Circuit Training Exercises

Specificity of training aside, every runner also recognizes the importance of strength-training. Hills can get us partway through it, but it’s nice to throw in a few cardio circuits every once in a while.

Circuits are a personal trainer’s best friend. Think of boot camps: they are, more or less, a series of circuits thrown in together to produce a very high intensity workout. Combine it with some bodyweight routines and you’ve got both cardio and strength-training. But circuits can be tough when you don’t have a routine in place or, when you’ve never done one on your own before. Here’s an example of cardio and bodyweight circuits that you can do without any equipment (well… you’ll need a stopwatch). Remember to warm-up before any intense exercise!

  1. 30-sec high knees, 10-sec rest
  2. 30-sec leg swoop, 10-sec rest
  3. 10 pushups, 10-sec rest
  4. 30-sec plank, 10-sec rest, 2 reps
  5. 15 bicycle crunches, 20-sec rest
  6. 30-sec burpees, 20-sec rest
  7. 30-sec speed skaters
  8. 30-sec plank, 10-sec rest, 2 reps

Follow every full set with a 3-minute rest period/break/stretch, repeat 3-4 more times. It should feel a little like an interval run, where you give yourself just enough time to catch your breath before the next interval. As you advance, you can throw in additional circuits in every set or increase the duration/decrease the rest period for each circuit.

Ever done boot camp and really liked one particular routine? Let us know in the comments sections :)


  1. Brandy
    Posted April 27, 2012 at 8:37 pm | Permalink

    I’ve never done a boot camp, but one of my favorite workouts is a kind of circuit. I think?
    I have a bodyweight FitDeck and a yoga Fitdeck. I like to shuffle them together. Using a treadmill I run 3 minutes and draw 1 random FitDeck card. I run 3 minutes and do 2 cards, run and do 3, and so on. I usually go up to 5 cards, then reverse 5,4,3,2,1.
    I usually rest for around 1 minute at the end of every other run.

  2. Posted May 1, 2012 at 10:35 pm | Permalink

    That’s a great way of mixing things up! I never thought to have a “deck” of different circuits, but that sounds like it could be really effective. I’ll have to make sure I give that a try!

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