We asked four of our trainers—all of whom are in chiseled condition—for their own routines they use to shred fat and drop pounds fast.
And damn, did they deliver.
These routines are designed to hammer your metabolic engine almost as hard as they hit your muscles, ensuring that you’ll burn plenty of stored fat as you’re improving muscle endurance and getting real-world strong—in just minutes.
- Workout 1: 2-to-1 calorie torcher
- Workout 2: Compound testosterone booster
- WORKOUT 3: Minimalist heart-racer
- Workout 4: Elite athlete wipeout
- Full Body Circuit Workout
- How To Build The Perfect Circuit Workout
- Step 1: Select Your Time Limit
- Step 2: Pick an Upper-Body Exercise
- Step 3: Pick a Lower-Body Exercise
- Step 4: Pick a Compound Exercise
- Step 5: Choose a Sprint for 1 Minute
- Step 6: Rest for 1 Minute
- How to Create an Effective Circuit Workout
- The perfect circuit framework
- The perfect quick circuit framework
- The perfect 20-minute circuit
- The Body Beast Workout Reviewed
- Here’s How Body Beast Works
- Total-Body Circuit Strength Training: A Conditioning Wake-Up Call
- A Brutal Test
- The Breakdown
- Other Possible Combinations
- Key Points to Remember
- Another Option
- Take the Total-Body Test
- Get Fitter And Stronger With This Full-Body Circuit Workout
- Full-Body Functional Workout
- Torch Calories With This Total-Body Circuit Workout
Workout 1: 2-to-1 calorie torcher
DIRECTIONS: Do as many reps as possible of the prescribed movements in 40 seconds, then take a 20 second rest. At the end of the rest period, immediately start the next movement. Complete 3-5 rounds.
WORKOUT CREATED BY: Will Huntington, C.S.C.S., Head coach at CrossFit Framingham
WHAT HE SAYS ABOUT HIS WORKOUT: “This workout uses a 2 to 1 work to rest ratio, one of the most effective ways to program a calorie torching routine while giving your body just enough rest to keep the intensity high. This is a great combination of movements because you can do it almost anywhere. Get creative while using the same format and sub in some of your favorites once a week to mix it up.”
Workout 2: Compound testosterone booster
DIRECTIONS: The goal is to complete 6 rounds. Rest between rounds should be enough recovery to complete the same reps as the round before. Rounds 3 and 5 can reduce by one rep, but weight should remain the same or be increased.
WORKOUT CREATED BY: Justin Klein, C.S.C.S., M.Ed., Owner of T2Performance
WHAT HE SAYS ABOUT HIS WORKOUT: “This is one of my favorite workouts because it is loaded with compound movements to boost testosterone, ramp up the heart rate and caloric burn while hitting every major muscle of the body.”
WORKOUT 3: Minimalist heart-racer
DIRECTIONS: Repeat the entire circuit 3-4 times. Rest for up to 3 minutes between each round for best results.
WORKOUT CREATED BY: Parker Cote, I.S.S.A., owner of Parker Cote Fitness
WHAT HE SAYS ABOUT HIS WORKOUT: “This fast-paced circuit will incinerate body fat by keeping your heart rate elevated throughout the workout and by utilizing compound, multi-joint moves. Compound exercises will activate more muscle fibers, which will help you burn the most calories. Best of all, the minimal amount of equipment required will ensure your circuit is not interrupted by waiting for machines or dumbbells.”
Workout 4: Elite athlete wipeout
DIRECTIONS: Power through this as quickly as possible. (Good luck.)
- 400 meter sprint
- 100 chinups
- 100 burpees with full pushups
- 400 meter sprint
WORKOUT CREATED BY: Dan Trink, CSCS, owner of Trink Fitness, director of operations at Peak Performance
WHAT HE SAYS ABOUT HIS WORKOUT: ” This quite honestly may be the most brutal circuit I’ve ever programmed, and I’ve programmed some doozies. At first glance, it doesn’t look like much. But when you wrap your head around the fact that you are attempting one of the toughest sprint distances (400 meters), trying to grind through 100 chinups, then 100 burpees (pushup included) and then repeating the 400 meter, it’s just awful. This is not for the casual gym-goer. If you have been pushing strength-endurance, are a high level athlete or experienced CrossFitter, you’ll have a better shot at pulling this off.”
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Full Body Circuit Workout
If you’re looking to torch fat, get lean, and increase your strength and power all in one, then this circuit workout is for you. It targets the full body and will have you feeling more athletic in no time.
