I love circuits as they get my heart rate right up, create a sweat and burn off lots of calories! I love mixing cardio with bodyweight exercises and adding a few weights here and there. It keeps things varied and stops me from getting bored.
I also have a LOT of competitiveness and love timing myself and trying to beat my time on each circuit, which is why this timed circuit is one of my favourites. I always try to beat my time on the main exercises, leaving longer to plank at the end. Sounds like torture, but I get a kick from it!
Equipment: The only essential equipment is a bench or a box for box steps, however if you don't have access to a gym or equipment then the rest can be done without. However I do recommend adding in some Kettlebells or dumbbells for the squats as detailed below to push up the intensity and really get your muscles working!
BENCH BURPEESPerform a step up on your box/bench (see the step below). After placing both feet back on the floor rest your hands on the edge of the bench and extend your legs until you are in the push up position. Sink down and do a push up, before using your momentum and completing the move as a standard burped: thrusting your feet back to your hands and jumping up. Try and repeat this as quickly and fluidly as you can.
Beginners can simply use their bodyweight, but a dumbbell in each hand can be added for a bit more resistance, I would recommend a 3-6kg weight to start with. More experienced exercisers can load a barbell and rest it on your shoulders instead.
SQUATSStart by standing up tall with your feet about shoulder width apart. With all your weight on your heels, inhale as you squat back by bending at the knee and sticking your butt back as you lower. Keep your head and chest up, and your eyes looking forward.
If you find these easy, add a light kettlebell (I started as low as 4kg, gradually moving to 6kg, 8kg etc as it got easier) by holding it by the horns close to your chest as you squat down.
MOUNTAIN CLIMBERSLay down a mat and begin this move in a pushup position; on your hands and toes. Bring the right knee in towards the chest until your knee is approximately under the hip. Quickly alternate legs as bringing the left foot in and the right foot back. Continue alternating the feet as fast as you can until all repetitions are completed.
PLANKGet in the pushup position, only putting your forearms on the ground instead of your hands. Squeeze your glutes and tighten your abdominals. Try to keep your body as flat and straight as possible (picture a plank of wood) without lifting your behind!
It doesn't look like much, but by the end of this you will definitely feel the burn in your legs! I usually do some cardio (usually spin bike or versa climber) on either side of the circuit and often add in a similar length circuit to focus on abs at the end too.
I'd love to hear if any of you try this out! Also, please let me know if you have any other requests for exercise posts.