Updated: Oct 10
If you dare pit your physicality against this lactic acid-inducing circuit be prepared for some serious burn!
To carve a physique that looks as though it was sculpted by a Renaissance artist – Lorenzo Bernini, say – you need to participate regularly in circuits that combine cardiovascular with resistance exercises. This is the winning combination for sculpting razor-sharp definition.
Cardiovascular exercise encourages the body to metabolise fat for fuel thus reducing overall fat percentage. Of course, when fat fizzles away it reveals the muscles previously hidden underneath.
Resistance exercises are excellent at carving sharp musculature: think of each rep as the equivalent of a strike from the sculptor's hammer as he (or she) endeavours to shape the formless marble into a hulking Adonis.
So by combining these two exercise modalities – which is precisely what this circuit does – you are essentially compounding the effectiveness of your training.
How it works
Start at exercise 1, 1000m row, and work your way down to the final exercise. It’s that simple! This is what we call in the business a lineal circuit – which basically means that after completing an exercise you can cross it off your session plan and move on to the next one. You only visit each exercise once; however, you must follow the exact order laid out: do not group the same exercises together into a single super-set.
Barbell + 45kg discs
A fixed bar for the pull-ups
Start the clock and without a moment’s delay begin the first exercise
As with any and all lineal circuits each exercise is only performed once
Don't forget that you can either reduce or increase the weights to suit your current strength
Adopt whichever hand position you prefer on the pull-ups (I opted for palms facing inwards; this places emphasis on the biceps)
2000m Row – Remember: never skip the warm-up as it’s the most important part of the session!
1. 1000m Row
2. 10 – Pull-ups
3. 20 – Bent-over row (45kg bb)
4. 10 – Bicep curls (45kg bb)
5. 800m Row
6. 8 – Pull-ups
7. 20 – Bent-over row (45kg bb)
8. 10 – Bicep curls (45kg bb)
9. 600m Row
10. 6 – Pull-ups
11. 20 – Bent-over row (45kg bb)
12. 10 – Bicep curls (45kg bb)
13. 400m Row
14. 4 – Pull-ups
15. 20 – Bent-over row (45kg bb)
16. 10 – Bicep curls (45kg bb)
17. 200m Row
18. 2 – Pull-ups
19. 20 – Bent-over row (45kg bb)
20. 10 – Bicep curls (45kg bb)
Total distance at speed = 3000m
Total KG lifted = 6750
Total reps = 180
Time to beat = 17 minutes & 27 seconds
(Let me know what time you achieved: firstname.lastname@example.org)
All the way up and all the way down on the pull-ups please – I’ll be watching!
If you’re unsure about how to perform any of the exercises in this circuit see the tutorials below and all will be revealed.
3: Bent-over row
4: Bicep curls
Enjoyed this circuit? Has it 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 feedback at Hungry4Fitness, I would be very grateful if you could take a few seconds out of your day to leave a comment. Thanks in advance!)
Adam Priest is a former Royal Marines Commando, professional personal trainer, lecturer, boxing and Thai boxing enthusiast.