For this workout you will be completing each exercise for 60 seconds. There are dedicated rest stations incorporated into the workout so try to keep going until you’ve finished the entire circuit! But of course, if you need to add more rest, listen to your body. The full circuit will last 10 minutes, complete one round as a beginner, or for more advanced exercisers, see how many rounds you can complete!
Always make sure you are in good health before starting a new workout routine and have a water bottle nearby so you can stay hydrated. Let’s begin!
Jumping squats are at the base of any good leg workout routine as they increase both strength and power as well as acting as a cardiovascular workout and will get you out of breath and your heart rate up where it should be. Drop into a squat and then spring back up as high as you can. As you land, drop straight back into a squat and repeat.
Read more about how to do the Inch Worm exercise with photo illustrations.
Burpees are widely regarded as one of the toughest but best exercises you can do as they work nearly every muscle in the body and work your cardiovascular fitness as well as increasing functional mobility. To do a full burpee, jump your legs back and catch yourself in a press up position but then continue to drop your chest all the way to the floor. Then push yourself back up, jump your legs in, and jump straight up, clapping your hands above your head. That’s one!
Enjoy 60 seconds of rest after 3 tough exercises to get you started. Step from side to side so that your muscles don’t cool down too quickly and to keep your heart rate high.
Incorporating kettlebell training into your full body workout routine is great for improving all-round fitness and the kettlebell swing is one of the most popular kettlebell exercises out there. It will work your core and back as well as legs and shoulders so it will torch your muscles all over and burn tons of fat. for a more in-depth explanation of how to do a kettlebell swing.
These are great for activating lazy muscles and forcing your less dominant leg to do all the work instead of relying on the dominant leg to take over. Start in a standing position with your feet hip-width apart. Step one leg back and drop the knee so that it creates a right angle. Push back up to the original position and then step the other leg back into a lunge. Repeat!
Time to really get that upper body burning! Press ups are an excellent workout for the entire upper body from the chest to the shoulders to the lats. They also work your core and will improve your bench press if you lift regularly.
One more chance to rest before the last few exercises. Make the most of it!
It is hard to hold an isometric move like the plank when you are out of breath and your heart rate is high. Use this as an opportunity to practice controlling your breathing and squeeze your core in tight throughout.
Your final exercise! for more detailed information on how to do tricep dips properly with photo illustrations.
How To Build The Perfect Circuit Workout
Imagine a turbo-charged workout routine that mixes cardio and strength training and has you in and out of the gym in 30 minutes. Plus, it’s infinitely and easily customized to help you reach your goals faster. Sound too good to be true? It’s not! It’s called circuit training.
While this style of training has a lot to recommend it, figuring out how to set up an effective circuit workout can be intimidating at first. That’s why we pulled together six easy steps to help you build your perfect circuit.
Step 1: Select Your Time Limit
Circuit training is simply a workout based around a set number of “stations” that you repeat until your time runs out. So knowing how much time you have can help you determine how many circuits you’ll need to complete and how hard you’ll need to work. (The shorter the workout, the harder you should be pushing!) Anywhere from 10 to 45 minutes is ideal.
Example: Five stations of one minute each repeated for six circuits adds up to a 30-minute workout.
Step 2: Pick an Upper-Body Exercise
The trick with circuit training is to use whatever you have handy. If you’re at the gym, you have a wide range of options, but all you really need is your body. You can choose a different upper-body move each time through the circuit or simply repeat the same exercise every time if you want to keep things simple.
Circuit 1: Shoulder presses
Circuit 2: Bent-over rows
Circuit 3: Standing dumbbell curls
Circuit 4: Triceps dips
Circuit 5: Pushups
Circuit 6: Russian ab twists
Step 3: Pick a Lower-Body Exercise
Just like you did with the upper body, choose exercises that will work each part of your lower body. You can change up the moves each time through the circuit or keep them the same.
Circuit 1: Walking lunges
Circuit 2: Sumo squats
Circuit 3: Calf raises
Circuit 4: Hamstring curls on a Swiss ball
Circuit 5: Deadlifts
Circuit 6: Supermans
Step 4: Pick a Compound Exercise
Weight training is an excellent workout, but you’ll really get your heart rate up by adding in some total-body movements.
Circuit 1: Jumping lunges
Circuit 2: Mountain climbers
Circuit 3: Thrusters (squat to shoulder press)
Circuit 4: Cleans
Circuit 5: Bench hop-overs
Circuit 6: Single-arm swing
Step 5: Choose a Sprint for 1 Minute
Research shows that short, fast sprints are the most effective way to torch fat — especially around your midsection. Pick any type of cardio you like and go all out for one minute.
