I love workout circuits! They’re fun, intense, and make for a good calorie burn. Circuits are also awesome because they can be done anywhere no matter how much space you have or what kind of equipment is available to you.
AND even better you can easily create your own workout circuit! No need to pull up an exercise video. Just plan and go. Creating your own circuit is easier than you think!
Here’s what I like to do:
- Figure out what kind of workout I’m doing: upper body, lower body, total body, or cardio
- Pick 4-5 exercises
- Set my timer for 20 minutes
- Grab my weights/resistance bands if needed and get started
- Work hard for 20 minutes taking breaks as needed
1. What Kind of Workout Am I doing?
Generally speaking, I prefer not to workout the same muscle groups two days in a row, and ideally I like to give my muscles a 72 hour break before working them again.
Therefore, I’d suggest setting up a workout schedule for the week. For example, if leg day is Monday then I’ll focus on arms on Tuesday.
2. Pick 4-5 exercises
Pick 4-5 exercises to rotate for your workout circuit. Ideally you want to be able to complete the circuit 4-6 times through in 20 minutes, so you don’t want to choose too many exercises.
Here are a list of exercises you can choose from for your workout based on muscle group/type of exercise:
- Bicep curls – dumbbells or resistance bands
- Tricep extensions – dumbbells or resistance bands
- Shoulder press – dumbbells or resistance bands
- Chest press – dumbbells or resistance bands
- Front/side lateral raises – dumbbells or resistance bands
- Bent over row – dumbbells or resistance bands
- Dumbbell flyes – dumbbells or resistance bands
- Upward row – dumbbells or resistance bands
- Pull ups – bodyweight or assisted (can also sub lat pull down machine if available)
- Push ups – bodyweight
- Lunge/walking lunge – dumbbells or bodyweight
- Squat – dumbbells or bodyweight
- Bulgarian split squat – dumbbells or bodyweight
- Side lunge – dumbbells or bodyweight
- Calf raises – dumbbells or bodyweight
- Squat walks – resistance bands (wrap around your thighs) or body weight
- Lunge/bicep curl – dumbbells or resistance bands
- Lunge/bent over row – dumbbells or resistance bands
- Squat/bicep burl – dumbbells or resistance bands
- Squat/shoulder press – dumbbells or resistance bands
- Push up/row
- Side plank
- Bicycle twists
- Jack knife sit ups
- Squat jumps
- Switch lunge jumps
- Mountain climbers
Building your workout circuit
Choose exercises that target the muscle groups you’re looking to work. If you want to do a total body workout then try adding in some combined exercises to maximize the number of muscles worked.
Here are some examples of my favorite workout circuits:
3. Set the timer for 20 mins
Now it’s your time to shine! Set the timer for 20 mins.
A 20 minute workout is perfect because it’s enough time to get a great burn, but not so long that you start wondering when your workout is going to be over or lose your intensity.
4. Grab your equipment
If you’re using equipment now is a good time to get set up. When using dumbbells I like to have a heavier and lighter set available. Usually 10 and 15 pounds…for now. I’m looking forward to bumping up to 15 and 20 pounds in the future!
5. Workout hard for 20 minutes
Your goal during this period of time is to complete 4-6 rounds/10 reps of each exercise of your custom workout circuit. Also during this time make sure to take breaks as you need them. You want to be able to complete each round with good form.
6. Be Proud!
Now it’s time to give yourself a pat on the back and be proud of the work you did! Finish off your workout with a high protein post workout snack (around 20 grams), and you’ll be good to go.
Until next time,
P.S. What’s your favorite workout circuit? Let us know on Facebook!
Photo credit: weights
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