The Ultimate Travel Band Workout

 These tiny pieces of equipment can take your training literally anywhere—learn more with Coach Sara Frenza.

So you’re on a family vacay and wondering how you’re going to get your sweat session in. Luckily for you, I’ve got three tiny pieces of equipment that anyone can use and that take up pretty well no space in your luggage. That’s right, I’m talking about resistance bands.

Not just for those still slightly intimidated by the free weight section of the gym—hey, we all started somewhere—resistance bands are an incredibly simple yet versatile full-body training tool for even the most beginner or advanced athlete, that you can bring literally anywhere you go. From hotel room workouts to getting your sweat on in the park, when you’re traveling or even just wanting to shake things up a bit, resistance bands help you get those endorphins flowing. 

Can You Keep the Tempo?

Let’s explore my two favorite full-body workout techniques that pair perfectly with resistance bands. First, you’ll need three types of bands for these sessions:

  1. Power loop bands
  2. Tube resistance bands with handles
  3. Fabric mini bands

These workouts call for supersets (read: one set performed back-to-back with another complementary set, with minimal or no rest in between supersets) and tempo (read: the speed at which you perform the eccentric, or “lowering phase,” bottom of the movement, concentric, or “lifting phase,” and the top of the movement). 

Both of these training techniques—using supersets and tempo—are excellent for increasing intensity as well as improving strength, quickly. For instance, both techniques increase time under tension. With supersets, you’re forgoing rest for more reps back-to-back; with tempo workouts, not only do you get more time to focus on perfecting your movement patterns, your muscles get more eccentric and concentric load time, which recruits more muscle fibers and can get you fitter, faster. 

So, how do you read tempo numbers in a workout? It’s confusing at first glance, right? Let’s demystify this—it’s really quite simple once you get the hang of it. Tempo is always written with an @ symbol, four numbers following it, and each number states the amount of time in seconds you need to do each part of your lift. Here’s a simple chart to explain it.

@

3

0

1

0

Lift at the following speeds

Eccentric

Bottom

Concentric

Top

 

So, @3010 simply means, in a squat for instance, you’ll lower yourself for three seconds (eccentric portion of the movement), hold the bottom of the squat for zero, explode up through the lifting movement (concentric portion of the lift) for one second, then hold at the top again for zero. Now that you’ve got the tempo down, head over to our fitclub exclusive content to try the workouts for yourself. Not a fitclub member yet? Sign up now. 

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