I've been doing a body weight workout that I found on www.nerdfitness.com regularly for a while now (scaling it up as needed), the workout in its current state is as follows:

3 circuits with ~1-2 min rest in between

1 circuit is:

20 body weight squats  
15 push-ups   
20 standing lunges (10 each leg)   
20 dumbbell rows   (with each arm)   
~50-60 sec plank   (but I probably count slow)     
30 jumping jacks   

I am looking for an exercise to replace the dumbbell rows, I only have a 10 lb bell and its too easy also, the bench I have to use for it is uneven and my form is always effed up.

So I am looking for a replacement for that exercise, but also just general critiques of the routine and what I could do better.

If someone wants to let me know exactly what muscle-groups these exercises target and If there's anything I'm neglecting; that'd be awesome aswell.


Available resources:

I don't have a chin up bar, near my workout area, there is something I can use, but its not near my workout area, but If I just try to do pullups/chinups whenever I think of it, but I also work out that muscle group during my workout, that isn't like to much is it?

I am working out outside on the grass, no tables or anything like that around just that uneven bench I mentioned earlier.

I do have a barbell with some weights, but Is mixing that with body weight a good idea? like the idea is a bunch of exercises quickly, but if i swap out, say the squats, with weighted squats, I can't just go right into whatever weight I want to use right? I have to like work up to it, which would mess the flow up and just take to much time imo. IDK i'm a beginner here.

  • 1
    What is your goal? Aug 9, 2014 at 21:23
  • To gain muscle.
    – Luke
    Aug 10, 2014 at 16:33

3 Answers 3


If you have a chin up bar, you can do bodyweight rows. You can make them harder by elevating your feet on a box or doing front lever rows (tuck, straddle or full). That's for rows.

This routine is neglecting the lower back. So, I recommend doing back extensions and reverse leg raises.

If your goal is strength or muscle hypertrophy
You won't gain much strength or muscle if you do more than 15 rep per set. So, I think you'll have to do some changes to this routine to make it harder. You'll have to progress further with each exercise to continue gaining strength and/or muscle. I recommend following a chain of progressive exercises for each muscle group.

You can try reading "Building the gymnastic body" or "Convict conditioning". These books represent progressive exercises for each muscle group. They're very helpful when it comes to bodyweight training.


The row works your back and shoulders. What sort of equipment do you have available? Pullups and bodyweight inverted rows would be the bodyweight exercises that I'd consider, but you'd still need some equipment to do them.


My suggestion would be to make small variations to the workout each time. This way you will work slightly different muscle groups each time to increase your overall results AND not get bored with doing the same thing all the time.

Suggested variation: -15 squat jumps (body weight squat with a jump at the end) -15 incline or decline push ups - (put feet or hand on a box or bench) -20 walking lunges -20 pull ups (can you run to the pull up area for extra exercise? Or buy some bands to tie to a tree for seated rows?) -60sec of abs - crunches, leg lifts, twists, etc -30sec-1min of aerobic activity - jump rope, run, square jumps, etc.

Hopefully this is helpful.

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