The 30 minute Hotel Room Workout

We all know the feeling. You’ve been doing so well with sticking to your recent fitness and nutrition regime and you really want it to continue – you’re actually enjoying it. But work is taking you away for a few days to an event, a conference, a meeting, or you’re jetting off for a week of holiday and your normal pattern of working out pre- or post-nine-to-five goes up the shoot.

This happens and is just what life brings up. Don’t fight it or worry that you will slip back into your old patterns. You won’t as long as you actively put an element of control into a situation where many variables are changing around you.

When you’re on these trips, you never know what equipment the ‘hotel gym’ (read: a 25 year old treadmill, a rusting steel weights set and a worn core mat) is going to have, and sometimes you can seem ill-at-ease at the condition of the room and equipment. Plus, the ‘gym’ will open at 7am which is never normally early enough on a work or business trip. If you’re on holiday, you may not want to spend the precious time away with your partner in the gym at 6pm as you normally would and you don’t want the normal 2 hour gym round-trip (travel, locker room, workout, locker room, travel, shower, change, eat) to use up valuable time that could be spent exploring local culture or finding your new “honestly-Raybans-are-just-a-lot-cheaper-out-here” designer holiday sunglasses.

Hotel room equipment for a workout

You can always take your trainers and go for a run as a workout option but it can be a bit daunting running in a location that you don’t know and where roaming internet may not be available to help just in case you get lost. So the things we need to take into account are a lack of time for working out; a lack of knowledge about the options available for working out; and a need to stay close by.

This variables we know for this workout boil down to:

  • Using the hotel room;
  • Using your bodyweight, gravity and different lever lengths to simulate muscular overload;
  • Using the ‘equipment’ that we know will be there: yourself, a bed, a chair and some floor space;
  • Completing the session in 30 minutes for maximum efficiency.

The workout

  1. Press ups (elevated legs): 10 reps x 3 sets* – SUPERSET – Jump squats: 10 reps x 3 sets– 45 seconds rest
  2. Single leg static bed lunges**: 10 reps x 3 sets per leg – no rest
  3. Plank: 45 seconds – Side plank: 30 seconds – Side plank: 30 seconds – 3 sets in total, 60 seconds rest***
  4. Wide press ups: 15 x 3 sets – SUPERSET – Single leg squats: 8 reps x 3 sets per leg – no rest
  5. The Power of 10: V-Sits x 10 – Lying knee raises to chest x 10 – Crunches x 10 – Russian twists x 10 pairs: 3 sets in total, 60 seconds rest****
  6. Narrow press ups x 5 – Chair dips x 15 – Mountain climbers x 20 – 3-5 sets in total, 45 seconds rest*****


Perform this 30 minute hotel room workout every day and you’ll be on track to continue your normal workout regime when you get back home.


*Press ups: 4 seconds to lower yourself to the floor, 2 seconds to extend to the top. Knee press ups if necessary but try elevating your legs on the bed to make it harder for normal press ups. Elbows into your side, not flared out. Jump Squats: squat to the floor as low as possible, and jump upwards as high as you can. Return and repeat.

**Stand 1 metre away from the bed facing away. Elevate one leg behind you onto the bed and let it rest. Bend the front knee to 90 degrees then extend the knee by pushing off the floor. Repeat the action 10 times. Change legs.

***Hold a plank position for 45 seconds. Just your forearms and toes holding you horizontally off the floor. Without touching the floor, pivot to a side plank for 30 seconds. Then, again without touching the floor, pivot all the round to the other side and hold a side plank for 30 seconds. Rest for 60 seconds at the end of the second side plank. Do 3 sets of this in total.

****I’ve been performing this Giant Set – The Power of 10 – for over 10 years with great results. Perform each exercise one after the other without rest. After the Russian Twists, rest for strictly 60 seconds and repeat for 3 sets in total. This is a killer ab exercise.

***** This is your ‘Finisher’. Perform it with all the energy you have left in you. No rest between the 3 exercises, 45 seconds rest after the Mountain Climbers. Can you complete it 5 times to finish the whole workout in 30 minutes?

SUPERSET = performing two exercises one after another without rest. Rest comes at the end of the second exercise


Screen Shot 2015-02-18 at 18.54.59Chris James MA O.A. Dip

Director – Head of Fitness and Nutrition

Fitness Body Pro



Chris James
Top Local Trainer Author
Team Member Picture
Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,