Life in the 21st century can be pretty busy at times. Juggling your time between family and friends, work, commuting, your social media accounts, email, text messages and trying to get to the gym means it can be difficult to give everything the time it deserves.

For many people, the thing that gives all too often is the last one. When you’ve had a crazy busy day and are only fit to drop, making the effort to exert even more energy is a step too far for some people. The thing is, even if you can’t (or don’t) go to the gym, that doesn’t mean your exercise plan has to fall by the wayside. There are a number of options to get your workout in, in the comfort of your own home or even in a hotel if you’re travelling.


home-w.jpgYou don’t need a fancy home gym set-up to be able to complete these workouts. You can use your own bodyweight for resistance exercises and just a small space can be enough to work up a sweat. 

However innovative some of these exercises are, the one thing they won’t give you is the motivation to do them. If your life is as packed as mine or the gym isn’t an option, then you’ll still need to be motivated enough to do these exercises when you’re at home. You’ll still need to set some time aside, even in the busiest of schedules, to get the most out of them.

Whatever and wherever you’re doing these movements, commit to them. Turn off the TV, turn your phone off (or at least put it somewhere you can’t constantly check it) and give it your all. Even if you can only exercise for 30 minutes at a time, get yourself in the right mindset and remove any distractions. Some time exercising is better than no time.

Resistance Workouts

Even if you don’t have gym equipment at home, that doesn’t mean that resistance exercises are impossible. Here we’re going to use our own bodyweight to create the resistant force we need. Here’s how it works.

From the three lists below, choose a total of 8 exercises; 3 from the lower body movements, 3 upper body and 2 core movements. You can vary your 8 selections every time you find yourself working out at home. 

If you’re a beginner, do each exercise for 30 seconds, followed by 30 seconds rest. If you’re a regular gym user (but not an expert), do each exercise for 40 seconds, with 20 seconds rest. For advanced users, each exercise should last 50 seconds with only 10 seconds to catch your breath.

Do a full cycle of the 8 exercises you’ve chosen. This counts as 1 round. Repeat this another two times.

Lower Body Movements

  • Walking or static lunge.
  • Step-up on a box (or stair).
  • Squat.
  • Jump squat.
  • Donkey kick (each side).
  • Jumping lunges
  • Push-up.
  • Chair dip.
  • Bodyweight skull crusher.
  • Single arm rows (both sides) use a strong bag filled with books or bags of flour.
  • Front raises use a strong bag filled with books.
  • Lateral raises using drink bottles .
  • Walking plank.
  • Plank leg lifts.
  • Reverse crunch.
  • Leg raises.
  • Side plank raises.
  • Superman.
  • Sit-ups.
  • V-ups

Upper Body Movements

Core Movements 

Deck of Cards Training

Another great routine you can use to exercise at home is to utilise something I’m sure you have laying around; a standard pack of playing cards.

These sessions bring fantastic variety and a unique challenge to your home-based training. I have used these sessions with hundreds of people on my online plans and some of the most well-known actors and actresses in the world. They are always a winner and its variety means you get that full body workout you need. Here’s how it works. 

  • Shuffle the cards (including Jokers) well and place them face down. Quick tip for you – It’s a lot easier to shuffle if you take them out of the pack first. 😉
  • Once shuffled, either pull a card at random, or take one from the top of the pile.
  • The suit of the card you’ve picked decides your workout (each has associated suit with different workouts listed below).
  • The number on the card you’ve chosen is the number of reps you have to perform. Ace is high and the Joker is 1 minute rest.
  • If movement is unilateral e.g. lunges, then split the reps as evenly as possible.
  • Work your way through the entire full pack.

Workout 1

In this workout…..

  • Diamonds = Shuttle Runs (5 minutes)
  • Hearts = Squats
  • Clubs = Squat Thrusts
  • Spades = Star Jumps

Workout 2

In this workout….

  • Diamonds = Burpees
  • Hearts = Star Jumps
  • Clubs = Lunges
  • Spades = Mountain Climbers

Workout 3

In this workout…..

  • Diamonds = Step Ups
  • Hearts = Squat Jumps
  • Clubs = Jumping Lunges
  • Spades = Shuttle Runs (5 minutes) or Star Jumps

However busy your life is, I do hope you find these home-based (or even hotel based) sessions useful. I’m not going to lie to you, they are certainly tough but they’re also very effective. In terms of weekly planning, I would suggest to do 2 resistance sessions per week and 1-2 deck of cards sessions to get the most from them.

Remember that results are driven by two things; nutrition and the effort you put into your training. You get out what you put in, just like modern life.

If you want to make sure you are doing everything right with your food and training, then a custom personal training and nutrition plan might be what you need. It will allow you to enjoy every day of exercise and food, happy in the knowledge you are doing the right things for you. If you need any more details on these, just drop me a line.

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