Workout of the Week: Leg Day (No Equipment Option)


Often, many die-hard fitness people find that life gets in the way of some workouts.  Sometimes it is a snow storm that replaces your trip to the gym with shoveling or power outage in your area, or it just can be life is too busy to get to the gym. Maybe you need that go-to option for a workout with absolutely no equipment. The other day, the gym was still locked in the early morning on a day we had planned for a leg day with weights and cardio machines. Here is a workout you can do with no equipment and a flight of stairs to not just work the legs but the lungs as well:

Squat / Pyramid - Warmup with the Squat / run 25-50m distance Pyramid 1-20.  1 squat – run – 2 squats (turn around) run – 3 squats…up to 20 if you want to get 200+ squats in this warmup / workout progression.  Of if you prefer, you can do the same pyramid up to 10 and repeat in reverse order back to 1 and get an even 100 squats.  You can do this without weight or carrying a backpack or weight vest if you prefer to make it tougher.

Stair Pyramid - The next pyramid involves a flight of stairs. The 1-10-1 stair climbing pyramid equals 100 flights of stairs in a workout and typically takes 25-30 minutes to do it fast with minimal rest.   However, in between pyramid sets, stop and rest with any core exercise (plank pose, situps, flutterkicks, crunches, etc) for 30 seconds to 2 minutes as needed for leg recovery. A typical pace of stair climbing both up and down a flight of stairs is 3 flights per minute, so if you do not have a flight of stairs and need to replace with a bench, table, or chair, the pace of 20 seconds per up/down flight can be used as a guide.

These two circuit alone will challenge the legs and lungs for at least 45 minutes which makes for an outstanding no equipment needed workout.  If you are used to longer workouts and want to extend the time, the additional exercises we did that morning were the following: Cardio Time - Walk, Bike or Run 15-20 minutes at a steady pace.

If you are into swimming or preparing for programs with long distance swimming as part of the selection program, add the following swim workout to the Leg Day.

  • Swim 500m without fins
  • Swim 1000m with fins
  • Tread 5 minutes (no hands with or without fins)
  • Drownproof 5 minutes (bounce, float, buddy breathe / tread, etc)
  • Dynamic stretches in chest deep water for 5 minutes

This is a tough leg day that pushes you for 45-90 minutes depending on if you add the additional cardio sections on the back end of the calisthenics and stair workouts.  Progressing with some of the run and stairs sections as farmer walks (carrying DBs or sandbags) is another way to add to the challenge of this workout as it gets easier for you.   As with any leg day, doing this only a few times a week at the most, but it is a great challenge every now and then when in a pinch.



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