We love to travel but there’s nothing we hate more than arriving at a hotel to find a mediocre—or worse, nonexistent—fitness center. But Ian Creighton, a former Wall Streeter turned fitness pro at CrossFit and strength-training studio Brick New York, has you covered with an in-room workout using minimal equipment (read: only things that can easily fit into your carry-on) that will actually give you a real pump.
We headed to the 1 Hotel Brooklyn Bridge—a perfect place to get in shape in its own right with its many wellness offerings—to check out Ian’s strength-training-on-the-road routine and, fair warning, it’s intense. Follow along in the video above and the instructions below for a legit pump session no matter where you check in.
Circuit 1: Warm-Up
With Brick’s intense training program in mind, Ian doesn’t waste time with a lazy warm-up. This will get your heart rate going STAT.
5 Walkout + Push-Ups
• From standing position with legs shoulder-width apart, bend at the waist and walk out with your hands to a long-arm plank.
• Perform a push-up
• Walk your arms back to your toes and slowly roll up to standing.
Banded Lateral Walk
• Place a circular resistance band around your thighs, just above your knees.
• Stand with legs slightly bent and shoulder-width apart, then take six wide-stance lateral paces to the left.
• Repeat on the right side.
• Repeat on both legs one time.
10 Prisoner Three-Quarter Lunges with Twist
• With hands behind your head, perform a forward lunge. Both legs should be in a 90-degree angle. Your bottom leg should not touch the ground.
• Rotate your head and torso toward your front leg.
• Return to standing position.
• Repeat for a total of five on each side.
(Repeat circuit two times.)
Circuit 2: Strength Training
To pile on the weight, Ian suggests using a hard suitcase—here, he uses a Zero Halliburton 22-inch Geo Aluminum 3.0 loaded with clothes for added weight—and resistance bands. For the latter, the thicker the better to get a serious strength-training challenge.
Ian also uses tempo training—indicated below with numbers like 31X1—for extra burn. The first number represents the seconds spent lowering (into a squat, deadlift, etc). The second number represents the seconds spent paused in the hardest part of the movement. The third number represents how many seconds spent returning to original position. It’s guaranteed to upgrade your results.
16 Bulgarian Split Squats, 31X1 Tempo
• Wrap a resistance band around the bottom of your left foot and the back of your neck.
• Standing roughly 12 to 15 inches from the back of a bed or chair, and rest the top of your right foot on the top.
• Lower slowly for three seconds into a single-leg squat, pause for one second, then explode upward to standing position.
• Perform eight times on each side.
10 Banded Deadlifts, 31X1 Tempo
• Wrap a resistance band around a suitcase, then stand on the suitcase, holding the ends of the band on either end.
• Slowly bend at the waist for three seconds, keeping head straight, back flat, and knees slightly bent until your hands reach shin-height.
• Pause for one second, then explode upward to standing position.
(Repeat superset two times.)
8-10 Suitcase Banded Seated Rows
• While seated on the floor, wrap a resistance band around a suitcase, then place your feet against the suitcase with legs slightly bent and the ends of the resistance band in each hand.
• Pull arms back in a rowing motion, hold for two seconds, then return arms to original position.
Max Effort Banded Push-Up, 31X1 Tempo
• Wrap a resistance band around the widest part of your back, holding ends in each of your hands.
• Perform a push-up, lowering your torso to the floor with a straight back for three seconds.
• Hold the low push-up position for one second, then explode back up to high-plank position.
• Continue until failure.
30-Second Side Plank Hold with Elevated Leg and Arm
• Perform a long-arm side plank, with legs straight and stacked one on top of the other, torso and head straight, and bottom arm extended straight underneath your shoulder.
• Raise your top leg and top arm and hold for 30 seconds.
• Repeat for 30 seconds on opposite side.
(Repeat superset two times.)
10-12 Banded Bicep Curl
• Stand inside the loop of a resistance band with feet close together. Hold opposite end of band with arms shoulder-width apart.
• Perform bicep curl.
10-12 Banded French Press
• Step on the inside the loop of a resistance band with feet shoulder-width apart. Hold opposite end of loop with hands above your head.
• Lower hands to the back of your neck, keeping elbows faced forward, then return arms straight above head.
10-12 Alternating Uneven Suitcase Push-up
• In high-plank position, place right hand on the floor and left hand on top of a suitcase.
• Perform a push-up.
• While still in plank, move right hand to the top of suitcase and left hand to the floor.
• Perform another push-up.
• Aim for five to six push-ups on each side.
(Repeat superset two times.)
Circuit 3: Conditioning
Ian likes to finish up all that muscle burn with some compound exercises, incorporating his suitcase for added intensity. The goal is to complete each exercise in under 45 seconds to build in rest between moves.
Minute 1: 16 Alternating Overhead Lunges
• Hold a suitcase overhead with straight arms.
• Lunge forward until your back knee touches the floor, then return to standing position.
• Repeat eight times on each side.
Minute 2: 12 Quadruped Sprints
• Assume bear-crawl position, with hands and feet on the floor, arms extended straight underneath your shoulders, and knees bent into a crawling position.
• Sprint forward on all fours across the length of the room.
• Sprint backward to your starting position. That’s two reps.
Minute 3: 10 Jump-Over Burpees
• Place suitcase on the floor next to you.
• From standing position, perform a lateral hop over the suitcase.
• Perform a burpee, dropping your chest to the floor, then exploding back up to standing position.
(Repeat four times for a total of 15 minutes.)