A Circuit Training Routine That Actually Makes Sense!

January 25, 2008

I used to really dislike circuit training routines!

All of the circuit training I have seen in the past involved jumping between 5-10 different machines, which really didn’t seem practical to me in a busy gym.

In the 80’s and early 90’s this was pushed extremely hard in a lot of the mainstream gyms. The selling point was that it took just 3 thirty minute sessions per week to get in amazing shape.

They even sold memberships where you were only allowed access to the gyms on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. Because of this, I guess circuit training left a bad taste in my mouth.

picture of red barbells and dumbbells
[Yeah…a break from the sexy looking babes…don’t worry, you will see plenty more in future posts]

Taking a 2nd Look at Circuit Training, I’ve Changed My Mind

I think there are A LOT of readers that would benefit tremendously from a well-planned circuit training routine. There are quite a few people who read this blog and don’t have a gym membership or fancy equipment at home.

Others have weights, but they don’t have a good treadmill or exercise bike. When I was 15 and started working out at home, this would have been the perfect workout for me.

A lot of you younger readers are in this position and have asked me about a good workout. This is a great one!

Burn a Bunch of Fat Without Cardio?

I have a hard time even typing that, because if you have been a regular reader at all you know I’m a huge fan of cardio. I still am, but I want to discuss an entirely different philosophy.

This is a COMPLETELY different approach to anything I’ve ever mentioned on this site when it comes to getting defined. The reason we are going to discuss this approach is because it works.

I will never hold back any information about approaches that work, even they clash with some of my basic philosophies.

Although I will still chose the cardio approach, this may work better for certain people.

A Fat Burning Routine That You Can Do With Weights?

The great thing about circuit training is that it is a way to burn fat while lifting. You aren’t lifting for mass or strength necessarily…you are lifting to create an HGH response, which in turn will burn a substantial amount of body fat.

Think of this as doing High Intensity Interval Training with weights. If done properly, you can easy keep your heartbeat between 140-160 beats per minute.

The great thing is that this type of workout works exceptionally well at burning calories long after the workout is over.

Some Circuit Training Basics

A circuit involves following several planned exercises performed back-to-back with as little rest as possible. It is best to average no longer than 15 seconds in between sets…30 would be the maximum amount of rest, but probably too much for maximum benefit.

Circuit training is not good for building a lot of mass, which is why I like it as a cardio alternative. Make no mistake about it, circuit training will kick your butt.

A Circuit Training Routine That Can Be Done With One Barbell

A reader of this blog named Rob came forwarded a great circuit training that can be performed with one barbell…and using the same weight for each exercise.

This is a simple, yet brilliant way to get the most out of a circuit training routine. If you don’t need to hop between equipment or change the weight, you will be able to perform one exercise after another back-to-back. This will make this brutally effective.

Thanks Rob!

Rob’s Barbell Circuit Training Routine

Grab barbell with a 10 on each side (65 lbs total), perform exercises with no rest in between (women can use lighter weights, dumbbells will work too):

10 Romanian Deadlifts
10 Bent Over Rows
10 Hang Cleans
10 Front Squats
10 Push Presses
10 Lunges, each leg, with barbell on back

Rest 2-3 minutes, repeat 3 times.

Try to work up to doing this 6-8 times in a workout, by the time you can do this 8 times your body will be looking very lean!

Some Great Points Rob Made Regarding Cardio

“I’m sure you know the principle of progressive overload. In order to progress in cardio exercise you must either increase speed or time.

At some point in increasing speed you will be working anaerobically (without oxygen). Now you can just workout longer, but who really wants to be on a treadmill for 2 hours.

The problem with cardio is people will plateau rather quickly and they won’t continue to see changes in their body. Then the usual scenario happens…they stop going to the gym. With resistance training there are numerous ways to progress workouts.”

“Here’s a resistance routine to try, it won’t build huge muscles, doesn’t use heavy weights, but I guarantee it will have you breathing harder than any traditional cardio work. This routine will keep your metabolic rate up for hours and hours.”

Note: If you want to dig deep into circuit training and explore the idea of getting lean without cardio, Craig Ballantyne has a massive program and ebook called Turbulence Training <==Click Here to Read My Interview With Craig.

Final Comment: I still believe that you can get ripped with cardio, but he has some great points as to why this might be a great alternative…or a way to supplement your cardio. You could take a break from cardio for part of the year and do this, substitute one to two cardio workouts with this circuit routine, alternate every other workout with cardio and this circuit, etc. You get the point. This is just another tool in your arsenal to getting ripped!

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{ 100 comments… read them below or add one }

Hulbs January 25, 2008 at 5:35 am

Nice one Rusty,

Always good to have another string in your bow as an alternative to cardio. I haven;t felt it yet but i’m sure at some point i will either get bored and or plateau with my cardio.

Thanks again.

Christian January 25, 2008 at 7:31 am

I’ve always been a huge fan of circuit training routines – although not necessarily using weights. There are loads of weird and wonderful routines for circuit training type conditioning over at the forums on rosstraining.com. Personally, I still perform standard cardio such as running and rowing, but supplementing it with circuit training has helped me no end!

On a side note, Tabata intervals are another awesome way to get similar results.

Tyler Durden January 25, 2008 at 7:32 am

This is what I’ve been doing for a while. push ups-chin ups- dips in a circuit. My problem with cardio is that it does not work my upper body. This way i can preserve muscle and get some definition and give a boost to my metabolism. In my opinion this is a surefire way to get ripped!

Raul January 25, 2008 at 8:33 am

Hi Rusty.Thanks for the Circuit Training Routine.It surely looks great and effective.I will now start to follow it along with some of your diet tips and track my progress.Good job mate.Take care.

Raul January 25, 2008 at 9:16 am

Just one question Rusty. The exercises in the circuit training are to be performed at a fast pace or slow pace? Because slow and less repetition is for toning and fast repetition builds muscle mass on the body.

Helder January 25, 2008 at 10:05 am

Very good post Rusty, what you’re talking about is also known as complexes, it’s a very good way to burn fat and muscle endurance. I’ve tried something very similar before, one was HIT training, full body workout, one set per body part and no rest between sets, at the end of the workout i was KO. Another thing i’ve tried was training in gironda´s way , 8×8 workout, only one exercise per body part done 8 sets of 8 reps with only 15 seconds rest between sets, it was brutal, and it gets you lean, you gain mass too, but quality mass, no bulking, no bloating, it’s lean muscle. Like i told you, i’m training at home right now, home and park and i’ve been trying some workouts from Craig Ballantyne, and their really hard , hard and effective.

kaB00M January 25, 2008 at 10:28 am

Isn’t this the type of training some actors (like B.Pitt) does to get fit?

