Contents

Which Exercises Are The Best For Fast Results?

In weight training, there is a variety of exercises that one can choose from to sculpt the body of your dreams. Results in bodybuilding or body sculpting are generally measured in body composition changes; increased muscle mass or tone, depending on the goal, along with decreases in body fat. The speed at which such changes are acquired depends on the training protocol used, the nutrition plan followed and the amount of rest (good night sleep) that the trainee gets.

In order for a training protocol to work at peak efficiency, not only must it be periodized or cycled but it also must include exercises that give you the most stimulation in the minimum amount of time.

Different exercises provide different levels of stimulation. Exercises like the leg extensions, while excellent for sculpting the lower part of the quadriceps, produce less of a stimulating effect than an exercise like the squat. The efficacy of an exercise really depends on the exercise’s ability to involve the maximum amount of muscle fibers and also on its ability to provide a neuromuscular stimulation (NMS).

Neuromuscular stimulation is of crucial importance as it is the nervous system that ultimately sends a signal to the brain requesting to start the muscle growth process. Having said that, how do we determine what the stimulation factor of each exercise is? Such will be the topic of the next section.

The NMS Classes

In order to rate what the NMS of each exercise is, I borrowed the Class rating system used for classifying the speed of DSL systems (technology used to achieve high speed connections to the Internet through your phone line) and tailored it to fit my purpose. In this system a Class 1 technology has lower speeds than a Class 2 technology.

Therefore, in our exercise rating system composed of four classes, a Class 1 exercise yields the lowest NMS (this class is composed of variable resistance machine type of exercises) while a Class 4 exercise yields the highest NMS and is therefore the hardest but most stimulating one. In each class we may also have subclasses such as Class 1a and Class 1b. A Class 1a exercise will yield less NMS than a Class 1b.

Class 1a

Class 1a exercises are composed of isolation (one joint) exercises performed in variable resistance machines (such as Nautilus) where the whole movement of the exercise is controlled. These type of exercises provide the least amount of stimulation as stabilizer muscles do not need to get involved since the machine takes care of the stabilization process. An example of such an exercise would be the machine curl.

Class 1b

Class 1b exercises are compound (multi-joint) movements performed in a variable resistance machine. An example of such movement would be the incline bench press performed in a Hammer Strength machine. Since the movement is a compound one, more muscles get involved and therefore the neuromuscular stimulation is higher than that offered by a machine curl for instance. However, the fact that the machine takes care of the stabilization issues limits the growth offered by the exercise.

Class 2a

Class 2a exercises are composed of isolation (one joint) exercises performed with non-variable resistance machines. An example of such exercise would be the leg extension exercise performed in one of those leg extensions attachments that come with the benches that are sold for home gyms. These attachments lack the pulleys and the cams that would make the exercise a variable resistance exercise. Therefore, the muscles need to get more involved in the movement, something that as a result provides better stimulation.

Class 2b

Class 2b exercises are composed of basic (multi-joint) exercises performed with non-variable resistance machines. An example of such would be the bench press unit that is attached to the Universal type of machines or a leg press machine that contains no pulleys or cams that would make the exercise easier. Since there are no pulleys or cams to make the exercise easier as you lift the weight, the NMS is higher.

Class 3a

Class 3a exercises are isolation (one joint) exercises performed with free weights. An example of such exercise would be a concentration curl performed with a dumbbell. It is still not very clear whether a multi joint exercise performed on a machine offers the same amount or better NMS than the one offered by a free weight isolation exercise. However, for the purposes of this discussion, we will assume that the free weight isolation exercise provides more stimulation as stabilizer muscles come into play (especially if you do the exercise standing up).

Class 3b

Class 3b exercises, as you probably guessed by now, are multi jointed basic exercises performed with barbell free weights.

Class 3c

Class 3c exercises are multi jointed basic exercises performed with dumbbell free weights. The barbell exercises provide less NMS as the movement is more restrained as opposed to dumbbells where the weights can go in all types of directions unless all of your stabilizer muscles jump in and constrain the movement. Because of this, dumbbells provide the highest NMS in this category.

Class 4

Finally, Class 4 exercises, the king of exercises, are free weight exercises where your body moves through space. In other words, any exercise where your torso is the one moving, such as squats, deadlifts, pull-ups, close grip chins, pushups, lunges, and dips, will provide the most stimulation possible and therefore, the fastest results. Haven’t you seen at the gym how many people do great amounts of weights in a pulldown machine but have trouble doing pull-ups?

The reason for this is that in order for you to perform these type of exercises you need to be capable of not only carrying the added resistance but also involving your bodyweight as well. Therefore, many muscles are called into play in order to perform this feat. If you look at it, by performing dips, chinups, squats and deadlifts you are really hitting every single muscle in your body! These exercises not only give you fast results, but they also create functional strength; in other words strength that can be used for your daily activities.

If you are great at performing pull-ups and you go to perform a pulldown you’ll see how easy the task of performing a pulldown is. As a matter of fact, depending on your pull-up strength, you might be able to lift the whole stack in most pulldown machines. However, the reverse in not true. While you may be very good at performing pulldowns you may not be able to perform many pull-ups as the strength gained in the pulldown exercise is not as transferable as the one gained in a pull-up. Again, the reason for this phenomenon is NMS.

Conclusion

Now that you know what exercises are the ones that give you the most bang for your buck, then my recommendations are the following:

  • If you follow very low volume routines (3-7 sets per bodyparts), please choose only exercises in the Class 3b, 3c and 4 region.
  • If you follow a medium volume type of routine (8-13 sets per bodypart), stick mostly to Class 3b, 3c and 4 type of exercises but for those bodyparts where you perform 12 or 13 sets, you may want to incorporate 2 or 3 sets at either the beginning or at the end of the workout from one of the lower classes. This is especially true for legs in which a leg extension movement at the beginning of the workout is a great tool for pre-exhausting the quads or at the end of the workout serves as a great finishing movement.
  • For high volume routines (14-20 sets per bodypart) you can get away with having 1/3 of your routine composed of lower class (Classes 3a and below) exercises.

Remember, convincing your body to grow and develop muscle is not an easy task. However it becomes an impossible one if you choose exercises that do not provide a significant NMS effect. Therefore, always choose exercises from the higher classes in order to show your body that you mean business.

Be sure to also check out Hugo’s website at:
www.hrfit.net

Thanks,

11 Exercises That Will Make You Feel The Results Immediately

Working out has a myriad of benefits, and some of these are more apparent in the short-term, while others show up later in the longterm. If you’re having a day where you’re feeling lethargic, bloated, and moody, you might be looking for some exercises that can give you immediate results, and thankfully, you’re in luck. Some workouts have effects that are apparent immediately, so it’s good to know which types to do on days you’re feeling like you need an instant boost.

