I always try to find ways to challenge myself and I like to swap things up every now and then. If I find myself needing a break from my regular training program, I love to do some circuit training. I have found that this type of training both stimulates my muscle, and at the same time get my heart rate right up. That is why I also include this type of circuit workouts in my F.I.T. programs.
*sample training program from Phase 1. To get the full program, click here!
Why should you do circuit training?
Circuit workouts are intense as you perform one exercise after another with little, or no rest in between. The exercises usually target a range of different muscle groups in one workout as opposed to focusing on one or two muscle groups at a time. As the workout includes core, cardiovascular and resistance training, it improves power, strength and aerobic endurance. By keeping your heart rate up during the entire workout, you will shed fat and boost your results to get that lean and defined physique.
In a circuit workout, you should do the exercises directly after each other, with only a short transition break. Once you have completed all the exercises, you should include a slightly longer break before you start the next circuit. You can basically include most exercises in a circuit program. However, if you go to a gym you might find that you can’t use all of the equipment for the exercises you had in mind. Bodyweight exercises, such as push-ups, burpees, squat jumps, low lunge jumps, and so on, are great to include as these do not require any equipment, just a little floor space. If you use weights, make sure you don’t pick a weight that is too heavy. The aim is to keep your heart rate up, so ensure you have enough energy to get through the whole circuit. Also, it is important that you are able to maintain good form.
Not only will circuit training get you firm muscles, you will also melt the fat of your body, as you will be burning more calories. Another good thing with circuit training is that it is fun. Moving from one exercise to the next prevents you from getting bored.
Try this sample circuit from my Phase 1. It is a killer!!!
HIIT circuit home/gym workout – beginner & advanced
Equipment required: Medicine ball, kettlebell, timer (e.g. a Tabata app)
Warm-up: Spend 5-10 minutes warming up to ensure your body is prepared.
Workout instructions: Complete the following blocks of 2 exercises on the minute (complete the 2 exercises, then rest for the remainder of the 60 seconds, then complete the next two in the same format). The quicker you complete each set, the more rest you get before starting the next set. Once you have completed the 3 blocks of exercises, have a 1-minute break. Start over again in and repeat until you have completed 8 rounds in total.
- 10x medicine ball squat to throws
- 10x kettlebell sumo deadlifts high pulls
- 20x low lunge jumps (10 each leg)
- 10x push-ups
- 10x kettlebell swings
- 5x burpees
• Rest 1 minute
• Repeat x 8 sets (32 mins total including rest)
Make sure you cool down and stretch afterwards!
So, how did you go? Let me know in the comments below! I was sore for days.