Circuit 1: Running
Circuit 2: Jumping rope
Circuit 3: Rowing
Circuit 4: Cycling
Circuit 5: Up-hill jogging
Circuit 6: Stair climbing
Step 6: Rest for 1 Minute
You’ve earned it! Let your heart rate come down and then go back through the circuit as many times as you’d like!
Example: Get a drink and make sure your music is all set for the next round.
How to Create an Effective Circuit Workout
Circuit training has long been known in the fitness industry as a great way to maximize your workout efficiency. There are countless exercises that could be a part of a great circuit, and several different ways in which those exercises could be programed. So how do you sift through all of that information to create the best circuit for your clients’ needs? Here are a few tips for setting up the best circuit to match specific fitness goals.
How to Create a Circuit Workout
#1 – Choose your timing intervals.
When it comes to using a circuit to meet your exercise goals, choosing the right work-to-rest ratio is key. Whether you want to lose weight, improve your cardiovascular health or improve your VO2max for athletic performance, proper timing of exercise verses rest time is what will lead to real results.
|Type of Circuit||
Rest/Active Recovery Time
Metabolic conditioning/ EPOC
Circuits are made up of work (exercise) for a determined period of time, followed directly by rest or active recovery. If you are new to exercise, using an aerobic circuit is a safe introduction to this type of workout. A work-to-rest ratio of 1:1 is appropriate for an aerobic circuit. This means that the work and recovery times are equal and somewhat steady state (as opposed to high intensity or vigorous). This could mean doing a particular exercise for two minutes, and then doing active recovery for two minutes. Active recovery could be anything from pacing slowly back and forth, slowing down the exercise you are doing, or changing to a different activity that will stabilize your heart rate. Compared to higher-intensity circuits, exercising for a longer interval (usually one minute or more in an aerobic circuit), the intensity of the exercise decreases and the heart rate should stay lower.
For more of a challenge, use an anaerobic circuit to take your fitness to the next level. If you change the work-to-rest ratio to 1:3, the overall work time should decrease to allow for an increase in intensity. For example, if you exercise for 15 seconds and then rest 45 seconds, you should be able to work harder for a shorter period of time, yet recover fully before the next exercise begins. This type of circuit training will have a greater impact on your overall caloric burn, both during and after the workout is completed, which is called excess post-exercise oxygen consumption, or EPOC.
If you are looking to improve performance markers like VO2max, using the Tabata protocol is an option. Tabata training, named after the Japanese speed skating coach and researcher, is highly advanced and should only be used by those who are very fit and have a high cardiovascular threshold. This circuit includes 20 seconds of very high intensity work followed by only 10 seconds of recovery. Learn more about the Tabata protocol from this ACE-commissioned research study.
#2 – Choose the type of exercises.
Circuits can be used for both strength and cardiovascular training—and even both simultaneously—making circuit training ideal for those who are crunched for time. After choosing your timing intervals based on your goals, select a few exercises to put together for one round of your circuit (typically four to eight exercises). These exercises could be any combination of bodyweight (calisthenics) movements, stationary cardiovascular machines, or free-weight resistance exercises. For a true circuit to be successful, however, the exercises that you choose should focus on your specific training goals. For example, if your goal is to improve strength in your legs, try adding a lunge matrix to your aerobic circuit. Want to lose weight to fit back in your skinny jeans? Use full-body exercises like burpees in your anaerobic circuit. If you have performance goals in mind, do your Tabata circuit on a stationary bike or treadmill.
Regardless of the exercises and equipment you choose, make sure to use proper form, especially when you get tired. Because of the increased intensity of circuit training, when fatigue starts to set in, form goes out the window and that’s when an injury might occur.
#3 – Choose the number of rounds.
Depending on the amount of time you have available and your current fitness level, choose how many rounds of your circuit to complete. Only have 30 minutes? After a five- to 10-minute warm-up, use an anaerobic circuit to blast away a few calories by using a 1:3 work-to-rest ratio (work for 15 seconds, rest for 45) and repeating a five-exercise circuit four times. If you include a one-minute recovery period between each circuit round, and add a five-minute cool-down, you’ll still have time to take a five-minute shower before heading back to work.
Remember, whatever timing intervals, exercises and repetition of rounds you choose, be sure to work hard during the “work” periods and actually rest during your recovery time. Here are a few tips on how to create a circuit workout to match specific fitness goals. After a five- to 10-minute warm-up that includes dynamic stretches and light foam rolling, choose the one that works best for you and go for it.
