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Body Weight Exercise Circuits

Posted May 13 2008 12:32pm
Body weight Exercise Circuits are a great way to introduce variety into your interval training workouts. If you are sick of performing interval training on your treadmill, elliptical trainer, or stationary bike, body weight exercise circuits can renew your enthusiasm.

Here are some sample body weight exercise circuits:

Push-up variation: 10 reps
Step-up variation: 10 reps each leg
Body weight rows 10 reps
Jump Squats: 10 reps
Cross body mountain climbers: 10 reps each side
*Perform one exercise one right after the other
**Rest for 1:00 after the completion of each circuit
***Repeat for 8-10 circuits

Here is another body weight exercise circuit:

Lunge Variation: 10 reps each leg
Burpees: 10 reps
Push-up variation: 10 reps
Body weight rows: 10 reps
Box Jumps onto a 12-24 in. surface: 10 reps
*Perform one exercise right after the other
**Rest 1:00 after the completion of each circuit
***Repeat for 8-10 circuits

In addition to body weight exercise circuits, you can also do dumbbell exercise circuits, resistance band exercise circuits, cable exercise circuits (works best on a functional exercise trainer), or you can combine any or all of the above for a really fun hybrid interval workout.

Here is an example of a hybrid resisted interval workout which combines cable, band body weight, and dumbbell exercises:

Alternating cable high to low woodchops: 5 reps each direction on each side
Alternating Plyometric Lunges: 5 reps each side
Resistance Band Standing Chest Press: 10 reps
Resistance Band Rows: 10 reps
Overhead Band Jumps: 10 reps
Dumbbell or Kettlebell Swings: 10 reps

The thing to remember about resisted interval circuits is that you are not trying to maximize the resistance you can use on each exercise. This is not strength training...it is metabolic resistance training with the goal being enhanced fat loss and work capacity/conditioning enhancement. You should be using exercise variations and weights which do not take you anywhere near your limit for the number of reps prescribed. For instance, if you choose good old fashioned push-ups as your push-up variation in your circuits, you should be able to perform at least 30 push-ups if the protocol calls for 10. If you can only do 12 or 15 push-ups with your own body weight, you are going to have a rough time and this is going to defeat the purpose of these circuits...it is going to crossover into strength training parameters.

Body weight exercise circuits and other resisted exercise circuits are a great way to break through a boredom induced plateau. Give them a shot!
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