Paul Ellering

Who is this man?

This man is a road warrior. Make that a Road Warrior.

That’s me and Paul Ellering, manager of the Road Warriors, my favorite all-time wrestlers, in the New Orleans airport following WrestleMania 34.

One reason I exercise on the road is to stay sharp. You never know who you’re going to meet. You don’t want to bump into a childhood idol having gained five pounds of cardio bloat after a weekend of debaucherous eating without exercise. That picture is going to live forever.

While in New Orleans for five days, I returned to my tried-and-true travel work out standbys – pushups and stairs – with a twist.

I have written previously about stand-alone pushup workouts I like. This time, I added abdominal work to spice it up. On one day, after a VERY brief warm up of 10 and then 15 pushups, I performed 25 sets of 20 pushups EMOM – every minute on the minute. It takes me about 15 seconds to complete 20 pushups. To this, immediately upon completion of each set of pushups, I rolled over on my back to add leg raises – holding the move until :30 total seconds had eclipsed since starting my latest set of pushups.

Rest 30 seconds and do it again.

I like this workout for many reasons.

It’s simple. It’s safe – I managed this despite a damaged elbow which prevents me from performing many upper-body push exercises. It works – by the end, I had completed over 500 pushups. It’s fast. It can be performed almost anywhere, as I did in my hotel room entryway. It’s scalable. If you can’t do 20 pushups in that amount of time, start with five or 10 or however many, same goes if you can do more. Similarly, you can adjust the duration of your leg raises to meet your fitness level.

Three days later, I tweaked this workout to perform 25 EMOM pushups in 20 minutes, holding my leg raises until :40 had eclipsed, spreading my legs on my leg raises, thereby upping the ante on my chest, abs and conditioning.

One day in between my pushups, to work my lower-body, I incorporated the help of Kristi.

We walked the stairwells of the hotel as I’ve described many times previously. The wrinkle I loved in New Orleans was, with a partner, the benefit of weighted carry. As she tired, I carried her piggy-back style up alternating flights of stairs to beef up my workout.

Listen to me now and believe me later: there is no better travel workout than climbing stairs.

I loved this “couples” version.

Back to “Precious” Paul.

Ellering was a competitive powerlifter back in the day. One story I’ve heard about his post-competition training included step-ups. This is a simple exercise performed by simply “stepping up” onto any sort of elevated surface – a park bench, a gym bench, a rock, a box, a sturdy chair or luggage bench as I found in a hotel room of mine recently.

Step up with your right leg. Bring your left leg up to join it. Step down with your left leg. Bring your right leg down to join it. Repeat in reverse. Left leg up. Right leg joins. Right leg down. Left leg down. And so on.

Rumor has it, Ellering would do this for an hour straight. I set a goal of 15 minutes for my first attempt as I didn’t need to get a big workout in and was pressed for time. I ended up throwing a podcast on – boredom will be an obstacle – feeling it, and going for 30.

Give this workout a try. Again, start at a level equal to your fitness.

When you fly back from your trip, you’ll thank yourself for having done so because you never know who you’ll meet in the airport.