Body Weight Workout

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In just 26 days, we’re leaving on our 6-week European Extravaganza Adventure Exploring Eating Fest™  to Prague, Vienna, Ljubljana, and multiple destinations in Croatia… which means I’m alternating between being ridiculously excited and planning how to take care of myself on the road.

My first step to self-care is collecting fun workouts I can do anywhere. This body weight routine from the super fit and inspiring and adorable Neghar Fonooni  is a keeper! It’s a sweet mix of calisthenics that will raise my heart rate and work my muscles — and it requires no equipment, so there are no excuses.

The movements are solid basics — squats, pushups, planks, jumping jacks, lunges, and glute bridges —and she demonstrates each exercise, offering good tips for modification, so there are options for every fitness level. You do each movement the specified number of times, rest 30 seconds, then move on to the next movement — crank through four rounds and you’ve got yourself a workout!

I’m sure I’ll be doing this workout in a park in Prague or maybe on the little island in Lake Bled, Slovenia. If you do it, too, it’s almost like we’re working out together!


Update April 2, 2012

Whew! I just finished this workout, and it’s pretty solid! I changed up the number of reps a bit and shortened the rest time between rounds. I didn’t “do it for time” like I was being hounded by the CrossFit dobermans, but I moved at the speed I call my “workout with purpose:” brisk enough to feel the work but controlled enough to do perfect reps (where “perfect” is as perfect as a perfectly imperfect perferctionist like me can do them).

Body Weight Workout
4 rounds:
11 prisoner squats
11 pushups: 5 toes + 6 knees
:30 plank
15 jumping jacks
11/leg reverse lunges
11 glute bridges
1:00 rest
My time: 25:30


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  • Emily says:

    Lake Bled has a beautiful path that goes around it that is great for intervals or bike riding. It is such a beautiful place – I imagine you can have a great workout there too! Enjoy! Wishing you safe travels!

  • Agne says:

    Awesome workout! I’ve been looking for some free video’s of workouts too 😉 Have fun here in Europe!

  • Marinka says:

    I love that you’re coming to Europe! You’ll love it here 🙂 How do you prepare for eating out in the countries where they hardly speak English? I’m driving from the Netherlands to Croatia myself in June (visiting Austria and Slovenia along the way), yet am a little nervous about eating out in Croatia. It would be great if you could share some ideas!

    • Mel says:

      Honestly, all of the places I’ve visited in Europe have been very English-friendly — most of the menus in Prague are in English and Czech, and I know students are taught English in Croatia in elementary school. When there isn’t an English translation handy, I use iPhone apps to look up food words I don’t know. I don’t have any magic tricks — I do it the tourist way and look stuff up 🙂

      • Dennis says:

        I’m from Ohio but I’m here in Split Croatia getting my PhD. I’m not sure where you are visiting in Croatia but you can easily get by with english in Split, Zagreb, and Dubrovnik. As for Split my girlfriend and I have our own crap-tastic gym that serves us quite well for heavy deadlifts! If you are going to Split we can definitely suggest places for food, activity or traveling shenanigans.

        • Mel says:

          Ooooo! So envious that you’re living in Split — how awesome is that?!

          We’re not visiting Split this time (bummer!). We’re starting in Rovinj, then spending a night on Rab Island on our way to Plitvice Lakes National Park… then Hvar and Dubrovnik. We’re spending 2-3 days in each city… can’t wait!

  • Robin says:

    Have you tried the Max Capacity app? It has a ton of great exercises and it times everything and mixes it up. I really love it. Android and iphone apps

  • Val says:

    Thanks for the workout video! It’s bodyweight-exercise month for me, and this looks like a good set!

  • Katie L. says:

    This place in Vienna has paleo cookies if you are looking for a snack! 🙂

  • B "Miso" says:

    Wasn’t that island in The Historian?? It’s been awhile since i read it…

    • Mel says:

      There is an island in The Historian, but it’s not Bled… but a bunch of places in Croatia are mentioned in The Historian — can’t wait to visit them!

  • Nicole Franklin says:

    Thanks Mel, these are great for traveling!

    We spent our honeymoon in that region last summer….definitely recommend Slovenia, the people were super nice and it was so damn cheap! We took day trips from our place in southern Hungary to Ljubljana and Maribor, which was a tad shady but still pretty cool! Everyone speaks English and is super friendly. The castle on the top of the hill in Ljubljana is a fun, short hike! We wanted to go to Croatia but weren’t allowed to take the rental car 🙁

  • Heather A. says:

    Seriously, the old workouts were hard core! Most used bodyweight only. (I see they have a lot of new stuff, and I’m not sure about that.)

  • Danielle says:

    Ohhhh that Neghar’s a cutie! Where’d you find her? Lovely site, too. Thanks for sharing! That’s a good workout!!

    Mel, you are well on your way! It’s happening. You’re doing it. And Prague will be awesome.

    Lucky Prague!


  • Jennifer says:

    I love Croatia so much! Plitvice Lakes is one of the most gorgeous places I have ever seen in my life. Literally took my breath away. Although there were so many people there, I felt so peaceful. Just close your eyes and listen to the sounds of the water:) Dubrovnik is also amazing. Make sure you walk around the top of the city wall early in the morning, right when it opens as it is a long walk and the sun BAKES you! There are plenty of free water fountains throughout the city so have a bottle with you!

    • Mel says:

      I’m SO excited about hiking in Plitvice Lakes National Park — and we’re spending a few days in Dubrovnik before we head back to Prague. YAY!

  • Kristi L says:

    Another great website for bodyweight workouts is
    Have a great trip!

  • Have so much fun in Europe! Eastern Europe is such a great place to explore. Mark Sisson recently posted some 10 minute workouts that look like they would work well for traveling. How do you say bon voyage in Czech???