John January 26, 2008 at 7:23 pm

Here is a variation published in the “Gold’s Gym Weight Training Book”, published 1978. It uses a “peripheral heart action” (P.H.A.) cirucit training system. Find the maximum amount of weight that allows you to do 15 reps of the following exercise you find most difficult (probably shoulder press or curls), then use that amount for the whole circuit. Start with 2 or 3 circuits, then work up to four. Then increase the weight gradually.

Do 15 reps each for 4 circuits without stopping–

Shoulder press
Upright rows
Curls
Bent-over rows
Squats
Dead Lifts

admin January 27, 2008 at 2:54 am

Hulbs,

Yeah…I still think I can get more out of my carido, to mix it up I’m going to throw this in for for fun.

Christian,

First of all…you have a great site buddy! When my site “grows up” I need to get a crisp blog theme like yours. Can I ask you who designed your theme? It is really, really crisp! I’ll put your link right here: http://www.justaguything.com/

Anyway…I have a post on the Tabata Protocol. I like the idea of it, but for some reason I don’t get great results unless I put in a bit more time than is recommended.

Tyler,

See…this is exactly why I started this site. To speak about various effective principles, and for people to customize their routines using some of these principles in ways that work for them. You took this idea in a way that suits your level of development and goals. Great job buddy!

Raul,

You can go at a somewhat rapid pace and not worry too much about mass building. The resistance isn’t enough to tax the individual muscle…it is more about exhausting the entire body by hitting a large amount of muscle groups…which creates an interval training cardio effect.

Helder,

I love the comments you add to my posts. I’m really lucky to have great readers and contributors. I really enjoy a lot of the things Vince taught. He was one of the few bodybuilding trainers that I learned a lot from. Also…Craig is a great role model. He is a slim good-looking guy who knows what he is talking about. His book is really solid.

KaBoom,

A lot of actors do this type of routine. You are correct! I believe Brad Pitt did do a type of circuit training for Fight Club. It didn’t work out too bad for him (although diet plays a HUGE role in getting ripped…bigger than most people realize).

John,

Very cool! Another great circuit training routine that can help the guy or girl who doesn’t have a gym membership and wants to build tone and lose fat at the same time. Thanks for that!

Rusty

PS: Sorry if this site has been up and down a bit over the past 2 weeks. I share a server with a few other really active bloggers. We have to upgrade to new servers due to the traffic we are getting. Not a bad problem to have, but a problem nonetheless!

bruno January 27, 2008 at 3:04 am

rusty i was wondering i have a body type where i gain muslxe easy I took off the last 2 weeks of lifting and look more toned then ever i was wondering if i actually need to lift to maintain tone cuz running just seems to tone me more and do i actually need to lift?

admin January 27, 2008 at 3:13 am

Bruno,

That is just like Matthew McConaughey. If I was you, I would just hit cardio for the most part. Get outside, look great, and meet hot women…doesn’t sound like a bad strategy to me!

Rusty

PS: Maybe you jut hit weights 1-2 a week…or just for a certain time during the year, etc.

CaRtz January 27, 2008 at 4:18 am

This is now my favorite article in your site. I’ve been waiting for a post for readers like me who doesn’t have a gym membership. Also, the timing of this post is great; I’ve been jumping rope for months now and I’m getting tired of doing the same exercise 5 days a week. I’ll be alternating jumping rope with circuit training from now on.

Thanks a million, Rusty! I’ll surely reach my goal in a few months.

admin January 27, 2008 at 4:30 am

Cartz,

I was excited about this as well, since so many people are in this same position. Heck, some people live out in the middle of nowhere and there probably isn’t a gym within 2-3 hours! Some people spend there entire summer at a log cabin, etc. I love having this option!

You will do well!

Rusty

Cory January 28, 2008 at 12:37 pm

Yeah I actually live in the middle of nowhere. Town of 800 people. No Gym for miles. Closest one I guess is in the next town like 20 miles away I guess. Now I went to Highschool with the football coach and if I went to talk to him I might be able to get some time in the weight room there but dont want to get into some issues with that. I workout at home, I have a “Crossbow” home gym, which works o.k. and a ex. bike. , these are doing ok for me right now. I am planing on getting some free weights and other misc. stuff as needed. and of course once the snow melts it will help, just being able to get outside some more. But with a small free weight set this could be really easy to add into my workout!

DownSouth January 28, 2008 at 5:26 pm

My school just started strength and conditioning last week and our new coaches set it up in a circuit. The weight was light as hell but the pace was brutal. The first day was all upper body moves, 2 sets each, repping out as hard and as fast as you can for 30 seconds. You get off the bench and the next two guys do theirs, then you start your second set, repeat, and go on to the next of the 5 exercises. There was about a minute rest between sets but it was still a real amaerobic workout, and that second set of 115 on the bench doesn’t feel so much like bitch weight as it did the first set lol. The leg day was even worse lol.

Ricky January 28, 2008 at 5:45 pm

That’s nothing compared to the workout Gerard Butler did for the movie 300. In preparation for their roles, the actors used this workout as a kind of graduation test, after actors had weight lifted and trained with tools such as medicine balls and Kettlebells. It’s daunting, and includes these weight-training moves:

25 pull-ups
50 deadlifts at 135 pounds
50 push-ups
50 box jumps with a 24-inch box
50 “floor wipers” (a core and shoulders exercise at 135 pounds)
50 “clean and press” at 36 pounds (a weight-lifting exercise)
25 more pull-ups — for a total of 300 reps
There’s no rest between movements and the score is based on total time, Twight says.

Rob January 28, 2008 at 7:30 pm

well-written article Rusty…thanks for the recognition. I just wanted to let people know the barbell complex in the article is just one example. There are endless combinations of exercises you can do with this routine. Lighten the weight and do 15 reps of each, use a heavier load and do 6 reps of each…be creative and keep it fun. My favorite way to do a complex is with a partner. I rest while he/she does the complex and then switch. I’m 215 and I hate doing any kind of long cardio and this complex (along with other things) has helped me keep my body fat under 8%.

Note: if anybody laughs at you for using light weights please challenge them to do this complex. I have made several guys throw up from variations of this complex.

gary January 28, 2008 at 10:53 pm

I am a starter to this type of training.I have been performing steady state cardio along with some weight lighting here and there.But i never got lean enough. i still wanna loose 20 pounds min. So can circuit training with weights be performed 5 days a week just as cardio training or should be performed only 3x week? Can i loose fat with this type of routine only? i really look forward to your response as i need it as soon as possible to get in shape before hitting australia’s beaches for vacation with friends. Take care.

admin January 28, 2008 at 11:58 pm

Cory,

Sounds like you are the perfect person to do this. Why don’t you do this type of routine, and follow it up with 15 minutes on the exercise bike? Then you can burn additional body fat.

