The Travellers Workout

The Travellers Workout

I’ve only been gone a month – so, as of yet, I’ve only lost a few things. In order of descending annoyance, these are: earphones, a sock, and my fear of riding naked in a rickshaw.

But there’s one thing I’m losing even as we speak – my rockin’ bod. Yes, it’s tough to keep in shape when you’re backpacking in Asia. The beer is too cheap and the food is too good.

I’m avoiding the weigh-in like a steer at market. I feel like a reverse Jenny Craig poster: starting from borderline acceptable and working back towards the before shot. Take away my tone, and I’m left with little else…just my looks, sharp wit, and a girthy man-mallet. It’s time I did something about it.

So, with that in mind, I’ve made a daily circuit – splicing gym elements with your more traditional backpacker exercises.

Stop 1: Bicep curls: Order large beers as they offer more resistance. Keep topping up to maintain the load. Lift drinks with your elbow firmly planted on the table. Hold the lift. Alternate hands for three sets of six reps. Stretch it out.

Stop 2: Interval sprint: Order something from a street vendor. Tell them you’d like your food ‘brown people hot’ and include a thinly veiled insult. Wait for your stomach to warn of incipient release. Clench your core, and sprint to a safe space. Perform a deep squat. Hold the pose for a full minute. Walk it off. Repeat to failure. Buy new pants.

Som tam, or pawpaw salad…brown people hot!

Stop 3: Flexor thrusts. Find a beach bar and sidle up to a German girl – preferably one with broken English. Introduce yourself as an Aussie hero. Weave a rich but not necessarily accurate narrative. Borrow elements from Crocodile Dundee, Skippy, and Bondi Rescue. You get the picture…

So, as the adage goes: the more you put in, the more you get out. Follow this circuit – you may not get fit, but you’ll have fun trying.