I have two preferred hardcore no gym, no equipment hotel room workouts:

1. Pushups
2. Stairs

You’re on the road, staying in a hotel, there’s either no hotel gym or the “gym” is masquerading as a purposeless mirrored storage closet complete with bosu ball and elliptical machines. You don’t have a car or are too cheap to spring for a cab to find a gym in town – hell, if you’re out in the boondocks, there might not even be one.

I’ve been there. When I am faced with this situation and in need of a solid, meaningful workout I go basic.
The standard pushup remains a quality upper-body strength building movement.

Pick a big number – I have always gone with 500 – and start. Perform as many quality repetitions as you can in each set. Vary your hand placement between narrow, focusing more on triceps push, and wide, utilizing more shoulder.

Gradually build up to warm up your muscles and joints starting with 20, then 30, and so on until you’re hitting your higher one set totals. Reconfigure these numbers for whatever your fitness level is.

Push your pace. Don’t dawdle about flexing in the mirror. Bring in a conditioning component. Add abdominal work while you rest between pushup sets – leg scissors, crunches, leg raise hold, anything.

Whatever your target, the figure should not be easy to attain. I typically hit 50 or so reps on my first full-out, non-warm up set and completing all 500, with abdominal work as my rest, takes me just over 30 minutes. My pecs, triceps, shoulders, back and abs will all have received a solid beating after completion of this workout which can be performed in any hotel room with very little space.

Want a good leg workout under similar conditions? Find the hotel’s stairwell and start climbing. Any hotel over four stories will suffice.

If you’re in Chicago or New York or Atlanta and in a high rise hotel, this is a golden opportunity to blast your calves. Again, set a big number. I typically target 100. Walk up 100 stories and your calves will be screaming for days.
Suppose you’re staying in a 10 story hotel. Start at the bottom and finish at the top. Once up and down is 10 stories. Rinse and repeat nine more times. You’re not counting descending flights because you’re awesome.

Shake it up. Sprint a flight. Take two steps at once. Go up sideways or backwards. Hop up the steps on one leg. Hop up on both feet… or just walk. Throw on your headphones, find a good Motorhead groove, and just start climbing.

I’m certain you’ll find this to be an exceptional workout for calves and solid conditioning as well. I did a workout like this with my brother on the road one time and my calves were shot for a week – I’m talking muscle-torn-off-the-bone, intense soreness pain, prevent you from sleeping, can’t straighten your legs out. If your travel plans involve walking or not appearing in excruciating pain when you walk, avoid this workout.

These workouts can’t sustain you long-term, but they’re solid in a pinch. No gym = no excuses.