Training with Limited Equipment

Life is grand! You have a gym membership, you’re cruising through your workouts like a snowplow in the Rockies and you feel great when you see your reflection in the mirror. But, a day will come when you don’t have these luxuries.

What happens when you don’t have access to that nice shiny gym due to inclement weather? What happens when you have to take a business trip to the other side of the country? What happens if you haven’t worked out in a while and want to start back up, but would rather train from the comfort of your home?

It is what you do in THESE situations that will define you as a superstar. And it will be the deciding factor in you obtaining your goals or not.


Here’s something you need to take into consideration. Your muscles have no idea what’s causing them to burn or ache when you work out. It could be a set of dumbbells, it could be kettlebells or it could be barbells with plates attached. The bottom line is, all your muscles need for growth is stimulation.

If you find yourself without the use of free weights and machines, never worry about a thing. All you have to do is use the weight of your body to get your sweat on. By doing a blend of exercises like push-ups, squats, dips, handstand push-ups with your feet on a wall, lunges and pull-ups, you can target every single muscle in your body.

The name of the game is resistance and tension. That is how winning is done in the world of weight training. If you do push-ups, you’re working your pectorals, triceps and abs all at the same time. The tension occurs in your abs throughout the entire drill, especially when you are pushing yourself up.

The tension occurs in your chest and triceps, primarily on the way up. But you still need to contract them for stability on the way down. The slower you go, the more tension you will create. This will cause a favorable stimulus to add slaths of muscle to your frame.

And this is just one exercise. Add the others mentioned and follow the same rules, and you can be looking at a sleek, lean body in no time! If you use leverage to your advantage, you can boost your results even more.

For example, throw in decline push-ups with your feet elevated or alternate single-leg push-ups with one foot off the floor. You just magnified the challenge and created more resistance and more tension. The world just turned into an even better place.

And perhaps the best part of all this is that you do not need a ton of space to work out. This gives you the license to get in a quality throwdown, regardless if you are in a hotel room, small bedroom, living room or on a deck at your Aunt Margaret’s cottage. You are also left with no excuses to skip your workouts.

Additional Tools

All this talk of bodyweight proves that you can get away with building a great body without any major gear or with limited space. However, you can still amp up the resistance with a few tricks of the trade. For example, most households come equipped with water jugs, towels, broomsticks and chairs.

You can add resistance to exercises like squats and lunges by simply holding a gallon jug of water against your chest. A single, gallon jug weighs 8 lbs. If you are a glutton for punishment and want even more resistance, take a towel and weave it through the handles of two or three or four jugs.

Pick them up and sling them over your shoulders, and then do a set of lunges or squats. Hello! You just went from bodyweight to 8, 16, 24 or 32 lbs. in a matter of seconds.

Broomsticks work great for ab drills, such as pullover v-ups. Simply lie flat on your back with your arms stretched overhead. Do a v-up and reach the stick toward your feet. Ideally, you touch them, but just get as close as you can. Slowly lower yourself back down and repeat.

Chairs make great props for exercises like dips, incline push-ups, step-ups and hip bridges.

All you have to do is go beyond the obvious and be creative with your workouts.


When it comes to exercise, the possibilities are really endless. Don’t ever let a lack of resources be an excuse to not work out. There is something for everybody, and you just have to carve out your niche. And it’s best to get a plan in place way before you travel or leave town. In doing so, you will never have the fear of falling off the wagon again.