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Written By Elsie Velazquez Cert. Personal Trainer Prescription Fitness

If you feel that there are not enough hours in the day and that finding time for a workout is nearly impossible on most days, this article is for you!  Why?!  Because I am going to discuss total body circuit training in this blog.  First I will give you some of the benefits to incorporating this type of training into your routine, I will provide useful tips, and I will provide a few samples of a total body circuit program you can try next time you are short on time.


  • Get Maximum Results in Minimum Time: Circuit training is the perfect workout for the time-crunched person. You can fit it in whenever you have 15-30 minutes.  You’ll move quickly through exercises to work different muscle groups with little to no rest in between.  Circuit training gets your heart rate up and strengthens your muscles simultaneously.
  • Challenge Your Whole Body: By picking exercises that target all major muscle groups, it is a good way to burn lots of calories while toning all over.
  • Mix Cardio and Strength Training: Since cardio and weight training are equally important, it is smart to do both.  Circuit training is a perfect way to get the best of both worlds if you prefer one over the other because you are combining the two.
  • Send Your Metabolism Soaring: Research has shown that you’ll burn more calories in 20 minutes of circuit training than you would in an entire hour on the elliptical reading a magazine. An added bonus is that the after-burn effect will have you torching calories for up to 48 hours after your workout ends!
  • Beat Gym Boredom: Because circuit training is so flexible (you create it yourself), the options are limitless. You can swap exercises, switch the sequence, etc.


  • Circuit training can generally be done every 2-3 days.
  • While circuit training routines can be done with body-weight exercises, to increase the benefits, lift heavy if/when possible.
  • Perform at least one exercise per muscle group.
  • Plan your routine so that you do 3-4 sets of about 6-8 exercises for 10-12 repetitions.
  • Keep workouts to about 30 minutes…intensity should be kept high.
  • Incorporating compound movements is best (squats, DB press, rows).




Mountain climbers



This circuit can be done with or without weight


Squat with overhead press

Plank with row

Weighted lateral lunges

Reverse lunge with lateral raises

Alternating forward lunges

This circuit is best done with weights

I suggest working with a trainer or taking a group class so you learn how to do each exercise right if you are a beginner or are unfamiliar with proper form.

About the author : jhaase

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