15 Free Circuit Training Routines: Try These Fast Workouts Anywhere!

Conservatively speaking, this is is the greatest circuit training resource in the history of the internet (probably).

I mean come on, it has dinosaurs in it.

I’ll explain the benefits below, but if you’re just looking for routines to follow, click each below to take you to that workout:

Warm Up Circuit
Beginner Bodyweight Circuit
Advanced Bodyweight Circuit
Playground Workout Circuit
Kettlebell Workout Circuit
Beginner Gym Circuit
Hotel Workout Circuit
The Batman Workout Circuit
The Lord of the Rings Workout Circuit
The 300 Workout Circuit
The Wolverine Workout Circuit
Complete List of Circuit Training Exercises

If you’re hoping circuit training will maximize your results in a minimum amount of time, one of the 15 circuits above will do the trick!

What’s that, you say?

Your life is crazy busy and you don’t have a lot of time to work out? You’re not alone. Our community is filled with busy parents, people who travel frequently for work, and others who just don’t have a lot of time.

Which is why we build custom workout programs for customers in our 1-on-1 Online Coaching Program. Your Nerd Fitness Coach will get to know you, your goals, and your lifestyle, and develop a workout plan that’s specific to your hectic schedule and life.

Click below to jump on a free call with our team to learn how our coaches can help you get results and level up your life:

What is circuit training?

 

use circuit training to get in shape like this lego foxThe “circuit” in circuit training comes from the fact that you do a sequence of exercises back to back to back, and then you repeat the sequence.

And then again. You cycle through the planned sequence of exercises, or circuit, multiple times.

That’s circuit training.

Generally you hit each major muscle group during one full circuit. You may do lower body for one exercise. Then upper body the next.

You’ll find all sorts of difference circuit training sequences. Here’s some things most will have in common:

Several different exercises. A normal circuit will have five to ten different movements per circuit. You’ll often hear these referred to as “stations.” Overhead press station, squat station, etc.
Little to no rest in between. The goal of circuit training is to keep your heart rate up. Ideally, if you’re physically able, you go from one exercise to another without stopping. Maybe you rest after the whole circuit. Maybe.
Rinse and repeat. Generally you’ll run through your circuit a few times. Three rounds is common.

Make sense? The point here is to work different parts of your body with different exercises, and then while those parts are recovering, you’re working on your other movements! This helps build cardiovascular health, while also improving muscular endurance and strength. Plus you’ll burn calories!

As we lay out in our article, Cardio vs Interval Training vs. Weight Training, research supports that doing strength training circuits is great for weight loss and overall health. More importantly, for somebody with limited time, doing a strength training circuit is more effective at building strength and burning fat than an equivalent amount of cardio.

In other words, if you are trying to lose weight, you should be doing circuit training.

Our Beginner Bodyweight Circuit would be a great place to begin, and you can download a worksheet to help you get started right here:

Grab Your Beginner Bodyweight Routine Worksheet. No Gym Required!
Complete this workout at home, no equipment required
Avoid the common mistakes everybody makes when doing bodyweight exercises
Learn how to finally get your first pull-up

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Why Should I do circuit training?

 

doing exercises like pull-ups are great in circuit training

Generally, you’ll hear exercise divided into strength training or aerobic exercise (cardio).

What’s the difference, you wonder?

Strength training. Strength training is also referred to as anaerobic exercise, which would be a short burst of energy for movement. Think of a push up or pull up. These exercises help build and tone muscle.
Aerobic Exercise. “Aerobic” means “needs oxygen.” Your heart rate increases to get oxygen where your body needs it, thus the word “cardio.” Running, biking, or jumping jacks would be examples of aerobic exercise.

The thing about a circuit is, you actually do both categories. Presses and lunges fall into strength training. Jumping jacks are cardio. And since you aren’t stopping much in between stations, you’ll need more oxygen, and voila. Even more cardio.

With circuit training, you build muscle and burn fat WHILE building stamina.

As Michael Scott would say, “that’s a win, win win.”

circuit training is a win win win

There’s some debate on what kind of exercise is better for weight loss: aerobic or anaerobic.

My thoughts? If you’re limited on time and only can pick one, I would pick strength training: when you strength train, you break your muscles down, and your body needs to work extra hard over the next 24-48 hours to rebuild those muscles (with increased calories burned).

Don’t overthink this though, we can cover both with a circuit.

