In an effort to make a regular basis for working out, and as an extension of my previous question*, I am looking for a simple plan that satisfies these requirements:

  1. No equipment require, or simple equipment that I can find in my house.

  2. Uncomplicated formula to work it harder everyday. For example, tomorrow I will do more than one rep for every exercises than what I do today. Having no set is my preference. I just want to focus on one exercise, then take a break, then move on to the next one.

  3. Have the minimal number of exercises to save my time, but having enough to avoid muscular imbalance.

Most program like this one is very good to follow, but it doesn't satisfy 2, since I have to look it up. If I have to look it up everyday, then I don't have to ask this question. I also understand that this plan will be so simple that it will takes year(s) to see any visual improvement, so I have made up my mind about that. I'm not sure if changing my diet is required, because usually I don't eat much fat or fired food. I don't think that gender is ever needed, but if it's ever needed, I'm male.

*Would only doing exercises on a regular basis, without worry about anything else, help grow muscle?

  • for what goal??
    – Aequitas
    Commented Jan 5, 2016 at 23:08
  • I just want to get toned
    – Ooker
    Commented Jan 6, 2016 at 10:24

2 Answers 2


The program for You Are Your Own Gym is pretty close to that. It's all bodyweight exercises with "equipment" involving tables, sills, boxes, and broomsticks. There's a suggested series of exercises which consist of a particular way to follow the routine and then four exercises for the session, which vary across the week. For example, for the beginning program, for your first day, you do a "ladder" (do one rep, rest as long as it took you to do the rep, do two reps, rest as long as it took to do two reps, etc until you decide to go back down the ladder in decreasing order) for 7.5 minutes of Push-ups, then "Let me Ups" (Inclined pull-ups with your feet on the floor), then Tricep dips, then "Let me Ins" (pulling yourself into an open door). That's 30 minutes of arm exercises. The next day a ladder of Backwards Lunges, Romanian Single-leg Deadlifts, Squats, and Swimmers. And so forth. You basically check what four exercises you're doing, then go at it.

The first two weeks are ladders. I don't have my book with me to check the later days or weeks, but it's always four exercises in a particular area and a simple way of doing a set number or a set time of them.

I will give you warning that the simplicity of it does not make it easy. You probably will wake up sore the first few times.

  • 1
    I have found the pdf of it. In page 142 of the book, we can find the full program. However, if there is more picture in the table, then it will be great. After all, I still have to look it up, although only need to do that at the first few days of the block of weeks
    – Ooker
    Commented Jan 5, 2016 at 16:41
  • Hmm... what's your threshold of memory? That will greatly affect what counts for not needing to look things up. :)
    – Sean Duggan
    Commented Jan 5, 2016 at 19:30
  • My memory is just like everyone else. It's just that I want to save room for my memory for other important things. Since time isn't my priority, any plan that isn't harm is good for me.
    – Ooker
    Commented Jan 5, 2016 at 21:47
  • @Ooker: You could probably go with a smaller subset of exercises, but as it is, the entire ten week program fits on a single sheet of paper (although I know I still went back occasionally to reread exercise descriptions or the framework for the exercises).
    – Sean Duggan
    Commented Jan 5, 2016 at 22:46
  • @SeanDuggan what does a ladder mean?
    – Aequitas
    Commented Jan 6, 2016 at 21:09

I believe that the below exercises are the minimum to train the most amount of muscles that also requires minimal equipment:

  • Pull ups (only requires a sturdy tree branch or similar)
  • Squats
  • Dips (can be done between high chairs, or on the corner of a bench)

As your goal is to get toned I would suggest doing one exercise until failure and then move onto the next one (a short break or even none is best), until you've done all of them. Repeat this every 2nd day, if you're body is still sore you should consider resting a bit more.

Since you seem to want to save as much time as possible it may be worthwhile making the exercises more difficult if you deem they are taking too long, or if they seem too easy. You can easily make any of these exercises more difficult by wearing a backpack with filled water bottles.

Also as a side note, if you are looking to get toned you will also need to lose fat if you are overweight. The best way to do this is by eating less calories.

Just my two cents based on my knowledge, hopefully it's somewhat useful.

  • Thanks for your input. I wonder why it is necessary to repeat every second day? Why not everyday?
    – Ooker
    Commented Jan 7, 2016 at 7:32
  • @Ooker there are several reasons, I assumed that building muscle is a more important goal for you than losing fat so in that case the rest day is what allows your muscles to grow. Exercise tears your muscles and then during recovery is where the muscle is repaired (bigger than before). If you train too soon your muscles will not be getting a chance to grow.
    – Aequitas
    Commented Jan 7, 2016 at 9:42
  • It keeps tearing for ever? Even when I have overcome the sore of the first days?
    – Ooker
    Commented Jan 7, 2016 at 9:49
  • 1
    The process of gaining strength involves the muscles tearing and rebuilding (exercise and rest day). They don't stay torn (despite the terminology of "getting ripped") as long as you have those rest days, but if you don't rest, they never quite recover. If you get to the point were you are no longer getting sore at all, there's a decent chance that you've plateaued and you need to do more difficult exercises, or different ones.
    – Sean Duggan
    Commented Jan 7, 2016 at 12:46
  • 1
    @OOker: If you're not sore or tired the next day, you're probably not building muscle. You're still burning some extra calories (as long as you ensure that you're not consuming extra calories, which people are prone to doing), but you won't be building muscle most likely.
    – Sean Duggan
    Commented Jan 7, 2016 at 17:28

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