T Nation

Lifting While At Study Abroad

I’ll be studying abroad in Italy this summer for six weeks. I’d like to know if it’s going to be possible to keep up with lifting and some sort of diet (I mean… I’ll be in friggin’ Italy, I plan on enjoying the cuisine). I don’t mind if I put on some fat, or even alot of fat, I’m more worried about losing muscle and strength.

I’d really like to hear from anyone who has done this before. Also, would it be wise to pack alot of supps/food or will I be able to buy most of it there?

[quote]ascord wrote:
I’ll be studying abroad in Italy this summer for six weeks. I’d like to know if it’s going to be possible to keep up with lifting and some sort of diet (I mean… I’ll be in friggin’ Italy, I plan on enjoying the cuisine). I don’t mind if I put on some fat, or even alot of fat, I’m more worried about losing muscle and strength.

I’d really like to hear from anyone who has done this before. Also, would it be wise to pack alot of supps/food or will I be able to buy most of it there?[/quote]

I’m not sure what city you’re going to but do your research now online.

Chances are the college you go to will have a gym?

It’s funny actually, this was one of my main reasons for not going to the Netherlands program that my college offers for a semester.

Good luck, hopefully you’ll find something.

-MAtt

Where are you going? I’m from Italy. I don’t think you’ll have a problem finding where to workout. Most universities have gyms among their facilities.

Yeah, where are you going in Italy?

Also, Italy is full of douche bags that do not give a shit about their physique and athleticity, and also full of good-looking girls in comparison to the U.S. (at least, that’s what people that live in the USA told me). So I think it is a good choice.

[quote]Imen de Naars wrote:
Where are you going? I’m from Italy. I don’t think you’ll have a problem finding where to workout. Most universities have gyms among their facilities.[/quote]

The majority of my time will be spent in Florence and Urbino, but while in Urbino I’ll be in a dorm and in apartments while in Florence. Also, this might sound stupid, but in Italy are there giant grocery stores like there are in the US or are they little corner market types?

p.s. I hear ya Matgic, that’s why I decided to do just the six-week summer one and not for a whole semester. I wouldn’t be able to enjoy myself knowing that I was getting that soft.

[quote]ascord wrote:
I’ll be studying abroad in Italy this summer for six weeks. I’d like to know if it’s going to be possible to keep up with lifting and some sort of diet (I mean… I’ll be in friggin’ Italy, I plan on enjoying the cuisine). I don’t mind if I put on some fat, or even alot of fat, I’m more worried about losing muscle and strength.

I’d really like to hear from anyone who has done this before. Also, would it be wise to pack alot of supps/food or will I be able to buy most of it there?[/quote]

You can weighlift for the rest of your life. You only get chances like this a few times in life.

Do a bodyweight circuit every other day or something, and enjoy a foreign country. I can’t believe there’s people here who would rather sit home and lift then travel to a foreign country, drink foreign booze, and bang foreign chicks.

I think you’re going to have no problems, and I highly doubt you’ll gonna get soft. The cousine of that part of italy - central - comprehends a lot of red meat along with the usual carbs part.

Yes, there are supermarkets everywhere in Italy - it’s one of the memembers of the G-8, after all - even the small towns have at least one supermarket, where you will be able to find canned tuna and everything else.

Something I advise you to do as a subside to your “traning” in order to burn calories and discover new places, is to go hiking through the hills near Urbino.

Why are you guys afraid of going on a trip to europe? Do you really think that Europeans don’t know how to train or eat? Especially the Netherlands is full of hardcore BB-gyms, while Italy might have the highest quality natural food of all industrialized nations (especially seafood and olive oils).

[quote]FightinIrish26 wrote:
ascord wrote:
I’ll be studying abroad in Italy this summer for six weeks. I’d like to know if it’s going to be possible to keep up with lifting and some sort of diet (I mean… I’ll be in friggin’ Italy, I plan on enjoying the cuisine). I don’t mind if I put on some fat, or even alot of fat, I’m more worried about losing muscle and strength.

I’d really like to hear from anyone who has done this before. Also, would it be wise to pack alot of supps/food or will I be able to buy most of it there?

You can weighlift for the rest of your life. You only get chances like this a few times in life.

Do a bodyweight circuit every other day or something, and enjoy a foreign country. I can’t believe there’s people here who would rather sit home and lift then travel to a foreign country, drink foreign booze, and bang foreign chicks. [/quote]

Absolutely. Live it up!

[quote]FightinIrish26 wrote:
ascord wrote:
I’ll be studying abroad in Italy this summer for six weeks. I’d like to know if it’s going to be possible to keep up with lifting and some sort of diet (I mean… I’ll be in friggin’ Italy, I plan on enjoying the cuisine). I don’t mind if I put on some fat, or even alot of fat, I’m more worried about losing muscle and strength.

I’d really like to hear from anyone who has done this before. Also, would it be wise to pack alot of supps/food or will I be able to buy most of it there?

You can weighlift for the rest of your life. You only get chances like this a few times in life.

Do a bodyweight circuit every other day or something, and enjoy a foreign country. I can’t believe there’s people here who would rather sit home and lift then travel to a foreign country, drink foreign booze, and bang foreign chicks. [/quote]

Well put. I briefly thought about not studying abroad a couple of years ago for similar reasons, would be kicking myself now if I hadn’t. You can almost always eat right and work out no matter where you are unless you’re broke. There may not be a reverse-hyper or Metabolic Drive, but all you really need are free weights and protein. Besides, I was in Florence for a few days in 2003, and I easily found a decent gym with the essentials.

