The Bodyweight Travel Workout: No Equipment, No Problem

A silhouette flexing in front of Crater Lake, Oregon

When caught up in the exciting and unpredictable throes of travel, it’s quite easy to push personal fitness to the back-burner or neglect it completely. I get it. I’m living and breathing proof.

I’ve pulled hazy all-nighters at Peruvian casinos. I’ve ingested frightening amounts of grease-soaked street tacos under the buzz of flickering Mexican streetlights. I’ve spent entire days detached and burnt out from the grind of travel, staring blankly at a computer screen, sedentary and sluggish. In short, I know from experience how easy it is to get out of shape on the road.

But, I also know that it doesn’t take much to get in shape and stay in shape while traveling. 

Over the years, I’ve developed a routine of simple and effective bodyweight exercises — workouts that use one’s own body as resistance — to stay fit without disrupting my life the road. No gyms. No weights or machines. No big time commitment. It works for me and it can help you too.


What to Expect

  • About 30 minutes of dedicated exercise a day, five times a week
  • Three days of bodyweight exercises
  • Two days of cardio exercises
  • Two ‘rest’ days
  • A complete full-body workout

Where to Workout

Wherever the hell you want. The T.T.B.W. can be accomplished in seedy bus stations, balmy hotel rooms, beaches, airports… practically anywhere. The choice is yours. This workout is made for travelers.


Day One – Shoulders, Arms, and Core

Complete exercises 1-4 in succession (one set). A complete workout consists of three full sets separated by 3-4 minute breaks. The number of reps can be raised once you comfortably complete three full sets with proper form.

  1. Knee-to-elbow plank – 15 reps per leg
  2. Crunches – 40 reps, 20 to the center, 20 to the sides
  3. Pike pushups  – 12 reps
  4. Flutter kicks – One minute

Day Two – Cardio

The goal on cardio days is to get your heart beating at a high rate for at least 30 minutes. Cardio days should be fun and productive – that’s it. No rules, reps, or sets. Workouts shouldn’t always seem like a chore.

Here are a few of my favorite ways to get my cardio workout in:

  • Running
  • Surfing
  • Volleyball
  • Ping pong (yes, ping pong)
  • Bicycling
  • Kayaking
  • Swimming
  • Basketball
  • Hiking
  • Frisbee

Get creative. Seek out free fitness classes, pickup games, running groups, frisbee in the park, or nearby hikes. Make your cardio days entertaining, social, and fulfilling.

Day Three – Chest, Back, and Core

Complete exercises 1-4 in succession (one set). A complete workout consists of three full sets separated by 3-4 minute breaks. The number of reps can be raised once you comfortably complete three full sets with proper form.

  1. Pushups – 12 reps
  2. Planks – 45 seconds center plank, 45 seconds each side planks
  3. Clap Crunches – 20 reps
  4. Dips – 15 reps

Day Four – Cardio

Same as ‘Day Two’

If the freedom of the cardio workouts creates too many options and makes it hard to decide, just run for 30 minutes — think of running as the go-to option.

Day Five – Legs

Complete exercises 1-4 in succession (one set). A complete workout consists of three full sets separated by 3-4 minute breaks. The number of reps can be raised once you comfortably complete three full sets with proper form.

  1. Wall-sits – one minute
  2. Lunges – 30 reps
  3. Squats – 20 reps 
  4. Calf raises – 25 reps

Track Your Progress

Keeping a log of your daily reps will hold you accountable. For forgetful people like me, a record of progress will ensure that workouts are focused and on track. Numbers will serve as a great motivator as time passes.

Make Exercise a Priority While You Travel

It’s easy to lose focus and a sense of routine on the road. Travel can pull you in a million different directions at once and throw your life out of balance.

The Tenacious Travel Bodyweight Workout will inject harmony, focus, and energy into the lives of weary travelers. It will help balance out the oily street food, cheap beer, and restless nights. No, this routine won’t solve all of the problems you encounter on the road, but it will keep you grounded along the way.

Travel with purpose. Commit to making routine exercise a focal point and you will begin to live your best life on the road.

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