Before and after your circuit training: Warm up and stretch

circuit training is awesome doing exercises like this dip

No matter which circuit you pick, I want you to start with one important thing:

Warm up!

I cover why to warm up in an article found right here. It doesn’t have to be much though, give it about five minutes to get your muscles active and your heart rate up. This will help you do exercises properly and help prevent injury. You can run in place, do air punches and kicks, or some jumping jacks.

Here is NF Senior Coach Staci (you might know her incredibly story) showing you many beginner options you can use to warm up as well:

Did I just tell you to prepare for circuit training, with a circuit?!

If you’re curious, here’s my personal warm-up:

Jump rope: 2-3 minutes 
Jumping jacks: 25 reps
Body weight squats: 20 reps
Lunges: 5 reps each leg.
Hip extensions: 10 reps each side
Hip rotations: 5 each leg
Forward leg swings: 10 each leg
Side leg swings: 10 each leg
Push ups: 10-20 reps
Spider-man steps: 10 reps

Our goal isn’t to tire you out, instead we want to warm up you up. That’s step one.

Completing your chosen circuit training routine would be step two. Below, you’ll find 15 workouts you can follow along with!

Beginner Bodyweight Workout Circuit

This workout circuit, as we lay out in our Beginner Bodyweight Workout article, is as follows:

Bodyweight squats: 20 reps
Push-ups: 10 reps
Walking lunges – 10 each leg
Dumbbell rows (using a gallon milk jug or another weight): 10 each arm.
Plank: 15 seconds
Jumping jacks: 30 reps

Run through this circuit three times. If you don’t have milk in the house for the rows, find something of roughly the same weight with a good handle.

If you want to download this Beginner Bodyweight Workout as a worksheet, you can do so when you sign up in the box below:

Grab Your Beginner Bodyweight Routine Worksheet. No Gym Required!
Complete this workout at home, no equipment required
Avoid the common mistakes everybody makes when doing bodyweight exercises
Learn how to finally get your first pull-up

I identify as a:

Woman

Man

Advanced Bodyweight Exercises Circuit

If the beginner circuit above is too easy for you, move on to our Advanced Bodyweight Workout Circuit. Check out the original article where we covered it here. The workout looks like this:

One legged squats – 10 each side [warning super-difficult, only attempt if you’re in good enough shape]
Body weight squats: 20 reps
Walking lunges: 20 reps (10 each leg)
Jump step-ups: 20 reps (10 each leg)
Pull-ups: 10 reps [or inverted bodyweight rows]
Dips (between bar stools): 10 reps
Chin ups: 10 reps [or inverted bodyweight rows with underhand grip]
Push-ups: 10 reps
Plank: 30 seconds

I warn you, the above circuit will hurt… in a good way. You should be proud if you can get through this three times.

Playground Workout Circuit

Do you have a nearby playground? Why not workout there! If you have kids, you can do it together. Or let them ignore you.

I’ll give you a Level One workout, and a Level Two. Check out the main playground article for some Level Three exercises.

Level One

Alternating step-ups: 20 reps (10 each leg)
Elevated push-ups: 10 reps
Swing rows: 10 reps
Assisted lunges: 8 reps each leg
Bent leg reverse crunches: 10 reps

Level Two

Bench jumps: 10 reps
Lower incline push-ups: 10 reps
Body rows: 10 reps
Lunges: 8 reps each leg
Straight leg reverse crunches: 10 reps

After you’ve gone through a complete set three times, go down the slide!

Kettlebell Workout Circuit

Have a kettlebell lying around? Use it for a circuit!

Here’s our kettlebell workout full write-up, but you can also just watch the video and see the workout here:

Halos: 8 reps (each side)
Goblet squats: 10 reps
Overhead presses: 8 reps (each side)
Kettlebell swings: 15 reps
Bent Over Rows: 8 reps (each side)
Front rack reverse lunge: 6 reps (per side)

Once you’ve done the above three times, go ahead and put your kettlebell away for your final step: stretches.

If you want a kettlebell worksheet, grab one by signing up in the box below:

Grab Your Beginner Kettlebell Routine Worksheet!
Complete this workout at home or gym with 1 kettlebell.
Avoid the common mistakes everybody makes when doing kettlebell exercises.
Build strength, burn fat, level up your life!

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Beginner Gym Circuit Training

 

use free weights and to do circuit trainingIf you have access to a gym, you have a lot of circuit options.

If it’s your first time stepping foot in a fitness facility, check out our Beginner’s Guide to the Gym. The gym can be a scary place, but we’ll give you a strategy to get comfy.

