As guides, we spend a lot of time on the road, and it’s unfortunately not always on a bike. Long hours of travel and big days preparing our trips mean that we need to make the most of our time. When we can’t get out for a bike ride or a run, we like to do workouts that will give us the most bang for our buck.

High intensity interval training (HIIT) does just that. The workouts don’t require any equipment, and can be varied for intensity and to keep things interesting. Here’s a sample 10 minute session:

  1. Jumping Jacks
  2. Squats
  3. Burpees
  4. Lunge Jumps
  5. Push Ups
  6. V Ups
  7. Tuck Jumps
  8. Prone Walkout
  9. Mountain Climber
  10. Plank to Push Up

This particular workout consists of 10 exercises. For each set, there is a 40 second interval of work and a 20 second interval of rest. Start by doing as many jumping jacks as you can in 40 seconds, and then take 20 seconds to recover and set up for squats. Repeat this for each exercise on the list.

If you have more time, you can do a 20 minute workout by simply repeating the entire program. If you have less time, research has shown big fitness gains by using a Tabata regimen: 8 rounds broken into 20 seconds of super intense exercise followed by 10 seconds of rest. This makes for a quick and difficult 4-minute workout.

To make a workout harder, do more repetitions of each exercise or do a more challenging version of the exercise. To do an easier session, do fewer reps or a less challenging version of each exercise.

To time yourself, there are free interval timer apps for iOS and Android phones that allow users to create custom timers for different workouts. I particularly like the “Gymboss” app, but find whichever one works best for you.

However, I’ll let you in on a guiding secret: some days we don’t have time for even a quick interval training session. On days like this, when we’re working before sunrise and still going long after sunset, we follow a five step regiment to stay in shape:

1. We ride our bikes.

Trek Travel Guides Riding in the Alps

2. We lift weights.

Trek Travel Guides at the Tour de France

3. We stretch.

Trek Travel Guide Meetings

4. We eat well.

Trek Travel Guide Team

5. We stay hydrated.

Trek Travel Guide Team


*Trek Travel assumes no liability. Before starting this or any other exercise program, be sure to check with your doctor.*