You either stay at a hotel for business trips, conferences, weddings, or because every Christmas you have an allergic reaction when you stay at your Aunt Millie’s house. Plus, who doesn’t love fresh sheets and towels every day? Sorry Aunt Millie, we’re staying at a hotel this year. But what do you do when the hotel you’ve booked doesn’t have gym access? Or, if it does have a gym, all they have are a rusty looking elliptical and an incomplete boxset of TaeBo DVDs. Have no fear traveler, in times like these you can turn your hotel room into the finest fitness center this side of Venice Beach—minus the possibility of an Arnold sighting, of course.
Many of us would prefer to load a bar with 225 and squat to our heart’s content. But like all battle plans, sometimes you have to change tactics midway through. In this case, bodyweight training is the only option. Bodyweight training doesn’t mean you have to train differently. The same principles you use in the gym can be applied to your hotel workout. Let’s cover the basic gym principles used every day in gyms around the world.
Circuits are a great way to increase your heart rate and send your metabolism through the roof. As opposed to using a barbell or dumbbells, bodyweight exercises make transitioning from one exercise to the next nearly seamless. Moving from a push-up into mountain climbers and then into forearm planks can be done without rest which means goodbye bodyfat, hello calorie burn.
Explosive exercises force your body to rapidly contract the muscles into action. This will force your nervous system to recruit more muscle fibers that you’d otherwise leave on the sidelines.
Unilateral movements burn a ton of calories. Bulgarian Split Squats, single leg RDLs, or pistol squats increase core activation and recruit stabilizer muscles to keep you balanced and aligned. The harder your body has to work, the more calories you’ll burn.
Bodyweight training allows you the ability to perform an exercise from multiple different angles. Change the positioning of your hands and feet during push-ups, hip thrusts, lunges, or glute bridges. These small changes not only spices up the mundane, but they can also allow for increased range of motion and muscle recruitment.
Abs. The end. Do I need to say more? Hit some crunches, sit-ups and leg lifts to get your core lean and mean!
Like all things in life, follow the KISS principle. These are the only exercises you need for your hotel workout.
Single Leg RDLs
Choose 4-5 of these exercises and turn them into a fat-blasting circuit workout.
Start your circuit with an explosive movement like star jumps, plyo push-ups, or lunge jumps. Then quickly move into a unilateral movement like Bulgarian split squats, single leg hip thrusts, or single leg Romanian deadlifts.
Once your heart rate is up, have fun with a couple angled movements. Play with the position of your hands during push-ups. Or change the angle and do decline or incline push-ups. For lower body, the best way to accomplish hitting all angles is to step out into the hotel hallway and do a set of what I call “Hyrulian Lunges.”
They’re walking lunges where you’ll do a set of long stride lunges, followed by normal stride, and then narrow stride. Longer stride lunges ignite your gluteus maximus, while shorter strides torch your quads. Add in the core activation and all the stabilizer muscles that fire during this sequence and even equipping the Fire Tunic won’t prevent the leg burn you’ll experience.
Finish it all off with a 60-seconds of planks. Rest for 90 seconds and complete all your exercises in the circuit 4-6 more times. (If you really wanna a challenge, try my plank variation I call, Tetris Planks.)
Bodyweight training might not be as exciting as ripping 500 pounds off the floor, but you can ignite your metabolism using only your bodyweight and the principles above. Armed with this knowledge, you’ll turn any hotel room into a calorie inferno.