“In general, circuit workouts with resistance exercises give you the best results,” says personal trainer Henry Halse CSCS, CPT over email. “If you combine upper and lower-body resistance exercises into groups of three or four and do them one after the other without resting, you work your muscles and cardiovascular system at the same time.”

It’s worth noting that there’s no one exercise that can help you tone up instantly, as it takes some time to feel changes, but some workouts do make you feel better overall right after you do them, with muscle results coming later. Whether you’re trying to feel your muscles burn, you’re looking to break a sweat, or you want to improve your mood and energy levels, try one of these 11 exercises that can give you immediate results. But remember, the more often you do them, the better results you’ll get!

1. Running

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“I love running and it definitely is my favorite exercise,” says fitness expert Dempsey Marks over email. Running is not only good for your body, but it’s also good for your brain. Multiples studies show that cardiovascular exercise can cause changes in the brain that help improve your mood, your focus, and even your memory.

2. Planks

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Want to stand up straight at your event tonight? Try a plank. “It is the single best body weight exercise for core conditioning,” says Marks. “This exercise tones your transversus abdominis along with your glutes and obliques. It benefits glutes and hamstrings as well as improves posture.”

3. Burpees

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If you want some cardiovascular exercise but aren’t a fan of running, try burpees, which also add in an element of strength training. “Burpees are an amazing exercise because they work your arms, chest, quads, glutes, hamstrings and abs,” says Marks. “This exercise burns fat and revs the metabolism like few others do, which is why it helps you see results faster.”

4. Push-Ups

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“Most people don’t recognize that this exercise does such a great job of defining your chest, shoulders, and torso,” says Marks. “It is also one of the best moves to improve muscular endurance. You may have to modify the exercise until you build your strength, but it is one of the oldest exercises to keep you fit and looking like a million bucks.”

5. High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT)

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You may have heard about high-intensity interval training (HIIT) as it has gotten quite popular, and this type of exercise alternates between intense burst of activity with periods of less intense activity. “HIIT exercises burn up to 50 percent more fat than moderate exercising,” says Marks. “That is why this is so popular. You can use this exercise anaerobically (weights) and aerobically (cardio).”

6. Elliptical

The elliptical is a good choice for low-impact cardio that works both your upper and lower body. “It works the chest, shoulders, arms, legs and back,” says Marks. “The real beauty of this exercise is that it works 80 percent of your body and that helps you accomplish faster results (when done properly).”

7. High-Rep Weight Lifting

Want to look a little more toned for the day? Try some weight lifting, even if it’s just using your body weight. “Doing exercises like push-ups, curls, and even squats for sets of 20 reps will flood your muscles with blood, making them look bigger and tighter,” says Halse. “This effect is known as ‘the pump.’

8. Plyometrics

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“If you need to run faster or jump higher, the best type of workout is plyometrics,” says Halse. “That’s a technical term for explosive or jump training. It’s when you do an exercise either without weight or with very light weights. Vertical or horizontal jumps are plyometric exercises.”

9. Lunges

Get those legs working with some lunges. “One of the best exercises to work all of your main leg muscles at the same time is the lunge,” says Halse. With lunges you work your glutes, hamstrings, and quadriceps all at the same time.”

10. Hill Sprints

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Hill sprints can improve your cardiovascular capacity super quickly. “When you sprint up an incline, it takes away the pounding that your legs can take from running on flat ground, so you don’t run the risk of shin splints or knee problems,” says Halse. “They also push your hearts and lungs to the edge and force them to adapt.”

11. Stair Climbing

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“Climbing stairs is my go-to for getting in shape quickly,” says exercise physiologist Kate Vidulich over email. “Why? It’s simple, and your heart rate will skyrocket so you boost your cardio fitness. Even better, it’s a great way to strengthen your glutes, legs, abs, and calves so your muscles look tight and toned.”

  • Start in high plank with a weight in each hand. Your hips should be lifted and your body in one straight line.
  • Row your right arm up, keeping it close to your body. Your elbow should go past your back as you row towards your chest.
  • Bring your right arm back to the starting position and repeat with your left arm.

Now take a two-minute rest.

Grab some water, respond to an email, dance around to Sia and Katy Perry. You do you—for two minutes.

Part 2: Do this three-move circuit a total of two times.

“This circuit slows things down just slightly,” says Mitrea, but you still want to train with intensity.

Your goal: Complete as many reps as you can of each move in 45 seconds. Take a 15-second break between each exercise. Do the entire circuit two times.

1. Reverse Woodchop — 45 seconds Whitney Thielman

  • Stand with feet wider than hip-width apart, one dumbbell in both hands. Lower weight toward left foot and bend your knees.
  • Stand as you rotate torso right and lift your right heel, and bringing the weight across your body diagonally.
  • Reverse the motion to return to the starting position.
  • Repeat on the other side during the next set.

2. Reverse Lunge With Twist — 45 seconds Whitney Thielman

  • Start standing with feet hip-width apart.
  • Take a big step back with left foot and bend knees to lower into lunge while twisting torso over right (front) leg.
  • Return to standing, then repeat with the opposite leg.

3. Dumbbell Bent-Over Reverse Fly — 45 seconds Whitney Thielman

  • Hold a dumbbell in each hand and stand with feet shoulder-width apart and your knees slightly bent.
  • Bend forward at the hips so your upper body leans forward and your core is engaged.
  • Raise the dumbbells straight out to the sides and lower back down to the starting position.

Graphic by Valerie Fischel

You may also like: 13 Incredible Bodyweight Exercises You Can Do At Home

Related:

  • The 15-Minute Cardio Workout That’s Better Than Running On A Treadmill
  • 8 Abs And Butt Exercises That Look Easy…Until You Try Them
  • The Do-Anywhere, Calorie-Crushing 10-Minute Circuit

20-Minute Strength Training Workout

As triathletes, we scour every 24-hour period for time to get a swim, bike, run or multisport workout in the log book—not to mention family time, career and maybe even a little socializing. Strength training often becomes the sacrificial lamb on the schedule.

Not to worry. Even 13 to 17 minutes of simple strength exercises are enough to help prevent injury, promote strength, develop flexibility and keep your muscles happy from the attention. Compound exercises without rest between sets will empower you to squeeze in a strength training workout in about a quarter of an hour. Your standard strength sessions are commonly longer, but these are ideal for those days when 24 hours just doesn’t seem to be enough.

Warm Up

For this round of “grab and go” strength training, you will need a chair and a light to medium weight resistance band. The clock starts with a warm-up. If you are not combining this workout with another sport, simply walk for 1 minute followed by 30 seconds of jumping jacks.

