Updated: Aug 6
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This 1000 rep circuit activates every major muscle group – some of them twice over. But because the exercises selected are functional movements, such as swings, snatch pulls, and burpees, many synergists and deep stabiliser muscles are also engaged.
In addition to providing a whole-body workout, the circuit can also help develop fitness conditioning. This outcome is achieved via a mix of high-volume training and short bouts of cardio. It's no exaggeration to say that this 1000 repetition circuit provides a complete workout.
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Together these attributes make this a metabolic conditioning (or MetCon) workout. If you're unfamiliar with the term, WebMD defines metabolic conditioning as a form of exercise that 'increases the amount of energy stored and released by the body.'
According to Healthline, other characteristics of MetCon training include intensity variations – medium to high. Also, MetCon workouts typically take between 20 to 30 minutes to complete and involve a range of fitness components. ‘The goal of metabolic conditioning is to improve the aerobic and anaerobic systems.’
The 1000 repetition circuit below ticks all of these boxes.
Related: Want more MetCon Workout?
1000 repetition circuit benefits
If you can find time in your weekly training routine for this 1000 repetition circuit, you stand to gain those benefits outlined above. However, due to the mix of 'maximal stimulation exercises' and cardio bouts, this circuit delivers more benefits. Below I have listed the main health and fitness outcomes.
Increased functional strength
Enhanced muscle endurance
Improved aerobic conditioning
Develops multiple components of fitness
Burns calories and can help improve body composition
How to do this 1000 repetition circuit
Before tackling the ten exercises, warm up well first. (I kept it simple and rowed 2000 metres then worked through one reduced-intensity lap of the circuit.) (Follow the link for the best warm up exercises.)
Once warm and ready, start at the first station – kettlebell swings – and perform 10 repetitions. Except for the final exercise (100m rowing), the number of repetitions remains the same.
As soon as you've polished off those 10 kettlebell swings, transition to the next exercise in the list. The objective of the circuit is to complete the 1000 reps in the shortest time possible. To improve the fluidity of the circuit, I recommend using the session plan to track your progress. On completion of a lap, tick off the corresponding box.
Continue on in this fashion until you have circumnavigated the circuit ten times.
1000 repetition circuit key points
Gather your training equipment together – preferably next to your rowing machine.
Warm up for 5 to 10 minutes prior to starting the circuit. If you're short on warm-up ideas, try this General Purpose Gym Warm-Up.
After initiating your chronometer, begin the first exercise – kettlebell swing – and complete 10 repetitions.
Progress through the list of resistance exercises ensuring to perform 10 repetitions on each station.
The final exercise is a super-short 100 metre row interval. The aim here is to cover the distance in no more than 10 pulls (which constitute reps). If you have to take more pulls that's absolutely fine.
As soon as you've finished the row interval, go back to the first exercise and repeat another nine times.
Don't forget to stop the clock on completion of the 1000th repetition.
Training equipment needed
Kettlebell (you can use two kettlebells )
Ergo rowing machine
1000 repetition workout hints and tips
The first couple of circuits feels deceptively easy. But by lap four it starts getting more challenging as your posterior chain muscles fill up with lactic acid. Also, if you compete against the clock as I did, the final 100 metre row sprint induces a nasty burn in the lungs. Climbing off the rower and jumping straight back into kettlebell swings gets harder after each lap.
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All the exercises are interchangeable. Beginners, for example, may not possess the requisite kettlebell handling skills to safely perform some of the complex exercises – jerks, cleans, and snatch pulls. These exercises could be replaced with (in reverse order) deadlift to high pulls, hang cleans (with a barbell), and standard presses (perhaps using dumbbells).
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As mentioned above, your objective is to complete the 1000 repetitions in the shortest possible time. When I took the circuit for a test run, I managed to cover the ten laps in 28:08. If you wanted to you could use this time as a benchmark to aim for or, of course, beat. Here are a couple of tips that can help improve your time.
First, ensure that all the equipment is located next to the rower. By packing the kit close time wasted between transitions is reduced. In addition to tightening training efficiency, locating the equipment in one area also decreases procrastination opportunities – such as paying the water cooler a visit or stopping off for a social.
Second, moderate your pacing as your progress through the plan. If you start off at a high intensity, you will likely pay the price in the later laps. I advise using the first two circumnavigations to get a feel for the circuit. Use this time to identify where you push the pace and where you can recover.
Enjoyed this 1000 repetition circuit?
Then get your hands on 80 more with the Hungry4Fitness Book of Circuits & Workouts Volume 3.
About Adam Priest –
A former Royal Marines Commando, Adam Priest is a content writer, college lecturer, and health and wellbeing practitioner. He is also a fitness author and contributor to other websites. Connect with Adam via LinkedIn or email@example.com.