For lots of people who enter ‘prep’, fitness is their profession. I have been told by many people that when I step on stage, I will be in the minority who are not personal trainers. With that being said, I know there are plenty of people who have a career outside of the realms of fitness, myself included. My current role has me travelling frequently and this week I am travelling to southern California for a week long conference. I am not saying how I have prepared is the right way, or the only way, but it puts my mind at ease to be this organized. Plus, I have set myself up for success. I am not saying it will be easy, but I definitely want you to know that you can both ‘prep’ and be a professional.
- Pick your own flights. As soon as I found out that the conference was happening, I researched flight options. Travelling across the country takes as long in connections as it does to travel to the UK (unbelievable, but true!) I was able to find flights that left Tampa in the late morning (enabling me to train prior to my flight) and get a red eye flight back on Thursday (giving me all of Friday on my own schedule).
- Contact the hotel. Some people opt for meal prep companies – I frankly didn’t want the expense, so I called the hotel to ask if the rooms came with fridges, and, if not, whether I could have one in my room.
- Scope out gyms. I researched local gyms, as, although the hotel has a fitness center, it will not cut it for my program! If I wasn’t prepping, I would have just used the hotel gym, but I wanted to keep the workout side as optimal as possible.
- Pack lots of food. I have programmed all my meals into MyFitnessPal and have prepared everything, from vitamins to supplements to meals. If we end up eating at places with calorie counts on the menu that looks tasty, I will definitely adapt my day of eating to allow it. From my experience of conferences, the food is so unpredictable. Sometimes it is almost non-existent, other times it is greasy food trucks and, sometimes, it is varied and tasty! I have packed for the worst case scenario, i.e. no food will be available for me to eat! When I travel, I always take with me: protein powder, protein bars, peanut butter, oats, packets of tuna, packets of carrots and packets of rice. I also have with me a few other goodies, including sliced ham, wraps and cooked sausages (normally I wouldn’t bring all my food with me!)
- Be willing to train fasted. My days at these conferences are long and full on. Realistically, the only time I am going to get a chance to train is by getting up at 4am and doing so on an empty stomach. I will take BCAA and Coffein before I workout and drink carb powder intra-workout to help fuel me. I will also ensure I eat a higher carb meal before bed to help with fuel the following day.
- Meal prep before bed. I don’t know until I arrive at the hotel where we will be eating each night.If necessary, I will have to meal prep the night before.
- Understand that sleep might have to be sacrificed for a few days.
- Pack utensils. I have clean tupperware, digital scales, plastic cutlery and measuring spoons.
I hope this is helpful! I am organized to say the least, but I can now enter the week with my priorities being both prep and work. I don’t have to set myself up for sacrificing one for the other. I will have to sacrifice sleep and feeling optimal, I will also have to sacrifice some socialising and social media presence. I can catch up with all of those when I am back. The next 4 days will be tough, but learning and progression never came from being inside your comfort zone.