So all gyms have closed, all training and sporting events have been cancelled, even parks where you could do some pull ups off a monkey bar are closed and you have no equipment whatsoever!

What now? Sit on your lazy hole and do nothing for the next 2 weeks (minimum, realistically lockdown will probably go on for longer) while all your hard work deteriorates and your muscle atrophy’s (muscle atrophy is when a muscle wastes away) Probably not the right way to go.

Alot of people will be of the attitude “whats the point in training without equipment? I wont make progress”

For the well trained athlete training during this lockdown is not about making gains, its about maintaining the condition of the muscle as much as possible. Yes you may loose a little bit of strength but the more you hang onto and better the condition of the muscle the quicker you will be getting back to your best when this lockdown is over.

Some of the areas most athletes will need to maintain the most would be leg strength, primarily glutes, hamstrings and quads, these are the muscle that do the most work, take the most abuse and get injured most therefore in my eyes they are the most important to maintain. Following this would be the core, back (lower and upper) and well throw some pressing exercises in for good measure although this ranks fairly low on the priority list at this time.

Exercise selection

Lower body

Squat, walking lunges, Bulgarian split squat, step ups, Kneeling knee extensions, nordic drops, single leg glute bridge, hamstring walkouts, adductor plank.


Pull ups and chin ups on a door frame(if its strong enough), Inverted row on a table and YWT’s.


Plank, side plank, bird dog, deadbug, sit ups and lying leg raises.

Upper press exercises

Push ups (regular, narrow grip and/or on knees), bench dips off a couch and handstand push ups.

You might look at all these exercises and think their to easy to do a hard workout with but I can assure you that we can make it hard!

Using slow eccentrics or negatives( An example of a slow eccentric would be taking 4s to lower a weight while holding tension in a muscle), paused reps, super-sets and/or giant sets can all make exercises very difficult.

The programme

Day 1

General warm up

  1. Squat with pause at bottom: 3×10
  2. Nordics(very slow eccentric): 4×5
  3. Bulgarian split squat(3s eccentric): 3×12 each side
  4. Walking lunges: 1 set to failure
  5. Push ups: 3×12-15
  6. Pull ups or Inverted row: 25 total reps
  7. Deadbugs: 3×20

Day 2

General warm up

  1. *Push ups x 8-10
  2. *Inverted row 8-x 10
  3. Bench dips: 3×10-15 (4 second eccentric)
  4. YWT’s: 3×5 in each position with 3 second hold
  5. Deadbugs: 3×16 (8 each side – 3 second hold)

*Superset the two exercises, rest 45-60 second between supersets – Do as many sets as possible

Day 3

General warm up

Giant set

  1. Squat x 20
  2. Step ups x 10 each leg
  3. Single leg glute bridge x 10 each leg
  4. walking lunges x 24 (12 each leg)
  5. squat x 20

4 rounds 45-60 second rest between sets

Giant set

  1. Chin up or inverted row x 5-8
  2. push ups x 10
  3. sit ups x 12

4 rounds 30-45 second rest between sets

Any of the exercises laid out in this article that are not added to this programme can easily be subbed in either as a substitute for an exercise or as an addition to whats already in it, you can also add in exercises using a piece of equipment that you might have.

If you find this programme easy you can easily make it harder by adding more reps, more sets and reducing rest periods.


Matty Costello

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