Pushups

The arms, chest, abs, and back all gain benefit from the first exercise, the pushup. If you are new to the movement, start on your knees. Keep your back straight and head in neutral alignment. Tighten your abs, breath in on the down and out on your steady push back up. Do as many as you can in 1 minute. That brings us about 2.5 minutes into the effort.

Bicep Squat Combo

No rest for the weary; we close in on the third minute and our next exercise by grabbing the resistance band and getting ready for a bicep squat combo. Stand with the feet wider than shoulder-width apart, toes turned out and resistance band stretched beneath feet while holding each end in your slightly bent arms. Keep the band tight, lower to a modified squat while keeping the knees behind the toes and conducting a bicep curl with the arms. Take 2 to 3 seconds for each repetition and do as many as you can for 1 minute bringing us close to the 4-minute mark.

Shoulder Press One-Legged Squat

Keep the band ready for our third exercise, the shoulder press one-legged squat. Hold onto a chair with your left hand while standing with the right foot on the band and left foot a few inches off the ground. The other end of the band is in your right hand held taut at about shoulder height. Bend the right leg smoothly down into a squat position keeping the knee behind the toe, butt back and head looking slightly up.

As you lower into the one-legged squat position, extend the right arm overhead tightening the band into an overhead shoulder press. Do this for two sets of 30 seconds each side for a total of 2 minutes. You have been rocking the muscles now for about 6 to 7 minutes depending on your breaks to sip water.

Dead-Lift Row

Since the band is warmed up, let’s do a dead-lift row. Place your legs shoulder width apart and stand on the band, grabbing it taut in the hands at just about thigh height. Tip forward from the hips, keep the back flat, lowering your hands down to mid shin. While bent over at ninety degrees bend elbows smoothly and pull them up parallel to your chest while contracting the lower back. Lower the arms while standing back up to complete the first repetition of a 1-minute, non-stop set. Rest for about 30 seconds and do another full minute.

Triceps

Set the band aside, and let’s use the chair again for some triceps work. Take a seat, but not for a break. Place your hands next to hips on the chair with your fingers pointing to either side. Walk your feet forward as you slide hips off the front of the chair. Maintain your balance, keep your butt close to the chair, and lower yourself down a few inches by bending at the elbows. Don’t slouch or lower past 90 degrees while maintaining stability and strength between the shoulders. Push back up and repeat for 1 minute to clock about 10 minutes of focused effort thus far.

Side Plank Twist

The side plank twist is a great abdominal core exercise that also opens up chest muscles. Begin by lying on your side. Push up so that your body is supported by the left arm directly beneath the shoulder. You can have the feet stacked or one in front of the other.

If you are new to this exercise, keep your right leg extended with the left leg bent and knee on the ground to help with balance. Extend your right arm upward. Open up the chest as you lean back slightly and breathe in. Exhale as you lower your arm, twisting your shoulders towards the floor while minimizing hip movement. Repeat for two sets of 30 seconds on each side, remember to inhale as you reach up and exhale on the downward movement.

Cool Down

You’re sweating, your heart rate is up and about 15 minutes have gone by since the warm-up. Cool down with about 3 to 5 minutes of walking and gentle stretching. If you have more time, then do more sets, or grab that training schedule and conduct the full strength training effort you have been meaning to do.

Wayne Spaulding is a 20-year veteran coach and triathlete. He is a Level II USA Triathlon certified coach who lives, races and coaches in Northern California. He can be reached at [email protected]

This article originally was published in USA Triathlon Life magazine. USA Triathlon is proud to serve as the national governing body for triathlon–the fastest growing sport in the world – as well as duathlon, aquathlon and winter triathlon in the United States. Visit usatriathlon.org.

7 tips for a safe and successful strength-training program

Strength or resistance training challenges your muscles with a stronger-than-usual counterforce, such as pushing against a wall or lifting a dumbbell or pulling on a resistance band. Using progressively heavier weights or increasing resistance makes muscles stronger. This kind of exercise increases muscle mass, tones muscles, and strengthens bones. It also helps you maintain the strength you need for everyday activities — lifting groceries, climbing stairs, rising from a chair, or rushing for the bus.

The current national guidelines for physical activity recommend strengthening exercises for all major muscle groups (legs, hips, back, chest, abdomen, shoulders, and arms) at least twice a week. One set — usually 8 to 12 repetitions of the same movement — per session is effective, though some evidence suggests that two to three sets may be better. Your muscles need at least 48 hours to recover between strength training sessions.

These seven tips can keep your strength training safe and effective.

  1. Warm up and cool down for five to 10 minutes. Walking is a fine way to warm up; stretching is an excellent way to cool down.
  2. Focus on form, not weight. Align your body correctly and move smoothly through each exercise. Poor form can prompt injuries and slow gains. When learning a strength training routine, many experts suggest starting with no weight, or very light weight. Concentrate on slow, smooth lifts and equally controlled descents while isolating a muscle group.
  3. Working at the right tempo helps you stay in control rather than compromise strength gains through momentum. For example, count to three while lowering a weight, hold, then count to three while raising it to the starting position.
  4. Pay attention to your breathing during your workouts. Exhale as you work against resistance by lifting, pushing, or pulling; inhale as you release.
  5. Keep challenging muscles by slowly increasing weight or resistance. The right weight for you differs depending on the exercise. Choose a weight that tires the targeted muscle or muscles by the last two repetitions while still allowing you to maintain good form. If you can’t do the last two reps, choose a lighter weight. When it feels too easy to complete add weight (roughly 1 to 2 pounds for arms, 2 to 5 pounds for legs), or add another set of repetitions to your workout (up to three sets). If you add weight, remember that you should be able to do all the repetitions with good form and the targeted muscles should feel tired by the last two.
  6. Stick with your routine — working all the major muscles of your body two or three times a week is ideal. You can choose to do one full-body strength workout two or three times a week, or you may break your strength workout into upper- and lower-body components. In that case, be sure you perform each component two or three times a week.
  7. Give muscles time off. Strength training causes tiny tears in muscle tissue. These tears aren’t harmful, but they are important: muscles grow stronger as the tears knit up. Always give your muscles at least 48 hours to recover before your next strength training session.

For detailed workouts and more on the benefits of exercise and how to develop a plan stick with it, buy Exercise: A program you can live with, a Special Health Report from Harvard Medical School.

Disclaimer:
As a service to our readers, Harvard Health Publishing provides access to our library of archived content. Please note the date of last review on all articles. No content on this site, regardless of date, should ever be used as a substitute for direct medical advice from your doctor or other qualified clinician.

