The No Equipment Workout

All Renegades know that when it comes to building strength and power the barbell is second to none. But we also know that sometimes life can get in the way and we don’t always have access to one. Thats right, despite more Crossfit gyms opening than the All Blacks win games we still find ourselves without a gym and in need of alternative training. Holidays and working away are classic examples of when you need to be a lot more creative with your training.

The purpose of this article is to give you some ideas of methods and exercises best to use when you stuck without a gym, and we may even give you a full workout that you can perform in your hotel room or a nearby park!!


The best exercises in this instance are ones that you can perform anywhere. Of course that means bodyweight exercises. Squats, Lunges, Pistol Squats, Burpees, Push Ups and Handstand Press Ups are good choices.

The Ultimate Push Up Guide: 50 Push Up Variations

If you have access to them and can take them with you bands and TRX/rings are great too. If you own a kettlebell and can travel with it they allow you to perform countless exercises and are great for the posterior chain, grip, shoulders and core. And a weight vest will obviously increase the intensity of your bodyweight exercises.

Lastly, now is the time to be resourceful. If you are training in a park use your surroundings. A children’s play area should allow you to perform chin ups, dips, L-sits and maybe even muscle ups. Use a park bench to do box jumps, incline pushups or do single leg squats to it if you can’t do full range. Are you near some steps or a hill? Do some hill/stair sprints for you conditioning!

fitness for rugby renegade

Training Methods

The big benefit of barbell training is the ability to vary the load to exact percentages to elicit the desired results. This is obviously the biggest limitation with bodyweight exercises, however there are a few training methods where you can progress without increasing the load.

Density Training

Escalating Density Training was popularised by Charles Staley and is a great training approach for hypertrophy. Basically you perform 2 exercises with the same load for a set period of time and try to get as many reps as possible in said time. At the next session you simply try to perform more reps!

Mechanical Drop Sets

These are like dropsets but different! Instead of dropping to a lighter weight you change to an easier exercise. Take push ups for example; begin by performing Push Ups with your feet on a bench, when you are a few reps from failure stop and perform regular pushups, again until near failure then finally perform pushups with your hands on the bench. Yes you guessed it, this time to failure!

How To Get Bigger For Rugby: Mechanical Dropsets


This is the perfect time to improve your work capacity using metcons. They are simple but effective and can consist of bodyweight exercises only.


These are used to increase the metabolic demands of a normal workout. It is simple, effective and brutally tough! All you do is pick something tough and superset it with every exercise you do. For intstance, if you’re outdoors and have space add some shuttle runs after each exercise. Another cruel alternative is to superset every exercise with 5-10 burpees (great for fat loss). And if you are vain you can add a core variation to every set!

Box jumpos for rugby

Example Programme

3 Sessions per week alternate between session A & B.

Session A

Mechanical DropSet

A1) Pistol Squats x3-5 (alternate legs)

A2) Walking Lunges x10

A3) Bodyweight Squats x15

90sec rest x 3 sets

10min Density

B1) Pull Ups x5

B2) One Arm Push Ups x5 (each Arm)*

Max Reps in 10mins

*use an incline to make it easier


3 RFT of:

C1) Push Ups x10

C2) Burpees x10

C3) KB Swings x10


4 x 30 on 30 off Plank

Session B

Mechanical DropSet

A1) Push Ups x max (feet elevated)

A2) Push Ups x max

A3) Push Ups x max (hands elevated)

90sec rest x 3 sets

10min Density

B1) Goblet Squat x5

B2) KB Snatch x3 (each Arm)

Max Reps in 10mins


For Time:

C1) Pull Ups x10,9,8…3,2,1

C2) Step Ups x10,9,8…3,2,1


Hanging Knees 2 Elbows 3 x 10

Wrap Up

Hopefully we have given you some ideas of how to keep those “Gainz” when you are forced away from the gym but also given you ideas that you can use to get outdoors and do something a bit different! Feel free to add in any exercises that you have the equipment for. Be creative and enjoy your fitness training!

Want to become the machine you were meant to be?

Recommended Posts