top of page

The Superman Circuit

superman striking a bicep pose

This has got to be one of the best muscle-building body-shredding circuits so far published. If you can find the time to include it into your weekly regime, you’ll reap the physical rewards. Soon you’ll start seeing eye-popping definition appearing in places you didn’t know possible. In addition, you’ll begin to experience some hefty strength gains.

However, let it be known, this is one tough cookie of a circuit (hence the name) and of the few that would dare tackle it only a small minority will emerge victorious from the melee.

This circuit can be completed solo or with a partner. In fact, it is preferable to work with another fitness enthusiast as one can rest while the other pumps and grinds and you can motivate each other when the going gets tough. And believe me it will.

How it works

The Superman pick-up-one is to be performed as follows: start at exercise 1 (bicep curls), then, after completing 10 repetitions, rest momentarily. When you feel ready to go again perform another set of 10 reps on exercise 1 but this time transition straight into exercise 2, standing shoulder press. Rest again. When you’re ready repeat exercise 1 and 2 remembering to include 3, bent-over row. Proceed in this fashion until you have ascended the exercise pyramid: 1 – 1,2, – 1,2,3 – 1,2,3,4 – 1,2,3,4,5 – 1,2,3,4,5,6 – 1,2,3,4,5,6,7 – 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8 – 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9 – 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10 – 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11 – 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12 – halfway point!

When you reach halfway go back down the pyramid in reverse: 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12 – 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11 – etc., etc. Finish finally on the first exercise, exercise 1 bicep curls. In total, sticking to 10 reps per exercise, you should complete 1500 repetitions.

Remember: exercises 4, 6, 10 and 12 require that you use a 60kg barbell (or weight twice as heavy as the one you selected for the circuit).

Key points

  • Select your two weights (barbells) and gather all the equipment needed for this session into a little dark corner of the gym where you can, in peace on quiet, do naughty things to yourself.

  • When performing this pick-up-one ensure to take a touch more care and pay a touch more attention to your form during the heavy lifts.

  • Only stop that clock once the final rep of the 24th set of the bicep curls has been completed.

Equipment needed

  • A barbell – preferably one with interchangeable weights (such as an Olympic bar)

  • A range of weighted discs

  • A bench

  • A pull-up bar

Methods of modification

  • Any exercise can, of course, be substituted for one more preferable

  • If you don’t have access to an Olympic bar you could always convert this into a calisthenics circuit and just use your body weight

The Superman Circuit
Download DOCX • 25KB

Total reps = 1560

Total weight lifted = 45,000kg

Time to beat = 46 minutes

(Let me know what time you achieved:

General advice/rules

  • *Make sure that you are standing up when performing the shoulder press.

  • †The parallel push-out is almost the same as the standing shoulder press; the only difference is, instead of pushing the bar above your head you push it out in front of you. The bar always remains parallel to the floor, hence the name, and should stay just below eye level throughout the movement.

  • You will notice that the exercise ‘Clean & Press’ is in the circuit twice. This is by design. 'But why?' you ask. Besides being the best exercise in the world, the first set with the lighter bar acts as a warm-up/build-up to the heavy set at the end, it kind of gets you in the groove, so to speak.


Exercise tutorial

For the more technically challenging exercises I have sourced video tutorials. Remember, if you are not confident with any of the exercises that feature in this circuit replace them. Better that than do yourself an injury.

1: Clean & Press


2: Bent-over Row


3: Squat Jumps


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


bottom of page