Goal: Time Saver (Aerobic Circuit)
This circuit uses both strength and cardiovascular training to keep the heart rate high while improving overall strength. For your active rest, jog in place or hop on a treadmill for one minute. Using a 1:1 work-to-rest ratio, do the following exercises:
Perform each movement for one minute and then do one minute of jogging/walking. Focus on form and keep your heart rate at a moderate level (you should be able to have a brief conversation). Repeat this circuit two to three times. Be sure to allow time for your warm-up and static stretching in the cool-down.
Goal: Weight Loss (Anaerobic Circuit)
Using a work-to-rest ratio of 1:2, the work for this anaerobic circuit will be performed for 30 seconds following by 60 seconds of active recovery. Jump rope during your active recovery periods between these five exercises:
Squat to alternating overhead press
Plank walks (hold a plank position and walk sideways)
Alternating lunge jumps
Diagonal lunge with torso rotation (use a band)
The goal here is to complete as many reps as possible with good form, so stay focused. Repeat the round of five exercises (7 minutes, 30 seconds total) two to three times. To monitor your intensity, you should only be able to speak a few words at a time during the work portion.
Goal: Improved VO2max (Tabata Circuit)
Use a stationary bike or treadmill for this Tabata protocol. Choose a speed/resistance that is very challenging (you should be able to speak only one or two words at a time). For a true Tabata workout, work for 20 seconds (100% effort) and then recover for 10 seconds (this recovery goes fast, so be ready!). Repeat this 20:10 cycle for four minutes (eight rounds). The original Tabata protocol stopped there, but if you’re very fit and are looking to improve your VO2max, repeat two or three more times with one minute of rest in between each four-minute cycle.
Whether you’re crunched for time or simply need to shake up your current workout program, circuit training is your answer. Defined as performing one exercise after another with minimal to no rest in-between, circuit training is one of the most effective ways to maximize your workout time. And circuit training is just as effective for the beginning as it is for the advanced since it can all be scaled to challenge you according to your individual fitness level and goals.
A circuit can be made of machines, free weights, bodyweight exercises, or a combination of these elements. And, even though the cardiovascular effect of circuit training workouts is enhanced due to the minimal rest involved, you can also utilize cardio intervals to further enhance the caloric expenditure and fat-burning effects.
When designing your circuit, choose compound exercises, such as squats, pushups, and lunges whenver possible. These moves ensure that you’re truly maximizing your workout by hitting the most muscle groups as possible. Also, follow this four-part framework that provides a killer full-body workout while torching major calories. You can repeat the same four moves for the entire workout or keep the same framework while choosing new exercises each successive time:
The perfect circuit framework
If you’re completely pressed for time and/or want to add even more intensity to your workout, combine the upper- and lower-body exercises. This more advanced three-part circuit framework is more demanding of the muscles and cardiovascular system.
The perfect quick circuit framework
Upper- and lower-body exercise
The cardio intervals can be anything that raises your heart rate even further: jumping rope, burpees, running in place, box jumps, etc. Mix it up to add variety to the circuit. Here’s one example of a phenomenal 20-minute, three-part circuit workout to improve aerobic conditioning, burn fat, and build muscle.
The perfect 20-minute circuit
Do three rounds of the nine exercises, performing each exercise for 30 seconds with just 15 seconds rest in-between.
1. Squat with dumbbell overhead press
2. Plank with alternating dumbbell row
3. Jump rope
4. Alternating forward lunges with dumbbell side-raise
5. Bicycle crunches
7. Alternating backward lunges with dumbbell biceps curl
8. Double crunch
9. Jump lunges
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The Body Beast Workout Reviewed
Most fitness buffs and weightlifting enthusiasts favorably endorse the Body Beast workout. The exercise video allows the weightlifter to bulk up and build muscle in a 12-week span of time. The Body Beast workout is segmented into three blocks of time – one which is classified as “Build,” the next which is referred to as “Bulk,” and a final segment known as “Beast.”
Here’s How Body Beast Works
Fitness aficionados work out 6 days out of the week during the 12-week period. The “Build” block of time lasts 3 weeks while the “Beast” block goes on for 5 weeks. The last block of time, the “Beast” takes up a month. Users exclaim they begin seeing a difference in their body after about two weeks or after they have followed most of the “Build” block part of the regimen.
Average Workout Time
During the first week, workouts are begun with a workout description. The routine is made up of warm-up exercises, the workout itself and then a stretch. The workouts can vary in time, so allow for more time as there are variances. Most of the repetitions last about 30 to 40 minutes.