DownSouth,

I bet a leg workout like that would be horrible! Football workouts are always brutal! Pretty tough sport for sure!

Ricky,

For me, the pull-ups would be the toughest part for sure! There is no way I could do 25 at the end of that brutal workout.

Rob,

“Thank you” for such a great comment that led to this post. This is the type of workout that will help a lot of people for sure!

Gary,

Why don’t you do three days of this type of workout with 2 days of cardio. I think that would be a great mix that would work really well for you. You guys are beginning to make me really, really jealous with all of this “Australia Beach Talk”! I’m in Dowtown Seattle right now…40 degrees and raining big time! I love my city, but I’m dreaming of a beach vacation soon!

Great comments guys(thanks again Rob)!

Rusty

Tee January 29, 2008 at 3:33 pm

I love this because I love lifting weights, lifting weights AND burning fat?? Sounds like a perfect plan to me. (although id still add some traditional cardio in to supplement.)

My only question is what is the difference between circuit training and weightlifing with explosive movements?

admin January 30, 2008 at 2:03 am

Tee,

The biggest difference between weight lifting and circuit training is that circuit training is all about little to no rest in between exercises. You are getting an insane fat burning workout with weights.

Traditional lifting you rest 2 minutes in between sets.

Rusty

David January 30, 2008 at 5:52 pm

Great post. Bruce Lee used circuit training in 1973, just before and throughout filming Enter The Dragon. And he was RIPPPPPED!

I was wondering could you do circuit training and strength training on the same day? And if so, would you do the circuit training after strength training in place of cardio?

Do you know what kind of circuit training footballers do?

Thanks

admin January 31, 2008 at 4:27 am

David,

If you are doing strength training and circuit training on the same day. Do a very brief low-volume strength training routine. Make no mistake about it, low volume strength training is very effective.

I would definitely do the circuit training after strength training. Tell me how it works for you.

Rusty

vicky February 5, 2008 at 10:09 am

Hi.I am totally new to strength training Rusty.I have never done it before.I am naturally healthy(nor lean and nor fat kind of a guy).But now after completing my college i really want to tone up my body.I really got inspired by your site and want to build an attractive looking body.I have already brought a pair of medium-weight dumbbells as i don’t have access to gym.So please Rusty i need you to suggest me which exercises i do for arms,legs,abs,shoulder,etc as i have never done it before for fast toning body. And can i perform strength training everyday? I am waiting to go for vacation at New zealand so i am really looking forward to your suggeestions.

admin February 5, 2008 at 10:39 am

vicky,

Do you have access to a treadmill, jump rope, or can you run outside? Just a few more details needed, then I can suggest a routine.

Rusty

vicky February 5, 2008 at 10:52 am

I have the opportunity to run in the nearby park Rusty.Also i have jump rope at my home too.i am really looking forward to it.Thanks.

admin February 5, 2008 at 11:45 pm

Vicky,

Read this jump rope workout.

Jumping Rope

Master jumping rope…it takes about 2 weeks…then here is a plan:

1) One minute of jumping rope at a high speed
2) As many push-ups as possible (triceps)
3) One minute of jump rope at a fast speed
4) Dumbbell curls (biceps)
5) One minute of jump rope at a high speed
6) Standing Overhead Dumbbell Presses (shoulders)
7) One Minute Jumping Rope
8 Bent Over Dumbbell Rows
9) One Minute of Jumping Rope
10) Dumbbell Lunges
Rest 60-120 seconds…
Repeat 3 times!

This will probably take 20-30 minutes and I guarantee that if done with enough intensity your heart will feel like it is going to jump out of your chest…your HGH response will be enormous (your natural fat burning hormone)…and you will get “Fight Club” ripped with the proper diet.

Feel free to mix up the order of the exercises if the sequence doesn’t feel right. Do this Mon, Wed, and Fri…run on Tues and Thurs. When time permits run on the occasional Sunday.

Hope that helps!

Rusty

vicky February 6, 2008 at 8:59 am

Thanks so much Rusty.I am really motivated by your comments. The workout sure looks brutal but i will give 100% towards it along with proper diet. One thing Rusty,is stretching important here and if yes then when? i m confused so.Thanks once again.

ahmad February 6, 2008 at 12:49 pm

I am a strong believer in that sort of training. Since I am a personal trainer, I have had access to some pretty top secret training techniques….but all in all circuit training using HIIT is the best.

Work Hard,
Ahmad Baari, C.P.T.
http://www.makingthebest.com

vicky February 8, 2008 at 9:31 am

Hey Rusty,i am really feeling the difference but as it is beginning ,i am feeling little bit sored.But i really enjoyed the workout.Thanks.One question,how much calories would i have burnt during my workout that i am following suggested by you because after 2 days only i am very much fond of it and don’t want to give up at all until i achieve my desired look.Thanks.Take care.Also is there any harm doing it everyday?Am i building muscle or losing it?

admin February 9, 2008 at 1:11 am

Vicky,

This is the exact type of training that a lot of Hollywood actors do to get lean and defined. You can build some muscle if you are untrained. A more experienced lifter would maintain muscle and just lose body fat. Daniel Craig did a circuit training routine to get ripped for James Bond. Jessica Biel and Jennifer Garner both do circuit training as well.

You will most likely put on a bit of muscle but get really lean. This will give you a great look. Keep at it, but don’t do it every day…5 days a week max…okay?

Have a good one,

Rusty

David February 9, 2008 at 8:53 am

Hey Rusty,

I made my own circuit training routine and have done it at every day for the last five days ( I work out 5 times a week). I do strength training first, which I reduced to on exercise per body part, doing 3 sets of 5 reps then on to the circuit.

Here is my circuit:
Over hand chin up
Press ups
Knee extensions
Lateral raise
Hammer curls
Burpees
Incline chest press
Tricep push down
Latt pull down
Burpees

I spend 30 second on each exercise doing as many reps as I can not exceeding 15-20 reps.

After three circuits I was exhausted! But by the fifth day I could do four and possibly a fifth!

My body looks freaking amazing! If I do say so myself. I really lean and the density of the muscles has improved so much in only 5 days!

I was wondering should you rest in between circuits (the intire routine) or start over again immediatly?

Is it ok to do the same circuit each time or should you alternate between 2 or 3 different circuits?

Would it be ok to do sprints (men want have great butts too) on the same day as circuit training? Before or after?

Sorry for all the questions, just curious lol.

Thanks.

admin February 10, 2008 at 1:04 pm

David,

Your circuit looks great. Make sure and rest 2-3 minutes between circuits. You can do the same circuit every time. Once you reach a sticking point, then switch the exercises up. Do sprints after this routine, but maybe just 3 times per week…not after every circuit workout. That is awesome you are getting great results!

