Walls, Bands, and Benches: Adaptable Workouts for Chaos, Limitation, and Variety

Routines are essential for sustainable success, but sometimes your plan blows up. When this happens you must remember that exercise is too important to concede defeat. Sure, missing one day’s plan isn’t the end of the world, but it sacrifices the opportunity to adapt.


Paradoxically, it is often life’s limitations that prompt the most creativity and novelty. What happens when you get stuck at work but have 45 minutes to kill before that late meeting? What about when you are stuck at home with sick kids, or on the road resigned to that rinky-dink motel gym.



The one that has mirrors to make it appear bigger than a bathroom. Maybe your routine has simply grown stale and in desperate need of variety. Whether you are short on equipment, short on time, or simply wanting to break out of your abundance induced rut, I’ve got you covered.


Each day’s exercises are grouped by the single piece of equipment that you’ll need. Regardless of whether you only have a wall, a bench, or an exercise band, there is an effective, fun training plan for you. In exploring the utility of each of these tools you’ll find greater mastery of training fundamentals and open yourself up to new exercises.


Wall Day

Pick an exercise from each category. Assign reps and circuit these movements:


Squat/Knee Dominant Hinge/Hip Dominant Pull Push Core Dynamic Wall Sits – x20-60 seconds Hip Extension – x10-20 reps Wall Isometric Row – x10-30 seconds Wall Push-Ups – x5-20 reps Rotational Side Plank – x5-20 reps/side Wall Mountain Climbers – x10-40 reps 1-Leg Wall Sits – X10-30 seconds/leg 1-Leg Hip Extension – x5-12 reps/side   Headstand Progression – to technical failure   Plank Jacks – x10-40 reps       Handstand Progression – to technical failure           Wall Walks – x5-10 reps (can add push-up to each rep)    



Bench Day

Pick an exercise from each category. Assign reps and circuit these movements:


Squat/Knee Dominant Hinge/Hip Dominant Pull Push Core Dynamic Squat to Bench – x5-20 reps Lying Superman – x8-15 reps Y-W-Handcuff – x10-30 reps Hands Elevated Push-Ups – x5-20 reps Dragons Flag – x5-15 reps Bench Squat Jump – x5-20 reps 1-Leg Bulgarian Split Squats – x5-20 reps/leg 2 Fee Glute Bridge – x10-30 reps Lying Y Raises – x10-30 reps Feet & Hands Elevated Push-Ups – x5-20 reps Reverse Crunch – x5-15 reps Lateral Bench Hops – x5-15 reps/side   1-Leg Glute Bridge – x5-15 reps/side Underhand Bench Rows – x8-12 reps Handstand Progression – to technical failure    



Band Day Day

Pick an exercise from each category. Assign reps and circuit these movements:



Squat/Knee Dominant Hinge/Hip Dominant Pull Push Core Dynamic Band-Resisted Squats – x5-20 reps X-Band Walks – x5-12 reps/side Low High Row – x10-20 reps Band Assisted Push-Ups – x5-20 reps Plank Row – x5-20 reps/side Sumo Squat High-Pull – x5-20 reps   Donkey Kick Back – x5-12 reps/side Iso-Split Squat 1- or 2- Arm Row – x5-12 reps/side Band Resisted Push-Ups – x5-20 reps Palloff Press – x5-12 reps/side Rotational Pull-Push – x5-15 reps/side   Band Pull Through – x8-12 reps Straight Arm Pulldown – x8-15 reps 1-Arm Vertical Press – x5-20 reps   Jumping Jack Press     Band Pull Apart – x8-20 reps Band Front Raises – x5-12 reps   Jumping Jack Curls



Program for Yourself

Feel free to ignore rep prescriptions and set work to rest ratios for a circuit. For example, 30 seconds of work and 30 seconds rest before the next exercise. Complete as many rounds as possible in the time available.


You could also focus on stability and replace repetitions with isometric holds. For example, rather than doing multiple reps of Bulgarian Split Squats, simply pause at the bottom of a rep and hold for 15 seconds before the driving up (concentric phase).


This is a metabolically challenging style that requires total body tension and does wonders for movement quality. As with any exercise selection, you can adapt the style of your training to your goals and preferences. The sky is the limit.


If you liked these workouts then you might want to try my at-home workouts, The Will and The Way, or my at-gym program Push, Pull and Thrive. They’re just 4 weeks long, and I’ll be adding new programs over the coming months so you can build up a library of different options. It’s good to have options and to learn to make the right choices for yourself and my workouts are designed to help you do that.

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