We’ll also walk you through each movement above, for both Days A and B below. I would recommend reading that article, going through the leveled progressions, and working your way up to the circuits below:

Day A

Barbell squats: 10 reps
Push-ups: 10 reps
Pull-ups or pull-up alternatives: 10 reps

Day B

Barbell romanian deadlifts/regular deadlifts: 10 reps
Push-ups: 10 reps
Dumbbell rows: 10 reps per arm

Alternate your circuits on different days. Rest in between. “Day A” could be Monday. Rest Tuesday. Wednesday could be “Day B.”

And you can download our full Strength 101 guide too, which has this routine along with other circuits to help you start building strength today:

Download our comprehensive guide STRENGTH TRAINING 101!
Everything you need to know about getting strong.
Workout routines for bodyweight AND weight training.
How to find the right gym and train properly in one.

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The Hotel Workout Circuit: For Travelers that Train

you can do this travel circuit training workout in your hotel room

Sometimes, you just plain find yourself stuck in a hotel room. Maybe you can find the hotel gym, but I bet it’s terrible! It probably has 2 machines, a broken treadmill, and no free weights. 

Ugh.

Instead, how about a workout circuit you can do in the room itself! Utilize the furniture to its full potential.

Level 1

Body weight squats: 20 reps
Incline push-ups: 15 reps (feet on floor, hands on edge of bed or desk)
One-arm luggage rows: 10 reps (each arm, use your suitcase as your weight)
Reverse crunches: 10 reps

Level 2

Overhead Squats: 25 reps
Push Ups: 20 reps
Inverted Rows using the desk in your hotel room: 10 reps
Reverse Crunches: 15 reps

Set the alarm clock to 15 minutes from now and see how many circuits you can do!

Check out our full post on hotel circuits if you want Level 3!

Nerdy Circuit Training Exercises

 

try these nerdy themed circuit training workouts

If those workouts above don’t tickle your fancy, we have these other nerdy circuits you can do too!

The Batman Workout Circuit

Day 1

Rolling squat tuck-up jumps: 5 reps
Side to side push-ups: 5 reps
Modified headstand push-ups: 5 reps
Jump pull-up with tuck / Pull-up with Tuck-up: 5 reps
Handstands against wall: 8 seconds

Day 2

‘180 Degree’ jump turns: 5 reps
Tuck front lever hold: 8 seconds
Tuck back lever hold: 8 seconds
Low frog hold: 8 seconds

The Lord of the Rings Workout Circuit

try this lord of the rings circuit training workout

Superset 1: The Fellowship of the Ring

“YOU SHALL NOT PASS!” Slams: 3 medicine ball slams
Legolas Bow Pulls: 7 renegade rows
“One does not simply walking lunge into Mordor”: 9 lunges, each leg
Hip “Bridge of Khazad Dum”: 1 minute hip raises and hold at the top position

Superset 2: The Two Towers

Riders of ROWhan: 3 bodyweight rows
Gimli “Shall I get you a box?” jumps: 7 box jumps – REALLY explode
Helm’s Deep-Squats: 9 bodyweight squats – get your ass to the ground
Tower of Orthanc Holds: 1 minutes (Kick up against a wall and hold a handstand for as long as you can until 1 minute is complete, in as few as sets as possible. Check out our Guide to Handstands.)

Superset 3: The Return of the King

Eowyn “I am no Man!”makers: 3 manmakers
Light of Galadriel raises: 7 arm overhead dumbbell presses
“Army of Dead”lifts: 9 light weight reps, barbell or dumbbell
Samwise Gamgee Carries: 1 minute (Demonstrated here by AKLulu carrying me at a NF meetup) A heavy sandbag over the shoulder works too. No sandbag? Just carry two dumbbells around the gym for a minute.

If you can get through a superset three times, consider yourself an honorary Ranger. Nothing found in Mordor can faze you.

The 300 Workout Circuit

do the 300 circuit training workout to get strong like King Leonidas

The below circuit is no joke. Then again, neither were the Spartans.

Pull-ups: 25 reps
Deadlifts with 135lbs: 50 reps
Push-ups: 50 reps
‘24-inch’ Box jumps: 50 reps
Floor wipers: 50 reps
Single-arm clean-and-press with 36 lbs. kettlebell: 25 each side
Pull-ups: 25 reps

The above sequence is designed to be completed once. If you can go through it twice, you’re ready to defend Greece.

