21 Training Sessions For Improved Fitness And Fat-Loss

Updated: May 4


a woman completing an exercise circuit

In this article you will discover 21 training sessions for developing whole-body fitness. They consist of a combination of resistance, calisthenics and cardiovascular exercises. To make the them more accessible the sessions require only minimal equipment and can be completed in the gym or at home.


All of the training sessions are fully modifiable. The set distances, repetitions, timings and exercises can all be altered or substituted to suit your training preferences.


But before we get into the 21 sessions a DIY training plan has been created for the reader who might want to create their own sessions in conjunction with those that feature in this article. In addition, the training plan outline will also provide you with the theoretical tools to make modifications to those sessions that, for whatever reason, you cannot do.



Create Your Own Training Session

This blank template has been created so that you can design your own training sessions. Follow the basic layout below ensuring never to neglect your warm-ups, cool-downs and stretches. For each section I have provided you with suggested time durations and (for the warm-up and cool-down phases) exercise ideas.


Of course, you are not bounded by the suggestions; change what you want to suit your training timeframes and current fitness aspirations. However, I would strongly advise that you always ensure to spend a minimum of five minutes warming-up, cooling-down and stretching – that’s five minutes on each of the three phases.



Warm-up (10-minutes)

Ideally a warm-up should last for around ten minutes. It should include a cardiovascular exercise – preferably the rower or cross-trainer (as they work the whole body) – and similar exercises that will feature in your main session. The warm-up should gradually increase in intensity so that when ten minutes has elapsed you are at, or very near to, the intensity that you plan on working through your main session.


It would be unwise to sit on a static bike for ten minutes, peddles listlessly turning, and then attempt, say, a kettlebell session. The warm-up should be reflective of the main session design.


Main Session (20-plus-minutes)

The sky is quite literally the limit with the main session. In the past I’ve picked exercises out of a hat and arranged them arbitrarily – some of my best training sessions have been put together that way. The main session can last from between twenty minutes to a couple of hours or more. I once completed a circuit with a group of exercise enthusiasts which took 4-hours and 25-minutes – and that was first place; last place came in at seven hours!


Cool Down

The cool-down is really quite simple: do the warm-up in reverse. That’s it.


Stretch

On completion of every exercise session you should force yourself to complete a structured, whole-body stretch that lasts for between 5 to 10-minutes. Start your stretch from the top of the body, beginning with the arms then shoulders, and work down ensuring to include all major muscle groups. Try to stretch each muscle twice holding the stretch for thirty seconds.


Session 1

Warm-up

10-minute warm up: jogging and body weight exercises


45-minute Pyramid Circuit

(Ascend the pyramid – start at the first exercise and complete one rep before moving to the next. Once you’ve completed 1 rep on the 9 exercises go back to the beginning but this time complete 2 reps. Continue on in this fashion for 45 minutes.)


1) 50-metre Sprints – 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 . . . 1 – 37reps
2) No weight Squats – 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 . . . 1 – 37reps
3) Burpees – 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 . . . 1 – 37reps
4) Squat Thrusts – 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 . . . 1 – 37reps
5) Plank – 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 . . . 1 – 37reps
6) Press-ups – 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 . . . 1 – 37reps
7) Kettlebell swing – 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 . . . 1 – 37reps
8) Kettlebell thrusters – 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 . . . 1 – 37reps
9) Kettlebell squats – 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 . . . 1 – 37reps

(total reps: 324)


5min cool-down

Light jogging


5min stretch

Whole-body stretch


Session 2

10-minute warm-up

Slow jog (every 2 minutes perform 5 reps of each of the exercises featured below)


Pyramid Circuit

10 to 1 press-ups + 50m sprint between each level of the pyramid
10 to 1 squat jumps + 50m sprint between each level of the pyramid
10 to 1 plank + 50m sprint between each level of the pyramid
10 to 1 KB swing + 50m sprint between each level of the pyramid
10 to 1 burpees + 50m sprint between each level of the pyramid

5min cool-down

Walking


5min stretch

Whole-body stretch


Session 3

Warm-up

2000m rowing


Circular Circuit

1 X 30-seconds 1 X 1-minute 1X 1:30

1: Rowing
2: No weight squat
3: Press-ups
4: Kettlebell swing (24kg)
5: Resistance band bent-over row
6: Plank
7: Vertical lift*

(the rest period should be half of the work period)


5min cool-down

Walking


5min stretch

Whole-body stretch


*With a dumbbell in each hand perform a bicep curl then straight into a shoulder press – that’s one rep.

