Tosca Reno


Wednesday, May 5, 2010

In-A-Pinch Workouts

You all know how much I travel for work. Well, every once in awhile I wind up in a hotel without a gym. What's a fitness girl to do without the comforts of a gym? I'll tell you what she does. She makes the best of what she has.

That's exactly what I did in New York City last week when my hotel, to my surprise, didn't have a gym. I needed to get a good workout in before my Good Morning America appearance so here's what I did...

I grabbed my liter water bottles and did reverse flyes...

I used the two chairs in the room to do triceps dips... See my cooler in the background? I stopped by Whole Foods to pick up some clean eats for my time in New York.

I used 2 of my handbags to do lat raises... You can tell it's hard work even though I'm trying to smile.

I tried not to hit the ceiling as I lifted the chair above my head for overhead presses.

I could have done my push ups on the floor, but I opted for the added challenge of balancing the two chairs. This required lots of core stabilization. Phewf!

I also did a few more exercises, including lunges and abs, to get a good full body workout. I also went for a quick run to train my cardiovascular system especially since my triathlon is less than 2 months away.

There are so many options for exercise when you're on vacation or away from home even if you don't have a gym nearby. These examples can even be used at home if joining a gym isn't an option for you.

I always remember the story my husband told me about his first bodybuilding experience. He used to fill paint cans with cement and tie them to the end of a metal pipe to use as his barbell because he couldn't afford weights or a gym membership.

Use what you've got and there's no excuse for not being active!

What do you do when you're in a pinch?


  1. Tosca - all great ideas I never would have thought about the chair!

    As for the cooler, I think you should market one, I would buy it and my guess it would be a hit!

    Just sayin'!


    (P.S. last night I made the dirty rice in the latest clean eating magazine and it was increadible!)

  2. I agree with the decision to not do pushups on the hotel room floor (I say "yuck" even though I'm not a germaphobe!) I bet a cooler would be sturdy enough to do step ups and knee lifts as well as reverse lunges off of, maybe even with a handbag on each shoulder! I always say, "necessity is the mother of invention!" even better than that is "no excuses!" thanks for the ideas!

  3. LOL. I love love love this!! My husband thinks I'm crazy for working out like this when there's no gym around. Thank you for proving that I'm not the only one ;-) haha. Great idea for an Oxygen article ;-)

  4. Great post, Tosca! These are great ideas!! Thank you soo much!

  5. Super inspiring! I'm terrible about letting my workouts go when i'm in hotels. boo

  6. What a great idea. I do similar things. All you need is 4 by 4 floor space and imagination.

  7. I love this! It's great to see the real deal!

  8. This has to be one of my favorite posts from you! It is really inspiring and strikes a nerve with me as I have let my workouts slip a bit this past month due to moving, etc... Use what you have where you have it really hit me. TX!!!! Your use of your surrounding also gives me some ideas of what to do in my house. I would love more ideas such as these.
    I also agree with Cat, I have yet to find a cooler as big as yours and would buy an eat Clean one in a heartbeat too, especially if it was stylish and had containers in it!

  9. Awesome post AND pics, especially the push-ups! Great reader comments, too! Congrats on the upcoming tri, you're going to do fantastic!

  10. We want that cooler! please sel it...

  11. wonderful article, and what a surprise for you. Judging by the size of your room, it's a wonder you were able to do this! Thanks for keeping us in the know Tosca!

  12. Love this post! I love hearing how you sometimes you find yourself in a pinch just like the rest of us. Love the pushups on 2 chairs, you rock! When i'm in a pinch at work, or travelling, I'll go up and down several flights of stairs. Sometimes I get odd looks at work when I'm climbing 8 flights of stairs a few times, but hey, it works!! I also second the motion of designing your own cooler, I would buy two of them!!

  13. Tosca, a cooler with containers to fit would be a brilliant idea pleaseeeeeeeeeeeee.

    Julia UK

  14. How inspirational! I always tell people, "Tosca Reno's books and story changed my life. I love her!" So weird to say that about someone you don't even know, but it is true!
    This blog entry is just another example of how truly inspiring Tosca is. I would never of thought of doing some of these exercises in a pinch. Thanks Tosca!

    As for the selling your own cooler thing.....with containers for accurate portion sizes...that is nothing short of BRILLIANT! I'll take 2

    Hope to see you out west sometime!

  15. LOVE this post!!!! I usually get pretty lucky with hotel rooms having at least a treadmill and bike I can use for cardio and I try to throw in some push-ups/lunges and abs. These are great ideas and I especially like the one someone mentioned about using your cooler as a step up bench. GREAT IDEA!!! Oh and the last hotel I went to people were giving me the strangest looks as I carried in my cooler hehe. Oh well =0)

  16. I was just in Vegas for a convention last week and our hotel had a gym but charged heaps of $ to use it. My hubby and I opted to run the stairs instead. We skipped rope on the landings and did modified lunges our last 4 flights. I got to 93% of my heart rate. I never thought about the water bottles for flys. what a great idea!


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