SOURCE: Human Kinetics

Human Kinetics

October 16, 2013 03:05 ET

How to Turn Your Hotel Room Into a Gym

Frequent Travelers Can Get a Great Workout Even Without Access to Expensive Equipment, Says Leading Strength and Conditioning Expert

CHAMPAIGN, IL--(Marketwired - October 16, 2013) - People may think they can't get a good workout while on vacation, but noted strength and conditioning specialist Bret Contreras says that just about any hotel room can be turned into a gym. In his new book, Bodyweight Strength Training Anatomy (Human Kinetics), Contreras shows how it's possible for someone to achieve an amazing workout using nothing more than their own body and simple furniture. "I lean my back on couches in order to work my glutes. I hang on to tables and chairs to work my back and legs. And all I need is the ground to work my chest, shoulders, legs, and core," he explains.

Contreras believes bodyweight training is, without a doubt, the most convenient type of resistance training, and the perfect way to keep fit during extended travel when access to thousands of dollars of strength training equipment is not always feasible. "All you need is your own physical being. You'll never be without equipment or a facility, and you'll never need a spotter," he says. "In other words, if you learn to use your body as a barbell, then you'll always have the ability to obtain a great workout."

Through bodyweight training, Contreras stresses, you will never fear having subpar training sessions while on vacation because you will be able to perform effective workouts from your hotel room. "You'll realize that you don't need barbells, dumbbells, or elastic resistance bands," he says. "With sound knowledge of the biomechanics of bodyweight training, you can learn to create just as much force in the muscles as if performing heavy resistance training."

Contreras, a regular contributor to several magazines, including Men's Health, Men's Fitness, Oxygen, and MuscleMag, notes that a person can gain tremendous functional fitness in terms of strength, power, balance, and endurance from progressive bodyweight training. Meanwhile, recent research shows that flexibility can be enhanced to the same or even a greater degree through resistance training than from a stretching routine. In addition, he notes that the money someone saves from not going to a gym can be used for healthier food choices, helping them realize even better results from their training.

While Contreras believes all strength trainees should master their own bodyweight as a form of resistance training before moving on to free weights and other training systems, he is adamant that a person can maintain muscularity and fitness solely by performing bodyweight exercises. "As you progress to more difficult variations and increase the number of repetitions you perform with the various exercises, you will continuously challenge your neuromuscular system," he explains. "Your body will respond by synthesizing more protein and laying down more muscle tissue. In essence, your body adapts by building a bigger engine."

Featuring drawings, instructions, and descriptions of 156 innovative and unique exercises, along with a rating system to help you determine the level of difficulty of each exercise, Bodyweight Strength Training Anatomy goes far beyond standard pull-ups, push-ups, and squats to work every muscle in the body. Contreras, who maintains a popular blog at, also has instructions on creating a customized, equipment-free workout program for building a stronger, more toned physique. For more information on this and other strength and conditioning books and resources, visit

The following files are available for download:

Contact Information