Circuit training is a good way to break out of the workout doldrums. Circuit training program design is limited only by your imagination and a well-designed circuit can be a challenging, fun and effective way to exercise. Circuits can consist of body weight exercises, resistance training exercises, calisthenics or a combination of all three. I find circuits that mix these methods of training provide the most challenging and enjoyable training experience.
Try this circuit.
- Step-ups – 10 repetitions (holding dumbbells)
- Push-ups – 20 repetitions
- Pull-ups – 8 repetitions
- Lunges – 15 repetitions (body weight)
- 1-arm hang clean and press – 5 repetitions each arm
- Close-grip pull down – 15 repetitions
- Body-weight squats – 20 repetitions
Choose weights that are approximately 75% of what you would use if doing a standalone or super set workout. There’s no need to rush from station to station, taking 20-30 seconds in between exercises is the best way to get the most out of circuit training. In addition to using dumbbells for resistance you can wear a 20-pound weighted vest for an added conditioning element. This seven station circuit should take about 6-minutes to get through taking 3 minutes rest before embarking on the next round. Aim to complete three rounds of this circuit. If you’ve got the post-summer doldrums, mid-winter blues or are exhibiting any other signs of exercise boredom try some circuit training to break out of your rut.
I also enjoy implementing circuit training. I think they are very effective at conditioning. I usually assign 4 exercises that are performed without stopping. After completion of the 4th exercise, my clients usually are out of breath, even if the last exercise is a bicep curl. This format is especially effective conditioning tool for sports that require high intensity for a 15-30 second, like beach volleyball.