The Best Damn Hotel Workout Ever

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hotelworkoutIt’s that time of year again.

The time where you get to get drunk, catch up with old friends, and give zero fucks about your lack of dance moves. 

That’s right my friends, summer is here and that means one thing: wedding season. 

A 3-month blitzkrieg of travel, food, booze, thrashing around a dance floor like a drunken Irish sailor at a Flogging Molly concert, and stories that end with you going home with the bride’s aunt. Or was it the groom’s?

What was her name again?

Wedding season can be a dangerous time, especially if you’re trying to get and stay shredded.

Between wedding cake, the all-you-can-eat meatballs at the reception buffet, and the free flow of booze, you’re about to enter a span of time that makes the holiday season look like child’s play. 

To make matters even worse, the hotels you’ve booked don’t have gyms – at least not legit ones. The few that do have gyms only have a treadmill, an elliptical, and the loneliest medicine balls you’ve ever seen.

When it comes to exercise while traveling, bodyweight training is often the only option. Luckily, that doesn’t mean you have to train differently: you can use the exact same principles in your hotel room as you do in the gym. These principles include: 


Barbell circuits are great for ramping up your heart rate and increasing fat loss, but bodyweight exercises make transitioning from one exercise to the next seamless.

They allow you to move from a push-up to mountain climbers to a forearm plank without ever having to stop and prepare for the next movement.

Explosive movements

Explosive exercises force your body to rapidly contract the muscles into action. This will force your nervous system to recruit more muscle fibers that you’d otherwise leave on the sidelines. 

Unilateral Movements

Roman once said, “The road to shredded is paved in single-leg exercises.”

Unilateral movements burn a ton of calories. Bulgarian Split Squats, single leg RDLs, or pistol squats increase core activation and recruit additional stabilizer muscles to keep you balanced and aligned. The harder your body has to work, the more calories you’ll burn. 


Bodyweight training should be treated like sex: use multiple positions (or angles) to get the job done.

Change the positioning of your hands and feet during push-ups, hip thrusts, lunges, or glute bridges. These small changes not only spices up the mundane, but they can also allow for increased range of motion and muscle recruitment. 

Core Work

Because abs. Duh, bruh.

Exercise selections for a bodyweight routine don’t need to be complicated. Like all things in life, follow the KISS principle (Keep It Simple, Stupid). All you need are the six exercises below combined with the principles above to create the best damn hotel workout ever.

– Push-Ups
– Squats
– Lunges
– Single Leg RDLs
– Glute Bridges
– Planks

The One Rule to Rule them All

The only rule you need to follow is that all of the exercises must be performed in a circuit. You’re looking to ramp up your meatball-crushing metabolism and get your body working overtime, so keep rest periods short.

Remember, it’s all for the meatballs.

Start your circuit with an explosive movement like jump squats, star jumps, plyo push-ups, or lunge jumps. Then quickly move into a unilateral movement like Bulgarian split squats, single leg hip thrusts, single leg Romanian deadlifts, or pistol squats.

Once your heart rate is up and you’ve made your first war cry to the gods, now you can have fun with a couple angled movements. 

Play with the position of your hands during push-ups or tinker with the angle at which you perform the push-up (decline or incline).

For lower body, the best way to accomplish hitting all angles is to open your hotel room door, step out into the hallway, and do a set of what I call “Hyrulian Lunges.” They’re walking lunges where you do a set of long stride lunges, followed by normal stride, and then narrow stride.

Longer stride lunges ignite your gluteus maximus, while shorter strides torch your quads. Add in the core activation and all the stabilizer muscles that fire during this sequence and it’s a party for your whole lower body.

Finish it all off with 60 seconds of planking. Rest for 90 seconds and complete all your exercises in the circuit four to six more times.

Now, that I’ve given you general tips on how to create a hotel workout, let me bestow upon you the two best damn hotel workout, ever.

The Best Damn Upper Body Hotel Workout Ever

  1. Star Jumps – 15 reps
  2. Single Leg RDL – 12 reps per side
  3. Wide Grip Push-Up – 12 reps
  4. Regular Push-Up – 12 reps
  5. Diamond Push-Up – 12 reps
  6. Plank – 60 seconds

Perform all exercises with little to no rest between. Rest for 90 seconds between circuits. Perform 4-6 circuits.

The Best Damn Lower Body Hotel Workout Ever

  1. Plyo Push-Ups – 10-15 reps
  2. Pistol Squats – 10 reps per side (you can do these to a chair)
  3. Single Leg Hip Thrusts – 15 reps per side
  4. Hyrulian Lunges – 12 reps per side & per stride
  5. Glute Bridge with Feet Elevated – 12 reps
  6. Spiderman Planks – 12 reps per side

Perform all exercises with little to no rest between. Rest for 2 minutes between circuits. Perform 3-4 circuits.

Bodyweight training might not be as exciting as hoisting 225 pounds over your head or ripping 500 pounds off the floor, but by using the same principles you use in a gym, you can ignite your metabolism, stay fit, and still enjoy the inevitable onslaught of calories.

About the Author

I was the socially awkward ginger kid who growing up loved Hulk Hogan, Captain America, Michael Jordan, and video games. I was Screech until I found weightlifting and bodybuilding; then I turned myself into AC Slater. Now I take my love of all things nerd and help my clients discover their inner hero as an online coach at Side Quest Fitness. I also host the fitness podcast, Side Quest Podcast, and live by one simple motto: Scotch and Squats and Ben and Jerry’s.

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