Want to get a workout in that can help you build muscle and get big fast? Here are five ways you can do that to add some size and strength to your body:

Workout 1

Barbell chest press: Do 4 sets of 6-8 reps
Then rest 2 minutes

Barbell row: 4 sets, 8-10 reps
Rest 2 minutes

Decline dumbbell chest press: 4 sets, 6-8 reps
Rest 2 minutes

Weighted pullup: 4 sets, to failure
Rest 2 minutes

— Tim McComsey, R.D., N.A.S.M. trymfit.com

Workout 2

Do 10 sets of 10 with 1-minute rest in between sets
Incline DB bench press with 75% of your max

10 sets of 10 with 1-minute rest between sets
BB bench press with 75% of your max

10 sets of 10 with 1-minute rest between sets
Machine chest flye with 75% of your max

— Christopher Power, A.C.E., B.F.S. cpowerfitness.com

Workout 3

Take 45-60 seconds rest between each set

Dumbbell chest press: Do 3-4 sets of 6-8 reps

Pullup: 3-4 sets, to failure

Barbell squat: 3-4 sets, 6-8 reps

Barbell shoulder press: 3-4 sets, 6-8 reps

Dip: 4 sets, 8-10 reps

— Rob Smith, Fit –> Life

Workout 4

For this workout, perform each circuit three times. Then rest 1 minute in-between exercises. Make sure to rest 2 minutes in-between sets.

Circuit 1

Deadlift: 8 reps
Bench press: 12 reps ***

Circuit 2

Barbell reverse lunge: 8 reps
Seated close grip row: 12 reps

Circuit 3

Lat pulldown: x 10 reps
Seated barbell shoulder press: 10 reps

Circuit 4

Barbell biceps curl: 12 reps
Barbell skull crusher: x 12 reps ***

***complete as a dropset.

— Jason Martuscello, C.S.C.S., A.C.S.M., N.S.C.A., I.S.S.N., FuelTheMovement

Workout 5

For this workout, complete three sets of each exercise with 60-90 seconds rest in-between sets.

Barbell squat: 10 reps
Bench press: 8 reps
Barbell bentover row: 8 reps
Barbell overhead press: 10 reps
Dumbbell curl: 12 reps
Dumbbell overhead extension: 12 reps

— Johnny Johnson, N.A.S.M., HUMANFITPROJECT

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This circuit training guide is gonna give you EVERYTHING you need to do your first kickass circuit training workout today.

I mean come on, it has dinosaurs in it.

These workouts are similar to the custom programs we build for our Online Coaching Clients who work out at home, on the road, and in outer space.

Okay FINE we don’t have any clients in space (yet). But we do have clients in Antarctica, and multiple aerospace engineers. Close enough?

We build workout programs that are actually fun! Learn more:

If you’re hoping circuit training will maximize your results in a minimum amount of time, one of the 15 circuits below will do the trick:

  • What are the benefits of Circuit Training?
  • Warm Up Circuit
  • Beginner Bodyweight Circuit
  • Advanced Bodyweight Circuit
  • Playground Workout Circuit
  • Kettlebell Workout Circuit
  • Beginner Gym Circuit
  • Hotel Workout Circuit
  • The Batman Workout Circuit
  • The Lord of the Rings Workout Circuit
  • The 300 Workout Circuit
  • The Wolverine Workout Circuit
  • Complete List of Circuit Training Exercises

What Are the Benefits circuit training?

The “circuit” in circuit training comes from the fact that you do a sequence of exercises back to back to back, and then you repeat the sequence.

And then again.

You cycle through the planned sequence of exercises, or circuit, multiple times.

That’s circuit training.

Generally you hit each major muscle group during one full circuit. You may do lower body for one exercise. Then upper body the next.

You’ll find all sorts of difference circuit training sequences. Here’s some things most will have in common:

  • Several different exercises. A normal circuit will have five to ten different movements per circuit. You’ll often hear these referred to as “stations.” Overhead press station, squat station, etc.
  • Little to no rest in between. The goal of circuit training is to keep your heart rate up. Ideally, if you’re physically able, you go from one exercise to another without stopping. Maybe you rest after the whole circuit. Maybe.
  • Rinse and repeat. Generally you’ll run through your circuit a few times. Three rounds is common.

Make sense?

The point here is to work different parts of your body with different exercises, and then while those parts are recovering, you’re working on your other movements! This helps build cardiovascular health, while also improving muscular endurance and strength.

Plus you’ll burn calories!

As we lay out in our article, Cardio vs Interval Training vs. Weight Training, research supports that doing strength training circuits is great for weight loss and overall health.

More importantly, for somebody with limited time, doing a strength training circuit is more effective at building strength and burning fat than an equivalent amount of cardio.

In other words, if you are trying to lose weight, you should be doing circuit training.

Our Beginner Bodyweight Circuit would be a great place to begin, and you can download a worksheet to help you get started right here:

Grab Your Beginner Bodyweight Routine Worksheet. No Gym Required!

  • Complete this workout at home, no equipment required
  • Avoid the common mistakes everybody makes when doing bodyweight exercises
  • Learn how to finally get your first pull-up

Why Should I do circuit training?

Generally, you’ll hear exercise divided into strength training or aerobic exercise (cardio).

What’s the difference, you wonder?

  • Strength training. Strength training is also referred to as anaerobic exercise, which would be a short burst of energy for movement. Think of a push-up or pull-up. These exercises help build and tone muscle.
  • Aerobic Exercise. “Aerobic” means “needs oxygen.” Your heart rate increases to get oxygen where your body needs it, thus the word “cardio.” Running, biking, or jumping jacks would be examples of aerobic exercise.

The thing about a circuit is, you actually do both categories. Presses and lunges fall into strength training. Jumping jacks are cardio.

And since you aren’t stopping much in between stations, you’ll need more oxygen, and voila. Even more cardio.

With circuit training, you build muscle and burn fat WHILE building stamina.

As Michael Scott would say, “that’s a win, win win.”

There’s some debate on what kind of exercise is better for weight loss: aerobic or anaerobic.

My thoughts?

If you’re limited on time and only can pick one, I would pick strength training: when you strength train, you break your muscles down, and your body needs to work extra hard over the next 24-48 hours to rebuild those muscles (with increased calories burned).

We work with our 1-on-1 Coaching Clients to create programs that combine both strength and cardio in a fun way – it really comes down to a program that you actually WANT to do.

Let us build you a workout program that’s ACTUALLY fun!

Before and after your circuit training: Warm up and stretch

No matter which circuit you pick, I want you to start with one important thing:

Warm up!

I cover why you should always warm up in an article found right here. It doesn’t have to be much though, give it about five minutes to get your muscles active and your heart rate up.

