Working out on your own

Working out on your own doesn’t take a big time commitment or require much in the way of specialized equipment.

All you need is a little room to move, a medium set of weights or single heavy/medium dumbbell or kettlebell, and a little motivation.

Motivation is often the tricky part. This is where it’s important to know yourself and plan accordingly.

Set things up to help you focus, get the most out of each session, and not burn through too much willpower. There’s something to be said about using workouts as mental toughness training, but you also want to set yourself up for success.

That might mean packing a t-shirt, shorts, and shoes and doing a bodyweight workout and sprints at the park after work because the weather is beautiful and you’re going to be inside all day.

Or it could be getting in a quick session in the hotel gym before you spend the entire day focused on a conference or meetings and then going out with colleagues for dinner and drinks.

Whatever sticking point it is, try to find a way to work around it and go into each session at an advantage and feeling motivated.

Most people I speak with have enough motivation for about 20 to 30 minutes of good training. That’s plenty of time if we’re talking about focused strength and conditioning sessions like we do in class or as I’ve outlined below.

Eight Minute Body Weight Workout

Set a timer for three minutes and do push ups. Start with a challenging variation and as you get tired, switch to easier variations. In the video I demonstrated going from traditional push ups, to T-push ups, to divebomber push ups either with hands elevated, on knees, or straight leg.

Take a minute to recover.

Follow that with five minutes of leg work. In addition to the way I outlined in the video, you could also do two minutes of reverse lunges (alternating sides), followed by two minutes of side lunges (alternating sides) and then followed by one minute of bodyweight squats.

Take a minute to recover if you plan on repeating.

If there’s a playground nearby then you can use the swings or bars for pulling work.

Inverted rows are my favorite way to balance out upper body training. Follow a similar pattern of starting with a challenging version and working down to easier progressions.

Aim for two to three minute sets of pulling.

1x = 8 minutes of work, 10 – 11 minutes if you add in the pulling work.

I initially had the time for 2 – 3 rounds, but trust me, if you keep the tension in your muscles and work the full range of motion with good control, you will be SMOKED!

So, if you’ve got time and you’re motivated, then your best next bet would be to do a 10 – 15 minute conditioning round. Keep it simple and do things like burpees, jump rope (or quick feet), bear crawls, etc. and keep moving.

Dumbbell Workout

This one is great if you’re working out in a hotel exercise room, a crowed gym, or if you want to keep your home set up simple and efficient.

For all of these do 6 – 8 reps and then move onto the next exercise. Doing fewer reps will allow you to use a heavier weight which will give you a lot more return on the time and energy you spend training. And going heavier really bump up your heart rate!

See how many good rounds you can complete in 15 – 25 minutes.

  1. Squats – Goblet or Front Squats
  2. Overhead Press – single arm, alternating, or doubles
  3. Single Arm Row – supported or unsupported
  4. Reverse Lunges – goblet or suitcase carry
  5. Pigeon pose (recovery)

Kettlebell Workout

Time (:30 – :45 work / :30 – :15 rest) might be the easiest way to organize this one, but if you don’t have a timer, then going by reps is fine. Always make sure to finish with one or two good repetitions in the tank.

Another simple option is to rest after a few repetitions (especially on push ups). This will allow you to complete a higher number of repetitions while also maintaining solid form.

A note on weight: most people should work with a 12 – 16KG (25 – 35 pounds) bell. 24KG (53 pounds if you’re really strong.

  1. Deadlift/Clean/or Swing
  2. Push Ups
  3. Goblet Squats
  4. Farmer Walk
  5. Hip Stretch – Spiderman or Pigeon

Repeat for three or four rounds. Five if you’re feeling ambitious. If you need to, rest a little extra after round three, then do the fourth round. You might require a workout partner or a great song to help you gear up for a fifth round.


In general I like to see my clients get in at least three workouts like this per week as a starting point.

I hope you enjoyed this post and that it sparked some ideas for you.Train hard, train safe and have fun!


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