Circuit Workout Routines – A Quick Start Guide

Finding the perfect workout routine is a lifelong quest that I know I’ve spent years on. I don’t have any problem doing strength training, in fact I love it but I don’t want to bulk up and I don’t want to lift as much as possible just coz I can. Circuit training is one of the less commonly talked about styles of working out but it’s been in use for years. I use this in my own workouts and I’ll show you why you should to.

What’s Circuit Training?

circuit-training-workoutCircuit training is a systematic way of using resistance training and cardiovascular exercise in combination to get the maximum amount of benefits. Military boot-camps and sports teams have been using circuits for decades to keep people in the best shape possible.

With circuit training you perform one exercise, move on to another, and then start it all over again once you’ve completed the final one. I’ll show you an example farther down, but the idea is fairly simple. Rather than performing one exercise, let’s say squats, and then resting before doing another set of squats, you will just move on to push ups.

Why Should You Use Circuits?

Circuit training really kicked me in the butt. The conditioning that you get from a regular circuit workout can’t be touched by any other kind of system. You will get a full body workout including your heart and lungs in the amount of time that you would normally spend warming up for a traditional workout.

If you are pressed for time, and I’m wiling to bet you are, you can’t do better than this. In the same way that yoga combines meditation with stretching, circuit training gives you the most strength and most endurance that you are capable of. A 30 minute workout, three times a week, can leave you plenty of time do anything else that you need to do. Pick up the kids, go grocery shopping, even take up a new hobby now that you’re saving all of this time!

How To Choose Your Exercises?

When you are preparing for a circuit training workout, you need to pick your exercises carefully. Don’t worry I am going to show you some sample ones. The basic idea is to pick exercises that work different muscle groups so that you don’t get tired too quickly. For example you can start with mountain climbers, then move on to push ups and wrap it up with squats. This isn’t as easy when you are dealing with bodyweight exercises, since many of them work multiple muscle groups. Should you move on to weight lifting, choosing your exercises carefully becomes more important to make sure that you don’t overwork yourself.

Sample Routines

Alright, here we go! Each of these workouts will have six exercises each. Perform each move for 15 seconds, rest for 15 seconds and then move on. Try to only rest for a minute or two before starting over. The shorter rest you have the better, but it is also important to give yourself time for your heart rate to come back down. Do this as many times as you can and you will start to see how quickly you can improve.

For the beginners:

  • Run In Place
  • Body-weight Squats
  • Jumping Jacks
  • Mountain Climbers
  • Shoulder Width Push Ups
  • Leg Lifts or Crunches

Once you get used to that try this one:

  • Lunges
  • High Knee Runs
  • Burpees
  • Mountain Climbers
  • Push Ups At Alternating Hand Widths
  • Jump Squats

Just in case you aren’t aware of how to do some of these:

  • Mountain Climbers: These are almost like running horizontal to the floor. Get down into a pushup position. While you hold your upper body still with your arms, alternate your legs back and forth, landing both feet on the ground at the same time.mountain-climber-workout
  • Burpees: Burpees are a standard by which many people measure their physical conditioning. To do this, stand up straight. Drop down into a squat and place the palms of your hands on the ground. Leap your feet back into a push up position. Do a push up and then jump back into the squat position and jump up into the air. These are incredibly difficult if you aren’t ready for them, so don’t give up if you can only do one the first time!burpee-workout
  • Leg Lifts: Lie down on your back with your legs out straight. Place your palms on the ground and lift your feet up towards the ceiling. Slowly lower them back down. You want to be slowly controlling the movement throughout the time you are performing it.leg-lifts-exercise

Moving On And Reaching Your Goals.

The great thing about this kind of workout routine is that it doesn’t have to end when you reach your goal weight. Strength, endurance, and cardiovascular health can all improve forever when you maintain a routine like this.

If you need to move on to something more intense, though, you can use these same principles with more difficult routine. Weight lifting works great for this too. The important thing is that you keep going. Stick with your routine and don’t give up, no matter what!