Fitness Blog – The Shape of Circuits 2


In my previous blog I discussed several different patterns of circuits. With this one I want to give specific examples. Always keep in mind the specific movement patterns of the sport or the reason you are designing your circuit for. The limiting factor is the extent of your imagination within the confines of this reason of specificity.

If you are designing a circuit in a classical armed services pattern, it could look like this –

Standing Dumbbell Press, Russian Twist, Forward Lunge, Press Up Position Row, Side Plank, Jump Burpee, Press Up, Front Plank, Squat/Press, Side Stepping Forward Dumbbell Swing, Farmers Walk.

You circuit through all 12 exercises spending 30 seconds completing as many repetitions of each exercise you can and rotate around the circuit for 24 minutes having as little rest as you need between. But the more rest you have, the fewer repetitions you can complete. You can change the dynamics of the routine by doing 12 repetitions of each exercise, rotating through three circuits and using as little time as you can to complete the whole workout.

The second routine is using the mini-circuit pattern where you can use the same pattern of – Arm and Shoulder/Trunk/Leg pattern or work each body segment completely in each mini-circuit. Complete three circuits of each body segment before you move on to the next body segment.

It could look something like this –

  1. McGill Curl Up, Rotating Bridge, Bird Dog, Toes to Sky
  2. Swiss Ball Dumbbell Press, Alternating Grip Pull Up, Handstand Press Up, Reverse Row
  3. Suitcase Squat, Split Jump Squat, Pistol Squat, Standinf Calf Raise (holding one Dumbbell)

Again the example has 12 exercises and a few of the examples of exercises I have used are demanding, but you can use easier exercises depending upon the level you are at?

For a Power circuit you can use either of these first two patterns above but you do a Strength exercise followed by a Power exercise. You will need more rest between each couple of exercises because the exercises are more demanding of your energy –

  1. Hanging Leg Raise, Dumbbell Swing
  2. Hanging Body Twists, Russian Twist with Medicine Ball
  3. Standing Alternating Dumbbell Press, Power Press
  4. Bent Over Alternating Dumbbell Row, Power Clean from Hang
  5. Single Leg Squat, Jump Squat
  6. Lunge to Low Bench, Stiff Knee Jump Squats

Again I have kept it simple by using 12 exercises. You don’t have to use the pattern as set out above. You could use any pattern but do the two exercises as set out. You can use a timed routine for each exercise but better to use a system where you complete 10 repetitions of the strength exercise followed by 6 repetitions of the power exercise (as an example),

Next is an example of a more functional circuit –

Functional Crawl, Stepping Forward Dumbbell Swing, Stepping Backward Dumbbell Lunge, Extended Bird Dog (hands and feet), Single Dummbell Snatch, Squat/Press, Seated Medicine Ball Twists, Single Dumbbell Clean and Press, Bench Squats, Half Squat Medicine Ball Throw Up and Catch, Push/Press, Turkish Get Up

There are 12 exercises again but far more complex and demanding movements involved. The rest between each exercise could be up to 30 seconds (but no more). You may be able to get through two circuits to start. Try to workout for no longer than 30 – 35 minutes.

This is a subject that I could write a small book about as I have only used two basic patterns with their variations…but there are many more…

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