How To Build the Perfect Circuit Workout To Lean Out

Circuit Training is a great way to get the benefits of strength & cardio training in one workout.  I love to lift weights, but I would rather run in a rain storm than do cardio on a machine.  Circuit training is my solution.

What is circuit training?

Basically you do one exercise immediately followed by another.  For example you can select 3-5 exercises & perform them one right after the other.  This is done with little or no rest between them.

I teach a circuit training class at the UFC Gym in Mandeville, Louisiana and this was one of the routines I had the class perform.


Round 1:  (50 seconds on each exercise)

Cable low row

One arm row


Squat Pulse Jumps (wide stance squat, pulse 3 times then jump)  Fire in the thighs! Whew!

-rest 1 min then repeat 2 more times

Round 2:

Close grip press (narrow grip on barbell to get triceps)

Tricep dips on bench

Heavy walking lunges

Squat with tricep extension

-rest and repeat 2 more times

  • 6min of shoulder burnouts: 3 exercises done without rest for 6 min
  • 6 min of ab burnouts

This is one example of many ways you can build a circuit routine.  Another example workout is doing a strength exercise followed by cardio.  I do this when I want to work really hard &/or get shredded fast.  You have to be willing to bring your A game because it’s intense.

For example:  Chest press & Jump rope, after each set of chest press follow it with 1 min of jump rope.  Then do another exercise followed by 1 cardio min. & continue that template for your entire workout.  You will be busted but shredded in weeks.  Jump rope is a suggestion for cardio, but you could do jumping jacks, high knees, squats, step ups, skaters, etc.

Advantages of Circuit Training:

  1. Lean up- it will help you lean out and get ripped.
  2. You save time by getting cardio and strength in one workout.  In & out of the gym fast.
  3. Places a greater demand on the body which dramatically increases your metabolism & leads to increased fat burning long after the workout.
  4. Improves conditioning & muscular endurance.

*When putting together your circuit take into consideration the busyness of the gym when you plan to workout.  You can adjust by keeping everything in close proximity.