This circuit workout includes cardio intervals along with weight training. Who is it for? To help get folk back on track after they’d let their fitness plans fall by the wayside, have become unfit and are eager to get started again.
Not only will circuit workout programs help challenge your fitness level, but this style of interval training will assist with burning off those unwanted calories.
If you feel any pain, feel ill or dizzy during this full body workout routine stop and seek your doctors advice. You should always receive a check up from your doctor before starting any exercise or eating plan.
WARM UP 5 MINS:
Starting at a moderate pace then gradually increase the pace slightly.
You should not be huffing and puffing (or out of breath) at any stage of the cardio intervals. If you are then either slow down or take a break.
Either with dumbbells or with your arms folded across your chest.
Stand with your legs about shoulder width apart. Have your arms either out in front of you or folded in front of your chest. Have your toes pointed slightly outwards.
Keep your chest out, your midsection firm and head facing frontwards. Now squat as if you were going to sit down, leaning into your heels, until your thighs are parallel to the floor.
If you’re new to squats, don’t squat down as far. I’m demonstrating the beginniners version here.
Now squeeze your butt and thighs and push through your heels to bring yourself up to starting position.
Do not lock your knees out when returning to standing position. Keep your knees soft and the movement flowing. Continue until you have completed the set.
b. Bicep Curls
Stand with your feet shoulder width apart, your back straight and your midsection firm.
With a dumbbell in each hand, have your arms at your sides and your palms facing inwards.
Keeping your elbows close to your sides, curl both your dumbbells upwards.
As you curl your dumbbells upwards rotate your dumbbells forwards so your palms are facing upward. Continue to raise your dumbbells towards your shoulders. Then lower them down again rotating the dumbbells so they are facing inwards again.
Then repeat to complete your set.
c. Cardio – moderate intensity for 3 mins
d. Dumbell Bench Press
With a dumbbell in each hand, start from a seated position holding the dumbbells at your waist. Carefully lie down on your back on a flat bench with your feet on the ground.
Place the dumbbells at the sides of your chest, with your arms bent and your palms facing forwards. Now push the dumbbells upwards so that your arms are extended. Then lower the dumbbells back down again slowly. And repeat.
***I have my legs bent and on the bench to support my lower back.
Note: if you’re using heavy weights – ask a training buddy to carefully pass the dumbbells to you while you’re lying down on the bench.
e. Fitball Leg Curl
Lie flat on your back with your arms by your sides and your legs straight and resting on top of the FitBall.
Keeping your midsection firm, lift your hips and butt off the floor by squeezing your glutes. Keeping your hips and glutes raised, slowly roll the FitBall in towards you using your hamstrings.
Roll the ball back, controlling the movement. Repeat ensuring you don’t let your hips drop until you’ve completed your set.
f. Cardio – moderate intensity for 3 mins
g. Bent Over Dumbbell Row – Palms In
Start with a dumbbell in each hand, have your feet shoulder width apart and knees bent. Bend over so your back is nearly parallel with the floor, keeping your abs firm and back straight throughout the exercise. Your arms should be extended downwards and your palms facing inwards.
Pull the dumbbells up towards the sides of your chest, keeping your arms close to your body. Then lower the dumbbells down again and repeat the exercise until you have completed your set.
If you’re new to this exercise, don’t bent over as far.
h. Standing Calf Raise on Step (I’m using the back of a bench for this one)
I’m using an Adjustable Weight Bench for this exercise. Standing at one end of the bench with my toes and the balls of my feet on the bench’s framework. I’ve got my midsection firm and chest out. I’ve raised the back of the bench to full height so I can hold onto it.
I raise my heels as high as possible. Then lower them down again so they virtually touch the floor, so I can feel a stretch in my calves. I repeat this to complete my set.
i. Cardio – moderate intensity for 3 mins
j. Tricep Dips
Sitting on a bench, or chair, making sure it’s stable, so it doesn’t slip from under you, have your legs extended out in front of you, knees slightly bent.
With your chest out and midsection firm, have your hands either side of your backside holding onto the bench – fingers facing frontwards.
Place your backside to the edge of the bench, lowering your body downwards, bending your elbows.
Push back up and lower yourself down again. Do this for the required amount of reps. At the end of the set raise yourself back up and onto the bench.
– If you suffer from wrist and shoulder issues avoid this exercise.
– If you’re using a chair you can always back the chair up against a wall – it must be stable to perform this exercise.
k. Superman – Beginners
Lying face down on the floor and have your arms extended out in front of you and your legs outstretched behind you. Raise your right arm and left leg at the same time. Pause then lower them down to the floor. Then raise your left arm and right leg, pause and lower them down to the floor. Continue to alternate until you’ve completed your set.
This exercise is an alternative to the more advanced “superman” exercises.
l. Cardio – moderate intensity for 3 mins
m. Dumbell Shoulder Press
Stand with your feet shoulder width apart, knees slightly bent and your midsection firm. With a dumbbell in each hand, bring them up to just above shoulder height.
Have your palms facing forward and elbows bent. Now push up, in a slight arc type motion, so that your dumbbells are at arms length above your head with your elbows only slightly bent. Now lower down slowly and repeat.
n. Super Crunch
Lie on your back on the floor with your knees bent and feet flat. Have your elbows out and your hands behind the base of your head.
Raise your head, shoulders and upper back and legs off the floor, contracting your abs, so that you are bringing your head towards your knees.
Then lower your upper body and legs back down again so that your feet are nearly touching the floor. Then repeat the exercise.
Do not drag your head and neck upwards with your hands. Focus on using your upper body to raise you up.
5 mins – take it easy
Then perform your stretches
How To Perform The Circuit Workout…
Beginners… Perform one set of each exercise using 12 repetitions at a weight that safely challenges you. Your muscles should be burning at the of each set. For your calves and your abs you should perform 15-20 reps.
Once you become accustomed to the circuit you can add / increase the weight of your dumbbells, reduce the reps to 8-10 for your upper body, and repeat the circuit – completing the circuit a total of two times.
For Advanced level you can complete the circuit a total of 3 times. At this point, if you feel you’re able, you can also raise the intensity of your cardio slightly.
This circuit can be performed up to 3 times per week. eg… Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Choose two other days per week to perform 30 min cardio sessions of your choice – eg Tuesday, or Thursday, or Saturday
© Mandy Gibbons
Virtual Fitness Trainer