PERFECT 30-minute ZERO Equipment Workout

train with finishers

Mmmm, a bodyweight program smoothie. Let me get out my cookbook. Ahh, here it is… Let’s open up to page something-something.

A solid bodyweight workout program recipe will have these ingredients:

=> A warm-up with easier exercises

=> Strength training (YES, you can do this with bodyweight moves… I’ll get to that)

=> Metabolic Conditioning

=> Metabolic Finishers (Duh.)

Depending on the entire structure of the program, I’ll include all of these throughout the week or all of them within each workout.

If I were to design one with all of these in the same workout, it would look like this:

Warm-up (3-5 minutes)
Strength Training (10-15 minutes)
Metabolic Conditioning (10-15 minutes)
Metabolic Finisher (3-10 minutes)

 This gives me the flexibility to make it 30 minutes while focusing more on a specific component (for example, 10 mins on strength, 15 mins on conditioning).

The Warm-up 

Here is where you’ll want to use easier exercises. I like to put together 3-4 exercises and do two circuits, resting for 30 seconds between circuits.

Here’s an example:

Jumping Jacks (15)
Bodyweight Squats (10)
Pushups (8)
Leg Swings (10/side) <= Swing your leg back and forth

Knee problems? Do the lying hip extension or 1-leg hip extension.  Here’s a pic of my coach Craig Ballantyne doing them:

Screen Shot 2013-12-06 at 2.39.54 PM

I got a lot of comments on the survey about replacing squats, so this is a great way to do that (saves your knees).

Strength Training

This is when I like to keep the bodyweight exercises with a rep range of 8-12. The thing is… some people find basic exercises like pushups and bodyweight squats NOT challenging enough for that rep range.

That’s when you can add in some modifications to make these exercises HARDER.

For example, the pushup…. you can do 1-1/2 reps instead of regular reps. So, you’ll go all the way down, halfway back up, then back down and finally all the way up. That’s ONE rep.

Try 8 of those… good times. There’s also Spiderman Pushups, Decline Pushups, etc.

However, the same goes for making these exercises EASIER. If you ever find a bodyweight exercise too difficult, don’t be afraid to use an easier exercise (for example, replace Spiderman Pushups with Kneeling Pushups or Incline Pushups).

I like to reference this page a lot. It’s one of my post popular blog posts yet. So, be sure to bookmark it.

The ultimate exercise substitution list 

Don’t forget to come back. We’re not done yet.

Here’s a sample strength circuit. I like to use non-competing circuits and supersets. So, you’ll do a lower body exercise and then an upper body exercise (or vice versa).

Bulgarian Split Squat (1-1/2 rep style) (8/side)
Decline Spiderman Pushups (6/side)
1-Leg Bodyweight Romanian Deadlift (10/side)

Don’t forget – you can make these easier (replace Bulgarian Squats with 1-Leg Hip Extensions, etc).

I might do 2-4 strength supersets. I might do 1-3 strength circuits. It really depends on the entire scope of the program.

Metabolic Conditioning

This is my second favorite to the finisher (what did you expect?).  Here, you’ll want to use more volume with a rep range typically between 15 – 25 (depending on the exercise).

For example, I wouldn’t write 25 burpees to do in a circuit 3 times.

I’m a BIG believer that if your form has a chance of getting sloppy, it shouldn’t be in your program. Most people can’t do 25 burpees 3 times without their form getting ugly.

Metabolic Conditioning replaces “cardio” and will improve your overall fitness, while at the same time, burn calories. Here’s a sample circuit:

Burpees (8)
Bodyweight Squats (15)
Spiderman Climb (10/side – 20 total)
*Total Body Extensions (20)

By the way, the Total Body Extension is an awesome replacement for Jump Squats, Box Jumps, Lunge Jumps and any other exercise that you want to minimize impact on your joints.

Here’s how to do it:

Screen Shot 2013-12-06 at 2.44.51 PM

Dude… this is getting LONG. My bad.

The finale… the Metabolic Finisher.

Here’s where you don’t hold back. This is your grand finale and you MUST go out with a bang.

The finisher can be anywhere between 3 and 10 minutes. You can choose one from another manual you already have or go with this one I just tested out with a longtime reader:

The “Get Sixy” Finisher:

Do as many circuits as possible in 6 minutes, resting only when needed:

Lunge Jumps (6/side)
Close-Grip Pushups (6)
Jumping Jacks (6)
Mountain Climbers (6/side)

Whew, that’s pretty much how I roll… that, and then eat a stack of pancakes if it’s your reward meal day…

… Wait a second…. The “Pancake Diet”. You fast all day, and have a stack of flappy wappys every night?

Nah, not a good idea.

Hey, let’s wrap up the madness. Let’s gather in a big circle and discover what we learned…

Warm-up (3-5 minutes)

– Easier exercises and don’t overdo it

– 2 circuits (resting 20-30 seconds between circuits)

Strength Training (10-15 minutes)

– Rep range between 8-12 reps… maybe 15)

– Use “tweaks” to make basic exercises harder like 1-1/2 reps, etc.

Metabolic Conditioning (10-15 minutes)

– Rep range between 15 – 25 (typically, but there are exceptions like burpees, etc)

Metabolic Finisher (3 – 10 minutes)

The Grand Finale – end on a bang with a variety of gauntlets, ladders, density circuits and more

That’s how you work out with ZERO equipment,
Mikey, CTT

PS – I just released a NEW program called the Bodyweight Dirty 30 2.0. They are packed of FULL workouts that take 30 minutes or less…

… with ZERO equipment.


Get the Bodyweight Dirty 30 2.0 + 10 bonuses <= Only $9 limited time

Leave A Reply (4 comments so far)

  1. Philip
    10 years ago

    I can’t wait for a full program with exercises.
    You mentioned referring to your exercise substitution list. How about one that shows bodyweight strength exercises such as the push-up variations you suggested. That would be great.

  2. Mikey
    10 years ago

    Philip, there are full programs inside the Bodyweight Dirty 30 2.0 (link above) as well as And thanks for the pushup variation idea!


  3. Philip
    10 years ago

    I have bought BW dirty 30 2.0 but cannot access it.

  4. Mikey
    10 years ago

    No sweat – you should have received your user name and password (check your spam folder). If not, please contact and we will get you set up. Thanks!