A Kind of Balancing Act
During the first part of the Body Beast workout, exercises consist of drop sets and super sets. The “Build” block, in total, is made up of mainly 8, 12 and 15 rep sets for almost each exercise. Exercisers can really feel pumped from this routine as the sets are made to begin with lighter weights with more rep sets and heavier weights with fewer repetitions. Therefore, you increase the reps for lighter weights and decrease the number of reps if you are lifting heavier weights. This kind of balancing act creates a better workout session as the reps are leveraged with the lifted weights.
Classic Weightlifting Exercises
The Body Beast workout features all the classic weightlifting exercises too, such as dumbbell flys, tricep kick-backs, incline bench presses and close-grip presses. To increase your muscle building capacity, decline push-ups round out the offerings. As you can see, the kinds of exercises in this grouping are especially designed for men who want to enhance their physique and increase the width of their shoulders and chest.
The second day of the Body Blast workout concentrates on the legs. If you are not used to working out and focusing on this part of the body, you can experience some very sore muscles after this initial session. While the workout lasts about 40 minutes, the pain and soreness from this part of the Body Blast routine can last several days.
The Leg Work – It Is Actually A Challenge
This leg workout focuses on a number of muscles that are not usually worked during such exercises as dead lifts and squats. The workout proceeds with drop sets featuring 15, 12 and 8 reps for most of the exercises. One set offers an interesting combo of straight leg dead lifts, Bulgarian squats and parallel squats – one exercise following the other exercise for each set. Therefore, you are doing 45 reps in total (15 + 12 + 8) in one set of the exercise series in addition to calf raises, lunges and step-ups.
The exercise routine, indeed, is definitely made for the committed and advanced weight lifter – one who is devoted to developing a muscular body through intense lifting and conditioning. Some of the exercises presented in this series of working out are also devoted to 30 minutes of a highly intense workout.
The Cardio Portion – You’ll Burn Some Calories
The cardio portion is guaranteed to make you sweat. This session combines running in place, squat jumps, squats, jumping lunges, pushups, deadlift and planks. All the exercises really give exercisers the burn. Because of its intensity, the cardio portion will keep you burning calories throughout the day long after you have completed your workout.
Last, But Not Least – The Abs
The Body Beast workout would definitely not be a Body Beast workout without the inclusion of abdominal exercises too. Although this portion of the workout routine is just over 10 minutes, it certainly can be felt the following day. Some exercisers cannot get through the entire routine when they first participate. Planks are well-utilized that are quite challenging.
For example, exercisers perform a plank that requires they bring their knee to their elbows. The bucket drop necessitates performing a plank, then bringing the knee across and under the body and placing the outer hip virtually to the ground. The routine is completed with a leg raise where participants spell out the word “Beast” using the feet – both forward and backward.
Definitely Make Time to Regroup
Needless to say, the body Beast workout is not replete of diversification and challenge. However, the workout does make allowances for the body to rest. The body needs some time to relax and repair, especially when the Body Beast is regularly practiced and followed. Over-training can really set a person back in achieving his exercise goals and maintaining a regimen. The Body Beast workout plan takes this into consideration in its exercise regimen.
Top Stories Most Read The Body Blast Workout and Exercises Jul 20, 2015 How to Make Atlas Stone Molds Aug 03, 2016 The Ultimate Guide to Increasing Bench Press Oct 24, 2019
Total-Body Circuit Strength Training: A Conditioning Wake-Up Call
Being physically fit can mean a number of things:
- Having the ability to run a marathon.
- Squatting or deadlifting for a set of ultra-high repetitions.
- Completing a triathlon or an obstacle course.
- Running a series of demanding intervals with minimal rest between.
- Completing a thirty-minute hard-core boot camp class.
All of these are great accomplishments and test your fitness levels. But is there another challenging test of strength and endurance you can add to your training? Yes, there is. It’s total-body circuit strength training.
These total-body circuits combine upper-body push/pull movements, lower body work, and core exercises.
A Brutal Test
Total-body circuit strength training can be brutal if done properly. It’s the ultimate simultaneous challenge of muscular strength and cardiovascular endurance. Your ability to exert maximum muscle effort for an extended period with the entire body is put to the test. All-out effort, minimal rest, and an elevated heart rate are key.
Why isn’t this a more popular training method? Because it’s extremely difficult and it’s not fun. Most trainees want to work hard, but not that hard. It’s human nature to seek the path of least resistance (no pun intended).
