5 Bodyweight Circuits to Build Muscle

Whether you’re in a hotel room, your living room, or in your backyard, you can still get in a quality muscle building workout. Try one of these 5 circuits to feel the pump without needing weights to assist you.

No more excuses. I know you’ve found them in the past, but after reading this, you’ll have none left.

If you go on a business trip and your company puts you in a hotel with no gym, you may have neglected your workouts in the past. Not anymore.

If you’ve just moved across town, you may not have a gym to call home yet, so you’ll just eat junk food and do some research in the meantime. That won’t be necessary,

Gravity is a gift that we take for granted when it comes to our exercise and our workouts. Pressing or pulling extra weight as we fight gravity isn’t a foreign concept at all, because most men are often happy to get under a bar and do it at the gym. But ask someone to get a workout in just by utilizing their body? That’s a harder sell.

 Your body weight alone can create enough muscular resistance if you utilize it correctly. You already weigh at least 150 pounds, so fighting gravity can make for a pretty awesome workout. Try out the 5 body weight circuits below and experience the pump that you’ve been passing up on! Descriptions for each exercise can be found at the bottom of the article.


•30 air squats
20 push-ups
15 lunges (each side)
10 pull-ups
1 minute low plank hold
1 minute rest

Do this circuit 10 times over and you will feel an incredible pump from head-to-toe. Feel free to vary your hand positioning or grip for your push-ups and pull-ups to challenge yourself a little bit more. It’s amazing what these fundamental exercises can do for your body.


This one doesn’t require a pull-up bar, so you can sweat it out in a hotel room or living room with no problem.

•20 burpees
30 air squats
1 minute rest
15 burpees
20 push-ups
1 minute rest
•10 burpees
5 wall push-ups
1 minute rest

Run through this circuit three times and you will be breathing heavy, sweating like crazy, and feeling swole. With nothing but your own body weight you will be amazed by how great a workout this will be.


For this circuit, you will take some of the most basic exercises and give them an edge by increasing the amount of time under tension (TUT) that your muscles experience.

• 10 push-ups (5 seconds going down, 5      seconds going up)
20 lunges for each leg
5 negative pull-ups
1 minute wall squat
Burnout: 10 burpees as fast as you can
2 minute rest

This circuit mixes some slow and deliberate muscle movement with some quick moves to vary your muscles experience throughout the workout. When it’s time to go slow, go as slow as you can. When it’s time to crank it up, move your body quickly and challenge your muscles.


This circuit will alter and add onto some basic bodyweight exercises to give your body a unique challenge. Give it all you’ve got and you’ll be sure to get a quality pump.

•10 low plank to push-up combinations
10 squat jumps
10 plyometric push-ups
10 one legged deadlifts
5 plyometric lunges on each side
3 wall push-ups (3 seconds up, 3 seconds down)

Run through this circuit three times and you will be breathing heavy, sweating like crazy, and feeling swole. With nothing but your own body weight you will be amazed by how great a workout this will be.

The push-up, pull-up, and the air squat are the three most basic, but body scorching, body weight exercises. In this circuit, you’ll use them in a ladder format, which starts small, but will get bigger and badder with each round that you do.

Ladder format
1 push-up, 1 pull-up, 1 air squat
2 push-ups, 2 pull-ups, 2 air squats
3 push-ups, 3 pull-ups, 3 air squats…

This pattern continues until you hit 20 of each. Rest where you need to, but never give yourself more than 1 minute of rest at any given time. Think of each level of the pattern as a rung on a ladder. Just like a ladder, though, once you reach the top, you’ve got to come back down. So once you get 20 reps for each exercise, reverse the pattern…

20 push-ups, 20 pull-ups, 20 air squats
19 push-ups, 19 pull-ups, 19 air squats
18 push-ups, 18 pull-ups, 18 air squats….

All the way down to 1 push-up, 1 pull-up, and 1 air squat again. It doesn’t seem like much, but this workout will have you sore for days.


Air squat: With knees hovering over the ankles, lower your butt into a seated position, making your knees and shins form a 90 degree angle. Once at the bottom of the squat, push through your heels to arrive back at a standing position.

Burpee: squat, place the palms of the hands on the floor in front of the feet, jump back into a push-up position, do a push-up, return to the squat position, and then jump up into the air while extending the arms overhead

Low Plank: Think of this as a push-up position, but on your elbows. Your elbows should be directly underneath your shoulders forming a 90 degree angle with your forearm. This position should be held with legs and back straight while keeping the core tight.

Low plank to Push up combination: start in low plank, then rise from your elbows to push up position. Lower yourself back down into low plank, then back up to push-up position. Once back in push-up position, do 5 push-ups.

Low plank-push-up position-low plank-push-up position-5 push-ups. That would constitute as one combination.

Lunge: Starting from a standing position, step forward with your right leg and lower it down so that your knee and shin form a 90 degree angle. Explode upward and return to standing position, then repeat the exercise with the left leg moving forward.

Negative pull-up: this is the same upward motion as a regular pull-up, but as you lower your body from the bar, do so as slowly as possible. Try to count to 5 until you’ve reached the bottom of your repetition.

One legged deadlifts: with feet shoulder width apart, you will lower your body as you would for a standard deadlift, but with one foot slightly off the ground. Alternate between sides and touch the floor with each rep.

Plyometric lunge: This is the same as a lunge, but rather than stepping out and stepping back with each rep, you will change legs by exploding off the ground with each rep and switching legs midair.

Plyometric push-ups: This is the same as a push-up, but as you return to plank position, explode upward to get your body off of the ground a few inches. As you return to the ground, land softly with your hands and repeat the process.

Pull-up: on a mounted pull-up bar, start with a grip slightly outside each shoulder with hands facing away from you. Pull your chest up to the bar, then with control, lower your body back down to starting position.

Push-up: starting with hands placed under your shoulders or slightly wider than your shoulders, lower your body to within a few inches of the ground, keeping your back and legs straight and with your elbows coming to a 90 degree angle. Once at the bottom, push yourself back up.

Squat jumps: This is the same as an air squat, but as you push to standing position, you explode off the ground, jumping as high as you can. As you return to the ground, land softly and begin again.

Wall squats: with your back against the wall, lower your body until your knees and shins form a 90 degree angle and your feet are directly underneath your knees. Hold this position for the time required.

Wall push-ups: with your hands shoulder width apart and your feet on a secure wall, get yourself in a handstand position. Lower yourself down until the crown of your head is slightly above the ground, then return to the handstand position for a full repetition.

Disclaimer: This content is for informational purposes only and is not meant as medical advice, nor is it to diagnose or treat any medical condition. Please consult your physician before starting or changing your diet or exercise program. Any use of this information is at the sole discretion and responsibility of the user.