Fun and Effective Circuit Training Designs |

Fun and Effective Circuit Training Designs

Jackie Wright/The Fitness Trail
Grand Lake, CO Colorado

Circuit training, which is simply working within a “circle or circus” format, can be a time-efficient, fun and effective way to train. It can be designed to focus upon cardio, muscular strength or endurance and even flexibility training. Check out the following circuit training designs and see if one, two or all three might be a good fit for you. If you need further details on these circuits, please contact me. As always, prior to beginning any exercise program, please consult your physician.

Combination Circuit

This circuit will combine both cardio and muscular strength training stations; it is 45 minutes in duration with 75 seconds on each station (two 30-second work intervals; one 15 second active recovery interval between sets on weight training stations; work straight through on cardio stations). Attempt to complete the circuit two-three times through.

Station 1 Jump rope – skip or jump – cardio

Station 2 Pushups- modified or full

Station 3 Over the top of a step or BOSU – cardio

Station 4 Squats with moderate to heavy dumbbells

Station 5 French Curls with one heavy dumbbell (triceps)

Station 6 Jumping Jacks- modified or full -cardio

Station 7 Bent Over Lat Rows on bench with one heavy dumbbell*

Station 8 Stationary Lunges with biceps curls – moderate/heavy dumbbells*

Station 9 Jump Squats or Leaps- cardio

Station 10 Prone Roll Outs on stability ball (abs/core)

Weight Training Circuit

This circuit will concentrate on muscular strength training; it is 45 minutes in duration with two 30-second work intervals; one 15-second active recovery interval on each station between sets, then move on to the next station. Attempt to complete this circuit one-two times through.

Station 1 Pec Flyes on stability ball – moderate/heavy dumbbells

Station 2 Stationary Lunges – heavy dumbbells suspended by side of thighs*

Station 3 Pull Ups – modified or full from a TRX, pull up bar or Smith machine bar

Station 4 Standing Abduction with cuff tubing- next to wall or other stable support*

Station 5 Biceps Curls – fixed barbell – moderate/heavy

Station 6 Step Ups – 8-12 inch platform – holding moderate/heavy dumbbells

Station 7 Lateral Raises – moderate dumbbells

Station 8 Supine Roll Outs – Hip Extension – stability ball

Station 9 Standing Lateral Flexion – one heavy dumbbell*

Station 10 Triceps Dips – from bench

Abdominals/Core Circuit – This circuit will concentrate on strengthening the abdominals and core muscle groups; it should take approximately 15-20 minutes to complete one to two times through.

Station 1 Roll Ups – 12 reps

Station 2 Reverse Curls with 90 degree legs and rotations – 12 reps (R/L= 1 rep)

Station 3 Bicycles – 12 reps (R/L = 1 rep)

Station 4 Prone Roll Outs – stability ball – 8 reps

Station 5 Lateral Flexion – stability ball – 8 reps each side

Station 6 Spinal Extension – prone – stability ball – 8 reps

Tips for safe, effective and fun circuit training:

• Always perform a 5-10 minute warm-up prior to beginning/cool down/stretch to end any circuit training

• Keep moving from one station to the next without delay

• Lighten the weight increment as needed

• Stability first; mobility second

Next week, how to keep your workouts consistent while enjoying your summer visitors.

Jackie Wright is the owner/manager of Never Summer Fitness, LLC located in Grand Lake, Colorado. She can be reached at her website at, her emails at and her blog at

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