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Boost your Physical Functionality with this Brutal Whole-body Circuit

Updated: Nov 11, 2023

A man completing a strength circuit.

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If you’re looking to develop physical functionality while shaping a Miami Beach body then call off the search! This strength circuit more than satisfies both requirements. It's comprised of callisthenics and functional resistance exercises, all neatly and uniformly contained in century-sized rep sets.


But to get through the circuit requires more than just physical strength. Traversing this multi-dimensional training session is also a test of skill and mental determination.


The unconventional design of this circuit will push your fitness to the limit. Against the timer, your objective is to complete all 1000 repetitions. But beware, as you’ll find out in more detail below, burpee punishments await those who haven’t got the willpower to push through the pain.


Don’t be scared off by the 1000 reps (or physical reprimand – which has been included to challenge advanced exercisers). In the hints and tips section below, I explain how the beginner or untrained individual can modify the circuit to suit their fitness level.


Strength circuit

First, warm up your whole body with a 2000-metre row or a solid 10 minutes of skipping. Also, before jumping into the circuit, perform a few light sets of main compound exercises. This will prepare your muscles and mind for the demands of the workout.


When attacking this strength circuit, you have two options to choose from. The first option is similar to the CrossFit Murph workout. The second option observes a formal circuit format.


Strength workout option 1

You are to complete 100 repetitions on each exercise. Work through the 10 stations as per the session plan. There’s a catch with this option though. Once you start an exercise, you should transition until you have completed all one hundred reps.


Also, for advanced trainers, if you do rest before polishing those 100 repetitions, regardless of how many times, you must perform a set of 10 burpees as a punishment. Example: if you split the bench press into sets of 25reps you would incur 30 burpees: 25 reps bench press – 10 reps burpees – 25 reps bench press – 10reps burpees – 25 reps bench press – 10 reps burpees – 25 reps bench press. Here you would have added 30 extra burpees to one exercise.


Related: A Guide to Strength Training >

Strength circuit option 2

The second option observes a more formal circuit format. Organised into a circle, or loop, you are to perform 10 repetitions on each of the 10 exercises. Once you've visited all 10 stations, you have completed a lap and can take a break.


The objective is to complete 10 laps of the circuit in total. Because many of the exercises are complex multi-joint movements, I advise that you take your time. Focus on the quality of your form and not how quickly you can complete each lap.



Circuit key points
  • Ensure to warm up thoroughly before starting the circuit. Use the warm-up provided.

  • Choose from the two training options. To recap:

  • Option 1: You will be performing 100 repetitions on each of the 10 exercises. You can break the 100 reps into sets. Advanced trainers or those up for a challenge, you should complete 10 burpees every time you stop during the 100 reps.

  • Option 2: The 10 exercises are organised into a loop. Performing 10 reps at each station, aim to complete 10 laps of the circuit.

  • Concluding the circuit, ensure to cool-down, stretch all the major muscle groups, and refuel with a healthy nutritious meal.


Equipment needed


Warm-up

2000 metre steady-paced row. For a more involved warm-up, try this instead: 500m row → 2 reps squats and bent row → 500m row → 3 reps squats and bent row → 500m row → 4 reps squats and bent row → 500m row → 5 reps squats and bent row → Start the circuit!


Strength circuit 1

This first strength circuit is a physical fistfight. The objective, once you've warmed up, is to get through the 1000 repetitions as quickly as possible. But while this is a race against time, you must prioritise the quality of your lift over performance.

Strength circuit that builds size and shape.

Strength training circuit 2

The second strength circuit observes the circular format. Starting at the first exercise, bench press, you are to complete the loop of exercises ensuring to perform 10 repetitions at each station. As with the second circuit, you can time yourself. However, technique is the priority!

Strength training and powerlifting circuit.

Circuit training hints and tips

When I completed this circuit, I changed hands after each rep when performing the kettlebell clean and jerk and dumbbell snatch. Swopping sides slows the onset of fatigue and, from a psychological perspective, seems quicker. However, this strategy only works if you've mastered the technique.


As with all Hungry4Fitness Circuits & Workouts, you can interchange the exercises in the plan. For example, if you are not a confident swinger, instead you could do deadlifts or (something a bit more dynamic) barbell cleans. (For more exercise ideas, here's a list of the best compound lifts >)


This workout has been designed to be completed at a gym. Many of the exercises require training equipment or machinery. But, if you've only got access to a simple home gym, with just a few basic items of kit, convert the plan to suit your training facility. You could go even further and adapt this workout to an outdoor training area. Using this list of bodyweight exercises, you could keep the same design outlined above and complete the workout at your local park.


For beginners, the full 1000 reps might be a bit much – to begin with. To make the circuit more manageable, simply reduce the reps. For example, even slashing the number from 10 to 5 per exercise would still present a challenging training session. Once you’ve found that sweet spot, where the rep count is within your sphere of ability, you could gradually increase it every time you complete the circuit. This method serves two important functions. First, ‘volume’ is a training principle used to promote fitness gains. Crank up the volume – i.e., more reps – and (over time) the body adapts. Second, climbing the repetition ladder over the course of a couple of months, indicates progression – your body is adapting to the increasing demands and you are getting fitter.


 

Enjoyed these circuits?

Get your hands on 80 more with the Hungry4Fitness Book of Circuits & Workouts Volume 3.

Strength circuit blog concludes with the Hungry4Fitness Book of Workouts.

 

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 at info@hungry4fitness.co.uk.

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