How-to: Stay Fit During Festival Season

Summer is right around the corner, which means it’s time to pull out that Rubbermaid tote full of sequins, signs and sunglasses.

We are trainers in a city that considers “Festival Season” a sacred culture…which means we field a ton of questions on how you can maintain your hard-earned physique while living in a tent for days on end. As you gear up to hit the road in 2016, don’t leave your fitness regimen in the dust.

Side note: Local weekend events (like Tall Tree) won’t set you back much, so this article is touching on 7+ day commitments like Shambhala, Burning Man, or even Pemberton.

Screen shot 2016-06-23 at 10.24.33 AM

Event Prep: 1-2 Months Out

Blistering sun. Lack of electricity. No showers. Sounds like fun, right? Here’s the thing: Festivals are extremely taxing on your body. If you don’t do it right, chances are you’ll be miserable when the music stops. Staying in tip-top shape is key to getting through it in one piece.

  • No matter what you do, stick to at least a 4-day/week workout regimen before you leave. Just because the weather is hot doesn’t mean you can slow down. Keeping your muscles at their strongest point increases your bounce-back time when you’re staying awake until 5 a.m.
  • Combine strength and cardio training with compound moves such as burpees, plank ups, or stairs (these ones at Dallas Road Beach are killer…try for 10 rounds and work your way up!). Increased cardiovascular health will help you stay strong during an 8-hour dance marathon.

Travel Prep: 1 Week Out

If you’re a first-time festival goer, you’re going to want to take into account the time spent driving, sitting in a line-up in the hot sun, and setting up shop before even enjoying the music. On top of that, you have to get home as well. A specific lineup may only go Friday-Sunday, but chances are you’re leaving the Monday or Tuesday beforehand. See below for snacking ideas while you’re on the road to prevent spontaneous McDonald’s trips!

Meal Prep: 2-5 Days Out

Most festivals require tent and shade-structure living, so chances are you won’t have access to a fridge. Before you cruise into that farm field/beach/desert, divide up some quick eats to fuel your dance moves. As much as the heat (and lack of sleep) kills your appetite, force yourself to eat at least 1 meal and 3 healthy snacks per day.

  • Protein bars: You can find your chocolate fix right here on the Limitless blog. These are hands down the most popular protein bars we’ve posted. Chocolatey goodness with a good amount of protein and carbs, so you’ll stay on track with your macros.
  • The Good Food Box: Head on over to their website (or visit their Fernwood location) and support local! These guys supply fresh produce boxes to cater any need. Grab a box of fresh fruits that you can eat on the go.
  • Ingredients Cafe: If you’re not interested in portioning out your own snacks, Ingredients has an awesome market selection of organic and/or vegan and/or delicious snacks to stock up on! Choose something with a plant-based protein or a high-carb breakfast bar to stay full.
  • Snacks: Pack easy snacks that you can have on the go and don’t need to refrigerate. A few examples are:

Instant coffee (black is best!)
Green tea (keeps you hydrated)
Natural dried fruit bars
Raw Almonds/Cashews (great to store in your pocket on the dance floor)
Honey Stinger energy chews
Protein powder

Fudge Brownie Protein Bars…you know you want ’em!


Hydration Prep

You made it! Now it’s time to focus on how to keep your body happy for the next 3-6 days.

News flash: Summer is hot. Festivals take place in the summer. Your body needs between 3-4 litres of water a day…and that’s when you’re not staying up all night/walking in the obnoxious heat/dancing your face off for hours on end.

  • Pack a Camelbak (you can find them right in town at Capital Iron) and fill it religiously.
  • Another great way to stay hydrated is to top up your hydration pack with a can of coconut water. Coconut water is packed with potassium and electrolytes…and will give your water amazing flavour! Hop to Lifestyle Markets and grab yourself a few litres of Thirsty Buddha coconut water – it’s one of the only coconut waters in Canada that is all natural and not from concentrate.
Our Limitless trainers do it right…enjoying a FRESH coconut during a hot day at Shambhala MF!

Nap Prep

We all know that once you hit the grounds, sleep becomes a secondary requirement (behind dancing and glitter).

  • Try to find a treed area during the day and set up a hammock to catch some zzz’s. Sleeping not only mends your muscles, but mends your mind as well. Sleeping decreases ATP, which in turn will increase your mental alertness and clarity.
Give yourself some time to unwind & relax. Your body will thank you!

Dance Prep

Let’s be real…chances are you’re not going to be keeping up with your workout routine. There’s too much to see, too much to do, and too much energy needed to recover from simply surviving another night. One of the best ways to stay fit at a festival (obviously) is to put on your dancin’ shoes!

  • Dancing is a great cardiovascular workout as well as a core & booty blaster. Whether you’re head banging at the Village or grooving to some mellow tunes on the top of a mountain, there’s always a way to get your sweat on.
  • We can’t say this enough: be sure to wear good shoes!!! If you get injured, you’re going to ruin the rest of your time and be sidelined when you get home from getting back into your regimen.
  • Stretch during/after your dance session to prevent muscle soreness. There’s nothing worse than being in the heat, not showering for 4 days…and feeling stiff to boot. Remember to always stretch warm muscles, and if you’re in doubt about what to do, just follow this stretching guideline.


Post-Festival: 1-5 Days After

The biggest killer to your workout routine post-festival is the sleep catch-up needed. If you want to be running on all cylinders as soon as possible, make sure you take a couple of days off of work and training when you get back. Use this time to sleep, hydrate, and sleep some more! You can resume your workouts as quickly as the day after you get back if you’ve followed all of the steps above.

Gear up…we are in full Festival mode and it’s time to boogy! Have fun out there, be safe, and most importantly, stick with your Limitless trainer to get you through your busy summer!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s