Short on time but still want to feel the burn? That is exactly what this type of workout is
designed for. It is perfect for men and women who want to work out but might not always have the free time in their schedule to do a standard split of both weights and cardio.
So how does it work?
The idea is to create a circuit that gives your body a metabolic boost by combining intense effort over a short period of time. This helps create a boost to your system that keeps the metabolism high long after the workout is over. So you can actually skip cardio because your body is still working even while you are resting. The harder you work, the longer the recovery period is for your body (while it runs at a higher rate).
The best ways to create this metabolic heighten environment is by combining shorter rest periods, lifting heavy weights using exercises that incorporate a lot of muscle mass, and adding in an aerobic element. This can be done in a short, but intense workout that lasts 20-30 minutes. Ideally you start using only 2 circuits until you have done it a few times then you add the third circuit to the mix. You can do this workout as an addition to another program or by itself, but just no more than three times in a week.
Here are the templates for 2 circuits which will allow some variety. For each circuit the process is the same. You will need a clock with a second hand or a watch to keep the timing element for this routine. Each set starts on a new minute. So the minute starts and you crank out a set then rest for the remainder of the minute. You start the next set on the next minute. Each circuit has 9 sets so you have 9 minutes of work. Rest a full minute between sets. So a 2 circuit workout is 20 minutes and a 3 circuit workout is 30 minutes.
The weight should be challenging for 10 reps. On your 3rd set of an exercise make sure to do as many as you can even if it is more than 10 repetitions. You want to max it out.
- Barbell or Dumbbell Squats – 3 sets of 10 reps
- Kettlebell or Dumbbell Swings – 3 sets of 10 reps (use two arms to hold the bell)
- Single Arm Dumbbell Rows – 3 sets of 10 reps (one side then the other)
- Barbell or Sandbag Deadlifts – 3 sets of 10 reps
- Bench Press or Pushups – 3 sets of 10 reps (you can use a barbell or dumbbells)
- Barbell Rows – 3 sets of 10 reps
Each option utilizes compound movements to activate large groups of muscles which is key to the metabolic boosting process.
So the next time you want to try something different or maybe just don’t have a lot of time, give one of these circuits a try. They are very challenging and if you work hard it will pay off with muscle tone, endurance, and calorie burning.