Cardio can be really boring. I mean, really, who wants to spend the better part of an hour on a machine staring at a screen? Even if you’re on a bike outside, or walking or running, if the scenery isn’t great, it’s easy to get bored. And if you’re like me and you like to try new things, well, meet my new thing… body weight circuits.
These are in no way new to the world. Heck, I did them at Basic Training for the Army and didn’t realize it. We would go outside and set ourselves up in stations: jumping jacks, mountain climbers, skiiers, full sit ups, crunches, pushups, diamond pushups, squats, military presses, and anything else the drill sergeants could think of.
Well, body weight circuits make a great substitute for cardio, and a good sub for HIIT, or High Intensity Interval Training. If you don’t know what that is, basically, you run all out for a brief period of time, recover, repeat, puke. 🙂 HIIT has been proven time and time again to be a better cardio choice than steady state cardio for upping caloric expenditure, especially, post exercise calorie burn, meaning your body will be burning calories at a higher rate for hours later. What’s not to like about it?
You can do it in about 5 feet of space, with no equipment, anywhere and anytime you want and in 10 minutes you’ll be sufficiently huffing and puffing and dripping, if you really give it your all. What’s not to like?
It’s really hard!
Here’s the Crazy 8 Body weight Circuit I did twice this week by Craig Ballyntine. You can see the original HERE.
In fact, he has a ton of body weight videos on his Turbulence Training website HERE.
So here was my circuit today:
- 60 Jumping Jacks: Done as fast as possible, but make sure you do full jumping jacks.
- 15-20 Spiderman Pushups: I’m just doing normal pushups until they become too easy. Typically it is a breeze for me to do 40+ pushups, but it is much tougher when you do these with zero rest in between jumping jacks.
- Walking Lunges: I take 20 steps total. This is the easiest part of the workout in my opinion.
- Spiderman Climb: I do a total of 20 of these (10 per side) I really feel these in my abs and obliques.
- Wall Squat: Do for 45-60 seconds. This hurts! Don’t rest your hands upon your legs, since it makes it easier.
- Planks: Do for 60 seconds. Tough after doing all these other exercises without rest.
- 5 Burpees: Make sure and do a full pushup at the bottom and explode as high as possible at the top into a jump. I’m still kind of uncoordinated with these is probably because I’m “smoked” at this point!
- High Knees: Done as fast as possible. Do 50 total. I just count when my right leg hits the ground for 25. It is hard to count both legs for 50 since you are going fast. You will be dying about 1/2 way through.
- It Wasn’t Pretty, But It Counts: My Modified CrossFit Class (krismoconnor.wordpress.com)
- Plyometric Cardio Circuit (theprlife.wordpress.com)
- Four Day Circuit Workout (mainsourcefitness.wordpress.com)