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Top 5 Circuit Workouts To Try

Top 5 Circuit Workouts To Try

1. Barbell Complex

The barbell complex is the ultimate full body blitz. It can be done as a main set in a workout or as a fat torching finisher. Take a barbell and load it up with something pretty light- you can adjust after the first set, obviously you will need to be able to perform 10 military presses with the weight- then do the following without stopping or setting down the bar:

  • 10 Hang Cleans
  • 10 Military Press
  • 10 Front Squats
  • 10 Deadlifts
  • 10 Bent Over Rows

circuit workout

60 seconds rest and repeat 5-10 times depending on ability and goals.

2. Tabata

This is a form of HIIT cardio done in rounds on a single machine such as a row machine, treadmill, bike or even using a heavy bag. Tabatas are fantastic to utilize when you are short on time and want to get a great cardio workout in.

Perform the exercise at absolute max for 30 seconds and then rest for 10 seconds. Repeat this for 8 rounds. I suggest using an interval timer app on your phone so that you are alerted when to rest/work and are not distracted by looking at the seconds ticking away.

3. Cardio Acceleration

Cardio acceleration is another time saving method that also increases the intensity of any workout. It is a very simple concept, you take your usual weight lifting session and instead of taking rest periods between sets you perform 60 seconds of cardio at close to max effort. For example perform Barbell Bench press 5×15 reps and when you put the bar back on the rack immediately get up and perform 60 seconds of step ups on the bench, then back onto the bench for your second set. 

circuit workout

You can perform any type of cardio which makes it easy to do without losing your place even in a crowded gym. The only guideline is to focus on a different muscle group than you are working with weights. Examples of some cardio you can use are; bench step ups, box jumps, jump rope, burpees, jumping jacks, walking lunges, kettlebell swings and running on the spot.

4. Bodyweight Giant Sets

The most effective show of strength is being able to manipulate your own bodyweight. A huge bodybuilder may be able to push heavy weight but if they cannot perform a pull up with their bodyweight their strength to weight ratio is pretty poor. 

Try this circuit next time you feel like seeing how strong you really are:

  • Pull ups to failure
  • Push-ups to failure
  • Bodyweight squats 50 reps
  • Inverted Rows to failure
  • Bodyweight Skulls 15 reps
  • Walking Lunges 100m

Complete 1-4 sets

5. Super Drop Set Circuits

These are intense – pick two antagonistic exercises i.e. dumbbell chest press and double arm dumbbell row. Select two sets of dumbbells for each exercise, one set you can complete around 8-10 reps with and one set you can perform much more reps with. 

Perform dumbbell chest press for 8-10 reps, immediately grab the lighter dumbbells and go to failure with them, they go straight into the same with the dumbbell rows. 

Perform 5 sets of this and then pick another two antagonistic exercises. 3-4 over all sets should give you a great workout.

Example workout:

  • Dumbbell Chest press/Dumbbell Rows – 5 sets
  • Bicep curls/Tricep Pushdowns – 5 sets
  • Leg Extensions/ Leg Curls – 5 sets
  • Dumbbell Deadlifts/ Dumbbell Pullovers – 5 sets

Kevin Dickson

Kevin Dickson

Writer and expert

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