But if you decide to give total-body circuit strength training a try, know that it’s not complicated to design a circuit based on your ability:
First, determine an order of conventional strength training exercise movements. Some examples:
- Alternate upper-body push and pull exercises, then address the lower body.
- Alternate a series of lower body, upper-body pull, and upper-body push exercises.
- Alternate an upper-body pull, abdominal, lower body, upper-body push, and a bodyweight exercise for a certain number of rounds.
Next, determine the specific exercises. Incorporate variety. Use barbell, dumbbell, kettlebell, machine, and bodyweight exercises. You have a virtually unlimited number of exercise combinations to plug in.
Once your format is in place, determine exercise prescriptions. This would include the amount of resistance to use in each set, the target reps or work period time, the rest between exercises, and the rest between rounds if you’re doing a series of repeats. Many options can be used depending on your fitness level.
Keep the following in mind, all other factors being equal:
- The greater the number of exercises performed, the more challenging the circuit.
- The greater the intensity of effort expended, the more challenging the circuit.
- The lesser the rest time between exercises and rounds, the more challenging the circuit.
Finally, have some way to document your results. Record the exercises and resistances used, actual reps achieved, rest between exercises, and total workout time. This will help you progress when you revisit that same circuit in the future.
Record the exercises and resistances used, actual reps achieved, rest between exercises, and total time.
Putting that all together, here is a breakdown of a sample circuit design. It’s a six-exercise, alternating multi-joint lower body, upper-body pull, upper-body push format performed for three rounds of descending reps:
3 rounds – 20, 10, and then 5 reps:
- Leg press
- Close grip pulldown
- Standing dumbbell press
- Barbell squat
- Plate-load row
- Barbell bench press
Rest :30 between exercises and 1 minute between rounds.
After you go through all six exercises performing twenty reps on each, then repeat the list again for ten reps, and then five, using the same prescribed rest periods. Adjust the resistance used for each set according to your fitness level.
Here is an example of the results documented for this circuit:
Other Possible Combinations
Here are other multi-joint lower body, upper-body pull, and upper-body push exercise combos you could use in this 20-10-5 circuit format:
- Goblet squat
- Close grip pulldown
- Leg press
- Upright row
- Overhead press
- Machine squat
- Dumbbell one-arm row
- Barbell bench press
- Dumbbell lunge
- Low pulley row
- Seated dumbbell press
- Barbell squat
- Assisted chin up
- Machine chest press
- Dumbbell deadlift
- Close grip pulldown
- Barbell standing press
If you can complete these circuits exactly as outlined, then you’re in very good condition.
Key Points to Remember
Key points in completing this three-round total-body circuit:
- It should be demanding to get the 20, 10, and 5 repetitions prescribed.
- Try to rest exactly :30 between exercises. If you need more time, record the time on the attached form.
- Try to rest no more than 1 minute between rounds. Again, if you need more time, document it on the recording form.
- Adjust the resistance to make each set demanding. Increase or decrease the resistance accordingly for the next workout if it was either too light or too heavy for the prescribed reps.
Here’s another total-body circuit strength training workout. It consists of two intervals, a lower-body multi-joint exercise, and then four alternating upper-body push and pull exercises.
4 rounds of :40/:20
- Heavy bag punching and kicking
- Stairclimber, elliptical, rower, or take your pick
- Lower-body multi-joint
- Upper-body chest push
- Upper-body pulldown
- Upper-body overhead push
- Upper-body low row
That’s :40 of all-out effort for each exercise and only a :20 rest between exercises and rounds. Essentially, it’s an attack on the entire body via 28 exercise bouts (seven exercises times four rounds).
Attempt to use a resistance that allows dynamic reps to be completed in the entire work period for the five conventional strength-training movements. If you fail dynamically during the period keep pressing or pulling through a shorter range of motion or statically until the time elapses. The key is to keep contracting muscle as hard as you can. For safety reasons, use a training partner to assist you when your muscles fail concentrically.
Stick to the :20 rest period, including between rounds.
Here is an example of exercises you can use in this circuit:
- Heavy bag
- Arc Trainer
- Trap bar deadlift
- Machine chest press
- Wide grip pulldown
- Barbell seated press
- Low pulley seated row
Adjust resistances accordingly. If you cannot adhere to the rest periods, then take additional time but document it along with the resistances used.
This circuit is an attack on the entire body via 28 exercise bouts (seven exercises times four rounds).
Take the Total-Body Test
These are two examples of how you can design total-body circuit strength training workouts. If you believe you’re in great shape, put yourself through one and see if you can complete it as prescribed.