Rusty

David February 11, 2008 at 8:58 am

Cool, thanks for the advice.

Sandy February 24, 2008 at 12:57 am

I need some advice, Rusty. Ive been working out pretty regularly the past 2 months. I really think I would like circuit training. Ive been doing a body part split routine (chest/tri one day, back/bis one day),etc. plus cardio 4 days per week. My goals for the moment are to lose body fat and build lean muscle. You think Id benefit from circuit training? I am able to workout 4-5 days per week max. If i do a circuit routine for 4 days per week, do i need additional cardio? Im trying to lose fat and about 10-15 pounds. I want to make sure Im working out enough. I dont want to go to the gym and waste time. Also can you continue to do circuit training even after several months? Thanks so much.

Sandy February 24, 2008 at 1:03 am

Also, should I want to see definition in my muscles. Should I do a circuit routine and also strength training and treat the circuits like cardio? Help!!!

admin February 24, 2008 at 1:21 pm

Sandy,

Why not do circuits twice a week and lifting twice a week followed by HIIT cardio.

Monday and Wednesday could be lifting followed by 20-30 minutes of intense cardio. Tuesday and Thursday could be circuit training only workouts…followed by low intensity steady state cardio for 20-30 minutes. If you feel like it, go for a run on Fri, Sat, or Sunday.

This way you won’t over-train, but you will burn calories like crazy while preserving and maybe gaining a bit of muscle.

An alternative? 4 days a week of lifting followed by 20 minutes of circuit training (in place of doing cardio).

Both will work, but the first recommendation will probably get you leaner without being so tough on your body.

Hope that helps,

Rusty

Sandy February 24, 2008 at 11:14 pm

Thanks Rusty. I like that first routine! Do you recommend that I do a upper/lower body split routine for the 2 days of lifting?

Sandy February 25, 2008 at 11:15 pm

What weight routine would you suggest for the 2 days of lifting? I am following a circuit routine (from the Abs Diet book) for my circuit training. It kicked my butt yesterday!

admin February 25, 2008 at 11:55 pm

Sandy,

Here is where my advice differs greatly from the “main stream” advice out there. If it is a bit too radical, then do a lower body/ upper body split.

Here is it…Don’t do resistance training for your legs at all! Divide your upper body into two groups and do a 2 day split for your upper body and core.

Why on earth would I give that advice? Well…I want you to blitz the heck out of cardio. If you work cardio as hard as I believe you should, your legs hips and butt will get extremely toned…along with the rest of your body.

I haven’t done a leg lift in years and now I finally have deep definition in my quads and separation between my quads and hamstrings. My butt looks better than ever as well (I kind of feel retarded for typing that…but it is true). You want to look great in jeans? Focus on hardcore cardio instead of squats and lunges. You will be way more athletic as well. I lost almost all athletic ability when I was lifting 405 for reps in squats. Now that I just run stairs and do sprint intervals, I’m faster than ever and have a high vertical leap again.

So back to your question…if I was you, I would do chest, back, and abs on day one…shoulders, biceps, and triceps on day two. I honestly think your legs will get enough work between your circuit training and cardio.

Hope that helps!

Rusty

Sandy February 26, 2008 at 11:59 pm

This makes perfect sense. Thanks! (: I appreciate your help as always. Yes, I want to look awesome in my jeans!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Bob Pelletier February 29, 2008 at 9:54 am

Circuit training may be the best of both worlds, combining weights and cardio. I’m a 55 year old guy and have stayed in great shape using a circuit routine in your basic cookie cutter gym. I start with 20 minutes on the stair master to get the heart rate up. Then it’s into the weight area. I chose three exercises (squats, flys and bench press for instance) and rotate between the three until I’ve completed three sets of 20 reps. Then I move to three different exercises and again do three sets of 20. One hour of that, three days a week is a perfect way to stay in really good shape. Of course you look a little weird moving around the gym like a madman while everyone else is sitting around, but it will give you GREAT results.
Bob

Jen March 2, 2008 at 9:41 am

Modified circuit for busy gym or one with inconvenient equipment placement:

I did CT for many years and it was the the most efficient workout ever. I looked amazing. People constantly asked me if I was a professional athlete. I went 4-5 days a week for 45-50 minutes. Then, work travel got in the way and … but, it took 3 years or so for the benefits to disappear.

I just started again after 8 years! My gym doesn’t have convenient equipment placement, so I have developed a modified routine that seems to be working.

-10 minutes on the bike
-10 minutes on machines
-10 minutes on the bike
-10 minutes on free weights
-5 minutes on obliques and cool-down

(no resting)

I’ve been doing this for a month and I’m amazed at my muscle memory from so long ago. I’m almost back up to my max on free weights and have another month, I’d say, on the machines, to be where I was years ago. Last time, I was very thin when I started and it was easy to look sculpted after 2 months. This time, I’m ‘normal’, so it feels like I’ve gained weight, actually, and I’m sure I have. I figure it will take 3 months to see my body fat come off and get back to ‘amazing’.

admin March 2, 2008 at 4:39 pm

Jen,

That routine looks great. I know exactly what you mean when you say that is hard to get a circuit training routine in most gyms. The idea of getting your heart rate up with the exercise bike and then hitting a few circuits is outstanding. I also like the idea that you use machines and free weights. Very solid comment and I’m sure it will give others ideas how they can formulate an effective circuit training routine.

Good stuff!

Rusty

Sandy March 2, 2008 at 11:28 pm

I have the same problem during busy gym times. I actually made my circuit routine work last week during a busy time. I had to change a few exercises but it still worked. I find its easier for me to do my circuit workouts on weekends. Our gym isnt as busy on Saturday and Sundays. (:

karie March 3, 2008 at 5:29 pm

how does this circuit look:
pushups
squat
bent over row or lat pull down
lunge
bicep curl
calf raise
tricep dips
plie’ squat
lateral raise
stiff legged dead lift
I would do 12 reps and repeat 3 times. I would finish it up with 20 min of cardio.

admin March 4, 2008 at 3:29 pm

Karie,

I get tired just looking at that workout! It should work well. As long as you are out of breath, sweating, and your skin feels hot….you are pushing hard enough for a serious HGH and metabolism boost.

Tell me how it works for you!

Rusty

Sandy March 6, 2008 at 11:29 pm

Rusty,
I am really loving this workout! I did 20 mins of HIIT today and it about killed me! I wasnt able to run any higher than 7.5mph for me faster intervals. You think thats okay for a start? I wanted to do the following HIIT:

Treadmill
5 min warmup jog
8 mph for 2 mins
4 mph walk for 3 mins
10 mph for 2 mins
4 mph walk to 3 mins

Repeat 2-3 times

I got up to 7.5 and couldnt go any faster. Any suggestions?
I also added in some incline walks (13 incline at 4.2 mph) Kicked my butt!

