You Are Your Gym

I’ve been so busy with moving apartments and a never-ending chore list that I’ve put myself into a rut these last few weeks. I wrote this post a while ago, but thought I would share it again here since it's feeling relevant. Enjoy!

So, How do you stay lean and shredded when you’re on vacation, travelling, or in my case, can’t bring yourself to enter a gym because you’re feeling lazy AF?

The key is bodyweight training. You might be rolling your eyes right now because you can do 20 air squats like it’s child’s play, but let’s see you do 100 pistol squats and tell me how you feel after that.

Bodyweight training is the most versatile form of training. All you need is your body and some floor space. A lot of the time this is better than that sad room most hotels call “state-of-the-art”. You can literally wake up wherever you are and crank out an effective workout in 20-30 minutes before ever putting pants on! On top of that, the girl you took home last night is super impressed. BAM! Two birds, one stone. You’re welcome.

Keep the following principles in mind when performing your bodyweight training and you just might become a believer.

Keep It Explosive

Mo’ power, mo’ results! When it comes to energy expenditure, explosiveness beats slow contractions every time. The more explosive your movements, the faster you’ll burn through that delicious rack of ribs.

Do It Again…And Again…And Again

You only need a handful of movements to get the most from your body, but the secret is to incorporate circuits. You can go from one move to the next without any rest, so hammer through your exercises, catch your breath, and then do it again until you pass out. Okay, maybe don’t pass out, but you catch my drift.

Position Yourself For Success

Treat it like sex: utilize different angles to make it happen. Play with the position of your movements to see how your muscles react, your range of motion, and any new muscles that are being activated.

Make Sure You Get The Good Side

Take things to the next level and incorporate unilateral movements. Pistol squats, Bulgarian split squats, and one-legged hip thrusts are a good place to start. Your body has to work harder to stabilize your core when you’re working from one side. More work = more shred.

The Middle Is Always The Best Part

Twinkies, Oreos, you name it. Always the best. So don’t forget to give your core a little love.

Taking these principles above, we can tie them all together to create a nice bodyweight training philosophy. First, by performing circuits you want to make sure your rest periods are short in order to get the engine burning and the sweat pouring. 

Start off with some explosive and unilateral movements as these will be the most energy-consuming exercises you can do. 

Then, play with some angles to activate all those tiny, stabilizer muscles.

Finish it all off with a plank or cat-cow or whatever tickles your fancy and pummels your core.

The following exercises is all you need to keep it simple and effective:

  • Squat
  • Lunge
  • Romanian deadlift
  • Push-up
  • Glute bridge
  • Plank

Beginner Bodyweight Routine

  1. Jump squat - 15 reps
  2. Single-leg RDL - 15 reps each side
  3. Wide-grip push-up - 15 reps
  4. Reverse lunges - 15 reps each side
  5. Diamond push-up - 15 reps
  6. Plank - 60 secs

Perform all exercises with little to no rest, rest for 60 secs, and then perform 3-4 more times.

Advanced Bodyweight Routine

  1. Burpees - 15 reps
  2. Bulgarian split-squat - 15 reps each side
  3. Explosive push-up - 15 reps
  4. Split lunge jump - 15 reps each side
  5. Single leg hip thrust - 15 reps each side
  6. Side plank thread-through - 15 reps each side

Perform all exercises with little to no rest, rest for 60 secs, and then perform 4-6 more times.

There are so many variations you can add in, but the above is an idea to get you started. So go on and treat yourself once in a while, but remember that there are no excuses to not getting to the gym. You are your gym.