The Wolverine Workout Circuit

Barbell Deadlift / Dumbbell RDL / Banded Good Morning / Regular Good Morning: 10 reps
Medicine Ball Slam / Quick Downwards Bodyweight Squat: 10 reps
Push-up to Renegade row (push-up, row left, push-up, row right, repeat): 5 Rows per side
Transverse Lunge and Chop: 5 reps each side

How many times do you do this circuit? AMRAP, or, As Many Rounds As Possible. I suggest setting a 12 minute timer and getting to work. Be careful though, because only Wolverine can heal automatically.

wolverine does workout circuits tooYou’ll need actual rest.

Boom! There are your nerdy circuits. Feel free to rock the soundtrack of the referenced movies during your workout. If you own a cape, now’s the time.

Complete List of Circuit Training Exercises

build your own circuit training workout with exercises like kettlebell presses

You can do any of the workouts in this article and get a great workout, but if you want to build your own workout, you can totally do that too!

Here is a list of exercises you can use to create your workout.

Simply pick a few, and do one after the other in as many circuits as you want!

Pick your exercises from this list to build your own circuit training workout, or suggest your own for us to add in the comments below!

Jump rope
Burpees
Mountain climbers
Stairs
Sprints
High knees or running in place
Box jumps
Rowing machine
Long-distance jumps
Push-ups (any variation)
Pull-ups (learn to do pull-ups)
Bodyweight rows
Bodyweight squats
Kettlebell swings
Farmer carries (carry dumbbells and walk around)
Lunges
Planks
Side planks
Reverse crunches

Pick 3-5 exercises. Do 3 circuits with 10 reps of each exercise, one after the other! Have fun and keep things interesting.

How to Stretch After Circuit Training

Once you finish your workout, the final step (three) would be stretching and cool down. No matter what circuit you go through, stretch after. It can help a lot with muscle recovery.

Scope this video for an awesome stretching sequence to follow:

You could also do some yoga poses. For stretching, find what feels good and take your time. Let your heart rate come down while you stretch.

You could even do some foam rolling too if you’re a glutton for punishment!

Getting Started With Circuit Training

 

want to be a superhero like these legos? do circuit training!

There are all sorts of different ways to do circuit training. We just showed you fifteen.

Warm Up Circuit
Bodyweight Exercises Circuit
Advanced Bodyweight Exercises Circuit
Playground Workout Circuit
Kettlebell Workout Circuit
Beginner Gym Circuit
Hotel Workout Circuit
The Batman Workout Circuit
The Lord of the Rings Workout Circuit
The 300 Workout Circuit
The Wolverine Workout Circuit
Complete List of Circuit Training Exercises

YOUR MISSION: Complete one of the above circuit training workouts! If you don’t know which one to pick, start with the Beginner Bodyweight Circuit. It’ll get you used to the idea of hustling from one exercise to the next.

And you can do it in your living room!

If you got this far in the article, I really want you to try one of these workouts. Right NOW. I always mention the most important step in a fitness journey is starting it. Today, start circuit training.

Once completed, I’d love for you to share your story with the community in the comments:

How’d it go?
Did you get through three full circuits?
Which routine did you pick?

Here’s a more important question though: Are you doing the right workouts and eating the right way for your goals?

Most people aren’t. They follow a random workout and wonder why they don’t see results. There’s nothing worse than spending months or years putting in the effort, only to not get the results you’re expecting.

This is why we built our popular 1-on-1 Coaching program. You’ll work with our certified NF instructors who will get to know you better than you know yourself, and then build a workout program that is specific to your exact goals.

Simply put, we tell you exactly what to do every day, and how to eat. And then, we check in with you regularly to make sure you’re doing it!

There’s no better way to maximize your effort than with an experienced coach. Which is why I have one!

Either way, find a circuit you’re comfortable with, and do it. Then do it next week. And the following. If you add circuit training to your fitness routine, you’ll be on a solid path for leveling up your life.

-Steve

PS: I couldn’t quite figure out how to use this gif, but it was too good not to include.

I bet short circuit likes circuit training

If someone creates the “Short Circuit Workout Circuit” you’ll be my best friend forever.

###

All Photo credits can be found right here[1].

Footnotes    ( returns to text)

Photo Source: blur, fox bike, pull-up, raptor, gym, hotel, killer croc, wuestenigel: Kettlebell Push Pressgforce

Original Article : HERE ; This post was curated & posted using : RealSpecific


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