Belizean Beach Body- Our Exercise Options in Placencia

Lunges on the sea wall in Placencia- Real Life Recess

So one of the handful of things that we miss right off the bat about our lives in the States… a proper gym! You know what I mean- a clean modern facility decked out with cardio machines, all manner of weights, AIR CONDITIONING, and (this is probably asking way too much now) a childcare room?!?!

There are two gyms here in the village and neither of them are cheap to join. One is Evolution Gym,  an open-air type of place in the front yard of a local’s house… pretty prison yard style to me and I’m not sure that any women work out there. Phil went there a few times last year; the owner/trainer takes you through a circuit training routine focused on a certain body part and then usually finishes with some ab work. Not a bad place at all, but just not in our budget.

The other is Placencia Gym, a crossfit type gym in the loosest of terms because there isn’t actual coach led classes, just a WOD written down on a chalkboard you could attempt on your own. You’ll find a modest selection of barbells, plates, or kettlebells.  But since this gym is only open for about 4 hours each day and not on weekends…it just didn’t seem like it would work for the both of us.

We opted not to blow $100USD our first month on gym memberships (our gym back in NJ was actually cheaper) and see if we could make an at-home routine work for us instead.

Each day while Mitch naps we either go for a run or do a circuit training routine.  Our typical run (no, we don’t run at the same time…someone has to watch Mitch sleep) is up to the air strip and back- a little over 2 miles each way. This got us in shape for the 5 mile race we did last week.  Our other option is a circuit training program in the backyard. Now this typically occurs between 11am and 2pm because that’s when Mitch is asleep. It’s perfect for him that he sleeps through the heat of the day- in front of a fan is where he needs to be trust me! But it’s not such a perfect time for two gringos to try and work out. Our weather app says its feels like 113 degrees sometimes while we’re running or doing burpees or whatever.

Phil brought a few resistance bands, so we make good use of them and then throw in some body-weight exercises as well. Our typical routine is 8-10 exercises each performed for 60 seconds with a 10 second rest in between. We usually do 3 rounds, so in about 30 minutes we can get in a decent workout. Our workout today was jump squats, push-ups, rows with the resistance band, walking lunges, face pulls with the resistance band, mountain climbers, front and side raises with the band, side planks, squat thrusts, and front planks.

Home exercise rouitne, Phil doing curls on the Placencia lagoon- Real Life Recess

Home exercise routine, Phil rowing on Placencia Lagoon- Real Life Recess

Shoulder Raises Placencia- Real Life Recess

Belizeans don’t (as a majority) work out; their active outdoor lifestyles on a whole keep them relatively fit. Most don’t own cars or golf carts, so they rely on walking or biking to get around. But they are very encouraging to us when they witness our fitness journey.  As we do push-ups along the lagoon the fishermen pass by and shout inspiration. And as I hobble along the road, red and sweating profusely, the garbage collectors chuckle and cheer and give me a thumbs up.

Phil ordered some kettlebells from Walmart and some knock-off TRX suspension straps from eBay…they should arrive down here in about 3 weeks.  That should allow us to expand our routines and prevent exercise boredom from creeping in.

About the author

Megan Rodden

never met a vacation she didn’t like. Megan is a self-centered, snarky, unambitious derelict… like most of her peers.

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© 2014 Megan Rodden and Phil Nagengast.