Fitness Trail: A great cardio circuit |

Fitness Trail: A great cardio circuit

The majority of the circuit training formats that we design for our clientele include all five components of physical fitness (i.e. cardiovascular endurance/muscular strength/muscular endurance/flexibility and body composition). This is to provide them with a complete workout every time they come into the club. However, occasionally, we also design a cardio circuit which includes all cardiovascular endurance and power training and provides them with an opportunity to perform high intensity interval training (i.e. HIIT) throughout the format, challenging the heart/lungs and circulatory system to the exhaustive point of intensity.

This week a great cardio circuit will be featured and this format may be integrated into your macro exercise program, two/three times/week on non-consecutive days. However, it is advisable to perform non-HIIT training on the days in-between to avoid over-training and over-reaching. As always, prior to beginning any exercise program, please consult your physician.

Cardio Circuit – perform each station for one minute, all out and perform the station series in sequence 5-10x through with 30 seconds between stations for active recovery.

Station No. 1 — Power Squats – BOSU – HIIT – all out! – begin with both feet on top of the BOSU. Lower to one side of the BOSU into a squat position keeping the opposite foot on top of the BOSU, then push up explosively and switch to the other side. One foot is always on the BOSU, land into a squat toe/ball/heel and think of “getting some air” as you switch sides.

Station No. 2 — Power Knees off of an adjustable step – HIIT – all out! Begin with your left foot in the center front of the step. Driving through the left heel, jump vertically off of the step as high as you are able to and drive the right knee up and towards your chest, return to beginning position and repeat for 30 seconds before switching to your right leg. Be sure to land softly, toe ball heel but do not pause at the top or bottom of the movement. Think speed and power!

Station No. 3 — Bag – 8 jabs/8 crosses – HIIT – all out!– stand in fight stance with one foot staggered forward and toes facing the bag and the opposite foot behind, externally rotated approximately 45 degrees, always with gloves on, and jab 8 with the front fist and then cross with the back. Switch halfway through. *Remember, that the hips MUST move—square the hips to the bag during the cross! One minute – 30 seconds each lead.

Station No. 4 — Jump Rope – HIIT – all out! – either skip rope, jog, jumping jacks, high knee run but use the largest range of motion possible with the entire body and travel if the obstacle-free space allows.

Station No. 5 — Plyo Box Jumps – HIIT – all out! Plyo boxes are also known as “shin eaters”, so always begin training with the lowest box first to master the jumps safely. There are plyo boxes available now that are padded which makes this process less intimidating. However, you may also build up a traditional step platform to 8-12 inches and train from this broader and “kinder” surface. Many do not understand how to properly perform box jumps and jump up and then jump off landing hard and unsafely. Jump up with both feet, then either walk off or softly land off the box.

Jackie Wright is the owner/manager of Mountain Life Fitness, LLC located in Granby.

She may be reached at her website at or email at

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