloppy I’m sure.

I’ve decided to start this log for you guys and for myself. I think it will be very unique, my lifestyle affords me many challenges and opportunities that most of us don’t get to deal with. I’m a touring musician, in a very busy band. I’m not famous, but if any of you do happen to recognize me I don’t want to talk about what I do here. However, let me say, we play between 250 and 300 shows every year and I’m on the road between 10 and 11 months each year.

I came to T-Nation about a year and a half ago, I’ve been “training” for almost three years now. I’m going to have to make several posts to get this thread going well. My last progress pictures are from february 2008. Those pictures show me very nearly at the peak of my physique in my training life. I’m a former-fat-boy, 288 pounds was my highest weight. In these images I weigh about 215 pounds. This past summer I won my job and started touring, since then I’ve gained some weight, but as challenging as life on tour can be, I believe I can still have a great physique.

In these next couple of posts I’m going to throw up tonight I’ll include more photos (which are current) and I’ll lay out my plan as well as explain the kind of information you can expect to find here.

This first picture is from Feb. 2008

Okay, so what are my challenges on the road? No consistent gym, no consistent diet, very sedentary lifestyle (I sit in a tour van for hours and hours). I’ve got what it takes to diet, I’ve done it before. Mentally i can do the dieting and the training. Each day you can look for information from me regarding everything I ate, what I did in my training and finally I think it will be interesting to record how much time I spend riding in our van. (It may just be depressing actually).

My plan of attack is to keep my diet as clean and perfect as possible and to implement a course of bodyweight excercises that I’ve used successfully in the past. My body responds to extremely limited carbohydrate consumption. I won’t eat grains, and I’ll limit all starches. All of my carbs will come from fruit and limited dairy consumption.

Lean protein and healthy fats will dominate my diet, but it will be virtually impossible to plan in advance because I don’t know where I’m going to eat each meal. I plan to eat at least a cup of greens everyday as well. I do travel with Grow! and Superfood whenever possible. I’m currently out of Superfood but won’t be able to get more until the first week of February. If any of you other road warriors out there know of some places with great food I’m all ears.

I welcome input from all on the bodyweight exercises I use. I’ve pretty much exhausted my knoweledge of these movements.

This is another picture from feb 2008.

4 phase training regimen incorporating EDT and Circuits

Alternates pushes and pulls with core training movments in between (in my mind “core” absolutely includes the posterior chain) - finishes with legs

Phase I

Push - - Pushup
core a - Lying leg lift
Pull - - Pullup
core b - inverted hamstring stretch
Leg - - body weight squat
core c - front plank

2 min rest/repeat for 3 circuits

Phase 2

Push - - Pushup
core a - standard crunch
pull - - pullup
core b - side plank (side a)
leg - - alternating reverse lunge
core c - side plank (side c)

2 min rest/repeat for 3 circuits

phase 3

push - - diamond pushups
core a - alternating single leg jack-knife
pull - - pullup
core b - superman
leg - - frog jump
core c - Bicycle crunch

2 min rest/repeat for 3 circuits

phase 4

Push - - airplane pushup w/squat thrust(burpee) (2minutes)
core a - “leg-ups”
pull - - pullups (2 minutes)
core b - running bridge (mountainclimbers)
leg - - single leg squat (2 minutes)
core c - jack-knife

rest 1 min/repeat for 3 circuits

I’d love input on this. Each circuit takes ten minutes so the whole workout in each phase takes only 30 minutes. I’ll do it twice a day when i can.

For some reason, my current progress pictures I took tonight give either my computer or the internet in this hotel a coniption-fit and I can’t get them loaded up. I’ll keep working on it, but for now take a look at my plan - if you’re interested follow my log and give me input. I’ll get photos up every couple of weeks, but you’ll get information about training and diet every day.

trying these pictures again, this one is current

alright so resizing works
this is another current photo, trying to hit a similar “flexed” position to one of the earlier shots from last february

I’m interested in any ideas you guys have about training my back with bodyweight. I love my pullups so I’ll be doing plenty of these, but anything else you come up with I’m interested in. Here are three back shots.

back double bicep

Another BDB pose.
I have no delusions about my physique - if I thought it was worth braggin about these photos would be in the “rate my physique forum”. Not to mention I’m horrible at posing, but I want everyone who choses to follow me in this log to have a really good idea of where we’re starting out.

those of you who are joining me on this journey, thanks. I’m looking forward to it.

