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  • Writer's pictureMackenzie Martin

Up Your Workout Regime with Circuit Training

Circuit training is one of my favorite ways to train.

It's an exercising method that combines cardio and strength training, which is super effective for burning maximum calories both during and after a workout—*as long as you keep the intensity cranked up & don't skimp on the weights*.

So, what does circuit training look like?

Typically, for circuit training, you have anywhere from 4 to 10(ish) exercises, with little to no rest between each exercise. That's how you keep your heart rate up and keep your body burning calories.

Most circuit training routines are focused on full body—meaning, the circuits involve upper and lower body exercises.

I incorporate circuits into my workout regime a little different than the traditional circuit training. I use circuits more so as 'splits' than full body. I like to do 4 exercises that target either upper body, or lower body, or I even have some days where I'll do all cardio/core focused exercises in my circuits.

For example, if I'm targeting lower body, I usually do a couple circuits where I do 4 lower body targeted exercises per circuit, and I repeat those exercises for 3 rounds before I move on to my next circuit. I do the same for upper body.

I just order the exercise in a way that I don't target the same exact muscle twice in a row.

That might sound confusing, so I'll explain.

If I'm doing an upper body circuit, I won't do two shoulder-focused exercises in a row, like say, Arnold press & front raises back to back. Gotta give the shoulders a lil break!

Instead, I would do a shoulder-focused exercise, then an exercise that targets triceps, then chest, then upper abs. That's how I can move quickly from exercise to exercise, without compromising form or skimping on weights.

Heres a few examples to give you a visual of what I'm talking about:


Upper body circuit:

  • Push-ups

  • Bent-over row

  • Curls

  • Full burpees

*12 reps each exercise; 3 rounds.

Lower body circuit:

  • Squats

  • Alternating jump lunges (12 reps each side)

  • Deadlifts

  • Sumo squats

*12 reps each exercise; 3 rounds.

Full body circuit:

  • Triceps dips (16 reps)

  • Alternating reverse lunges (12 reps/leg)

  • Squat to press (12 reps)

  • Mountain climbers (30 seconds)

*3 rounds.

...As you can see from my examples, I ALWAYS add at least one cardio movement. Usually my circuits involve 2-3 strength exercises & 1 or 2 cardio exercises.

SOO...circuit training provides tons of benefits and gives you the ability to target whatever muscle groups you desire.

The exercises don't have to be complicated, and the workout doesn't have to be an hour+ long, which is another benefit of's perfect for those who only have 30-45 minutes to squeeze a workout in.

I would suggest circuit training no more than 3-4 times a week. You want to make sure you give your muscles enough time to recover & rebuild—plus, you'll be able to 'shock' your body more often & avoid plateauing.

Highly recommend my ladies, especially, to give circuit training a try!

You'll burn lots of calories and will be WAY more successful with losing fat & adding lean muscle doing circuit training than you will looking at your phone on the elliptical or bike for an hour. One last plus—ya won't be bored!

If you've never tried circuit training, let 2020 be the year ya give it a go!

xo Mackenzie.

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