The Olympics are one of the most watched sporting events in the world, and for NBC’s Lester Holt in Tokyo, it began with a hotel-room workout.
In Tokyo, Japan, NBC’s Lester Holt was tasked with staying fit during his time there. This meant he had to find a hotel-room workout.
Lester Holt vowed he’d never become pregnant. However, when the anchor of “NBC Nightly News” approached his forties, he found himself adjusting his belt to fit his expanding girth.
He argues that while you’re young, you can eat anything you want practically without consequence. “As you grow older, things happen to you that you never expected to happen. It was a wake-up call that I needed to make a conscious effort to eat well and exercise regularly.”
Mr. Holt, who is now 62, finds exercising to be tedious. “I know it’s not a waste of time,” he adds, “but I can’t spend an hour on a treadmill.”
While in Tokyo for the Olympics, Mr. Holt will work out in his hotel room.
He started doing an equipment-free high-intensity interval training (HIIT) exercise around ten years ago, which he performs at home or on the road when he’s in a hurry. “There are a million reasons for not exercising, but I can always find 20 minutes in my day,” he adds. “I didn’t even have to leave my house throughout the epidemic. I worked out in my living room while wearing my pajamas.” Mr. Holt lives in New York and Los Angeles, although he is often on the road reporting.
He is getting ready to cover his tenth Olympic Games. Hearing the tales of these super-fit sportsmen has inspired him even more, he adds. “I am constantly inspired by watching swimming and beach volleyball.”
On Thursday, he’ll start anchoring the nightly broadcast from Tokyo. He won’t be able to go to the gym or exercise outdoors because of Covid limitations. For his hotel room, he developed a version of his HIIT program and intends to bring a jump rope and tension bands. He adds, “I’m sure the guy in the room below me won’t like the leaping.” He also invested on a set of water-filled plastic dumbbells.
Mr. Holt says his greatest dilemma is deciding whether to workout or sleep because of the time difference. “I’ll have to get up at 1:30 a.m. in Tokyo and will only get four to six hours of sleep,” he adds. “Perhaps that will be my justification for skipping crunches and getting more rest.”
As part of his HIIT exercise, Mr. Holt performs plank shoulder taps.
Maggie Shannon is a photographer for The Wall Street Journal.
Mr. Holt likes to exercise first thing in the morning, preferably before 10:00 a.m. His New York apartment includes a gym, but since Covid, he’s become used to working out in his living room. He works out at the beach while he’s in Los Angeles. Three sets of nine exercises make up his 20-minute HIIT program. If he’s pressed for time, he’ll do a seven-minute exercise. There is never a routine that is the same.
He adds, “I maintain a large list of workouts in my head and I’m not beyond borrowing ideas.” “If I see someone doing something cool at the gym, I attempt it.” To get his heart rate up, he begins with 30 to 40 seconds of jumping rope or jogging in place with high knees. After that, he’ll perform a core workout. Cycling crunches, followed by a wall sit or dips, are a must-do. He then alternates between cardio, core, and upper- and lower-body workouts in a set.
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If he’s in Los Angeles, he loves to go to Muscle Beach and perform dips and pull-ups on the parallel bars, as well as run between lifeguard towers on the beach. He adds, “Running is not my thing.” “However, sprinting is a fantastic method to raise your heart rate, and the discomfort is just temporary.”
Burpees aren’t his favorite exercise, but he incorporates them into his routine on occasion. His plank-pose endurance is something he takes pleasure in. On the “Today” program, he held a three-minute plank and claims his record is almost four minutes.
Mr. Holt has just begun to include yoga in his daily regimen. “I’ve always struggled with flexibility, but now that I’ve begun stretching, I can see how it affects my posture and how I carry myself,” he adds. His go-to poses include downward dog, child’s pose, and tree position.
At Muscle Beach in Santa Monica, Calif., Mr. Holt adds wind sprints into his workout.
Yogurt with blackberries and cinnamon for breakfast.
Cheat: “It was my habit while I was anchoring ‘Weekend Today,’ to return home and cook pancakes or Belgian waffles and drench them in maple syrup,” he adds. “Thank goodness, I was able to break that habit and now only indulge once every six weeks.”
Lunch: From the newsroom commissary, a grilled chicken sandwich. He adds, “If I’m very nice, I only eat half the bread.”
Dinner: “My wife is a fantastic cook,” he exclaims. “Because she’s from Seattle, we eat a lot of salmon, usually with broccoli and pasta.”
Temptations: “Whenever I’m covering breaking news in a parking lot, someone usually runs for doughnuts or sweets and chips,” he adds. “It’s extremely tempting since I want carbohydrates when I’m tired.”
“It’s a continuous battle,” he adds of his sweet appetite. “I’m a label reader who tries to avoid sweets, but I fall off the wagon while I’m on the road.”
Mr. Holt isn’t much of a runner, so he jumps rope to get his blood pumping.
Bands of resistance
Dumbbells filled with water
Mr. Holt, a musician and former radio DJ, is always listening to music. He adds, “I have diverse taste and like anything from country to jazz.” “When I workout, I want to approximate the beat.”
On the parallel bars, Mr. Holt is in plank position.
Make your hotel room into a fitness center.
Although travel has resumed, many hotel gyms remain closed as a result of Covid restrictions. According to Andrew Gavigan, director of education at Aktiv Solutions, a Santa Monica, Calif.-based firm that developed Hilton’s Five Feet to Fitness rooms, you can stick to your program by planning ahead and being creative.
“Push the furniture out of the way so you can perform a push-up or lunge,” he advises. “You may do squats or chest presses using your luggage as a weight, and push-ups or dips with a desk chair or the edge of the bed. On the road, aim for consistency rather than a strong workout.”
Vanessa Martin, a trainer and the creator of SIN (Strength in Numbers) Workouts in New York, a fitness program that encourages individuals to integrate fitness into their daily life, reveals her favorite 24-minute hotel-room workout. Begin slowly and gradually increase the number of repetitions as your fitness level improves:
Circuit of Hotel Rooms (Repeat for a total of four sets.) Between each set, take a 60-second rest.)
25 rounds of jumping jacks
Push-ups with a hand-release
Because you must descend all the way to the ground and raise your hands before pushing back up, this push-up variant prohibits cheating.
Each leg will include 15 sprinters.
Assume you’re in the starting blocks of a sprinter, with your right foot forward, left hand on the ground, and right hand behind your back. Your left knee will be only a few inches off the ground. Rapidly stand up, bringing your left knee to your chest. As your left hand falls by your side, your right hand will swing up to knee height. You may make it more difficult by adding a hop at the top. Rep the process on the other side.
Minute number three:
squats sumo squats sumo squats sumo s
Similar to a normal squat, but with your feet turned outward at hips-width distance.
Minute number four:
12 plank walk-ups with thrusters
Begin by standing. Place your hands on each side of your feet as you squat down. Return to a high plank position by hopping your feet back. Drop your right forearm, then your left forearm, to the ground. Return to high plank by rising onto your right hand, then your left hand. Then rise up by hopping your feet between your hands. Repeat. Each lead arm should be alternated. Drop the left forearm to the ground, then the right, for rep two.
10 reverse lunges alternated
What do you do for a workout? Please let us know at [email protected]
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Lester Holt, the host of NBC’s Nightly News, was in Tokyo for the Olympics. He needed to stay in shape while there, so he did a hotel-room workout. Reference: where is lester holt.
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