Last week I talked about the use of supersets in your training. This week let’s take it a step further and get our heads around circuits.
Firstly, the circuits I’m talking about aren’t the circuits of the eighties when you sat around in a small dingy room that was totally overcrowded with all that shitty hydraulic strength equipment. They were the bad version of circuits.
Instead the circuits that kick serious butt are much simpler and you can do them at home, the gym, in the park or in a hotel room. They are simply the combination of a number of exercises, done one after the other, and give you the most well rounded and thorough workout imaginable.
They work so well because they cover so many bases at the one time. You can work your upper body, leg and core strength in the one circuit whilst also getting a fantastic cardiovascular workout.
The secret to getting them right is choosing the correct exercises (more on that in a sec), moving from one exercise to the next with minimal break to maintain your intensity and keep your heart rate up, and to combine exercises that target different movements and muscles.
Do a few weeks of intense circuits and you can expect to trim down, gain fitness and feel great due to increased energy levels.
Here are a few example circuits to get you started. Do between 8-12 reps of each exercise for between three to six sets. If the exercise is a holding movement then hold for between fifteen and thirty seconds. Remember you’re going from exercise A, straight to exercise B, then to exercise C and so on. Once you’ve completed the full circuit you start back at the beginning and go around again.
Home (or hotel room) Circuit
Push-ups > Squats > Sit-ups > Skip (x50) > Water Bottle Lateral Raise > Lunges (on each leg) > Prone Bridge > Step-ups (each leg)
Lat Pulldown > Dumbbell Shoulder Press > Medicine Ball Sit-ups > Rower 300m > Swiss Ball Squats > Swiss Ball Hamstring Curls > Medicine ball torso rotations > Bike 1km
Park Circuit (using a bench)
Step-ups > Dips > 30m sprint > Lying Leg Cycles > One leg squat (with back leg on bench) > Incline push-ups > 200m jog > Side Bridges (each side)