Alright Day 1:

Woke up at 8:30
Breakfast at 8:40 in the hotel, it was awesome.

8:40am - 6 eggs scrambled, with spinach and cheddar, 2 cups of coffee

11:30am - 2 cups of salad greens, 2/3 large cucumber, 1 boiled egg, tblsp almonds, 1/4cup cottage cheese, 2tblsp olive oil, lots of red pepper flake, 32oz. unsweetened tea 1 cup of coffee

2:30pm - 3 scoops GROW! whey protein in water with ice

5:35pm - the guts of a deli sandwich from our green room
2-3 oz. each of turkey and roast beef, 2 oz cheddar cheese, couple of leaves of romaine, and about 4 almonds (hey they were layin there)

6:30pm - 8pm approx. 32 oz. water (pre-show)

10:30pm - 1oz. almonds

2:30am - 2 scoops GROW! whey protein

The diet schedule is hard, I have no problem eat WHAT I should, it’s WHEN that is hard. I was on stage at 8:30 so that threw everything off.

It’s 2:15 I just finished my workout, I need to wrap this up, get some GROW! and get to sleep.

It was phase one so I had the following:

leg raises
bent over rows(no pullup bar in this hotel)
reverse hamstring stretch
body weight squat
front plank

I’ll list my one minute max by for each circuit.

Pushups 45 / 30 / 26
Leg Raises 61 / 60 / 49
Rows 30/27/ 33/30/ 25/23
Rev.Hammy 8 / 7 / 5
Squat 23 / 24 / 20
Plank 1 / 1 / 1

So, severe drop off in power on the pushups and I just gave in to fatigue on the last set of leg raises. Normally I’ll do pullups, but the bar doesn’t fit on this door so I did rows with one of the horn cases…it really wasn’t heavy enough. The reverse hamstring (single leg deadlift) from Chad Waterbury makes me feel stupid, but I’ve done them twice now and I am getting better.

In the last set I pretty much fell on every rep attempt. I pace the squats and focus on peak contraction and explosion. Finally, I held every plank for the full minute.

Gotta run, GROW! to drink and sleeping to do.

This should be an interesting log.

Have you thought about getting a set of adjustable DB’s for the road? Something like a Powerblock or a set of Bowflex DB’s? They’d take up minimal space, easy to transport, and it would give you a ton more exercises, in addition to making the one’s you already have more effective.

Hey man, glad to have a response. I have given some thought to the dumbell situation. I hope to do that soon, honestly I’m not too impressed with the bowflex models, but powerblocks might survive for a tour or two in our trailer.

I’ve got some 25lb cast dumbbells, and I farmers-walked them two blocks back to our hotel today after I read your post. In a pinch I strap 'em together for concentration curls and bent over rows.

I didn’t mention this last night guys cause it was so late, but I’m getting tons of NEPA too. I jumped in with the stage crew setting up for our show last night. I won’t always be able to do that, the union guys get shady sometimes, but I was working hard. Managed to get in some impromptu sled pulls moving heavy stuff around.

Tomorrow we’ve got to leave early for a long drive, so I’m not doing the circuit tonight, I’m going to treat it like a recovery day so I can get up and do the circuit in about 12 hours in the morning.

I’ll post my workout and diet for today before bed like normal. Hopefully I’ll get a little more sleep tonight.

honestly if you could just toss a 300# oly set somewhere in the tourbus, and a rubber matt you could be doing shirtless deadlifts, and floor presses in the parking lot before shows.

which would be super badass, and would increase your groupie getting potential by a factor of over 9000.