Sandy March 6, 2008 at 11:31 pm

I am still doing the circuit weight workout 2 days a week plus 2 days of strength training and then HIIT. I jog on other days.

admin March 7, 2008 at 12:44 am

Sandy,

I sometimes do HIIT where I do longer intervals like you are doing…two minutes is a long interval for the fast portion and it does work well.

An other days, I will do 30 second intervals at a much faster pace. Stick with those longer intervals most of the time, but throw in the shorter faster days every now and then…it will give you a different feeling (it is more of a muscle tightening workout when you do the faster short bursts of 30 seconds).

Hope that helps…you are doing fine, by the way!

Rusty

Sandy March 7, 2008 at 6:04 pm

I was having a hard time completing 2 mins so i will try the alternative on some days (shorter bursts). Thanks!

Sandy March 7, 2008 at 6:05 pm

How long should you do your HIIT? Is it supposed to limited to about 20-25 mins??? SOrry for all of the questions!

admin March 8, 2008 at 4:28 am

Sandy,

You can certainly go longer. If you do decide to do longer sessions just don’t do them year-round. I have done one hour HIIT sessions for 2-3 weeks in a row, if I’m at a fat loss plateau. Then I go back to 20-30 minute sessions once I reach my fat loss goals.

Hope that helps!

Rusty

Sandy March 8, 2008 at 4:40 am

Thanks!

Gary M. March 14, 2008 at 10:01 am

Rusty,

First of all I would like to say what an awesome site you have put together. It’s the spark I have been looking for. Everything that I have read is making perfect sense to me. Athletic, intense intervals, HGH flush, muscle tone, and the by product a sexy body. My question is have you ever used Olympic lifts or York barbell course #3? Most O lifters seem to have the type of athletic, lean tone look I think we are all after. York course is basicly a full body circuit training style O lift prgram that has left me gasping for air, soaked with sweat, and the feeling that I have just sprinted for the past 30 minutres or so. Since I ‘m about your age with a few aches and pains in my knees and ankles this course has been an excellent alternative to sprinting and the like. Let me know what you think and your advice is much appreciated.

Thanks,Gary

admin March 14, 2008 at 10:50 pm

Gary,

Olympic lifting is great as long as you are doing it under a calorie deficit. The guys that are in the mid to lighter weight classes aren’t bulky at all, they have great dense muscles.

You can get absolutely ripped with this type of workout. I really enjoy cardio, but this really is just as effective. The main point is that you are gasping for air, your skin feels hot, etc. You will experience the HGH flush along with a metabolism boost. People avoid this type of lifting because it is hard as hell.

Go for it!

Rusty

JERMONDO JONES March 26, 2008 at 8:40 pm

I’vw weight trained consistently for the past two years and i’ve gained about twenty pounds of muscle.I weigh right around 208 but now I want to work on getting more defined and losing fat and improving my problem areas,core,love handles,butt,and thighs. I know that thats pretty much a diet and cardio thing but I don’t want to sacrifice my mass. Any suggestions?

admin March 27, 2008 at 3:18 pm

Jermondo,

I visited your site. You have a great build…maybe just a slight bit of sharpening up, but not much. Your bio is funny as hell, by the way.

You obviously have the lifting part down. Just focus a bit harder on cardio. Here is a 20 minute routine you could add to the end of your workout.

High Intensity Interval Training

Rusty

Brad April 9, 2008 at 11:27 pm

Hey Rusty, great stuff as usual. I’ve been reading through all the circuit training questions and you’re answers and there is some great stuff in here.

As I’ve told you before I’m on my week off of intense cardio and strict dieting. I’m really only eating 500 calories more per day but its all from complex carbs and it feels like I’m eating a ton! I don’t like the way it’s making me look, soft and bloated. But I know it’s only temporary and it will rev up my metabolism again. This time off has been good for me though and I’m starting to feel re-energized. That said, I cannot wait until my next 6 week fat loss phase, those 6 weeks should get me to my ideal bodyfat of 6 percent, maybe even lower! I can’t wait, then I can just maintain and be completely satisfied with my appearance.

As far as circuit training goes, I plan on adding more of this in my next 6 weeks. Can I circuit train and then lift heavy the next day? I know that some of the same muscle groups would get worked two days in a row…. that is why I ask.
I guess I’d like to know how many times you think I could strength train and do circuit training in the same week. I would like to try intense circuit training 2-3 days per week and still lift

Brad April 9, 2008 at 11:27 pm

Hey Rusty, great stuff as usual. I’ve been reading through all the circuit training questions and you’re answers and there is some great stuff in here.

As I’ve told you before I’m on my week off of intense cardio and strict dieting. I’m really only eating 500 calories more per day but its all from complex carbs and it feels like I’m eating a ton! I don’t like the way it’s making me look, soft and bloated. But I know it’s only temporary and it will rev up my metabolism again. This time off has been good for me though and I’m starting to feel re-energized. That said, I cannot wait until my next 6 week fat loss phase, those 6 weeks should get me to my ideal bodyfat of 6 percent, maybe even lower! I can’t wait, then I can just maintain and be completely satisfied with my appearance.

As far as circuit training goes, I plan on adding more of this in my next 6 weeks. Can I circuit train and then lift heavy the next day? I know that some of the same muscle groups would get worked two days in a row…. that is why I ask.
I guess I’d like to know how many times you think I could strength train and do circuit training in the same week. I would like to try intense circuit training 2-3 days per week and still lift heavy 3-4 days a week. Any suggestions on how I might split that up? I love working out so I don’t mind the hard work, I just don’t want to overtrain, especially since I will be in a daily calorie deficit, not to mention all the rest of my cardio I will be doing. What do you think? Thanks as always!

admin April 11, 2008 at 1:05 am

Brad,

You should be fine lifting for strength and doing circuit training. Have you ever thought of doing it on the same day? Do a brief strength training session followed by a 20 minute circuit session. My lifting sessions only last 30 minutes these days. You would probably be able to do both and be in and out of the gym in an hour.

How about something like this?

Monday: Chest, Back, Abs…Circuit
Tuesday: Shoulders, Arms
Wednesday: Off
Thursday: Chest, Back, Abs
Friday: Shoulders, Arms…Circuit

You could do this a while until it got easy and then add an extended circuit training routine on Wednesday. After you adapted to that…you could add cardio after lifting on Tuesday and Thursday.

This isn’t set in stone, but something along these lines will insure that your body get rest days…you won’t over-train and you should make great progress.

