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Work travel can disrupt our training programs by taking us out of our daily routines and forcing us to adapt to new constraints. Flights and packed on-the-ground schedules can contribute to incremental timing pressures, and the unpredictability of our accommodations can leave us without access to the equipment that we typically enjoy. Absent an action plan, these two factors can conspire against us and undermine our ability to remain consistent over time.

For me, this action plan takes the form of readily-available training options that obviate the need to devote additional time to planning or improvising my workouts. Over the years, I have come to rely on three go-to workouts that I can draw upon no matter what the timing or equipment constraints. This slate enables me to more quickly commit to a workout and empowers me to focus on the real priorities at hand: literally everything other than the gym.

As further detailed below, each workout can be completed within 20-30 minutes and requires little to no equipment, which makes them ideal for almost any accommodation. So, if you find yourself in a similar situation—with booked travel and without a training plan—save these workouts and refer to them the next time that you find yourself at the check-in desk.

Hotel Room: Bodyweight Circuit

Estimated Time: 20 minutes

Not all accommodations have on-site gyms, so I always have an equipment-free workout option on hand. My go-to is a bodyweight circuit, which includes six exercises and requires only sufficient floor space to fully extend the body. The key benefit of this routine is its simplicity; the exercises require little technical expertise, making them accessible to virtually everyone.

As noted below, this workout starts with a full body movement—burpees—and quickly progresses from a lower body to an upper body focus. This exercise progression affords each muscle group sufficient time to recover and ensures full body coverage. As a result, we can avoid premature muscle fatigue and maintain a consistent repetition tempo for the duration of the circuit.

Bodyweight Circuit (Complete 5 rounds of the below workout.)
  1. Burpees (30 sec)
  2. Bodyweight Squats (30 sec)
  3. Alternating Lunge Jumps (30 sec)
  4. Planks (30 sec)
  5. Bicycle Kicks (30 sec)
  6. Push Ups (30 sec)

As is the case with all circuit training, the movements listed above should be performed in quick succession with minimal rest in-between. This sequencing ensures that the heart rate remains elevated, which supports cardiovascular health and caloric burn. Upon completing the circuit, take a minute to recover and to prepare for the next cycle. For an efficient cardiovascular workout, commit to five rounds.

If you have time (and the endurance) add a few more rounds to hit exhaustion!

Matt works full-time in the media and technology space in New York City and is a NASM Certified Personal Trainer. To learn more about his approach to health and fitness, follow him on Instagram 


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