It’s that time of year that makes getting to the gym regularly not so easy. Going out of town every weekend, leaving for even longer vacations, weddings, BBQ’s, you name it. As a trainer, my workload decreases by anywhere from 30-50% in July and August. Every client asks me the same question- “can you write me down a workout to do in my hotel room that won’t take very long?” Of course I oblige, telling them while it’s not a substitute for strength training, bodyweight circuits can be effective for burning fat and most importantly keeping themselves active when away from their routine.
So I rather than write one, two or three workouts, I decided to put together a simple template from which a crap-ton of workouts can be designed. All the exercises are bodyweight movements, but feel free to get creative and use different objects to load them. With the exception of “pulling” exercises, you don’t need any other equipment than yourself and something to elevate your feet or hands or step onto like a chair or phone book. Personally, I feel that for most people, upper-body pulling exercises are more important than pushing. Most people spend hours sitting at a desk, slouching with their upper back rounded and chest caved in, leaving them weak in the back and tight in the chest and shoulders. So rather than omit pulling exercises all together due to lack of equipment, I highly suggest purchasing a suspension trainer such as the TRX or Jungle Gym XT. I personally like the Jungle Gym XT better, it’s easier to set up and half the price, you can check it out here. But if you like the TRX better, awesome, check that out here. If you’re a frequent traveler, I really suggest investing in a suspension trainer. If you don’t travel much and are just taking a short vacation, relax and have fun- the gym will be waiting for you when you get back. Or if you feel so inclined, put together a workout only utilizing what you have to work with.
Another item I like are Val Slides, again, not necessary, but great to have if you find yourself in a hotel room with limited time often. Check those out here.
Simply choose an exercise from corresponding category, for A1-A6 and go at it. I’m assuming if getting a quick workout in is important to you while traveling, then you’re pretty well schooled in these exercises already. All my baddass clients know them. If there is an exercise you’re not familiar with, send me a message, I’ll be happy to break it down for you.
Without weights, following tempo is really important if you want to keep the exercises challenging. For the most part, the slower you go, the harder it is. For simplicities sake, go with a tempo of 3/0/1/0 for upper-body pushing and lower-body exercises and try a tempo of 3/0/1/1 for upper-body pulling. You can really go for it by changing it up, say a tempo of 4/0/2/0 or if you’re a sadist, 5/2/2/0, play with it.
Here’s how tempo works, for a tempo of 3/0/1/0 using a push-up as an example:
>The first number (3) is the lowering phase- lowering your self to the ground (3 seconds).
>The second number (0) is the pause, if any, before pushing your self up (0 seconds).
>The third number (1) is the lifting phase- pushing your self back up (1 second).
>The fourth number (0) is the pause, if any, before lowering yourself again (0 seconds).
Using this 3/0/1/0 tempo, we know that each push-up should take 4 seconds, and that a set of 10 push-ups should take 40 seconds, so try timing the whole set, stay honest. Now if we followed that tempo for all six exercises, it would take 240 seconds, plus a about another 15-30 seconds of transition time between exercises depending on how fast you move through it. We’ll call it 260 total seconds, which is less 4 ½ minutes a set, not too bad. Do that 3-5 times and you’ll be done in 13 to 22 minutes. Most people can spare that amount of time; it’s 2-3 cycles of not hitting the snooze button.
I hope you find this helpful. If you like it, share it with others who would get something out of it. Comments, questions, want me to make a video demoing a movement? Let me know in the comments down below.