This will help you do exercises properly and help prevent injury. You can run in place, do air punches and kicks, or some jumping jacks.

Here is NF Senior Coach Staci (you might know her incredible story) showing you many beginner options you can use to warm up as well:

Did I just tell you to prepare for circuit training, with a circuit?!

If you’re curious, here’s my personal (advanced) warm-up:

  • Jump rope: 2-3 minutes
  • Jumping jacks: 25 reps
  • Body weight squats: 20 reps
  • Lunges: 5 reps each leg.
  • Hip extensions: 10 reps each side
  • Hip rotations: 5 each leg
  • Forward leg swings: 10 each leg
  • Side leg swings: 10 each leg
  • Push ups: 10-20 reps
  • Spider-man steps: 10 reps

Our goal isn’t to tire you out, instead we want to warm you up.

That’s step one.

Completing your chosen circuit training routine would be step two.

Below, you’ll find 15 workouts you can follow along with! And if you like our style of workouts, you can check out our coaching program where we’ll customize a circuit routine that fits your life and/or travel schedule:

Short on time? Let us build you a workout program!

Beginner Bodyweight Workout Circuit

This workout circuit, as we lay out in our Beginner Bodyweight Workout article, is as follows:

  • Bodyweight squats: 20 reps
  • Push-ups: 10 reps
  • Walking lunges – 10 each leg
  • Dumbbell rows (using a gallon milk jug or another weight): 10 each arm.
  • Plank: 15 seconds
  • Jumping jacks: 30 reps

Run through this circuit three times. If you don’t have milk in the house for the rows, find something of roughly the same weight with a good handle.

If you want to download this Beginner Bodyweight Workout as a worksheet, you can do so when you sign up in the box below:

Grab Your Beginner Bodyweight Routine Worksheet. No Gym Required!

  • Complete this workout at home, no equipment required
  • Avoid the common mistakes everybody makes when doing bodyweight exercises
  • Learn how to finally get your first pull-up

Want a coach to help every step of the way? Learn more:

Advanced Bodyweight Exercises Circuit

If the beginner circuit above is too easy for you, move on to our Advanced Bodyweight Workout Circuit. Check out the original article where we covered it here. The workout looks like this:

  • One legged squats – 10 each side
  • Body weight squats: 20 reps
  • Walking lunges: 20 reps (10 each leg)
  • Jump step-ups: 20 reps (10 each leg)
  • Pull-ups: 10 reps
  • Dips (between bar stools): 10 reps
  • Chin ups: 10 reps
  • Push-ups: 10 reps
  • Plank: 30 seconds

I warn you, the above circuit will hurt… in a good way. You should be proud if you can get through this three times.

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Playground Workout Circuit

Do you have a nearby playground? Why not work out there! If you have kids, you can do it together. Or let them ignore you.

I’ll give you a Level One workout, and a Level Two. Check out the main playground article for some Level Three exercises.

Level One

  • Alternating step-ups: 20 reps (10 each leg)
  • Elevated push-ups: 10 reps
  • Swing rows: 10 reps
  • Assisted lunges: 8 reps each leg
  • Bent leg reverse crunches: 10 reps

Level Two

  • Bench jumps: 10 reps
  • Lower incline push-ups: 10 reps
  • Body rows: 10 reps
  • Lunges: 8 reps each leg
  • Straight leg reverse crunches: 10 reps

After you’ve gone through a complete set three times, go down the slide!

Working out doesn’t have to suck. Let our coaches build you a fun program!

Kettlebell Workout Circuit

Have a kettlebell lying around? Use it for a circuit!

Here’s our kettlebell workout full write-up, but you can also just watch the video and see the workout here:

  • Halos: 8 reps (each side)
  • Goblet squats: 10 reps
  • Overhead presses: 8 reps (each side)
  • Kettlebell swings: 15 reps
  • Bent Over Rows: 8 reps (each side)
  • Front rack reverse lunge: 6 reps (per side)

Once you’ve done the above three times, go ahead and put your kettlebell away for your final step: stretches.

If you want a kettlebell worksheet, grab one by signing up in the box below:

Grab Your Beginner Kettlebell Routine Worksheet!

  • Complete this workout at home or gym with 1 kettlebell.
  • Avoid the common mistakes everybody makes when doing kettlebell exercises.
  • Build strength, burn fat, level up your life!

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Beginner Gym Circuit Training

If you have access to a gym, you have a lot of circuit options.

If it’s your first time stepping foot in a fitness facility, check out our Beginner’s Guide to the Gym. The gym can be a scary place, but we’ll give you a strategy to get comfy.

We’ll also walk you through each movement for both Days A and B below. I would recommend picking one of our 5 Beginner Gym Workouts, going through the leveled progressions, and working your way up to the circuits below:

DAY A GYM WORKOUT

  • Barbell squats: 10 reps
  • Push-ups: 10 reps
  • Pull-ups or pull-up alternatives: 10 reps

Day B GYM WORKOUT

  • Barbell romanian deadlifts/regular deadlifts: 10 reps
  • Push-ups: 10 reps
  • Dumbbell rows: 10 reps per arm

Alternate your circuits on different days. Rest in between. “Day A” could be Monday. Rest Tuesday. Wednesday could be “Day B.”

We LOVE helping people get started in the gym, as we’re huge fans of barbell training and helping beginners build confidence with weight training! If that sounds like you…

Let us help you start weight training with our Coaching Program

And you can download our full Strength 101 guide too, which has this routine along with other circuits to help you start building strength today:

Download our comprehensive guide STRENGTH TRAINING 101!

  • Everything you need to know about getting strong.
  • Workout routines for bodyweight AND weight training.
  • How to find the right gym and train properly in one.

The Hotel Workout Circuit: For Travelers that Train

Sometimes, you just plain find yourself stuck in a hotel room. Maybe you can find the hotel gym, but I bet it’s terrible! It probably has 2 machines, a broken treadmill, and no free weights.

Ugh.

Instead, how about a workout circuit you can do in the room itself! Utilize the furniture to its full potential.

Level 1

  • Body weight squats: 20 reps
  • Incline push-ups: 15 reps (feet on floor, hands on edge of bed or desk)
  • One-arm luggage rows: 10 reps (each arm, use your suitcase as your weight)
  • Reverse crunches: 10 reps

Level 2

  • Overhead Squats: 25 reps
  • Push Ups: 20 reps
  • Inverted Rows using the desk in your hotel room: 10 reps
  • Reverse Crunches: 15 reps

Set the alarm clock to 15 minutes from now and see how many circuits you can do!

Check out our full post on hotel circuits if you want Level 3!

We have a LOT of business travelers in our 1-on-1 coaching program, which is why we create workouts for both their home gym and while traveling!

