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How to Stay Fit While Traveling Japan

January 25, 2017

Ever wonder how to stay fit while you're traveling? 

Adventure Trainer Donny Gallegos shares his secrets of how to get a workout in no matter where you are.

This keeps happening to me...

I book a flight and right before I leave I always say, “Oh man, where am I going to workout?” 

And if it's international, “How on earth am I going to get a workout in?” 

If you're anything like me, simply going for a run just won’t cut it.

Instead of posting a few workouts for you, I am going to give you a few simple but effective workout templates and let you design your own workout. Yes, YOU get to be the trainer!

AND I've included some simple video tutorials (at the bottom) so you don't have to worry if you are doing it wrong...

Workout Anywhere!

So many workouts out there need to be done in a gym with a bunch of equipment or weights. Fortunately for you, a good workout doesn't require any of that. Just your own bodyweight.

The workouts I've laid out for you can be done essentially anywhere.
Whether you are in a hotel room, airport, the beach or even waiting in line at Disneyland, you can stay in shape.
Take these templates with you and customize them for any adventure you embark on...


You’ve probably heard that word before, but what does it really mean? 
Well, it's one of the most common and versatile templates of all time. People have even written books with only Tabata workouts in them. 

How it works

It is 4 total minutes broken up into 8 intervals of 20 seconds of work followed by 10 seconds of rest. 

Put another way, 8 rounds 20 seconds on, 10 seconds off.

How to execute it

Pick a movement, any movement. 

Tabata is great for total body movements, like burpees, or isolated movements with a specific muscle or body part.

Depending on your travel situation, you could use equipment for this or only use body weight movements.

How to leverage it

To take full advantage of a Tabata workout, your goal is consistency. Try to hit the exact same number of reps in a 20 second period for all 8 intervals.

Spice it up

I call it a Tabata Mash-Up. Pick a few different movements and move from station to station during your workout. You can even add some extra time. I typically add 4 minutes for every movement I have in a workout.


12 Minute Tabata Mash-Up of Push Ups, Flutter Kicks, and Lunges.

  • 20 seconds of push ups 
  • 10 Seconds Rest
  • 20 Seconds of Flutter Kicks
  • 10 Seconds Rest
  • 20 Seconds of Lunges
  • 10 Seconds Rest. 
  • Etc. 

Mess with the time, movements...anything. Have fun with it!
Follow the 20 seconds of work and 10 seconds of rest pattern and you’ve got yourself an awesome workout.

Death by

It's about as bad as it sounds. You will be going literally as far as you can with this one. 

It starts off simple, and easy…

How it works

Minute 1 you will complete 1 rep of your movement and then rest the remainder of the minute. 

Minute 2, complete 2 Reps. 3 reps on minute 3, 4 for minute 4...until you can’t complete the designated number of reps for the minute.

This one isn’t quite as versatile as Tabata, but again, use the template as a starting point and build yourself a tough one.

How to execute

For death by, it is best to pick movements that tax your entire body. This is also a great template if you have access to any equipment. 

Think burpees, man makers, burpee pull ups, etc.

How to leverage it

To take full advantage of this one shoot to get to a minimum of the 10th minute. (That’s 55 total reps!). 

If you can’t get too much further than that, perfect! It should feel incredibly easy early on, and then around the 7th or 8th minute, you should begin to feel the burn.

Spice it up

Mix and match movements. Mix and match rep schemes. 

So long as you’re huffin and puffin by minute 8-ish, you’ve got a good thing going.


Death by Burpees. The furthest I have ever gotten is minute 16, with a few in minute 17. Brutal!

Another example with two movements: thrusters on odd minutes, V-Ups on the even minutes.
Minute 1, 1 thruster. Minute 2, 2 V-Ups. Minute 3, 3 Thrusters etc. You could go up by 2s, 3s, anything.


Push Up -
Lunge -
Burpee -
Flutter Kicks -


When you're traveling, especially to a country that will require a lot of time walking like Japan, making a plan for mobility is important.

One of the easiest and kindest things you can do for your feet is pack a lacrosse ball. Every night at the end of a long and satisfying day exploring Japan, I'll pop that lacrosse ball out of my bag and go to town on my feet.

You can roll the ball horizontally and/or vertically, taking extra passes at the tender parts of your feet.

Don't be afraid to put a lot of pressure on those hot spots - your feet will thank you in the morning. 

The lacrosse ball is also great for mashing out knots that will inevitably build up in your back and shoulders from dragging luggage all over the place.

Another piece of portable equipment I find useful while traveling are exercise bands. You can use these to do monster walks or banded squats at your hotel for a good glute and hip flexor exercise that doesn't require much room.


There are two different workout templates and some mobility advice to get you going, along with instructions and tutorials.

These can be done anytime, anywhere, and you can mix in equipment if you have it.

Get creative, use the world as your gym. You are practically a trainer now, so be sure to post your workout on Instagram and tag us ;)

OR come to Japan with us this summer, May 8-15, and we can really show you how to turn the world into your very own gym!

Donny started CrossFit in 2010 and coaching in 2011. After being in the corporate world for 6 years, he realized he loved the community and teaching aspect of Fitness and left the corporate world behind. After a U30X adventure to Iceland, Donny decided to join his passion for Fitness and Travel & now leads fitness adventure trips.

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