Rusty

Brad April 12, 2008 at 11:35 am

Cool, I could definitely make that work. Thats cool how you included room to keep pushing it as time goes on and when I need to possibly break through a plataue or when things get to easy. Thanks for the response!
By the way, I just weighed myself this morning after my week off from strict dieting and HIIT, my lifting sessions were cut in half as well. I only gained 1.25 pounds. I was pleased with that, I wonder if I should have eaten a little more. Maybe that wasn’t enough to boost my metabolism the way I was hoping. I basicall ate 500 calories more then normal each day. I guess we will find out starting next week when I start my 2nd 6 weeks of intense fat loss.
Only 8-9 pounds till I reach my goal weight and bodyfat! Can’t wait, this has been fun so far.
The key will be to find how I can maintain that weight comfortably and just keep it there for good.
Thanks for all your help!

Come to think of it, I’m always telling you how my progress is going and asking a bunch of annoying, repetitive questions…..lol. How is everything going with you’re training? Hope all is well man, have a good weekend!

admin April 13, 2008 at 11:31 pm

Brad,

It sounds like the break was about right as far as calories go. I figure around a 2-4 pound weight gain. You were close. I’m guessing that what you did was fine.

How’s my training going? Thanks for asking…I’m headed to a week in Atlanta for a business trip. No gym and probably high calorie food. Once I get back I’m going to hit the gym harder than normal for 6-8 weeks. I like to get extra lean before the summer starts, so I don’t have to workout as hard the rest of the summer.

Have a great one!

Rusty

jermondo jones April 26, 2008 at 10:16 am

thanks for the tip rusty i’ll definitely give that a try

David May 6, 2008 at 8:08 am

Hey Rusty,

I have been doing circuit training now for a little over three months now. I have also been doing strength training shoulders and arms on Mon, Wed, Fri and chest and back Tue, Thurs with circuit training afterwards. Over the last few weeks I have started to feel my chest and back where starting to look too pumped. So I have stopped doing strength training for the chest and back and dropped wide grip pull ups, latt pull downs and decline press ups from my circuit training. I was wondering:

1) If you are doing circuit training 5 days a week, doing between 15-25 reps on each exercise for 3 sets and doing that 5 days in a row are you likely to cause the muscles to get bulkey and bigger because you are exhausting them?

2) If I did more circuits, like 4 or 5, would that prevent me from getting bulkey?

3) Do you think I should continue with the strength training for chest and back?

This is my current circuit:
Incline dumbell press
Leg raise
Lateral shoulder raise
Cable bicep curl
Knee raises (on vertiacl knee raise station)
Tricep pushdowns
Leg raise
Reverse curls
Millitary press
Leg raise

This is a little off the subject but my brother watched the movie ‘Never Back Down’ about a week ago and told me there was a guy in it that had a better physique than Brad Pitt in ‘Fight Club’. I Googled the movie and found the actor he was talking about, his name is Cam Gigandet. I did some research on what training he did for the movie it was 6 hours a day of various mixed martial arts, weights and cardio 6 days a week for 3 months. But then I saw the same actor in photos from a few years back and he looks the same! To me he has what I would think of as the Hollywood body. What would you think his workout might be? Clearly his body fat is very low but he must have done something to get the shape aswell.

Sorry for such a long comment. I have alot of these questions floating around in my head trying to figure things out but sometimes I need someone to bouce stuff off of. Thanks.

Matt May 6, 2008 at 3:45 pm

Hi rusty,

Great site!

Seems like a lot of people are incorporating this type of workout into their routines. However, I am just getting back into the swing of things and am looking more for a circuit that would serve as my primary workout, except for some cardio and jogging on the off days. Would this be effective, or are their other things I may need to consider?

One thought would be to start with a short chest and ab session, followed by this circuit. Any suggestions?

Thanks!

admin May 7, 2008 at 1:06 pm

David,

You can continue to strength train for back and chest, just cut the volume down if you don’t want to add mass. You can get good strength results off very few sets. Your circuit looks pretty intense. I’d probably cut that to 2-3 times a week and strength train 3 times per week. There are a lot of approaches that will get results…yours just looks a bit exhausting. I wouldn’t be overly obsessed with getting pumped up, just don’t “strive” for this effect. I can tell that you are going to get ripped because you look like you have a strong drive. I’ll lookup Cam and maybe do a post on the guy…thanks for the “heads up” on this actor!

Matt,

You can get great strength results off of a short lifting routine. To be honest, you could do 5-10 sets of chest one day then hit your circuit routine…the next time you could do 5-10 sets of back and hit your circuit routine. You would be in and out of the gym in less than an hour and get amazing results. Throw in some HIIT and steady cardio every other day and you are golden!

Rusty

enzo May 24, 2008 at 11:49 pm

hey rusty,

it is my first time to visit your site and i find it to be very interesting. i found your site because i was looking for a circuit or any workout that will give me the same result as CAM Gigandet of “Never back down”. I am a Filipino standing 6ft ang weighing 160lbs. Do you know his program? pls share it to me and to all of your readers. Thank you!!!!!

admin May 28, 2008 at 1:38 am

enzo,

I’ll do some deep research on the Cam’s workout. He does look great. I’ll do a post if I find enough valuable info on his workout.

Rusty

Giselle July 1, 2008 at 12:48 pm

Hi Rusty,

I just recently started followin your posts and I’ve incorporated circuit training into my routine in an effort to get lean. I’ve also started getting up at 6am in the morning so that I can work out more consistently. Here is the circuit I use:

10lbs on each end of barbell

10 Clean and Press
10 Deadlifts
10 Bent over rows
10 Squats
10 Lunges on each leg
10 Push ups
10 Jump Squats

by the time I finish the Squat jumps I can barely catch my breath. I can do this up to 5 times with 2 minutes in between. I do this 3 times a week. 2 times a week I do 50-60 minutes of steady state cardio. Then as a bonus on the weekends I might do a 1 hr kickboxing class or a 1.5hr Bikram Hot Yoga class (brutal!).

I’ve done this for one week so far, so I’m trying to stay consitent until I look the way I want to look. I want to get lean so bad, do you think this is a good program? On a scale of 1 to 10, 1 being poor I would say my diet is a 6.

Hassan July 1, 2008 at 6:42 pm

hey rusty, i do soccer 2 times a week sundays and thursdays from 7pm to 9.30pm, so it involves everything, i take them as my cardio days, and i do CT 2 times a week as well, can you tell me how i can do a strength routine in between? or should i forget the CT and just do strength? and in what order should i do a strength routine, as in what days would i work what body part out, can you give me a routine to follow for a strength one please as well. just need advice on how to sort everything out and fit it in one week, so i can consistently do this. thank you.

admin July 3, 2008 at 3:28 am

Giselle,

If you do this for 6-8 weeks you will get tremendous results. Try to tighten up your diet a bit the closer you get to your target weight. Your workout plan is more than enough to help you get spectacular results.