Session 4

Warm-up

10-minute walking/light jogging


30-minute run – including 5 X 50-metre sprints

EMOM (every minute on the minute)

1. Press-ups: 10reps X 5min
2. Kettlebell swings: 20reps X 3min
3. Burpees: 8reps X 5min

5min cool-down

Walking


5min stretch

Whole-body stretch


Session 5

Warm-up

Slow jog – 100m – into press-up and star jump pyramid: 1 up to 5


Circular: 4min AMRAP (as many reps as possible)


1. Kettlebell swing
2. Press-ups
3. Kettlebell thruster
4. Burpees
5. Kettlebell clean to press
6. Plank (how many seconds can you hold inside 4 minutes?)

5min cool-down

Walking


5min stretch

Whole-body stretch


Session 6

Warm-up

2500m row


Resistance

100reps Kettlebell swings (24kg)
100reps Kettlebell squats (32kg)
50reps single arm kettlebell clean to press (24kg)
100reps Press-ups
100reps Burpees

Cool-down

2500m row


5min stretch

Whole-body stretch


Session 7

Warm-up

10-minutes walking/light jogging


30-minute run + 6 x 50m hill sprints

20-minute resistance (10 reps on each exercise, complete as many reps as possible without stopping)

1) Resistance band bent-over row
2) Resistance band dead lift
3) Press-ups
4) Kettlebell swing
5) No weight squat

5min cool-down

Walking


5min stretch

Whole-body stretch


Session 8

Warm-up

2000m row


30-min row: 250-metre sprint/250-metre recovery

Resistance

5-minute continuous walk-out press-ups into kettlebell squat jumps
5-minute continuous single arm kettlebell clean to press
5-minute continuous 2 x burpees straight into 2 x press-ups

5min cool-down

Walking


5min stretch

Whole-body stretch


Session 9

Warm-up

2000m row


Row/Resistance

5 x 500-metre row – 2-minute rest (30 kettlebell swings inside the rest)
5 X 250-metre row – 1:30 rest (10 burpees inside the rest)
5 X 150-metre row – 1:10 rest (10 resistance band bent-over row)
5 X 100-metre row – 30sec rest (5 press-ups)

5min cool-down

Walking


5min stretch

Whole-body stretch


Session 10

Warm-up

2000m row


Intervals

250-metre row sprint
20 Kettlebell swings
1 min rest

Repeat X 10


100-metre row sprint
10reps Kettlebell squats

Repeat X 10


25-minute light jog/walk (1.5 mile)


Session 11

Warm-up

2000m row – (maintained a pace of 2:17.7/500 – 9:10)


Circuit (AMRAP)

3-minute Press-ups
3-minute Kettlebell squats
3-minute resistance band lateral raises
3-minute Punches
3-minute Plank (how many seconds can you hold inside 3 minutes?)

5min cool-down

Walking


5min stretch

Whole-body stretch


Session 12

Warm-up

2000-metre row


Session

10-minute AMRAP (for 10 minutes work your way up the exercise pyramid)
1) Resistance band bent-over row – 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10
2) Press-ups – 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10

1000-metre row – 100m sprint/100m relax

10-minute AMRAP (for 10 minutes work your way up the exercise pyramid)
3) Kettlebell swing – 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10
4) Kettlebell squat – 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10

1000-metre row – 100 sprint/100 relax

5min cool-down

Walking


5min stretch

Whole-body stretch


Session 13

Warm-up

2k row – maintain a pace of 2:22/500


30-minute continuous circuit (start at exercise 1, progress down to 8, then repeat)


1: 100-metre Row
2: 10reps Kettlebell swing (12kg)
3: 100-metre Row
4: 10reps Kettlebell squat (16kg)
5: 100-metre Row
6: 10reps Vertical lift* (2 x 5kg)
7: 100-metre Row
8: 10reps Press-ups

5min cool-down

Walking


5min stretch

Whole-body stretch


*With a dumbbell in each hand perform a bicep curl then straight into a shoulder press – that’s one rep.


