I used to think I was in outstanding shape. I can go into any gym and lift impressive weights for my size and I look like a Ninja Master on the treadmill. I can run a few miles in a decent period of time, I don’t have any noticeable body fat, etc. That was until I explored the world of bodyweight circuits. My 20+ years of consistent lifting and intense cardio, have not prepared me at all for the intense torture called Bodyweight Circuits.
[This is the exact workout I have been doing in my apartment 3 times per week. I thought this would be a piece of cake...heck it looks like the type of training I did in Junior High!]
No Wonder Why Craig Ballantyne is Ripped!
“Yes Craig…I am humbled”. I thought I would try one of your intermediate level circuits and I figured it would be a breeze. I mean…I am a veteran gym rat who has experimented with every tortuous routine know to man. How on earth could a 15-20 minute routine done in my apartment with no equipment kick my butt?
Still Breathing Hard 10 Minutes Later…
This was just after 3 of these bodyweight circuits. Craig mentions on the video to add in 15 minutes of running on the treadmill if you want an even better workout. I still haven’t had the guts to go downstairs to my apartment gym and hit the treadmill after this brutal workout.
“The Crazy 8 Body Weight Circuit”
I live in Downtown Seattle in a tiny studio apartment. I love this workout, because it just takes 20-30 minutes and I can do it as soon as I get home from work right in my apartment with zero equipment.
- 60 Jumping Jacks: Done as fast as possible, but make sure you do full jumping jacks.
- 15-20 Spiderman Pushups: I’m just doing normal pushups until they become too easy. Typically it is a breeze for me to do 40+ pushups, but it is much tougher when you do these with zero rest in between jumping jacks.
- Walking Lunges: I take 20 steps total. This is the easiest part of the workout in my opinion.
- Spiderman Climb: I do a total of 20 of these (10 per side) I really feel these in my abs and obliques.
- Wall Squat: Do for 45-60 seconds. This hurts! Don’t rest your hands upon your legs, since it makes it easier.
- Planks: Do for 60 seconds. Tough after doing all these other exercises without rest.
- 5 Burpees: Make sure and do a full pushup at the bottom and explode as high as pssible at the top into a jump. I’m still kind of uncoordinated with these…probably because I’m “smoked” at this point!
- High Knees: Done as fast as possible. Do 50 total. I just count when my right leg hits the ground for 25. It is hard to count both legs for 50 since you are going fast. You will be dying about 1/2 way through.
Notes: Each exercise is done back-to-back with zero rest in between. You will want to rest, but immediately hit the next exercise. After this 8 exercise circuit is done, rest exactly 60 seconds. I usually run over to the microwave and set the timer. Those 60 seconds will feel like 15-20 seconds. Do this circuit 1 more time. Don’t add in the 3rd one until you are ready.
I Felt Like a Chain-Smoker After My 2nd Circuit!
I simply was not in good enough shape to complete the 3rd circuit my first 2 times doing this routine. I was breathing hard and my body was zapped. My skin was hot to the touch. These are all great signs of a great interval workout, but I just couldn’t push myself to do this circuit a 3rd time. Again…I have pride when it comes to being fit. I can max out a treadmill for 60 seconds followed by 30 seconds of walking and continue this pace for 15-20 minutes. This is after lifting heavy weights. That being said, these body weight circuits are a humbling deal.
My Goal is to Work to an Advanced Level
This “Crazy 8 Body Weight Circuit” is one of Craig Ballantyne’s Intermediate level routines. I am going to begin with this one and then work my way through the other body weight programs in Craig’s Deluxe Edition Turbulence Training Course. This course is a little more pricey than his Basic Course, but it focuses on bodyweight training. It is the most extensive and proven body weight course on the market.
I Have Not Given Up on Weight Training!
These next two months I am focusing 100% on bodyweight training, but this is so I can develop this skill to a high level. I have 2 reasons why I want to master getting ripped with body weight exercises.
- I want to be able to give solid advice for people who do not have access to a gym.
- My goal is to travel the world with my girlfriend and I need to be able to workout and stay lean no matter what environment I’m in.
I still believe you will develop a higher level of muscle tone if you incorporate high tension lifting into your routine. A mix of body weight and strength training along with HIIT is what will give you an amazing physique. I still will advise most people to include lifting at least part of the week along with HIIT. Younger guys especially need 5+ years “under the bar” to develop a high degree of muscle definition and muscle density.
If You Are Skeptical About Bodyweight Circuits
I dare you to try this routine! Do exactly what Craig mentions in the video and don’t extend the rest periods. I was pretty skeptical myself, especially since I am leaner than most of the guys pictured in the testimonials on his sales page. I really thought this would be a “poor man’s” version of HIIT on a treadmill, but this certainly isn’t the case. What is cool about this particular circuit is how hard it works the entire abdominal region.
The Belly Off Body Weight 500 Workout
Craig has a page full of free videos. The workout below is called The Belly Off Body Weight 500 Workout (click the link and it opens up a page of videos…click the one with this description). This isn’t suppose to be done every day. It is done as a challenge to gauge how conditioned you are. I’m going to give this a shot once every other week.
All Excuses for Not Getting in Great Shape…Gone!
I’m a pretty big fan of Craig because he basically has mastered a methodology for anyone to get in great shape regardless of time constraints or location. If someone has a 10×10 space and discipline, they can get in outstanding shape.
Note: I’m sure most of the regular readers have read my 2 part interview with Craig Ballantyne, but in case you missed it, here it is… Turbulence Training – The Most Efficient Fat Loss Workout? One last thing…if you give the “Crazy 8 Body Weight Circuit” a shot, please tell me how it goes for you. I bet you will be pleasantly surprised at how effective this brief workout is in jacking up your metabolism!