Hassan,

Here is a quick outline:

Sun: Soccer
Mon: Chest, Back, Abs
Tues: Off
Wednesday: Circuit Training
Thursday: Soccer
Friday: Shoulders, Triceps, Biceps
Sat: Off

This would work very well,

Rusty

Alan July 12, 2008 at 12:00 pm

Complexes are one of the most effective ways to burn fat.Alwyn Cosgrove has a couple of great articles on T nation on complexes, and along with robs version I find I am getting leaner by the day.Great site Rusty, always look forward to your entertaining and informative posts.

Chris July 14, 2008 at 1:27 am

As david mentioned earlier about Cam i was wondering about his ab workout as well be cause i do abs every day with about 30 seconds rest in between each set but i still barely get results and ive been doin this for a while and i barely have time to do cardio so i was wondering wat could i do to help improve my core results…

Hunt August 26, 2008 at 7:54 pm

Hey Rusty,
I was wondering how many times a week one should perform Rob’s Circuit Training routine. I plan on doing extra cardio after each circuit to get maximum results.

Andew September 4, 2008 at 2:14 am

Hey Rusty,

I really enjoyed this workout, it’s a very inventive way of taking all the benefits of circuit training while cutting out the downsides. I went ahead and linked it in one of my posts, check it out if you get a chance!

http://earnyourcheatday.wordpress.com/20…warrior-in-you/

I’ll keep on reading!
-Andrew

josh November 29, 2008 at 5:20 am

hi i am roughly 100 lbs over weight and my question is what would be a good circuit program to lean out and as long as i am not sore can i do it six days a week what would also be a good rep and set range to do thanks josh

del January 12, 2009 at 5:54 pm

Fantastic site. Will doing body weight circuit till failure not add mass and thereby spoil my model looks

Tom February 1, 2009 at 10:54 am

What about adding one major lifting movement before this for 5×5? i.e. 5×5 on the bench one day then this 3-5 times then a light jog? Or 5×5 squats then this 3-5 times then cardio? Any thoughts?

B Ryan March 25, 2009 at 9:54 am

The key to a good circuit routine is a good mix of push/pull exercises, alternating them. Or upper body and lower body exercises, alternating back and forth. Here’s an effective one.

1. Upright Dips (x 12 -15 reps or until failure, whichever comes first)
2. Split Squats or Regular Squats (x 12 -15 reps)
3. Military Press (x 12 -15 reps)
4. Hanging or Lying Leg raises or Knee ups(x 12 -15 reps or until failure, whichever comes first)
5. Push ups (x 12 -15 reps or until failure, whichever comes first)
6. Stiff Legged Deadlifts (x 12 -15 reps)
7. Seated or Lying French Curls (x 12 -15 reps)
8. Chin ups (x 12 -15 reps or until failure, whichever comes first)
9. Jump Squats NO WEIGHT! (x 12 -15 reps or until failure, whichever comes first)
10. Crunches or Burpees with a plank jack – some people don’t like crunches (x 12 -15 reps)

Rest as little as possible between sets performing 12-15 reps per set. Do two whole circuits.

Use a manageable amount of weight for exercises that call for it, but don’t go too heavy. You want to get a good workout, not destroy yourself.

ALWAYS do some warm up moves, side to side lunges with arm swings, jog in place, jumping jacks, then some dynamic stretching, then start the workout.

Cool down with some walk in places, then some quad, hammy calf, aand stretches for your upper body. This routine is a good change of pace to throw in as a cardio and weight supplement. Perform it 3x a week with a complete day of rest in between workouts.

Andy Moore April 21, 2009 at 5:44 pm

Hello,
I’m new to this web site, but reading all these comments it seems like a good place to get some good tips on moving my training along. I’ve been lifting weights for about 2 years with little improvement, due to me being a hard gainer, I find it hard to put on weight.
I was wondering if you could give me an all over body circuit training session for a week, I would be very grateful.
I’m 6ft tall and just under 12st, I want to put on a big more muscle and lose a couple of percentage of body fat, so for this I think that doing circuit training is the best for me? What do you recommend?

Regards Andy Moore

MAX May 2, 2009 at 8:05 pm

Hi, Im a circuit training instructor, and find themes help during circuit rounds. INTENSITY is a good theme to keep going through your whole routine. Whatever your routine, Keep it Strict. One good way to achieve this is to MAX out on Reps on 1st round. For 2nd and 3rd round try to BEAT the number of REPS. Obviously, do this with good form and control REMEMBER to BREATHE through REPS!

PS. Thanks for article.

josh November 24, 2009 at 8:56 am

i was wondering can you do circuits everyday plus jogging if your overweight or should you do them on different days and how much of each?

Jan Michael December 19, 2009 at 9:45 pm

Can I do Rob’s circuit alternately with the crazy 8 routine ? Wouldn’t Rob’s crt get me sore ? Thanks again Rusty !

Sunny March 30, 2010 at 9:45 am

hi! rusty the information which you provided is great help….I want a lriitle help….can you pls tell me the formula how to design a circuit training routine…ihave little idea of that but don’t no.its correcrt or not…I believe the order for circuit goes sumthing lyk first a warm up den full body exercise ike hindu pushs then then the upper part exercise then core and back at the end lower part…let me know if I am right…and can I use circuit with strenght trainig…m confuse….

Jon June 29, 2010 at 1:41 pm

an even better one that I used to help cut weight for wrestling this year was:

5 min. on 5 mph
5 min. on 6 mph
5 min. on 7 mph
5 min. on 8 mph
5 min. on 9 mph
5 min. on 10 mph

It was a very long and daunting process, but I was in great wrestling shape despite being dehydrated and starved.

Terrence Silver September 10, 2010 at 11:27 am

Great work Rusty,
I like cardio workouts for endurance. But I do not do weights at all because of my training as a boxer, i was always taught that weights make you stiff, slow and in-flexible which is not good for boxers.

But the heavy bag is a boxers way to build definition because it gives you resistance and it hardens your body. My normal workout in boxing was to shadow box for 3 rounds then jump rope for 3 rounds then sparring in the ring for maybe 6 3 minute rounds then we would do a medicine ball workout then proceed to push-ups, sit-ups and then wind down with a nice relaxing stretch. This used to be the routine that all boxers used. today more and more boxers are incorporating weights in their workouts.

Alex Allmert - Hardcore Natural Bodybuilding Tips October 10, 2010 at 4:03 am

@Terrence Silver

Who told you that weights will make you stiff? I’ve done weights and I’m so flexible you could fold me and put me in a box.