If you need worldwide accountability, workouts for home and the road, and want expert guidance…

Travel for work? Let us create a travel program to help you stay healthy!

Nerdy Circuit Training Exercises

If those workouts above don’t tickle your fancy, we have these other nerdy circuits you can do too!

The Batman Workout Circuit

Day 1

  • Rolling squat tuck-up jumps: 5 reps
  • Side to side push-ups: 5 reps
  • Modified headstand push-ups: 5 reps
  • Jump pull-up with tuck / Pull-up with Tuck-up: 5 reps
  • Handstands against wall: 8 seconds

Day 2

  • ‘180 Degree’ jump turns: 5 reps
  • Tuck front lever hold: 8 seconds
  • Tuck back lever hold: 8 seconds
  • Low frog hold: 8 seconds

Get in shape like Batman with our Online Coaching!

The Lord of the Rings Workout Circuit

Superset 1: The Fellowship of the Ring

  • “YOU SHALL NOT PASS!” Slams: 3 medicine ball slams
  • Legolas Bow Pulls: 7 renegade rows
  • “One does not simply walking lunge into Mordor”: 9 lunges, each leg
  • Hip “Bridge of Khazad Dum”: 1 minute hip raises and hold at the top position

Superset 2: The Two Towers

  • Riders of ROWhan: 3 bodyweight rows
  • Gimli “Shall I get you a box?” jumps: 7 box jumps – REALLY explode
  • Helm’s Deep-Squats: 9 bodyweight squats – get your ass to the ground
  • Tower of Orthanc Holds: 1 minutes (Kick up against a wall and hold a handstand for as long as you can until 1 minute is complete, in as few as sets as possible. Check out our Guide to Handstands.)

Superset 3: The Return of the King

  • Eowyn “I am no Man!”makers: 3 manmakers
  • Light of Galadriel raises: 7 arm overhead dumbbell presses
  • “Army of Dead”lifts: 9 light weight reps, barbell or dumbbell
  • Samwise Gamgee Carries: 1 minute (Demonstrated here by AKLulu carrying me at a NF meetup) A heavy sandbag over the shoulder works too. No sandbag? Just carry two dumbbells around the gym for a minute.

If you can get through a superset three times, consider yourself an honorary Ranger. Nothing found in Mordor can faze you.

Our Coaching Program changes lives! Let us change yours today:

The 300 Workout Circuit

The below circuit is no joke. Then again, neither were the Spartans.

  • Pull-ups: 25 reps
  • Deadlifts with 135lbs: 50 reps
  • Push-ups: 50 reps
  • ‘24-inch’ Box jumps: 50 reps
  • Floor wipers: 50 reps
  • Single-arm clean-and-press with 36 lbs. kettlebell: 25 each side
  • Pull-ups: 25 reps

The above sequence is designed to be completed once. If you can go through it twice, you’re ready to defend Greece.

Our coaching program is with you every step of the way. Learn how:

The Wolverine Workout Circuit

  • Barbell Deadlift / Dumbbell RDL / Banded Good Morning / Regular Good Morning: 10 reps
  • Medicine Ball Slam / Quick Downwards Bodyweight Squat: 10 reps
  • Push-up to Renegade row (push-up, row left, push-up, row right, repeat): 5 Rows per side
  • Transverse Lunge and Chop: 5 reps each side

How many times do you do this circuit? AMRAP, or, As Many Rounds As Possible. I suggest setting a 12 minute timer and getting to work. Be careful though, because only Wolverine can heal automatically.

You’ll need actual rest.

Boom!

There are your nerdy circuits. Feel free to rock the soundtrack of the referenced movies during your workout. If you own a cape, now’s the time.

Want to look like Wolverine? Let our coaches help you reach your goals!

Complete List of Circuit Training Exercises

You can do any of the workouts in this article and get a great workout, but if you want to build your own workout, you can totally do that too!

Here is a list of exercises you can use to create your workout.

Simply pick a few, and do one after the other in as many circuits as you want!

Pick your exercises from this list to build your own circuit training workout, or suggest your own for us to add in the comments below!

CARDIO EXERCISES:

  1. Jump rope
  2. Jumping Jacks
  3. Walking Jacks
  4. Burpees
  5. Mountain climbers
  6. Stairs
  7. Sprints
  8. High knees
  9. Running in place
  10. Rowing machine
  11. Long-distance jumps
  12. Box jumps

UPPER BODY PUSH EXERCISES:

  1. Push-ups (any variation)
  2. Handstands.

UPPER BODY PULL EXERCISES

  1. Dumbbell rows
  2. Bodyweight rows
  3. Negative pull-ups or chin-ups
  4. Pull-ups or Chin-ups

LOWER BODY EXERCISES

  1. Bodyweight squats
  2. Lunges
  3. Kettlebell swings
  4. Farmer carries (carry dumbbells and walk around)

CORE EXERCISES:

  1. Planks
  2. Side planks
  3. Reverse crunches

Pick 3-5 exercises, and arrange them like we discuss in our “how to build your own workout routine.”

Do 3 circuits with 10 reps of each exercise, one after the other!

Have fun and keep things interesting. And if you don’t want to build your own workout, that’s cool too! We have 15 free workouts in this article, and we can also do all the heavy lifting for you.

Well, not literally DO the heavy lifting, but you know what I mean. We create custom workout solution for busy people just like you in our 1-on-1 Coaching Program. Let us create a workout and help you make better food choices.

It’s like having a Yoda in your pocket (again, not literally).

Let us create a workout program for you! Learn more about our Coaching Program

How to Stretch After Circuit Training

Once you finish your workout, the final step (three) would be stretching and cool down. No matter what circuit you go through, stretch after a workout. It can help a lot with muscle recovery.

Scope this video for an awesome stretching sequence to follow:

You could also do some yoga poses. For stretching, find what feels good and take your time. Let your heart rate come down while you stretch.

You could even do some foam rolling too if you’re a glutton for punishment!

Work with our Coaches to improve your flexibility! Learn more:

Getting Started With Circuit Training

There are all sorts of different ways to do circuit training. We just showed you fifteen.

  • Warm Up Circuit
  • Beginner Bodyweight Circuit
  • Advanced Bodyweight Circuit
  • Playground Workout Circuit
  • Kettlebell Workout Circuit
  • Beginner Gym Circuit
  • Hotel Workout Circuit
  • The Batman Workout Circuit
  • The Lord of the Rings Workout Circuit
  • The 300 Workout Circuit
  • The Wolverine Workout Circuit
  • Complete List of Circuit Training Exercises

YOUR MISSION: Complete one of the above circuit training workouts! If you don’t know which one to pick, start with the Beginner Bodyweight Circuit. It’ll get you used to the idea of hustling from one exercise to the next.

And you can do it in your living room!

If you’re looking for more hands-on instruction and customized guidance, check out our 1-on-1 Coaching program. You’ll work with our certified NF instructors who get to know you better than you know yourself, and then build a workout program that is specific to your exact goals.

Simply put, we tell you exactly what to do every day, and how to eat. And then, we check in with you regularly to make sure you’re doing it!

We help busy people get in shape, step by step. Learn more about our Coaching Program!

If you got this far in the article, I really want you to try one of these workouts. Right NOW. I always mention the most important step in a fitness journey is starting it. Today, start circuit training.

Once completed, I’d love for you to share your story with the community in the comments:

  • How’d it go?
  • Did you get through three full circuits?
  • Which routine did you pick?

Find a circuit you’re comfortable with, and do it.

Then do it next week. And the following. And track your progress!

If you add circuit training to your fitness routine, you’ll be on a solid path for leveling up your life.

-Steve

PS: I couldn’t quite figure out how to use this gif, but it was too good not to include.

If someone creates the “Short Circuit Workout Circuit” you’ll be my best friend forever.

All Photo credits can be found right here.

Strapped for time but still want to get in a weight lifting workout plan? Don’t worry. It can be done. We have the plan to get it all done in only 20 minutes.

You made the right choice to go to the gym and build muscle, but you only have 20 minutes. How do you strategically maximize pushing and pulling the iron to get a muscle building workout?

We have the answer.

We also salute you for making the right choice and not using the time excuse to skip a workout. As you’ll find out, 20 minutes, when used right, is plenty of time to build muscle, force a raging pump and leave with topped out endorphin levels.

We’ll give you new strategies for creating a quick and effective workout that will allow you to lift as much as possible on each and every exercise. Once the strategies and logic are laid out, you will get the perfect 20-minute iron workout and ways to progress it.

The Quick Weight Lifting Workout Plan (The Big Picture)

The big challenge with this workout is the time constraint. To fit in a workout that targets every muscle proportionally requires serious strategy. The best way to do this is by focusing on compound movements that engage multiple muscle groups at the same time.

In a normal bodybuilding split, each workout starts off with these big compound movements. These movements are effective because we can lift the most amount of weight on these exercises. The more we lift, the more we grow. Think of this workout as a sort of like an all-star team of exercises. We are going to put all the best exercises from every workout into one superstar battle with the iron, but of course with some crucial tweaks.

Focus On Strength And Growth

Sticking to a certain rep range for every exercise can yield results for a time. But, just like changing up programs, sets and reps have to vary. This workout takes advantage of the benefits of multiple rep ranges. It will focus on strength by using the six to eight rep range resulting in moving really heavy weight at fast tempos.

The sheer weight will tear down muscle fibers in a way the body can only respond to by building back the muscle stronger and bigger. It’s vital that the reps do not fall below the six to eight rep range, though.

Less is not more here.

The heavier the weight gets, the longer the body takes to recover. With only 20 minutes, no time can be wasted. As we will discuss later, maximizing the ratio of work to rest is very important.

The beloved higher rep range of eight to 12 will also be used. The higher reps will build a massive pump leading to transient growth. The pump is not only proven to stimulate growth, but it also makes us feel awesome and is a signal that the muscle is responding to the workout. The variety in rep ranges will also allow your body to recover different energy systems furthering the workout efficiency.

Work Now Rest Later

This workout is designed for the go-getter. There’s no time for texting or making small talk. Leave that approach for others. It’s all about making the most of your time. That’s why it’s designed so that rest is only taken as needed. We use a variety of rep ranges so that we get all the benefits of variance, but also so that rest is not needed.

For example, as the first strength exercise is completed, the next exercise uses a different muscle group so less recovery is needed. Once the original muscle group is called on again the actual muscles will have rested but not the body as a whole.

This maximizes time under tension and minimizes rest. The end goal of this workout should always be to have at the very least a 1:1 ratio of work to rest, and hopefully better. The more time that is spent working, the more muscle that can be targeted.

Use Smart Circuits

To truly get all the benefits, every detail has to be set perfectly in place. As the varying reps allow for more work to be completed, alternating movements and muscle groups does the same. The workout follows the pattern of cycling through different main movements.

As you will see, they focus on lower body, upper body push, upper body pull or core. As these exercises are cycled through it means muscle groups will rest for over a minute before they’re called upon, which is the standard for most workouts. Even though it might seem obvious not to work the same muscle group twice in a row given that the weight and intensity will decrease, there is more to it than that.

Alternate Spinal Loading And Decompression

When creating a circuit, the body has to be viewed as a whole. Consider barbell lunges and bent over rows. While one is lower body dominant and the other is an upper body pull movement, they have a common link.

They both load the core and importantly the spine.

If these exercises are performed one after the other, there will be a huge drop off for the second exercise.

Rather than the targeted muscles reaching failure, it will be the low back and core. Add a few more exercises to the mix haphazardly and it is a recipe for injury, unnecessary rest and reduced weight.

How can this be combated?

By designing the workout to alternate spinal compression and decompression. Each exercise that heavily loads the spine and core like squats, step-ups, and inverted rows

By designing the workout to alternate spinal compression and decompression. Each exercise that heavily loads the spine and core like squats, step-ups and rows is always followed by an exercise that requires much less spinal loading such as chest presses and pull-ups. That is what’s called a smart circuit.

The core will be immensely challenged even alternating spinal loading and decompression, but the targeted muscles will not be negatively impacted by it. This is an important consideration for any workout.

Before super setting or circuiting exercises together, consider what’s more important: Maxing out the core or maxing out certain muscles?

You Need A Good Workout Flow

Having a good flow isn’t just important for your hair, it’s also needed for this workout. The workout uses a mix of equipment, which is good as it builds in rest but will also require discipline. Performing this workout during a less crowded time is advised, but if the gym is crowded don’t stress.

If the decision has to be made between waiting to do a precise movement or doing something similar to avoid waiting, you know what to do.

Get on and get going.

Don’t stress and don’t rest. There’s only 20 minutes and that does not include waiting on people who sit on equipment getting their finger workouts texting away. Always keep a close eye on the clock to ensure the workout stays on pace.

You Should Always Strive To Improve

This workout starts off by doing two sets of each movement. This will undoubtedly be challenging as is, but the end goal is to do three full rounds in less than 20 minutes. To do this, the only rest will come from moving to the next exercise.

In addition to striving for three sets on each exercise, there are also two levels of this workout to choose from. They have the same foundation in terms of movements, but the Warrior level uses movement manipulation. The standard workout uses the typical bilateral and more stable movements even with some machines to truly rest stabilizing muscles.

The Warrior workout tosses all those crutches aside and uses methods such as alternating arms, unilateral loading, momentum lifting and challenging starting positions. The Warrior level challenges muscles to work from new angles and tempos that ultimately result in greater growth. Although less weight might be used, the nontraditional switch up pushes the muscles to new boundaries.

Be warned: The two workouts may be the same at heart, but the difficulty is in no way similar. If you are feeling unsure of what level to choose, try the standard workout and build up to the Warrior level by slowly swapping out individual exercises.

Weight Lifting Workout Plan: Standard Level

Before getting started make sure to properly warm-up, hydrate and eat for best results. Complete at least two rounds within 20 minutes, resting only as needed.

  1. Front Squat 2×6
  2. Dumbbell Chest Press 2×8
  3. Dumbbell Row 2×10
  4. Hammer Strength Overhead Press 2×10
  5. Alternating Lunge 2×12
  6. Lat Pulldown 2×12
  7. Plank 2×30 seconds

The Warrior Workout

As these movements are more complex and less traditional, you need to make sure they are done correctly and safely. Don’t worry. We have some tips to help.

Bottom Up Squat

Adjust the squat rack so that the safety bar lines up with the lowest point of your squat and place the bar there. Position yourself under the loaded bar at the bottom and squat the weight up. After each rep, allow the bar to completely rest on the safety bar before lifting it up again. This squat has to be done lighter. But, rest assured, any heavier and stairs will become a living hell.

Alternating Dumbbell Chest Press

Set up like a normal chest press for this exercise. Rather than lowering both dumbbells at the same time, keep one up while the other is lowered and pressed back up. Alternate arms keeping one dumbbell up.

Kroc Row

Pick a slightly heavier weight than you would for a normal dumbbell row. Rather than trying to keep the torso and shoulder still, use momentum by rocking the body down and up for consecutive explosive reps. This causes a greater stretch in your muscles and an overload from the extra weight.

Seated Bradford Press

Use a standard barbell military press rack. Each rep alternates between pressing the barbell overhead behind the neck and in front of the face. Less weight is needed, but your deltoids will be screaming by the end.

Barbell Step Up

Using a box slightly above knee height, place one foot flat on the box with the barbell loaded across the back. Keeping your body aligned, step up so your ground leg reaches the box. Without placing your foot on the box, lower back down and repeat. To eliminate cheating, keep your unloaded leg’s knee extended and foot flexed.

By only tapping the heel and keeping a straight leg, your bottom leg can’t assist in the movement. Perform all reps on one side and then switch.

Weighted Pull-Up

Use a weight belt to attach a plate around your waist. Perform a pull-up as normal ensuring a full range of motion is reached on every single rep.

Single Arm Farmers Walk

In one hand hold a dumbbell similar in weight to what was used on the chest press. Keeping your shoulders and hips level, walk 30 meters, switch sides and return back 30 meters.

Complete at least two rounds within 20 minutes, resting only as needed.

  1. Bottom Up Squat 2×6
  2. Alternating Dumbbell Chest Press 2×8
  3. Kroc Row 2×10
  4. Seated Bradford Press 2×12
  5. Barbell Step Up 2×12
  6. Weighted Pull-up 2×12
  7. Single Arm Farmers Walk 2×30 meters each

Conclusion

These workouts ensure that every second of the 20 minutes is used to potential. Not one second of it will be easy, but every second will be worth it. Even as the lactic acid builds, your lungs burn and your heart pounds, remember it’s only 20 minutes and the intensity has to be pushed.

The strategic layout of the movements, rep ranges and diversity of movement performance all culminate to give you a workout that yields quick results. Continue to strive for improvement in the weights and the total number of rounds completed then welcome in the muscle building gains that will ensue. There are no more excuses for not having enough time to exercise and hit your weight lifting workout plan. Use this 20-minute weight lifting workout plan and get after it!

By Raphael Konforti CPT, MS

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Latest posts by Raphael Konforti (see all)

  • The Best 4 Day Workout Split For Greater Gains – Feb 6, 2017
  • The Best Lower Chest Workout For A Better Body – Aug 15, 2016
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The Ultimate 10-Minute Full-Body Workout

Not everyone can afford 30+ minutes to work out or hit the gym 3-5 times per week…

Are you short on time but want to increase your fitness level?

Or do you just find it difficult to create a workout habit due to a busy schedule?

A 10-minute full-body workout is a good way to do something good for yourself and experience health benefits at the same time.

Benefits of the 10-Minute Ultimate Workout:

  • Improves cardiorespiratory fitness
  • Activates all major muscle groups
  • Elevates your heart rate and helps burn more calories
  • Boosts brain function

How to do the workout

  • Do each exercise at a 50/10 interval (50 seconds intense effort, 10 seconds rest)
  • Repeat for 2 rounds total
  • Important: For best results keep the intensity high – give it all you’ve got and go as fast as you can while maintaining good form!

Beginners:

  • Do 30 seconds of exercise followed by 30 seconds rest
  • Choose the easier workout variations, suggested after each video

10-Minute Full-Body Workout Exercises

Burpees are the go-to exercise for a quick, intense workout.

Beginners modification: 4-Count Burpees

2. Skier Abs

Work your abs (including obliques!) while keeping the heart rate high through jumps!

Beginners modification: High Plank Leg Lifts

3. Touchdown Lunges

Touchdown Lunges will make your quads burn in a matter of seconds!

Beginners modification: Backward Lunges

4. Push-up Shoulder Taps

Works your upper body strength and balance.

Beginners modification: Knee Push-ups

5. 180 Jump Squats

Finish the round with another leg burner, the 180 Jump Squats.

Beginners modification: 180 Jumps

Useful tip:

If a lack of time is stopping you from creating a workout routine, a 10-minute workout will help you get rid of the mental “hurdle” of excuses. Why not try to squeeze in 2-4 short workouts per week? After only 2 weeks of workouts you could be hooked on the post-workout feeling and ready to consider making room for longer workout sessions in your schedule! 😉

Want more short workouts? Check these out:

  • 6-Minute Abs Workout
  • 7-Minute Energizer Workout
  • 7-Minute Total Body HIIT Workout
  • 12-Minute Jump Rope Calorie Burner

Are short workouts really effective?

Yes, short workouts, such as 7-Minute and 10-Minute workouts, can be considered a minimum effective dose of exercise. But the more active minutes you include in your day, the better you will feel, and the closer you can get to your fitness goals! Keep in mind that the results of your workouts will depend on many factors, including the workout frequency, intensity, and also your nutrition. For maximum results we recommended using a structured 12-week bodyweight training plan and keeping a food diary.

***

Workouts for quick results

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