Dominating The Holidays: Balancing Training, Travel, and Family

We’re all about helping Megaton Nation achieve extraordinary results while balancing the demands of daily life. With the winter months rolling in, it’s the best time of year to talk about balancing, family, food, travel, and everything else that comes with the holidays.

That’s why we turned to Coach Justin Kline (@coach_justin1) to find out the best way to dominate during the holidays. If you don’t know coach Justin yet, you should. When he’s not busy competing in the Xterra World Championships he is coaching clients around the country through his company Archangel Fitness.

Coach Justin’s whole life revolves around making “every moment count”, so we asked him how Megaton Nation can dominate their training AND their holidays.



What’s the holiday training mindset?

Coach Justin:

Mindset is king. Before you can achieve any goal, you need to approach the challenge the right way.

First off, it’s important to know that it’s ok to relax. Taking time off from training is essential to proper recovery and maintaining your health/performance in the long run… but it’s difficult because athletes – especially endurance athletes – hate the idea of sitting still.

That’s why I work with my clients to help them understand that the holidays aren’t so much about sitting still as they are about balance. For me personally, I keep my same basic regime, just with less volume. For example, during the holidays I might go for a 3-mile run in the morning rather than my usual 10+ miles. This helps you maintain structure and consistency, but has the benefit of freeing up more time so spend with your family and also allowing your body to rebuild and recover.

Visual cues are key to ensure your motivation is channeled in the right direction this time of year. During the peak race season, I keep a display of my race trophies and ribbons by my bed so it’s the first thing I see when I wake up. But during the holidays I switch my visual cues. For instance, I change the background image on my phone screen from a racing picture to a picture of me spending time with my kids.

High Caffeine Coffee - Family Workout


Any advice to Megaton Nation for those who are traveling for the holidays?

Coach Justin:

If you’re traveling around the holidays time and space are at a premium. To save time, the most important weapon in my arsenal is to switch to high intensity interval training (HIIT) workouts. These provide the most bang for your buck. Sometimes when you’re traveling all you have is 30 minutes here or 20 there… you need to maximize this time. There’s plenty of good HIIT workouts out there that are simple to customize to whatever situation and time crunch you find yourself in.

(Here’s a link to Justin’s favorite hotel room HIIT workout -


So HIIT workouts save time…. But what about if you don’t have any space?

Coach Justin:

No space? Because you’re stuck at your parent’s house and it’s snowing outside?



Coach Justin:

If you are stuck in your childhood bedroom or a hotel room during the holidays, body weight exercises and resistance bands are your best bets. I always travel with resistance bands, and you can get a great workout even in the smallest rooms.

I also carry painter’s tape to make an agility square like the penalty box device. I use the penalty box website and workouts as a supplement to the bands.

Coach Justin’s standard hotel room resistance band workout:

Upper Body/Arms-

  • Single Arm Bicep Curl Right Arm
  • Standing Single Arm Overheard Tricep Extension Right Arm
  • Standing Single Arm Front Shoulder Raise Right Arm
  • Single Arm Bicep Curl Left Arm
  • Standing Single Arm Overheard Tricep Extension Left Arm
  • Standing Single Arm Front Shoulder Raise Left Arm
  • Shoulder Shrug
  • Upright Row
  • Resistance Push-Ups
  • Pec Fly
  • Standing Chest Press



Even when you reduce your workout volume it’s still difficult to balance training and family. What other advice do you have for Megaton Nation?

Coach Justin:

Be creative and look for opportunities to bring family and exercise together.

One of the single best presents I ever got was a running stroller from my wife. At first, I didn’t want anything to do with a running stroller, but then I realized it was an opportunity to bring together two things that I love. Now we use the running stroller all the time and it pairs perfectly with my shorter runs that I do during the holidays. I can still get the training that I need, but now running becomes a family activity.

There’s plenty of other opportunities to combine family and fitness together as well. For instance, I do pushup contests with my son. As it happens, he also like to play with the resistance bands and imitate my workouts. So, I can get a decent workout in, while he is playing alongside.

 Family workout - Megaton Coffee High Caffeine


Any last pieces of advice for Megaton Nation?

Coach Justin:

Finding balance between training and the demands of the holidays is all about getting creative and enjoying the moment. Once you accept that it’s truly alright (and healthy) to pair back your training, you’re only limitation is how creative you can be. Instead of fighting an uphill battle to create more time and be more disciplined...look for opportunities to maximize the space and time you do have available. Being a little creative can go a long way.

One thing I’ve been known to do is pack an extra pair of shoes and shorts in the car whenever we are going to a relative’s house to visit. On the way back, I sometimes have my wife drop me off a few miles from home. I give the family a kiss on the cheek and run the last few miles. This let’s me get my cardio in without screwing up my family’s holiday traditions.

Sure, some of these habits might seem a little out of the ordinary…but we all know that extraordinary results don’t happen by behaving like everyone else.


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