The following circuit routine is based off the popular Spartacus Workout. We have beefed up some of the moves and changed out others. This is a ten exercise routine. Do each movement for a total of one minute. It is not so important to focus on the number of reps you complete in this time span but to keep moving until the minute expires. You should rest for no more than 20 seconds after each move before transitioning to the next exercise. After you complete all ten movements, rest for two minutes then repeat the whole circuit again. Aim for at least three rounds and no more than five.
The first time you attempt this circuit do bodyweight exercises or use very low weights while you get a feel for the moves and become comfortable with the movements. As you progress, add weight and increase the intensity.
Start this routine by warming up for at least ten minutes, but not more than thirty; I usually run or jog to loosen up my muscles.
Once you are ready begin with the first exercise:
1. Squat- this may be an overhead, front, or behind the head with bar squat. Start with an empty bar or light dumbbells.
2. Mountain Climbers- Assume a push-up position now bring your knee forward and touch it to your elbow then return and repeat with the other side, alternating for 1 minute. If you must stop within that minute do so but try to go as long as you can and keep going until the minute expires.
3. Plate pick-up with Shoulder Press- Place a weight plate on the ground in front of you. Bend your legs slightly as in a dead lift and pick the plate up with both hands. Thrust your hips forward as you stand then press the plate overhead. This is one rep. Lower the plate all the way to the ground then repeat. Be careful to bend your legs, and keep your back as straight as possible. Brace your abs.
4. Side Plank with Rear Delt Raise- This is a combination of two movements made to develop core strength and dexterity. Assume a side plank, with your free arm raise a light dumbbell from the ground fully extending you arm over your shoulder and torso to form a t with your body, and then lower. Try to accomplish ten reps per side. This move is very similar to a T-pushup. All that differs is that you remain in the side plank instead of transitioning back to a push-up.
5. Burpees- be sure to include a push-up in the down position of this move. Do not worry about numbers; just keep moving for the full minute. This one move will probably wind you more than any other in this circuit.
6. Pull-ups or Barbell Row – Ideally you want to do pull-ups, if you cannot; substitute arm hangs, or Barbell rows. The goal is to work your back for the full minute. If you are in a gym though use the lat pull-down machine.
7. Dumbbell Side Lunge with Touch- spread your legs slightly more than shoulder width apart while holding a pair of light dumbbells. You are going to squat to one side lowering your body over one foot while extending the other leg. Bend at the waist extend the hips, keeping your back straight. Touch the dumbbells to the ground then push off with your calf, and quads returning to the starting position. Do one side then switch half way through the minute. The movement is not as complicated as it sounds. But be careful, and use light weights while you focus on balance and good form.
8. Push-up Position Rows- Grasp two dumbbells and assume a push-up position. Brace your core and body and raise one dumbbell up to your chest in a row, lower then raise the other side. The point of this movement is to maintain a straight rigid body while performing the rows. Alternate sides for one minute starting with a weight that will not overload your ability to maintain proper form. If you want more of a challenge do a push-up after each row.
9. Rear Lunge with Weight Plate- This is a simple rear lunge while holding a weight plate or medicine ball. Focus on sure footing, and keeping your body in a straight line as you lower it. You may substitute front lunges or even split squats if need be.
10. Barbell shoulder press- Stand straight, body upright, core braced while holding a barbell. Press the bar overhead, pause and squeeze your shoulders then lower. This is a simple movement. Add weight as your are comfortable but be careful and listen to your body on this one. If you like a more challenging move, turn this into a thruster by starting in a squatting position raising the bar overhead at the top, lowering then dropping back into a squat and repeat.
This is one round, on the following rounds add or subtract weight as you feel the need. The goal is to go as heavy as you can but still complete the full minute of movement without stopping. An average four round workout done with intensity; burns around 740 calories. This is not a beginner’s workout though and requires some knowledge of form and proper practice. Start out with light to no weight the first time you try this then go from there. Do this workout in addition to regular weight training two to three times a week.
Be careful train smart and have fun.