There may be some reason why you can’t use any kind of weights in your workouts. Perhaps you’re on a tight budget and can’t buy any, or you’re traveling away from home and have no access to gym equipment. Your own body weight is all you have and you want a complete workout to get fit and stay fit.

That’s not such a bad situation to be in because correctly doing body weight exercises can be just as effective. In fact, sometimes they are even more effective than those with weights because you can hardly get injured with your own body weight.

I have 4 workouts for you based on 8 moves necessary to be fit. These workouts will work different parts of your body and you can do them on different days of the week. Furthermore, the workouts are based on super-setting and high intensity training for maximum effect and efficient use of workout time. Let’s begin.

Workout #1 – Arms, Chest and Back

In this workout we will train your horizontal push and pull movements so these exercises effectively target your arms, chest and back muscles. The workout is as follows:

  • Push ups to failure – do them in controlled movements at 32X0 tempo (slowly lower yourself in 3 seconds, pause for 2 seconds when down, explode up and move down again without pausing)
  • Plank in lowered push up position for 10 seconds (right after your last push up)
  • Inverted rows to failure – find a low bar or use a table and do them again in controlled movements at 30X0 tempo (slowly lowering yourself in 3 seconds)
  • Pause for 10 seconds during the pulled up position after your last inverted row
  • Dips to failure – use bars or a table, move slow in controlled movements
  • Rest 2 minutes and repeat as many rounds as you can.

This workout consists of basically just three exercises but the training technique makes them hard and intense enough for any level of fitness.

Workout #2 – Legs and Hips

In this workout we will work your hip extension and add leg exercises on top. The workout is as follows:

  • One legged squats to failure – if you can’t do one legged squats, do regular squats but make sure you go down as much as possible. Use (32X0) tempo.
  • Deadlifts to failure – now this is an exercise very tough to do without weights of some kind so we will have to improvise. Find a bed, or something heavy that you can get a good grip on and lift away.
  • Lunges to failure – move in slow and complete motions, dip as low as you can, pick up something heavy to increase the intensity if needed.
  • Rest 2 minutes and repeat as many times as you can

Leg and hip extension workouts usually require a lot of weight to challenge your muscles because they are used to carry your body weight every day. So improvisation is necessary in this case to “break” the no weight rule. Focus on the one legged squats to exhaust yourself first so that the other exercises then are harder to do too.

Workout #3 – Arms, Shoulders and Back

In this workout we will train your vertical push and pull movements and they will target your arms, shoulders and back. The workout is as follows:

  • Pull ups to failure – it’s a difficult enough exercise so choose your own tempo, but don’t swing around to gain momentum.
  • Mule kicks to failure – see the intensive shoulders workout for more details
  • Pike push ups to failure – 32X0 tempo (like you do regular push ups in workout 1)
  • Negative pull ups to failure – do them as slow as possible
  • Rest 2 minutes and repeat as many as you can.

As a matter of fact, you can make this workout all pull ups because it’s such a great compound exercise. But we add some shoulder push movements with mule kicks and pike push ups for an all around complete workout.

Workout #4 – Core and Abs

One last movement that’s not yet covered in the above workouts is to generate explosive power. That power comes from your core more than anything so while you don’t have heavy things to swing and throw around, training your core and abs will have a similar effect. Here’s the workout:

  • Hanging leg raises to failure – lifts your legs straight up in controlled movements, aim for the 30X0 tempo (although it will be difficult to pull off) and try not to bend the knees unless your core is too week.
  • V-sits to failure – once again, move in controlled movements in regular tempo. For added intensity use this technique.
  • Leg raises to failure – this time do the raises on the floor, also in 30X0 tempo
  • Rest 2 minutes and repeat as many rounds as you can

So you have 4 workouts, allocate them to different days of the week and ideally don’t put two workout days in a row. For example:

  • Monday – workout #1
  • Wednesday – workout #2
  • Friday – workout #3
  • Sunday – workout #4
  • Tuesday – workout #1
  • and so on…

Although cardio is out of the scope of these workouts, you can of course do it on any day off.

I hope you will find these workouts useful and they will come in handy anytime you don’t have access to gym and weights but you want to stay fit anyway.