I have exchanged emails with a Ross Enemait (rosstraining.com), a guy who trains fighters and he disagrees with your point too.

You ought to open your mind instead of believing everything you are told.

-Alex Allmert

The Air Climber October 22, 2010 at 6:58 am

What’s causing childhood obesity?

Siddharth December 7, 2010 at 1:42 pm

Hi Rusty

I maintain 14 – 15 % of body fat , I know , I can get six packs but , Cannot maintain 500 calorie diet , I feel hungry all the time , this is my workout.

Day1:-

1 * 100 Hindu pushups
1 * 100 Hindu squats

Day2:-
warmup:-

5 Circuits of

Clean and jerk (pyramiding) 10 – 3 Reps
Bent – over – Rows (pyramiding) 10 – 3Reps
incline pushups till failure.

Day 3:-
Rest

Day 4:-

Heavy clean and jerk total 10 sets from 10 – 1 Reps(pyramiding)
strict milatary press 3 sets from 5 – 1 Reps
Heavy Bent – over – Rows total 10 sets 10 -1 Reps(pyramiding)

Day 5:-
Repeat Day 1:-

Day 6:-
Rest
And so on;

Hindu Pushups when done like this gives you both endurance and strength I can do it 50 at a streach and after that I reach to 100 by doing my reps with rest and pause fashion.

Clean and jerk is the best exercise ever ever known to human being , if you are dealing really heavy weights even 3 reps will make your heart come out of your mouth , I particularly lower my weights very slowly after the jerk , it gives you good loads of power to do strict presses overhead , lying whatever you feel like

I eat everything balanced diet (no not at-kin ) , I eat sanely , no fast foods , all homemade stuff , I like to be athletic and strong

I am 5′ , 8″ weigh around 165lbs and can push stricly 71K 2 reps overhead

Bent – over – Rowing is perfect movement to I substitute with dead lifts , personally dead lifts , I can dead lift 180K-200K anytime without any practice , I don’t feel anything , I feel deep – squats are better then deadlifts.

I walk 2 – 3 Km everyday..

Please Advice

– Siddharth

Howard - Energia Fitness December 8, 2010 at 10:43 am

Hi Rusty

I am a big fan of circuits especially using bodyweight for fat loss and conditioning. However as in your summary I think that they should be used in conjunction with traditional intense cardio for getting super lean.

@siddarth – Just a couple of tips – Try to do your workouts in a fasted state.
Add in some interval training or some steady state cardio after your intense weight sessions.
If this isn’t working then you need to look at the foods you are eating in your diet as you may be overeating certain food groups. Alternatively try fasting eat stop eat style (see rusty’s review of this product in the links in the footer.)

Cheers

H

Siddharth December 8, 2010 at 1:00 pm

Thanks Howard ! lately I was plaining to to do Eat – fast style , but , I wasn’t having enough courage , But now I will definately try

Thanks a lot for your Advice

– Siddharth

Mark's Fat Burning Food and Fitness Blog March 26, 2011 at 3:59 pm

Rusty,

I love weights circuits myself, one of the best ways to get a strong lactate response and associated HGH-Release for fat burning as well as good hypertrophy results.

Giant Sets are great, and Upper/Lower Alternation Whole Body Routines kick butt every time !;-)

Know this one:

Leg-Press/Chins/Deadlifts/Presses (or Dips)

A Killer!

Keep up the good work man, and thanks for same,

Mark

Dennis Blair Fort Collins Personal Trainer April 25, 2011 at 11:39 pm

All the exercises in your routine are compound movements. Compound movements burn a lot of calories by using multiple muscle groups instead of that isolation crap. Thanks for sharing!

William May 2, 2011 at 11:56 pm

don’t forget to drink plenty of water everyday. especially if you are doing alot of cardio and taking supplements or vitamins. plus it’s free!

Sagar May 25, 2011 at 2:47 am

Hi,

This workout really works.

In just two days I’ve lost half inch of my waist. My upper-body looks and feels stronger. I’m really hoping high on this workout to get into best shape ever.

However, I made slight changes:

10 Romanian Dead-lifts
10 Bent Over Rows
10 Hang Cleans (Replaced with Burpees, to include abdomen and chest workout)
10 Front Squats
10 Push Presses
10 Lunges, each leg, with barbell on back (Using Dumbbells for better balance).

3 circuits with 3 minutes rest. I’m determined to workout six days a week, Sunday rest :). After every week I’ll try to increase 1 circuit.

Sagar.

Mark's Fat Burning Food and Fitness Blog May 31, 2011 at 12:32 pm

Rusty,

great post!

Weights Circuits are absolutely awesome for fat burning and kick butt in a major way !;-)

If you can handle the nausea …

There’s just one thing I’d personally be extra careful with, and that’s workout design, especially exercise order.

I could (and probably will) write a whole post just on this subject alone, but honestly the most important thing here is probably exercise selection and order.

In my experience of coaching elite athletes (and in my training/education) I have found very clear evidence that some exercises are not made for high reps/high lactate conditions, such as can be found in Circuit routines like the one above.

Examples are Front Squats and Cleans.

This is actually the main reason why systems like Cross Fit have unreasonably high levels of injuries: simply incorrect program design!

Because the main premise behind Cross Fit for example, or the routine you discussed here, is sound: high Volume, High lactic Acid workouts do the job.

Only thing: it’s really advisable to use safe exercises for these types of circuits, for sure!

Have Fun,

Mark

Suresh July 27, 2011 at 7:34 am

For long I had concentrated just on strength training (I used to do it 3-4 times a week) but though it helped me gain some muscles I don’t think it made any difference to my abdominal area. For the last couple of months now, I have been doing cardio twice in a week for about 30 min and have also reduced my intake of carbohydrates quite drastically. The difference is considerable, have lost around 4 kgs in the last 2 months.

James August 24, 2011 at 8:27 am

My current routine is Met Con circuit performed Mon, Wed, Fri
Strength 5×5 squats, pullups and deadlifts Thursday
Play football (soccer) on Tuesday

Circuit:-

35kg Squat – 16 reps
TRX Row – 16 reps
8KG Dumbell Squat Jump – 16 reps
Push-ups – 16 reps
3 Mins 85% MHR Punch Bag

Perform 4 total rounds
45 secs rest between rounds

Jason - Fitness Workouts September 4, 2011 at 3:01 pm

I love barbell complexes. I get all my clients to do them at some point in their training program.

I did a post myself with a bunch of different combinations and a few videos. It will give you a few more ideas. See how fun and versatile they are…

http://fitnessdoctrine.com/work-out-routines/barbell-workout/

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