Haha!!! Yeah don’t think I haven’t thought about that - but an extra 300 would eat up some gas mileage more than you know…not to mention what it would do to equipment/people in the event of an accident.

But I guess I can dream.

Actually I think I’m going to have access to a gym the first week of February, I’m pretty excited about that.

Todays log:

8:30am - wake up

8:45am - 4egg omlette with spinach and cheddar. 4-5 bites of green melon and 3 cups of coffee

11:48am - 2 scoops GROW! in water, cup of coffee

2:42pm - 4 oz roast beef, 1oz swiss cheese, small iceburg mix salad with tomato wedges, cheese, cucumber, onion and cabbage, 16 oz. water

5:33pm - 1.5 oz almonds, 2 0z cheese, cucumber, broccoli, celery, carrot, string beans, a pint of whole milk and 12 oz water

9:50pm - 2 scoops GROW! (post workout)

10:18pm - club soda

11:27pm - 2 oz. cheese, 2 cups iceburg mix, 2-3 oz. turkey, cucumber, tomato wedges, cabage onion.

Again, I treated today as a recovery day so the workout looked like this:

15 flights of stairs

Renegade Rows - 25lb 4X6 reps per arm

Tabata dumbell swings - 25lbs

So I think that I didn’t eat enough yesterday - during my workout today I was dangerously close to falling down several times. I’m definitely out of shape, but I’m still strong enough to do dumbell swings with 25 lbs without my legs trembling on a normal day. In short - I felt sort of week. So I used the Grow! and grabbed a salad before bed.

I have to say that on the road there is no replacement for a good convenience store. There is a TON of shit in there that one has no business looking at. Also, a TON of shit in there that passes for “bodybuilding” food - horrible protein bars etc. But the great thing about it is that when you can find healthy foods it’s usually pretty easy to “measure” it. Things like cheese sticks are pre-packaged and the amount is clearly marked. Also, there are almost always sandwiches and salads, and you can gut the sandwiches and just toss the bread. And they usually put a pretty uniform amount of meat and or cheese on there. Obviously there’s plenty of water too.

Anyway - that’s todays log. Thanks for reading.

dumbells are key here.

I also like the bowflex idea.

I personally couldn’t travel like that, I like to set up shop and once I get into a routine I dont like to deviate from it much.

I get pissy when I go on vacation for a week.

Shew today is gonna be rough - we’re driving from central Illinois to the Houston area - I don’t know where my workout is going to happen. I slept through one alarm this morning and had to scramble to make our 7:30 load in time. I had harbored a dream of getting up early to do my circuit before we left - but in my heart I knew that wasn’t going to happen.

I’ve been sleeping like a rock because of this training - I’m a little surprised at how intense I’ve been able to be. I’m looking at 17 hours of sitting today though, so we’ll see what happens, hopefully I’ll get to do some work at some point.

Well, it’s been all I knew it would be. I’ve been in the van for about 12 hours now, and we’re looking at another solid 8 or so. I’ll have to get some sleep soon, I do the graveyard driving, so I need to go ahead and do today’s log now. If I eat anything else overnight I’ll have to add it tomorrow.

7am - wakeup

8:10am - 5 eggs with hot sauce, 1 cup of coffee

8:40am - “Morning Spark” with 16oz water

11:56am - 2oz almonds, 3oz turkey sausage, 16 oz water

3:20pm - salad: Iceburg, green peppers, onions, cucumber, tomato, 1.5oz mozzarella, 4oz Roast beef, and a few banana peppers, Morning Spark with 16 oz water, 1.5 oz turkey Sausage

6:55 - 2oz almonds

7:38 - Salad: 1cup spinach, 1?ish whole cucumber, 1/2 green bell pepper, onion, 1oz cheese, 2 tbls chickpeas, 1 boiled egg, 6 cherry tomatoes, 2tbls olive oil, balsamic vinegar, cracked black pepper and 6 cherry tomatoes.