I went abroad for 6 weeks to Europe and a semester in Australia. It’s easier when you go for a semester because you have more time so it’s easier to get into regular habits, whereas in Europe we were constantly traveling and every day we felt like we had to do as much touristy shit as we could.

Either way, anywhere you go there are gyms. Don’t worry. And even if you don’t, you won’t lose much mass over 6 weeks.

[quote]FightinIrish26 wrote:
You can weighlift for the rest of your life. You only get chances like this a few times in life.[/quote]

Never thought of it from that perspective. That’s great advice.

The italians have gyms, believe it or not. They are a little different than American ones but you can get everything you need to done. The grocery stores are different and almost everything has to be prepared so unless you have a kitchen and you know how to prepare that food you will probably be eating out alot.

I’d bring supplements with you. You may find a sympathetic pharmacia in some places where you could hook up with Deca or some other androgens, but I wouldn’t know where to find supplements (they also have liquid xanax, whoopeee!), maybe at a gym.
You will not gain any weight there.

The main transportation is your feet and if you watch the way the italians drive, you’ll want to keep it that way. Traditionally 3 cars fit in 2 lanes and scooters fit between the cars; you’ll see when you get there.

When you sit down at a ristorante you have a choice of a .5 liter or full liter of wine, many places don’t sell by the glass. If you get a coke, it will be the size of a thimbal and if it has ice, it will have one or two cubes.

Outside the american fast food joints, they don’t know what diet soda is. BTW, yes they sell beer at McDonald’s and yes they dip thier fries in mayo, which actually isn’t bad. The tratorias are restaraunts that sell more traditional food, supposedly, I couldn’t tell the difference.

If you traval to Milano you can see everything worth seeing in a day, however, the best ristarante in Italy is there. When you get to the “Centrali” train station take the subway to the middle of the city, that’s where the “Duomo” and all the historic shit is.

Once you are done there get back on the subway and take the yellow line (I think) and go to the “Di Angeli” station. Once you climb the stairs, look behind you and there is a street called “Via Margera” (FYI: Street signs are rare) the restaurant is called “57 Margera” written in blue.

I recommend the “Filete al pepe verde”, it is to die for. Tell them Pat the american sent you and they won’t know who the fuck your talking about.

I worked in Italy for several months in 2000, that is why I know all this shit.
A couple of more tips, bother to learn italian, english is rarer than you think, even in the touristy areas. Finally, if you do nothing else, GO TO ROME. It is just friggin amazing.

I’ve been travelling for nearly 6 months. I went to Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, Thailand and Maylasia. I trained in gyms everywhere. The best were Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam. Old equipment, run down and full of little guys trying to get big using very old school methods. Love it.

I’m in Slovenia now(next to Italy) and there are a few gyms around. I found one which meets my needs. There are a few really big dudes here and an ex music universe plus some guys training for volleyball and basket ball… No lack of motivation here.

I also went to a park that had some rings, chin up bars and some logs to move around. That was some of the best training I’ve done…fun.

You’d be crazy to miss out on an oportunity to see the world. I’m loving it.

Tomorrow I goto Manchester.

I lived in Berlin from October 05 thru June 06 and joined a gym sufficient equipment for 9.99 euros per month. 3 flat benches, 1 decline bench, 1 incline bench, 1 squat rack, dumbbells up to 50kg, and plenty of smith machines and curl racks for the douchebags. I doubt you’ll have trouble finding something anyway in western europe.

[quote]FightinIrish26 wrote:
ascord wrote:
I’ll be studying abroad in Italy this summer for six weeks. I’d like to know if it’s going to be possible to keep up with lifting and some sort of diet (I mean… I’ll be in friggin’ Italy, I plan on enjoying the cuisine). I don’t mind if I put on some fat, or even alot of fat, I’m more worried about losing muscle and strength.

I’d really like to hear from anyone who has done this before. Also, would it be wise to pack alot of supps/food or will I be able to buy most of it there?

You can weighlift for the rest of your life. You only get chances like this a few times in life.

Do a bodyweight circuit every other day or something, and enjoy a foreign country. I can’t believe there’s people here who would rather sit home and lift then travel to a foreign country, drink foreign booze, and bang foreign chicks. [/quote]

I do hear ya, Irish. Thankfully, I’ve gotten to travel quite a bit when I was younger- Ireland twice, England, France, Canada, and Mexico. Mexico and Canada most recently, but I’m not sure I really “count” those.

On one hand, I know that 5 years from now I could easily see myself looking back to enjoy those few months or weeks spent abroad and I probably wouldn’t miss an equal amount of time of not training that much further down the line.

But something in me feels like I’m just on the verge…call it obsession or whatever, but I’m only a year into true powerlifting and really don’t want to take steps backwards. I’d be okay maintaining, I suppose.

I should really check out the summer program and just try to use my resources. If I have a power-rack, I’m all set.

-MAtt

hey thanks for all the advice guys, i’m really looking forward to this now.

[quote]modernist wrote:
Why are you guys afraid of going on a trip to europe? Do you really think that Europeans don’t know how to train or eat? Especially the Netherlands is full of hardcore BB-gyms, while Italy might have the highest quality natural food of all industrialized nations (especially seafood and olive oils). [/quote]

Yes.

Europe is not made up of small, primitive villages guys. Wake up.