If you can complete these circuits exactly as outlined, then you’re in very good condition. Want to do more? Go ahead and do it if you’re in tip-top shape.
More Like This:
- The Incremental (But Intense) Circuit Workout
- Super Circuit Strength and Conditioning for Mature Athletes
- The 6×6 Brutality Workout
- New on Breaking Muscle Today
Photos courtesy of .
Get Fitter And Stronger With This Full-Body Circuit Workout
Whatever your aims in the gym, we’re confident that this functional workout can help you hit them. During the course of the ten-station circuit you’ll be lifting heavy weights, going all-out on the cardio machines and leaping around with (controlled) abandon. As a result you’ll get stronger and fitter and burn a whole bunch of of calories.
This workout has been created by Sam Gregory, owner and head trainer at F45 Stratford. Make sure to warm up before you do it and warm down afterwards.
Full-Body Functional Workout
The workout is made up of ten stations. At each station you work for 45 seconds, then take ten seconds to rest and move on to the next exercise. Complete four rounds of the circuit in total, taking a 30-second break in between each circuit.
Time 45sec Rest 10sec
“Start in an elevated plank position with your hands shoulder-width apart,” says Gregory. “Slowly, lower yourself to the ground by bending your elbows. Do not touch the floor – hover about an inch from the ground, then push your body back up.”
Time 45sec Rest 10sec
Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart. Leap to the right, land on your right foot with a slight bend in the knees and take your left foot behind the right. Then repeat the movement on your left side.
Kettlebell Romanian deadlift
Time 45sec Rest 10sec
“Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, holding a kettlebell in each hand,” says Gregory. “Gradually lower the kettlebell down to your feet, bending at the hips while keeping your back straight. Then come back up to a standing position.”
Time 45sec Rest 10sec
Blast through 45 seconds of rowing to get your heart rate up. Make a mental note of how far you rowed in the first circuit and try to match or beat that distance in the next three rounds.
Time 45sec Rest 10sec
“Hold a dumbbell in each hand and get into an elevated plank position,” says Gregory. “Keeping your elbows tucked in, bring the dumbbell in your right hand up towards your ribs. Try to keep the rest of your body as still as possible, moving only your arm and shoulder. Lower the dumbbell to the floor and repeat the move on your left side.”
Time 45sec Rest 10sec
“Stand with your feet slightly wider than shoulder-width apart,” says Gregory. “Hold a kettlebell in front of your body with both hands and your arms straight. With a slight bend in your knees and a flat back, hinge at your hips to lean forwards and swing the kettlebell back through your legs. Thrust your hips forwards, engaging your glutes and core, and swing the kettlebell in front of your body. Once the kettlebell has reached chest height, lower it back down through your legs under control.”
Kettlebell rack sumo squat
Time 45sec Rest 10sec
“Stand with your feet slightly wider than shoulder-width apart and your toes pointing slightly outwards,” says Gregory. “Hold a kettlebell in each hand in the rack position by your shoulders. Make sure you keep your arms close to your body and your elbows tucked in. Maintain a straight back and keep your core engaged. Pushing your hips back, slowly bend your knees and lower your legs until your thighs are just below parallel to the floor, then drive back up.”
Inchworm into wide mountain climber
Time 45sec Rest 10sec
“Stand with your feet hip-width apart,” says Gregory. “Place your palms on the mat and walk your hands forwards so that you are in an elevated plank position, with your wrists under your shoulders. Drive your right knee towards the outside of your right elbow, then your left knee.”
Alternate driving your knees ten times in total, then walk your hands back and return to a standing position.
Alternating dumbbell overhead press
Time 45sec Rest 10sec
Stand holding a dumbbell in each hand by your shoulders with your palms facing forwards. Press the dumbbell in your right hand overhead, then bring it back down and press the left dumbbell overhead.
Lateral hurdle jumps to chest-to-floor burpee
Set up a hurdle and stand side-on to it.
“Bend your knees slightly and jump sideways over the hurdle, then jump back over the hurdle,” says Gregory. “After you have completed three lateral hurdle jumps, go straight into your burpee.”
For the burpee, squat down to place your hands on the floor and jump your feet back so you’re in an elevated plank position. Drop your chest to the floor, push back up, then jump your feet forwards and jump straight up, throwing your hands above your head. Land and go straight into your next set of hurdle jumps.
Torch Calories With This Total-Body Circuit Workout
This article originally appeared on DailyBurn.com.
