Circuit Training: A Step-By-Step Guide To Creating The Ultimate Workout
Do you ever feel that you’d have more luck trying to find a needle in a hay stack than the time to exercise?
I certainly know I have. With family, work, and social obligations constantly jockeying for our attention, finding the time to exercise can seem literally impossible. But, have no fear!
Today, I’m going to show you how to create your very own 20 minute full body workout that can be done at home, with no equipment, and be more effective than an hour at the gym. Sound too good to be true? It’s not! Keep reading and I’ll show you exactly how to do just that.
The Exercise Conundrum
It’s probably no surprise that a regular dose of exercise comes with many benefits. Besides the obvious benefit of helping you look better in that new pair of jeans, regular exercise has also been shown to help lower stress, boost mental health, improve overall mood, and lower the risk of developing certain diseases, such as heart disease, many types of cancers, and even type 2 diabetes. Cool, right?
With all these amazing benefits, why on earth are only 20% of us, or 1 in 5 americans, actually meeting the minimum daily recommended exercise requirements?
The top answer? Time. That’s right. It seems time is the biggest hurdle for most people when it comes to exercising. And although no one questions that our personal health should be a priority, it’s often one of the first things we let go of as we attempt to juggle the many pieces of our increasingly complex lives.
The HIIT Solution
Fortunately, as I stated at the start of this blog, there is a solution. A solution that requires no money, no gym memberships, no equipment, very little space, and only 20 minutes. Yes, in only 20 minutes, it is possible to get a great full body workout that can be more effective than an hour on the treadmill.
“How?”, you ask. Well, by taking advantage of HIIT principles. No, I did not mis-spell hit. HIIT is an acronym, which stands for High Intensity Interval Training, and is a form of training that alternates intervals of high intensity exercise with periods of recovery or rest.
By taking advantage of these principles, not only can you get a great full body workout in only 20 minutes, you also get a great workout that has been shown to boost your metabolism and burn fat well after the workout is completed.
Before we go on I want you to know that there is a lot more to be read on the topic of HIIT training than what I’m covering here. If you’d like more information on the topic I recommend you type HIIT workouts into your favorite search engine and read away.
How To Create Your Own 20 Minute Workout
Ok. So, here’s how it works.
Start by picking six different exercises. Want to focus on your upper body? Pick six different upper body exercises. Want to focus on your lower body? Pick six different lower body exercises. The workout I’ll show you later targets the whole body and so incorporates a little of both.
Now, figure out what order you want to perform the exercises in. This is important if you don’t want, let’s say, three leg exercises back to back to back. You may even want to write them down in the order you plan to do them in so you don’t forget what exercise comes next in the middle of your workout.
Keep The Goal In Mind
Our goal, remember, is a 20 minute workout. So, instead of focusing on the amount of reps we do, we’re going to focus on performing each exercise for a specific amount of time.
To make this workout last 20 minutes, we’re going to split the workout into two rounds or segments. The first round consists of having you perform each exercise for 90 seconds. This means that for 90 seconds you are going as hard as you can. I don’t care if you get 90 reps or 10 reps. You just have to make sure you’re going all out.
Assuming you take about ten seconds to transition to the next exercise, this first time through (round 1) should take you about ten minutes.
(90 seconds x 6 exercises = 9 minutes + about 1 minute for transitions = 10 minutes).
At this point you’re going to take a three minute break to recover from round one. And if you were going at a high intensity, you’ll need it. Walking is the preferred choice here but just make sure you’re doing something at a low intensity during this three minutes. Jogging in place or using a stationary bike are great options as well.
Round two, you’ll find, is the exact same as round one (same exercises in the same order) except now you’re performing the exercises for only 60 seconds each. If we’re again assuming you take about ten seconds to transition to the next exercise, round two should take you approximately 7 minutes.
(60 seconds x 6 exercises = 6 minutes + about 1 minute for transitions = 7 minutes).
Add rounds one and two together with your three minute recovery in the middle (10+3+7) and there you have it. Your 20 minute full body workout!
A Few More Things
Just to be clear, what is “high intensity” for one person, isn’t necessarily high intensity for another. Obviously, your current level of fitness will dictate what high intensity is for you. If you are new to exercising, be sure to check with your doctor to make sure this type of exercise is safe for you.
Additionally, I did not include a warm-up or cool down in the above example. Because you’ll be going at a high intensity a warm-up is especially important for avoiding injury.
The workout below is but one example out of hundreds that can be done in the comfort of your own home. By incorporating things like dumbbells, weighted bars, and exercise steps, the possibilities become almost endless.
If you’re new to exercise or have trouble coming up with ideas on your own, you can check out my book, The Ultimate Home Workout Book which I sale through Amazon. It’s filled with over 250 of my favorite exercises and exercise combinations to get you in shape fast all in the comfort of your own home. It’s a really great tool for beginners and experienced people alike.
Try This Simple Workout
As mentioned, there a about a million and one different combinations available to you when it comes to designing your own home workout. But to give you an idea of what a 20 minute full body home workout can look like, I picked six body-weight exercises for you to try (click on any of them for a YouTube demonstration). These include:
Simply run through the workout in the order shown above or change it up. Give it a try and let me know what you think below. Happy training!
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