This 30 minute circuit workout ticks all the fitness boxes. Improved strength, muscle endurance, aerobic capacity, and fat loss are all up for grabs if you can make time for this workout in your routine.
30 minute circuit workout benefits
Because this workout includes a broad range of exercises, it activates all the major muscle groups. For example, the resistance exercises stimulate strength gains while the body weight movements promote muscular endurance.
As well as improved strength and muscular endurance, this 30 minute circuit workout can enhance your aerobic capacity. Interspersed between the resistance and body weight exercises are three cardio stations. This both balances the workout and increases the benefits it confers.
How to do this 30 minute circuit workout
This workout is super simple and fuss-free. In addition, it is easy to customise and you can tailor it to suit your fitness objectives. Here's how it works.
The circuit is comprised of 10 exercises. The exercises are a blend of resistance, body weight, and cardio. Once you have completed a warm-up, set a 3-minute countdown on your training timer.
When you're ready, progress through the list of exercises. Your objective is to complete as many repetitions or cover as many metres as possible in 3-minutes.
On completion of each exercise take a 1-minute 30-second rest. It's advisable during the rest to stay active with low-intensity cardio such as cycling or walking.
30 minute circuit workout key points
Your aim is to achieve the best possible score on the 10 exercises. You have three minutes to do this.
After each exercise, you are entitled to a rest of 1-minute and 30-second.
On completion of each exercise make a note of your score. This can be used as a benchmark to compete against when you next have a go at this workout.
Circuit workout hints and tips
Prior to tackling this workout, it's advisable to organise your equipment first. This improves efficiency throughout the workout and it removes the irritation of sourcing exercise equipment when you are tired and sweaty.
To get the best score possible, certainly for the first three exercises, ensure to warm up well. As Watson reminds us in his authoritative book Physical Fitness and Atheltic Performance, 'a warm-up of an appropriate nature enhances physical performance.'
Setting a countdown timer with 30-second audible reminders helps maintain motivation and work rate.
Don't forget to stretch off when you have completed the workout.
Related: Try this 10-Minute Stretching Routine
How to adapt this 30 minute circuit workout
Another strength of this workout, besides the many fitness benefits it delivers, is its adaptability. There are literally hundreds of ways that you could adapt this workout. But I'm just going to outline three.
If you practice a sport you could include exercises, drills, or movements specific to that sport. For example, if you were a boxer, you could substitute one or more of the cardio exercises for skipping. And you could replace the resistance or body weight exercises for punch bag drills, shadow boxing, or even sparring. The same method could be applied to a whole host of different sports from combative to CrossFit.
Component of fitness
Then there's the option of focusing the exercises on a specific component of fitness. Let's say that you wanted to develop functional strength. You could replace the stations with any one of these 11 function exercises. Alternatively, if you wanted to improve muscle endurance, or you were completing this workout at home, you could substitute all resistance exercises with calisthenics.
Related: Try this Functional Workout
45 minute circuit workout
The final method of adapting this workout is by increasing or decreasing the duration of the intervals. Depending on your fitness levels and training experience, you may want to adjust the preset 3-minute interval duration. I recommend doing so in 1-minute increments. So, if you regard yourself as a beginner, reduce the interval length to 2- or 1-minute exposures. Those with a high level of fitness could increase the interval duration to 4- or 5-minutes.