In a few days I am heading off to camp to be a counselor. My problem is that in this camp there is no gym, so that means I will be without a gym for 2 months. I am hoping that somebody can give me a few suggestions on how to really get a good workout through out the summer. I am not referring to just running, swimming and playing ball, but rather I would like something that can also stimulate my muscles at least enough so that they don't look smaller by the time the summer is over and I get back to the gym. Sandbags and a chin/pull up bar is about the extent of what I will have available to me, so any suggestion would really be very useful.

  • 2
    To everyone answering: this isn't the place to list just your favorite gymless workout, please write a comprehensive answer than contains multiple alternatives. If that's impossible, then this question is simply too broad and should be closed
    – Ivo Flipse
    Jun 25, 2012 at 8:33
  • 1
    Shouldn't multiple people answering cover the multiple alternatives?
    – Robin Ashe
    Jun 26, 2012 at 6:15
  • @RobinAshe Theoretically yes. Different people will come up with different answers. Some may think of things that others might not, and surely there could be overlap. The point of Ivo's comment is that people should put effort into creating high quality value in the answers. See Good Subjective, Bad Subjective for more information.
    – user241
    Jun 26, 2012 at 12:05

8 Answers 8


Chest & Triceps: - Shoulder width push ups - Diamond pushups - Bench dips (maybe on the side of your bed or use a chair?) - Decline and Incline Pushups (use a hill or kitchen bench) - Sand bag overhead extensions - Some kind of press with the sandbag

Back & Biceps: - All grip variations of pullups/muscle ups etc. - Inverted Row - Hammer grip with sand back curls

Core:(use sandbag for added weight) - Crunches - Sit ups - Use a hill for decline sit ups - Oblique crunches - Plank - Russian twist with sand bag

Legs: - Use luggage and hold a piece each side of the body with each hand. Do split squats - Jump squats - Box jumps - Lunges

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    How is OP going to do Russian twist with sand bag or Box jumps with out equipment.
    – Shahzeb
    Jun 27, 2012 at 0:11

One or two time(s) a week a full body, full out (high intensity) workout will stimulate your muscles enough so they don't loose their size and strength. This is perfectly possible without a gym. You don't need fancy exercises, just one for every muscle group will keep your body perfectly in shape:

Chest/Triceps/Shoulders: Push-up
Back/Biceps: Pull-up
Legs: Pistol Squats
Core: The plank (leaning on elbows and those, body as a plank)

But here's the trick:

Muscle growth happens when you put your muscles under serious stress. You only need this stress response once, as long as it is intents. This will send a message to your brain that the muscles needs to get stronger.

You have to make the workout short and intense, only four exercises and go full out. To give you an idea how short and 'full out': I'm usually done in 15 minutes. But you should not be able to get up for 30 minutes afterwards (breathing heavily).

  • But you should not be able to get up for 30 minutes afterwards... this sounds very dangerous.
    – Daft
    May 18, 2015 at 10:53

I would suggest picking up a copy of "Never Gymless" by Ross Enamait. Tons of good information on just the topic you are asking.

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    Pull-ups, chin-ups, dips, sprints, running with a sandbag, slamming a sandbag into the ground from overhead, squatting with the sandbag. Jun 25, 2012 at 13:32

http://www.barstarzz.com/store/ has a couple things that are likely what you're looking for. I have the DVD on order but haven't received it yet, based on some of the previews that are up and other instructional tidbits they have on YouTube I expect it to be pretty good. You can also check out their (and other calisthenics groups) YouTube clips to see what you think of them and if you think it's worth ordering the DVD or eBook.


You can try the Kal Virtual Trainer (Home) app. it's free and got more than 100 offline video exercises for a good home workout.. The full paid one is for the gym.

iOS Link

Google Play Link

Have a good workout!


I've been training exclusively with bodyweight for the past year and don't miss weights one bit. Here is some basic advice:

  • Perform whole body workouts and condense workout time down by alternating between muscle groups that don't fatigue each other. For instance, pair push ups with squats.
  • Choose an exercise variation that is right for you. If you're doing squats, consider single limb movements if you're strong enough. Split Squats with back leg raised (Bulgarian SPlit Squats) are a great intermediate exercise between normal squats and Pistol Squats (one leg, butt to heel squats).
  • Full body explosive movements are great to mix in once or twice a week. Burpees are my favorite for this but box jumps and other intense plyometric moves are great providing you have the athletic conditioning to begin with.
  • Innovate with what you have around you. Find overhead poles or even tree branches for Pull Ups. Inverted Rows can be performed under some chairs and small tables. You could drape a towel over a chair and use the ends as handles. Check out the creative ways on YouTube that people have devised for hotel/home workouts.
  • 3 sets is often enough for a great workout. Alternate between your paired exercises until you've completed 3 sets of each and then rest if you need to. Begin the workout with the muscles you want to emphasize first (maybe you are weak in one area for instance).

Here are some great exercises to focus on that work the body through a variety of movement patterns (look them up online if you need to).

Shoulders: Push Backs, Pike Push Ups.

Chest: Push ups, Close Push Ups, Wide Push Ups, Feet Elevated Push Ups, Side-to-Side Push Ups, One arm Push Ups.

Back: Inverted Rows, Bridges, Pull Ups, Towel Pulldowns (lie face down and perform a pulldown movement (horizontally of course) - create tension by stretching the towel hard while pulling the arms in).

Quads: Lunges, Reverse Lunges; Bulgarian Split Squats, Squats, Sumo Squats, Jump Squats, Pistol Squats, High Step Ups. Wall Sits are also awesome.

Glutes/Hams: Glute Bridges, Single Leg Glute Bridges, Hip Thrusts, Hip Thrust March, Single Leg Hip Thrusts (Hip Thrusts are performed with Shoulder Elevated on a bed or bench)

Core: Planks, Arm/Leg Lift Planks, Plank to Push Up, Side Planks, Bicycle Crunches, Leg Raises, Dead Bugs, Figure 8s (Lift the legs and rotate through a figure 8 pattern without touching the ground the entire set).

Hope that works well for you... There are some great exercises in there so pick the ones that give you a great workout at your level and go for it!


You can do some muscle up and pull up daily for your upper body, sit up for your abs and some squad without weight for your leg. You actually can use your luggage as a weight for dead lift and row for your back muscle. This at least will keep your muscle warm up.

  • muscle up and pull ups DAILY? shouldn't I give my muscles time to heal as I would with a regular gym workout? Jun 25, 2012 at 3:05
  • I would do pull ups everyday if I had the opportunity. Healing time is dependent on how hard you work your muscles
    – le_garry
    Jun 25, 2012 at 16:39

Google search for Travel WODs has whole lots of results which you can use.

In addition I would suggest running at least 4 days a week . If you have iPhone or Android, they both have lots to running apps that give you distance and speed etc .

Do wall walks , push ups ,hand stand push ups , air squats and situps and you do not need any gym .

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