Circuit training workouts have the notoriety of being some of the most intense workouts ever. They often combine heavy lifting and high-intensity cardio, giving you as much bang for your back as you can manage. What’s great about the workouts is that they are short. After all, at that level of intensity, going for a long period of time is too physically demanding for most people and may do greater harm than good.
What some people might not know about the workouts, aside from their brevity, is that you don’t necessarily have to go to a gym or workout facility to experience it. In fact, you can do some of them right in your own home. Try the workout video above or these CrossFit exercises below from your living room this week.
AMRAPs: With an AMRAP (which stands for “as many rounds as possible”), you are given specific exercises to do in a given period of time — usually 30 minutes or less. The goal is to do as many rounds of them as you can in the allotted time. Give one (or all) of the following a try.
1. AMRAP for 20 minutes: 15 kettlebell swings, 10 mountain climbers per leg, 5 thrusters (dumbbells or kettlebell)
2. AMRAP for 8 minutes: 16 sumo deadlift high-pulls, 10 goblet squats, 8 burpees
3. AMRAP for 20 minutes: 30 box jumps, 20 push presses, 30 burpees
4. AMRAP for 5 minutes: 5 wall balls, 5 burpees
5. AMRAP for 30 minutes: ½-mile run, 15 burpees, 15 pushups, 15 burpees, 15 sit-ups
Now you may look at these and think they are easy since they’re short. But you will quickly realize that’s not the case. The kicker is that because they are short, you need to go hard and heavy. That means lifting, swinging or squatting with heavier weight so that each time you do it, you’re really feeling it. If you’re doing wall balls, the standard weight is usually 14 pounds, so try using that or something close to it. If you don’t have a wall to use, you can sub that exercise for a ball slam. And when it comes to those burpees, chest to the floor is the name of the game.
You do have some breathing room during AMRAPs, so take short breaks when you need them, but try to keep them to a minimum. Never sacrifice form for speed, especially if you’re using heavy weights.
Finally, because these workouts are so intense, you may want to either do them after your workout or as your actual workout. These workouts come at the end of skill and strength work while you still have energy, so keep that in mind. If you’re doing weightlifting, this would be a perfect way to end the session. If you’re short on time, these are great to do since they’re so quick.
Just remember, though, it’s about intensity and pushing yourself. So don’t be afraid to give it 110%. It’s only a few minutes, right?