Vacation-with-Kids Interval Training: Only the Strong Survive

Written by Emily

We’re leaving for the beach in 4 days, which means I have 4 more days to prepare for the most rigorous, most exhausting physical conditioning of my life. I’m already preparing to come home sore and broken. If that doesn’t sound like fun, then I don’t know what fun is.

I’m working all of my major muscle groups in a full-body cram session to get ready for Vacation-With-Kids Interval Training. Rumor has it it’s a killer no matter how many times you’ve done it, so my efforts are probably futile.

Here are a few of the most intense:


Wallet Shrugs: 5(+) reps.

To prevent injury, it’s important to lift with the trapezius and slide the contents of the wallet with your shoulder. Novice and well-trained athletes try not to over-extend but fail again and again. Unlike traditional weight training, you will decrease weight with every rep. It may not feel like much at first, but the burn will really set in a week or two later.

Hot Sand Hops: 2-3 times/day

Sand reaches blistering temps at the exact time you get to the beach. With the speed and agility of a football prospect at the NFL combine, you’ll high-knee it across the searing sand at record speed. Your abs will scream as you pull your knees above your hips while you carry at least two beach bags, three chairs, a cooler and as many children as you have. Go!

Sandy Baby Hold: 2-3 minutes

You want toned shoulders and sculpted arms? This is your move. Babies and sand: lethal combination…for you. Add poo, and do the math. To avoid a bacteria-laden sandpaper abrasion on anyone’s skin, you’ll hold that baby with outstretched arms making sure to keep it far away from your core. This continues until someone else prepares the changing station. If you’re relying on a husband or child, be prepared to hold this position until sundown. Exhale only.

Defensive Sugar Slide: 30 seconds, 3 sets

You’ll quickly assume a squat position, staying light on your toes as you anticipate your child’s every move. You’ll morph into a moving shield. It’s an hour past bedtime, and you’re still on the Boardwalk. Be vigilant. When your quads burn, consider what’s worse: a few minutes of quad pain or the intensity of a sugar-induced meltdown when your child sees another sign for ice cream. Get lower.

40-yard Danger Dash: 2-3/day

Because you’re aiming for the best results, you’ll start this extreme move from a seated position. Without warning, you’ll  jump up and sprint to your child who has his pants down at the edge of the ocean to relieve himself for the entire coastline to witness. You’ll go again when your toddler gets dangerously close to the pool’s edge and one more time to catch a juice spill before it stains the carpet and costs you the security deposit. Be careful not to pull your hamstring.

Mad Dash Moguls: 3-5 reps.

Make sure your knees stay behind your toes and really push with your legs when you’re leaping over sun bathing teens to grab your towels and child’s new favorite toy before the encroaching waves wash them away. Get low to prevent back injuries as you reach for the rogue umbrella that’s blowing across the beach about to impale unsuspecting vacationers. Remember to breath.

Offensive Oblique Twists: sets of 15

Tighten your core and avoid gasping as you race to cover your children’s eyes from the repulsive Boardwalk t-shirts that are more explicit than late night Cinemax. Combine with Defensive Sugar Slide for maximum results.

No wonder we’re tired after vacationing with children. We’re essentially professional athletes by the time we return. At the very least, we totally earn margaritas on the deck when the children finally crash…if they ever crash. Cheers!

Categories: Emily

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6 replies

  1. This is awesome! You’re brave! So very, very brave! It doesn’t sound very relaxing!

  2. I love it! It’ll be something to remember!

  3. Also: brain freeze practice? You know, for when you DO get a margarita, but it’s in front of the kids, who think it’s lemonade that they should get to share with you, that you then have to finish in one gulp?

  4. hahahahaha, nice! This falls under the “it’s funny because it’s true!” category. That’s just greatness.

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