8:30 2 scoops GROW with 16oz water (post workout)

Okay, so it’s a crappy situation to sit in this Van, but tonight was one of my proudest moments as a lifter ever. We stopped for dinner at a particular restaurant with an excellent salad bar (the group is awesome about trying to accomodate me for the most part) - after dinner I managed to do the following workout in the parking lot next to our trailer. It took me about 6 minutes.

Handstand pushups - - - - - 1X10
Walking Lunges - - - 50lbs - 1X20
Alternating Curls - - 25lbs - 1X15 per arm
Shoulder Press - - - - 25lbs - 1X15 per arm
Concentration Curl - - 50lbs - 1X5 per arm
Overhead Tri-extension 25lbs - 1X30
Walking Lunges - - - - 50lbs - 1X20

So, it’s not perfect, but that fact that I worked out in the parking lot makes me feel pretty damn good. Thanks for reading.

P.S. - I do use a balance spot on the handstand pushups - I can’t keep myself vertical through the full range of motion yet.

Okay, so today was definitely crazy - I think every post I make is going to start like that…

We got to Texas around 6:30 this morning, which puts my “sitting around in the van” time at 22 hours - that can’t be good for my metabolism but it’s one of the challenges I face. I slept till about 11:30am

We’re at a pretty fancy place right now, with lots of rich weird people so my food descriptions are gonna be a bit weird today. I think I did the absolute best job of eating that I could though.

12:50pm - 1 roasted quail, baby greens salad with carrots, cucumber, tomato, parsley, dill and olive oil. 2 cups coffee, 32 oz water

6:45pm - 1oz mixed nuts, 1oz assorted olives, 3oz red wine

7:17pm - “Fancy” salad with mixed greens, cucumber, red cabbage, carrot ribbons, assorted roasted veggies, a little tomato and this weird blue cheese on a piece of endive lettuce spoon… some olives and viniagrette dressing - pretty tiny but with lots of shit in it - all together not too bad.

7:30pm - 6oz. Roast beef, 2oz mushrooms, 1.5cups string beans, 2oz cold brussel sprout salad with almonds and some sort of mayonaise dressing on it.

7:45pm - 1 strawberry, 3 cups coffee (hey, they put a brownie with caramel and chocolate mousse in front of me…and all I ate was the strawberry - shut it)

9:05pm - 4oz red wine, double espresso

12:00am - 1 scoop grow (post workout)

Okay so today I had to be at a fancy dinner party, so there are multiple courses listed up there. I did the best I could to eat well without offending our hosts, scarfed a mountain of string beans down, and got my share of red wine for a while. It was not a perfect day eating wise, but again I think I navigated a potentially difficult situation pretty well.

Training was good - the intensity was high and I learned two things: I need to improve on pullups, and I hate Waterbury’s reverse hamstring stretch, I spend more time falling down than I do executing that move. Here’s what my circuits looked like tonight:

Pushups - - - - - 44 / 40 / 27
Leglifts- - - - - 72 / 57 / 57
Pullups - - - - - 7 / 8 / 6
Rev Hammy - - - - 6 / 7 / 2
Squat - - - - - - 27 / 25 / 23
Front plank - - - 1 / 1 / 1

Again all of those numbers represent my one minute maxes for reps in those particular lifts.

Okay, so I had a tremendous dropoff in pushup numbers in the last circuit, but the second was much better. With the pullups I went wide grip in set one, narrow with palms facing me in set two, and narrow with palms facing each other in set three. On the last set of reverse hammies I fell so many times I could only “complete” two reps on each leg. Finally - I know I’m holding those planks for the full minute every time which tempts me to add a more difficult exercise, but I’m just barely making it. Doing the planks right after squats is brutal, the quads really want to give out during the plank, so my abs have to fight extra hard. I think even though I’m completing the minute I’m still getting a good benefit because of the difficulty of the exercise.

thanks for reading

Wow, I couldn’t do all that travelling for that length of time and no gym access!

People who moan they don’t have time to train, when they live around the corner from a gym, should read this!

Have you thought about getting a couple of kettlebells?

They would be pretty indestructable and give you loads of options. If you haven’t seen it, check out Nate Greens article: