Share This Article
So you’re ready to ditch the elliptical for a fat burning, metabolism boosting, dare we say soul-crushing circuit training regimen.
We don’t blame you. As we covered in our last post, circuit training is a great way to cram a full-body workout guaranteed to send your heart rate through the roof while shredding your muscles. Oh, and it also takes about half the time of traditional workouts. We’re big fans if you couldn’t tell.
Circuit training is simple. There are three rules you must follow. The first is basically no rest between exercises, only between “circuits.” The next rule: give it your all. Circuit training is all about intensity. The more effort you put in, the better your results. The last rule: build your circuit training around YOU. Modify your exercises to match your age, skill level, and industry history. While you want to be true to rule number two, you also don’t want to hurt yourself.
Getting started can sometimes be overwhelming, so we put together a simple guide to help you get started.
STEP 1: SET YOUR TIME LIMIT
Think of circuit training as a set number of “stations” that you repeat over and over until your time runs out (or in our case, until your muscles scream for mercy). Knowing how much time you have helps determine how many circuits you’ll need to complete and also how hard you’re going to have to work to get there. Pro tip: the shorter your workout, the harder you’re going to have to work to get the results you want. So set your time. We recommend anywhere from 10-30 minutes. For example, five stations at one minute apiece repeated for six circuits will add up to a 30-minute workout.
STEP 2: PICK YOUR POISON
Now it’s time to pick your individual exercises. You’re going to want to mix it up here to get a full body workout. There is no “Leg Day” in circuit training. Choose exercises according to the equipment you have handy.
Choose an Upper Body Workout
- Shoulder Presses
- Push Ups
- Triceps Dips
- Dumbbell Curls
Choose a Lower Body Workout
- Walking Lunges
- Sumo Squats
- Overhead Lunges
Add a Compound Movement
- Mountain Climbers
- Thrusters (Not for the faint of heart)
- Jumping Lunges
Mix in a Sprint
- Jump Rope
STEP 3: DON’T FORGET TO REST
After you’re done, rest for one minute. After all you’ve earned it. After that minute is up, repeat your circuit until you reach your time limit.
If you want to increase your results, simply dial up your intensity or shorten your workout time. There are also many online resources available that offer incredible workouts. Several CrossFit gyms post their daily workouts (WODs) online. We also highly recommend looking into circuit training at your local gym or joining a CrossFit gym if you’re looking for more structure, some friendly competition, or motivation from a personal trainer.