Circuit Training Variations

By on May 18, 2010
Body weight Squat

I have been playing around with different circuits to keep things interesting and thought I’d share this cool conditioning circuit.

Using  the “integrated circuit  training” principle, I created a 10 station circuit using a combination of body weight  and weighted exercises. The premise is simple, each station lasts 30 seconds before immediately going onto the next exercise, this continues until the 10 stations are complete.

Make no mistake this is tough, it is meant to be, pushing your body through fatigue increases your general physical preparedness (GPP) and allows your body to adapt to train further during fatigue as well as decreasing your recovery time.

I aim to to 5 circuits with 1 minute rest in between each one. However if you feel you need more rest then take it, however I’d advise to keep it as minimal as possible.

Here’s the circuit:

  1. Body weight squats (with or without 5kg dumbbells)
  2. Body weight Lunges (with or without 5kg dumbbells).
  3. Heavy Bag Punching.
  4. Elevated Push ups.
  5. Burpees.
  6. Squat Jumps.
  7. Dumbbell Alternating shoulder press (high tempo).
  8. Bench Dips.
  9. Skipping.
  10. Heavy Bag punching.

In this circuit I emphasise “doubling up” on upper and lower body exercises until station 9 and 10. I wanted to create more fatigue on the same muscle groups with a combination of exercises. You can just as easily make it upper/lower. The exercises are not set in stone either, there are plenty substitutes if you don’t have a heavy bag, Shadow boxing with a pair of light dumbbells would suffice.

The key here is that the circuit is continuous. It is possible to play around with the amount of stations, the time at each station and of course the exercises.

Don’t forget an interval timer such as a gym boss is an excellent training tool here, it takes care of the time so you can concentrate on the training.

Stay sharp and train Hard!

– Dean Coulson


About Dean Coulson

• International Best Selling Author of the Fit Formula • Feature writer on Nutrition for the Uk’s biggest selling Martial arts magazine – Martial Arts Illustrated • Presenter & speaker - Tour the UK with Bafta Award Winning writer Geoff Thompson. ( ) • Owner and Performance coach at Assert Fitness Ltd. Taking our clients Dreams and makes them a reality, through the realms of coaching all aspects of health and fitness to busy professionals. • ,

I like the circuit. Very efficient and to the point.

The only thing I would change about it is the dumbell alternating shoulder press.

All of your exercises require only bodyweight resistance with very little equipment (except punching bag and skipping rope). Maybe you can incorporate a bodyweight exercise for the shoulders as well instead of using dumbells..

DeanCoulson says:


Thanks for your comment. Indeed you could substitute a bodyweight exercise such as a pike push up or even a handstand push up, especially if you don’t have any dumbbells handy. As I said in the post, it was more the principle I was getting across, most things can be changed. In this example I wanted to max out my shoulder for anaerobic endurance and plus it is a quick transition from squat jumps.