Session 14

Warm-up

15 min jog


30-minute continuous circuit (aim for 4 times thorough)


700m run
3 X Sprints (20 – 40 – 60m)
20 Squats
20 Press-ups
20-seconds plank
20 Squat thrusts
20 Burpees

5min cool-down

Walking


5min stretch

Whole-body stretch


Session 15

whole-body exercise circuit

Session 16

10-minute Warm-up

Jogging and body weight exercises


Circular Circuit

30 seconds on each exercise 1min rest 45 seconds on each exercise 1min rest 1 minute on each exercise 1min rest 1:30 on each exercise


1: Sprint (25 metre shuttle sprints)
2: Press-ups
3: Resistance band punches
4: Burpees
5: Kettlebell swing (20kg)
6: Kettlebell squat (20kg)
7: Plank
8: Kettlebell single arm clean to press

5min cool-down

Walking


5min stretch

Whole-body stretch


Session 17

10-minute Warm-up

Walk into slow jog – progressively increase pace


30/40-minute run

5min cool-down

Walking


5min stretch

Whole-body stretch


Session 18

10-minute Warm-up

2000m row


1000rep circuit (10 reps on each exercise – 10 X through)

1: Press-up
2: Burpees
3: Air squat
4: Hill climbers
5: Kettlebell swing (8/16/24/32kg)
6: Kettlebell squat (8/16/24/32kg)
7: Step lunge (5 each leg)
8: Russian twists
9: Dumbbell vertical lift*
10: Dumbbell bent-over row

5min cool-down

Walking


5min stretch

Whole-body stretch


*With a dumbbell in each hand perform a bicep curl then straight into a shoulder press – that’s one rep.


Session 19

10-minute Warm-up

2000m row


30min row circuit (set a 30-minute countdown timer on the rower (or use a stopwatch) and repeat the four exercises below as many times as possible)


250m row
25 kettlebell swings
250m row
25 kettlebell squats

5min cool-down

Walking


5min stretch

Whole-body stretch


Session 20

10-minute Warm-up

Walk into slow jog – progressively increase pace


40/50-minute run

5min cool-down

Walking


5min stretch

Whole-body stretch


Session 21

Warm-up

2000m run

1000m row


1. 100reps – Bench press (40kg)
2. 100reps – Bent-over row (40kg)
3. 100reps – Squats (40kg)
4. 100reps – Sit-ups
5. 100reps – Burpees
6. 100reps – Press-ups
7. 100reps – Lat pull downs (40kg)
8. 100reps – Squat thrusts
9. 100reps – Step-ups (50 each leg) (2 X 10kg db)
10. 100reps – Squats (no weight) (ass touching bench)
11. 100reps – Kettlebell swing (24kg)
12. 100reps – Kettlebell clean & jerk (24kg)
13. 100reps – Kettlebell single arm swing (50 each arm) (24kg)


Enjoyed these circuits? Have they left you hungry for more? Click on the image below and get your copy of the Hungry4Fitness Book of Circuits Vol. 1.


Circuit training is one of the best forms of physical exercise for maintaining and increasing overall-fitness. A well designed circuit will provide a great cardiovascular workout, strengthening the heart and lungs in the process, whilst also improving muscle endurance and developing functional strength. This unique combination, of fat burning and muscle building, which singular exercises, such as running, cycling, swimming or weights cannot give, will help to sculpt a lean defined physique.





(As we are very interested in user experience here at Hungry4Fitness, we would be very grateful if you could take a few seconds out of your day to leave a comment. Thanks in advance!)

Blog Author

Adam Priest, former Royal Marines Commando, is a personal trainer, lecturer, boxing and Thai boxing enthusiast.

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