As much as I love strength training days, sometimes a heavy session just isn’t in the cards, for one reason or another. This week, I had maxed out my deadlift (sumo) on Monday (for a 5 lb PR of 230!!). Needless to say, my whole body has been kind of tired since, so I decided to do a conditioning day yesterday, instead of my usual heavy bench day.
As much as I hate on steady-state, boring cardio, I really do love some circuit training and HIIT every once in a while. I put together this circuit workout, and I ended up loving it. I’ll definitely be repeating this one, and thought I should share it with all of you.
This workout consists of three separate sections: two circuits and a set of treadmill incline sprints. If you’re short on time, I would recommend cutting it down to the circuits only, as you’ll be able to complete these in about 20-25 minutes but still have an excellent workout. I was able to complete the entire workout in 45 minutes, including my dynamic warmup and rest time before the sprints.
The first circuit is more geared toward strength, and the second is more geared toward conditioning. By doing both, you’ll get a full body workout that will leave you sweaty and panting, I guarantee it!
Equipment you’ll need:
- 1 medium KB (I used 16 kg) – for single arm KB swings
- 1 heavier KB (I used 20 kg) – for two arm KB swings and KB split squats
- 1 medicine ball (I used 14 lb. You could easily sub in a dumbbell or other type of weight if you don’t have a med ball) – for weighted lunge jumps
- Battling Ropes (I’ll offer some other suggestions later if you don’t have access to these)
Perform the first circuit 3 times, with 10-15 seconds between each exercise. Rest one minute following each completion of the circuit. Rest two to three minutes before starting the second circuit, and complete that one in the same way (three times through, with 10-15 seconds of rest between exercises).
Again, the weights listed above are those that I used. Please adjust accordingly to match your fitness level — just remember to challenge yourself!
For the treadmill sprints, set the treadmill at an incline of 10%. Complete 10 sprints, 20 seconds each, with 40 seconds rest in between. For the 40 seconds rest, just rest your feet on the sides of the treadmill — true rest in between reps. I did these with my sprints at a speed of 8.5-8.3, but yours may be faster or slower than that.
If you don’t have access to battling ropes, substitute either cable wood choppers or medicine ball slams.
After completing this workout, I was gassed. It was a good reminder that I may be able to lift heavy weights, but there is always work to do. Let me know if you try it, and enjoy! And again, adjust the weights and treadmill specs to match your fitness level.
Readers: Do you enjoy traditional cardio or circuit training more? How often do you do circuit training? What’s the one exercise you love to hate in circuits work?