Operation Back to Basics: An Effective Workout for Travel or Home

Travel Workout

An effective workout for travel or at home when you are short on time!

By SSG Ken Weichert (a.k.a. “SGT Ken”), Master Fitness and Master Resilience Trainer

Former NFL rushing leader, Emmitt Smith, was known for performing quick and explosive workouts that required little or no use of exercise equipment. A lot can be learned from Emmitt Smith and his workouts. His physical strength and endurance helped him lead the Dallas Cowboys to three Super Bowl victories (1993, 1994 and 1996) and he is ranked #1 in the all-​​time rushing leader list.

Emmitt Smith’s workouts are effective, and most of his workouts take less than 30 minutes to complete.

Whether you are on the road or at home, following is a workout that I perform when I am short of time and need a fitness quick fix:

  1. Aerobics (for warming up the body):Examples: Running in place; Side-​​Straddle-​​Hops “Jumping Jacks”; High Steps/​Knees (5 Minutes), or jog a ½ mile.
  1. Stretching(5 Minutes)
  1. Squats(50–100 repetitions)
  1. Lunges(50–100 repetitions, each leg)
  1. ½ Sit-​​ups or Crunches, legs elevated(50–100 repetitions)
  1. Push-​​ups(male standards: 70–80 repetitions; female standards: 30–40 repetitions)


  1. Male and female standards are the same for exercises 1–5.
  2. You may take breaks while attempting to achieve your exercise repetition goal, providing that the breaks are no longer than 3 minutes each.
  3. Perform each exercise in sequence and allow no more than 2 minutes break in between each exercise.
  4. To superset, reduce the break time in between the exercises to no more than 20 seconds each.

Equipment Needed:

* None

Stamina Stopwatch

The Stamina Stopwatch includes the estimated time it will take to complete each set of the fitness program.

* Quick Fix: 1 full set = approximately 20 minutes

* Fast and Furious: 2 full sets = approximately 40 minutes

* Combat Ready: 3 full sets = approximately 60 minutes

Special Remarks: For more health and fitness information, go to http://​www​.NATIONALGUARD​.com/​l​i​f​e​/​f​i​t​n​ess, or you can email me directly for a free copy of my latest National Guard workout at sgtken@​STARTfitness.​com.

Nutrition Advice:

If you are looking for a great diet plan, follow the Savory Survival Guide from www​.NATIONALGUARD​.com/​l​i​f​e​/​f​i​t​n​e​s​s​/​d​i​e​t​-​a​n​d​-​h​e​a​lth.

Author’s notes:

Warning: Always seek the advice and guidance of a qualified health provider with any questions or concerns you may have prior to commencing a fitness program. This article should not be relied on or substituted for professional medical diagnosis or treatment. The exercises presented are for suggestion only. Participate at your own risk. Stop if you feel faint or shortness of breath.



  1. Maria21 says:

    Thank you for this insight, I think it is great that the exercises are good for both male and female because most workouts forget to keep in mind that some women need modifications. Also that it provides a full body workout using solely body weight. I think this workout is great because it can be done ANYWHERE, which is something that is very useful to me when I travel. This is great, I can’t wait to try it out.

  2. Hello, Maria!

    Thanks for reaching out! Let me know if you want a free copy of any of my other workouts that can be performed anywhere using little, or no exercise equipment. Email me directly at sgtken@​startfitness.​com.

    Stay the course!


    SSG Ken Weichert

  3. Josh says:

    Is there any workouts that you can give me to get my cardio and strength prepared for boot camp. I’m in decent shape now but i’d like the edge in training. My main concern is cardio! I’m a 25 yr old male with 10 years of a pack a day and never did cardio workouts. I’d appreciate any help you can give!

  4. Hello, Josh!

    Glad you asked that. My main role for the Army National Guard is to prepare Soldiers for Basic Combat Training (“Boot Camp”). We have been very successful using the following workouts when more than 30 days away from BCT: http://​military​-fitness​.military​.com/​2​0​0​9​/​0​5​/​o​per… and http://​military​-fitness​.military​.com/​2​0​0​9​/​0​7​/​o​per.… Once you are at 30 days or less from your date for boot camp, use our 30-​​day APFT workout calendar at http://​military​-fitness​.military​.com/​2​0​0​8​/​1​2​/​o​per.…

    I will also email a pdf of each workout to your address. If you have am iTunes account, I can direct you to my channel where you can get all of my video workouts for free.

    Stay the course!


    SSG Ken Weichert

  5. Greg says:

    Hi Sgt, I’m preparing for basic fpr the National Guard (which is about 115 days away) however no matter what I do at home I don’t get sore in the morning. Even if I go to muscle failure where I’m struggling to do one curl or push-​​up. The next day I’m not sore. Do you have any advice for me?

  6. Hello, Greg!

    Thanks for reaching out! I think you may be performing the exercises incorrectly, but without being there it will be hard to determine the exact cause of the error. I do have two workouts that will help you max the APFT. I will email them to you.


    SSG Ken Weichert

  7. Christer Piirma says:

    Hello, Ken!

    This is good workout, I will do these when I am done with Imporovement Plan 01 and 02, and thank you for sending me some pdf workout files!

    I did also my own workout for picking up workouts from http://​www​.nationalguard​.com/​l​i​f​e​/​f​i​t​n​ess page, but do you have any much harder and longer workouts in pdf or made by writing like this good example?

    I think I want to join in nation guard in the U.S. but first I have to get the permanent resident of the U.S. because I am from Finland, and that will be started when I am 19–20 years old because now I am 15.

    If you have any kind of these workouts (where there is no need to use any equipments, only body weight) it would be nice that you could send them on my e– mail, adress is (removed by admin)

    Big Thanks to you SSG Ken Weichert!


    Christer Piirma

  8. Mark Johnson says:

    SSG Ken,

    I am a former soldier looking to get back in. I was discharged for PT failure, (Honorable, thank god!) I am trying to recover from almost three years of concentrated abuse, or as I call it, \“Civillianitis,\” Are there any tips or a general workout you could point me in the direction of that I might be able to get in fighting shape in around three to five months?

    Thank you,
    Mark Johnson

  9. Collette Kaltenhauser says:

    iTunes is a media player and media library application developed by Apple Inc. It is used to play, download, and organize digital audio and video on personal computers running the OS X operating system and the iOS-​​based iPod, iPhone, and iPad devices, with editions also released for Microsoft Windows.“:\”

    http://www.healthmedicinebook.comConsider our web portal too

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Ken Weichert

Ken Weichert (a.k.a. "SGT Ken") is an international speaker, six-time U.S. Army Soldier of the Year, Master Fitness and Master Resilience Trainer, and veteran of Operations Iraqi Freedom and Desert Storm. In 1998, Ken founded the longest-running Boot Camp fitness program in America, START Fitness®. Ken has led thousands of Soldiers and civilians to better health through Operation Fit to Fight, a tactical fitness instructor training and testing program designed to prepare Soldiers for Basic Combat Training ("Boot Camp"), deployments, leadership schools and post-deployment recovery. Ken was the focus of an Emmy award-winning feature on CBS, and has been featured numerous times on ABC, NBC and FOX news. Ken was featured in the Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, San Francisco Chronicle and San Francisco Business Times newspapers, and 7X7 magazine. Ken has also written over 100 fitness and health articles for magazines such as GX®, Backpacker®, Outside®, Health®, and for the National Guard website.