Island Fitness - Gili Trawangan

I’ve been in Bali for two weeks now and what an experience it has been. When I booked my trip to the island I had expected to travel around on my own and hoped that I would fit in a few workouts with my friend Dave who owns a gym in Canggu. Little did I know I would meet a really cool group of people who I would train with and eat with and lay out in the sun with every day. They have been the sweetest people I could have met and I’m so grateful to have some travel companions while I’m here. Dave calls this group his ‘Bali Barbell Club’ and they train together most days at 10am. When he added me to the ‘Bali Barbell Club’ on WhatsApp I officially became a part of the group. And I haven’t missed many training sessions or meals out since.

Rob and Megan have moved to Bali for a year from Florida. They love to travel and have even started their own business, Fit 4 Travel Now. Dave has explored the world and has put some roots in Bali with his gym in Canggu. He’s all about getting fit anywhere and calls his workouts ‘Wanderlust WODs’. He lives with his roommate Matt who also trains and coaches at the gym. Dan, from New Zealand, trains every day. He’s hilarious and has helped me get through some brutal workouts. And then there’s Tove. She came from Finland to work for a family on holiday caring for their children. They’ve just left the island and she’s decided to stay. She’s 20 and only started CrossFitting two months ago but she’s amazing and I have no doubt she will be a great athlete. She catches on extremely quick.

The crew had been wanting to take a trip to the Gili Islands together and I was lucky that they waited for me to arrive. Rob, the organized one in the group, helped make it happen. He booked our fast boat and helped us find a really nice resort to stay at. Gili Trawangan, the island that we went to, is know as the party island, but luckily our resort would be far enough away from the bars to escape but close enough that we could rent bikes and get there to eat and explore and have a few drinks. We arrived early at the dock Friday afternoon and grabbed some lunch before our boat headed to the island. Chicken satay with rice and vegetables. It was delicious and cost 45,000 Rupiah ($3.33 US). While we sat and ate locals came offering sarongs and fresh fruit. They’re pretty relentless, but I did want a sarong to wear down to the beach and to use to lay out on. So I purchased one, and some fresh coconut for the boat ride.

It takes about an hour and a half to get to the island from Bali. I’ve never been sea sick before but I have to admit I came pretty close on this boat. The sea was rough. I’d never experienced anything quite like it. But luckily we made it safely! Once we arrived we took a horse carriage to our accommodation, the Gili Teak Resort, and settled in.

The resort had some tasty welcome drinks for us upon arrival. Then we headed down to the beach to watch sunset. It was stunning.

After the sun set we headed towards the main strip for dinner. We went to the market where a bunch of carts set up and sell food. Lots of choices! Tove and I grabbed food from a lady serving skewers of chicken and shrimp with vegetables and rice. Cheap and delicious.

In the morning I decided I would get in a little workout. We had a pool at the resort and luckily I’d packed my goggles so I made up a quick WOD:

5 Rounds of:

5 laps in the pool

10 air squats

10 push ups

It was a perfect start to the day. We also had a really awesome breakfast that was included in our stay. I had the poached eggs with tomatoes, fruit, bacon and coffee. And of course a coconut. I’ve had at least one of them a day since I’ve been here. I’m addicted.

After breakfast we all rented bikes and cruised to the side of the island where all of the restaurants are. We found a spot on the beach and rented some gear to go snorkeling. It was beautiful. The water is so clear! I could have stayed out there all day.

On the way back to our resort we found this really cool spot that some locals had set up to workout. They let us stop to play with their equipment for a little while. A bench press, pull up bar and some dumbbells.

Sunday morning we woke up and decided to run around the entire island. It’s 7k. Running is definitely something I need to do more of so I was up for the challenge. It was pretty brutal with the heat and humidity and some parts where we had to run through the sand. I sweated an absurd amount. I probably would have hated it if the scenery hadn’t been so beautiful and the company so great.

We also stopped and got some fitness in at a beautiful lookout point. Some box jumps, l-sits, pistols, handstand walks, planks and strict pull ups from a tree. It’s been fun hanging out with people who also enjoying training as much as I do; even on a vacation!

I highly recommend a trip to Gili. It’s beautiful. I also hear that Gili Air is really nice and the island is a bit quieter if that’s what you prefer. And I suggest waking up earlier than we did if you choose to run the island. Or do it at sunset to avoid the extreme heat. But either way, try to do it, it’s a great workout with a gorgeous view!