April 04, 2017

I know the thoughts in the back of your mind…you have a business trip or a holiday coming up and you ask yourself:

  1. “Will there be a gym?”
  2. “Will I have time to train?”

The answer to these questions are:

  1. It doesn’t matter
  2. Yes, you’ll have time to train.

With a bit of creativity, you can train anywhere - even in your hotel room. And with an efficient and effective workout – you don’t need lots of time.

This article will teach you how to construct a travel workout and fit it into your training goals – whether that's strength, hypertrophy, or conditioning / fat-loss.

Building Your Travel Workout

It’s easy to construct an effective workout with minimal equipment. There are five movement patterns we need to think about:

  1. Upper body push (e.g. push-ups)
  2. Upper body pull (e.g. pull-ups)
  3. Squat /legs variation
  4. Hinge
  5. Core

You don’t need to include all of them in every session, but try to cover four. If you miss a pattern out, make sure you include it in the next session.

Upper Body Push

When travelling, and without a gym, you will generally be restricted to push-up variations. But that’s not really a restriction – because there are tonnes of them!

Some of my favourites are:



Diamond push-ups

Close Grip Push-up

Feet elevated push-ups

Decline Push-up

Shoulder-tap push-ups

Shoulder Tap Push-up

Use your imagination!

I personally really like resistance band push-ups:

Resistance band push-ups are a great pushing exercise

Upper Body Pull

Upper body pull movements target the back of your body. Common exercises are chin-ups, pull-ups and rows. It’s easy to perform pulling exercises in your hotel room.

You can perform table rows  - just like an inverted row, but off a table:

Inverted Row

Or door pull-ups are a great option. Open the door and wedge it fully open (put the hotel magazines under the door!). Place a hand towel over the top of the door. Reach up and place your hands over the top of the door. Make sure you have a secure grip. Pull yourself up until your chin is above the door. Lower yourself down. Repeat.

Door pull-ups are a great option for travel workouts

Squat / legs variation

Here we’re talking about movements which involve flexing the knee.  There’s the good ol’ body-weight squat of course. But my favourites are single leg exercises such as the Bulgarian split squat.

Single Leg Split Squat

You could even make this more difficult by holding a backpack in front of your body.


Hinge patterns are great for teaching us to bend at the hips, and not to flex the spine.

How about these:

 Single leg deadlifts Single leg glute bridges
Dumbbell Single Leg Stiff-leg Deadlift Single Leg Hip Bridge



I’ve gone into detail on core training before here. Briefly – core training does not mean lots of sit-ups. It means safe and effective exercises for building the musculature in the torso and training it to protect your spine.

A note on core training: I prefer not to include core exercises in a workout circuit (see below). Instead I like to finish with a dedicated core section at the end of the session. This way the core stays fresh to support your body during the circuit, and you can focus on controlled core movements afterwards.

My favourite way to train the core when I'm travelling is with  core sliding exercises.

Core sliders are small, portable and versatile – you can perform a tonne of exercises which will challenge your core in a variety of ways.

Here’s coach Jade Fadlen blasting a full body workout with the core sliders:

Training for your goals

Now you know how to construct a travel workout. But how can you make it align with your goals? Do you normally train for strength? Want to pack on muscle? Or do you want a conditioning session?

No problem – you can do all of these.

Strength and hypertrophy

If you usually smash the gym for strength or hypertrophy, choose exercises which are a challenge and allow you to stay within your usual rep range.

Find push-ups easy? Use a resistance band to make it harder.

Glute bridges are no challenge to you? Do single-leg glute bridges, or do Bulgarian split squats and use your suitcase as a weight!


You have two options here, depending on your goals, and how much time you have.

Option 1: perform a strength & conditioning circuit.

Choose 4-5 movement patterns and perform a short, intense circuit.

For example, as many rounds as possible in 10 minutes:

  • 10 push-ups
  • 10 resistance band rows
  • 10 bulgarian split squats / side
  • 10 resistance band deadlifts.

If that isn’t enough, you could add a classic conditioning move like burpees, star jumps, or skipping.

Option 2: Finishers

Finishers allow you to get all the benefits of your strength session, and then perform a short, intense conditioning circuit for the metabolic, fat loss and fitness results.

Here’s a few ideas:

Burpee ladder:

Perform 1 burpee, then 2, 3 etc. all the way to 10. Then come back down:  perform 9, then 8, then 7…1. Complete the reps as fast as possible, with minimal breaks.

Tabata double unders:

Requires a skipping rope. The Tabata interval is 20 seconds of work followed by 10 seconds of rest for 8 intervals.


It’s easy to construct a well-balanced workout regardless of whether you have to train in your hotel room, or in the hotel gym.

By making sure you hit all the main movement patterns, you can be sure that you’re covering all the important aspects so that when you return from your travels, you’ll be able to pick up where you left off.

With a bit of creativity and thought you can fit these travel workouts into your usual training goals whether you want to focus on strength, hypertrophy, conditioning or all three.

I take my Beast Rope and Core Sliders with me wherever I travel – they are small, strong and easily packed so I can workout wherever I am.

Add some BEAST  to your travels.


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