Creating an all-encompassing workout — one that gets your heart rate up while strengthening every major muscle group — takes some fancy fit work. But it’s something Steve Uria, founder of Switch Playground in New York City (original location: South Africa), does with gusto. If you’ve never been to the playground, imagine recess for adults but with more structure and sculpting goals.
Each class at Switch includes 20 stations, with two exercises per station. You’ll work every body part — big and small — and because you only do each exercise for 30 seconds (two minutes total per station), you’ll break a serious sweat to boot. (The party vibe with a live DJ and neon lights will help you turn up the intensity, too.)
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“Circuit workouts promote a functional training environment to condition the whole body,” Uria explains. “You’re maximizing benefit in minimal time, and creating a cardiovascular experience within a strength training arena.” In other words, you simultaneously pump up the volume on fat burning and muscle building.
Of course, we couldn’t leave Uria’s fun and games at the playground, so we had him design a sequence you could do right at home. All you need is a set of dumbbells, a kettlebell and med ball, and a killer workout playlist (like this one). Crank the volume, and you’re ready to blast through these circuits.
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4 Mini Circuit Workouts, 1 Killer Total-Body Routine
Get ready for one mini circuit for every section of the body, plus a total-body scorcher. Each circuit features just three moves — but packs plenty of targeted body benefits. Do 12 to 15 reps of each move and two to three rounds of each circuit before moving on to the next. If you still have some drive by that final exercise, push it into high gear and repeat everything from the top, Uria says. Sweaty, sculpted and oh-so-energized… here you come!
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Lower Body Circuit Workout
Fire up some of the biggest muscles in the body: your quads, hamstrings, and even more so, your glutes. Hello, booty burn.
1. Side Step Squat
How to: With a dumbbell in each hand and your arms down by your sides, stand with feet hip-width apart (a). Step out to the left side, push your hips back and drop your butt down to sit into a squat (b). Stand up straight, then step your feet back to the starting position (c). Next, step out to the right side and sit into a squat (d). Stand up, return to the starting position, and continue alternating.
2. Back Lunge with Knee Raise
How to: Start standing with feet hip-width apart (a). Step your left foot back into a low lunge, both knees bent at 90 degrees and your left knee hovering just off the floor. At the same time, bring your arms straight up at a 45-degree angle (b). Step forward, bringing your left knee up toward your chest, as you bring your arms back down to your sides (c). Repeat, then switch sides.
3. Glute Cross Overs
How to: Start on all fours with your shoulders over wrists and your knees in line with hips (a). Bring your right knee in toward your chest, then shoot it straight out behind you, raising it straight up toward the ceiling (b). Then move your right leg over your left leg, and tap the floor lightly with your right foot, just outside of your left foot (c). Shoot it back up to the ceiling and repeat, then switch sides.
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Upper Body Circuit Workout
You’ll work your entire upper body — shoulders, chest, back, triceps and biceps — with this muscle-burning trifecta. Remember to keep your shoulders rolled down and away from your ears for each exercise.
RELATED: 7 No-Crunch Exercises for Six-Pack Abs
1. Lateral Dumbbell Raise into Curl Press
How to: Holding a dumbbell in each hand, stand with your feet hip-width apart and arms down in front of you (a). Raise your arms straight out to the sides to shoulder height, palms facing down (b). Bring your arms back down to your sides and then, circle your hands inward and upward for a bicep curl (c). When the dumbbells reach shoulder height, swiftly switch your palms to face front. Then push your hands straight up for an overhead press (d). Bring your arms back down, flipping your palms to face you at chest height and return to the starting position (e). Repeat.
2. Push-Up Rotation
How to: Start in a high plank position with your hands holding dumbbells, shoulders over wrists and your body in a straight line from shoulders to ankles (a). Perform a push-up (b). Then, pull the weight in your left hand straight up to your chest, as you pivot on your feet. Straighten your arm to a T as you hit your side plank (c). Return back to the high plank and repeat on the other side (d). Continue alternating, with a push-up between each rotation.
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3. Bent Over Fly to Row to Tricep Kickback
How to: Start with your feet hip-width apart with a slight bend in the knees. Hinge forward at the hips about 45 degrees. Maintain a flat back (a). Holding two dumbbells down by your sides, palms facing each other, lift your arms out to the sides (slight bend in the elbows) and squeeze your shoulder blades together to complete a fly (b). Bring your arms back down to your sides, then pull the weight toward your chest and bend your elbows. Keeping your elbows elevated, straighten your arms behind you to complete the tricep kickback. You should raise the weights above your hips (c). Return to the start and repeat.
To see the rest of this total-body workout, check out Life by Daily Burn.