Ideally anyone that wanted to get into better shape would have access to a state-of-the-art fitness facility. Having the best equipment available is always a huge benefit for people looking to gain muscle, tone-up, get stronger, an active body and of course, a good health. But not everyone is able to do that.

Maybe you live in a remote location. Perhaps you don’t have the money for a membership and can’t afford a good home gym set-up. Or maybe you are reading this article because you travel a lot and can’t always find a dependable gym when on the road for work or vacations.

Not a problem because there are some great ways to workout that can help with tone, strength, speed, and even a little muscle size. Obviously if you are a national level bodybuilder your muscles will need a bit more for growth, but for Joe Average these types of workouts can keep your body in great shape.

Dynamic Tension

One of the core concepts in working out without any sort of weight is keeping a consistent level of tension on the muscles being worked. Back in the day, Charles Atlas used to shill a program he called ‘Dynamic-Tension’. Conceptually his program was just a lot of calisthenics and simple tension exercises. But from those modest Exercise For Healthbeginnings other people have created some serious hard-core workouts.

By now you have probably seen infomercials for programs like Insanity. They are geared around mixing up high intensity cardio work with calisthenics and certain isolation tension exercises. The reason they work is because the muscles are getting a hard workout. Now a program like this is never going to pack on tons of muscle. But, it will allow you to get to a toned, athletic version of your normal body size.

Workout Keys

You will need some athletic shoes, a little space, some water, and an expectation to work hard. Programs like this are all about individual effort. The more you put in, the more you will get out. We will give you a list of exercises to do. You can easily mix things up and change the order around. But the big key is to push yourself hard for 30 to 45 minutes. If you do, then it will be a great workout you can do without weights. Note that this routine has you jumping back and forth between some sort of cardio styled exercise and a muscle toning exercise. If you feel out of breath take a break by marching in place for a minute or two and then resume.


  • Jog in place – 2 minutes
  • Squats – 30 reps
  • Jumping Jacks – 50 jacks
  • Jack-knife Crunches – 30 reps
  • Up-Downs – 1 minute (from a standing position, drop down to a push-up position, then get back up as fast as possible)
  • Push-ups – to exhaustion
  • Run in place – 2 minutes with knees as high as possible
  • Side to Side Jumps – 30 jumps total (jump as far as you can to the left with your feet together, then jump back to the right)
  • Alternating Bicycle Crunches – 30 reps (touch the opposite elbow to knee as you crunch)
  • Shadowbox – 2 minutes
  • Handstand Push-ups – to failure (use a wall to put your feet/legs against for balance)
  • Squat-Thrusts – 30 reps (squat down and place your hands on the ground, kicks your legs out behind you to a push-up position, draw the legs back under you, and jump up)
  • Run in place – 2 minutes with knees as high as possible
  • Forward-Back Jumps – 30 jumps total (feet together, jump forward as far as you can, then jump back)
  • Spider-Man Planks – 30 total (get in a push-up position with arms extended but place feet wide apart, lift your left hand and right foot in the air as high as possible, then lower and repeat with the opposite foot and hand)
  • Jumping Jacks – 50 jacks

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