• Not having access to a gym is not a valid excuse for not working out.
  • Get creative with ways to train your body. Bodyweight exercises are an excellent way to build size and endurance.

Okay so let’s say you have no access to a gym. For whatever reason, all you have is your room, the things inside, and maybe a local park nearby. You have no money to buy equipment for your room and you really don’t have a lot of space to move around. This means you are exempt from working out right? WRONG. There are plenty of ways that you can still get fit and build muscle even if you have limited resources. Here is a two part workout that will allow you to stay in shape and build some muscle with little to no equipment available at your disposal!

The Room Workout

Okay so your room will be where you hit chest, triceps, biceps, legs, traps, and shoulders. All you need for this workout is enough space on your floor to do pushups and also a backpack filled with books (as a college student I have to assume you own these items). Begin your workouts by stretching, of course. There is no need to pull anything unnecessarily. Take the 5 minutes to properly stretch and then move on to the actual exercises.

Depending on your training split, you can mix and match these exercises based on which muscle groups you are looking to focus on.

Chest and Triceps:

This is one of the most effective bodyweight exercises you can do. I am talking pushups. You should try to do 5 sets of pushups to failure. I say to failure because the number of reps you will be able to do varies from person to person and this way you will certainly be pushing yourself to the limit on every set. This will work your chest along with your triceps.

Triceps (again):

Fill up a backpack with books and hoist it above your head. Treat this as a dumbbell and do a tricep press. These can be done either seated or standing, depending on how tall you are and what feels more comfortable to you. You can supplement these with one arm tricep presses by removing a book or two to lighten the weight. This is an exercise that you can do 4 sets of 8-12 reps, depending on how much weight you put in the backpack.

If your triceps still have some gas left in the tank, do some triangle pushups. This bodyweight exercise is a variation of the standard pushup where you place both hands close together and form a triangle with your thumbs and pointer fingers. 4 sets to failure on this exercise will polish off both your triceps and chest.


campus elite, the campus elite, college success, college fitness, college fit, college workout, freshman 15, college health, college dietTake that same backpack weight and use it to perform bicep curls. These can be done with one arm or two with various variations. You can perform these as concentration curls, hammer curls, etc. This exercise can be done for 5 sets of 10-12 reps.

A variation of this that I like to do is to take my desk chair, grab it by one arm, and curl it as if it were a weight. It is a little awkward trying to avoid the legs of the chair, but it forces you to engage your stabilizer muscles and really concentrate on the movement.

After performing this exercise, I like to do no-weight concentration curls where I basically squeeze my biceps as tight as I can and perform curls. Do not release the tension until you are all the way back to the starting point! 4 sets of 20 reps of these will help get the blood flowing into your biceps along with providing you an awesome bicep pump!


Once again, take the modified backpack weight and use it to do front and side raises. I like to superset these starting with 8-10 reps of lateral raises followed by 8-10 reps of front raises. This will have your shoulders burning and will give you a great pump!


Take the backpack, hold it with two hands behind your back, and begin to do shrugs as if you were holding a barbell. For this exercise you will want to really focus on the contraction at the top and at the bottom. Hold at the top for one second before releasing. At the bottom, force your traps down to give them the full stretch. Traps respond well to both high volume/low weight and low volume/high weight training, so take your pick based on what you prefer. A good mix of the two with a drop set would be a good idea!


Once again we are using this fantastic backpack weight we have created and in this instance, using it for what it is designed for. Place the backpack on your back and do squats. This will likely be easy because you can only fill your backpack with so much weight. To ensure a good leg workout, superset the squats with lunges. You can even add additional weight by carrying books or bags while performing these lunges! 5 sets at 10-12 reps should have you feeling exhausted.

The Outdoor Workout

campus elite, the campus elite, college success, college fitness, college fit, college workout, freshman 15, college health, college dietBack:

It is pretty hard to hit your back without some sort of pull-up bar. Assuming you have no access to one of these in your home, you will want to visit your local park in order to exercise your back muscles. Pull-ups are a fantastic bodyweight exercise for building a wide, strong back. Most parks will have some sort of jungle gym where there is a metal bar elevated off the ground. This may be the monkey bars or just its own separate piece. Nevertheless, this is excellent for doing pull-ups! What is more, you can do many variations of the pull-up in order to target different parts of your back. A wide grip will engage your outer lats and help create the desirable v-taper. A close grip will help thicken your back along with engaging your biceps. Do 5 sets to failure on this exercise and you will have a very strong back in no time!

TIP: If you find yourself being able to do countless pull-ups without fatiguing, take the backpack from your room workouts and wear it during your pull-up session. This increased weight will certainly make things harder while also allowing you to build more muscle.

NOTE: You can also perform all of the room exercises while at the park if you’d like! It is up to you where you do those exercises because all you need is a flat surface and your backpack weight! Doing them in your room will likely be the most convenient, but if you are already out at the park and plan on working more than just your back, go for it!

I actually performed many of these workouts in my College Fitness Problems: Pre-Party Pump episode on YouTube! Here is a link to the video if you would like to check that out!

If you are looking for more tips and tricks on how to handle the college fitness lifestyle, check out my YouTube channel! I put a fun and entertaining twist on common problems students face while trying to stay fit in college, along with videos of my daily life and how I incorporate fitness into my fun, but hectic, schedule. My channel is Alpha Mentality Fitness. Here is a link to my channel page:

Youtube: Alpha Mentality Fitness

You can also find me on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram!

Twitter: @TheAMFitness

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