When most people think about “circuit training” they think light weights and lots of reps.
I know that’s how I used to think.
Well, not all circuit training is created equal.
You got your light weight, high rep based circuit training…
You got your machine based circuits (I remember seeing TONS of people going through these machine circuits when I trained at the Globo Gym)…
You got your bodyweight only circuit training (I LOVE these)…
You got your dumbbell circuit training….
And you got your Bigger, Better, More BADASS Strength Circuits 😉
As you can see, you’ve got ALL kinds of different circuit training mixes, but when I circuit train, this is how I do it.
To make my circuit training the most effective, I make sure that it includes a little bit of everything.
Here’s a prime example…
Perform 3 Rounds Of:
1A) Barbell Power Snatch Pull – 3 x 3 HEAVY – rest 60 secs
1B) HSPU 3 x sub – rest 60 secs
1C) Toes to Bar 3 x 20 – rest 60 secs
1D) Kettlebell Snatch 3 x 15 / Arm – rest 60 secs
***Repeat this circuit 3 times ONLY resting 60 secs between sets
As you can see, this isn’t your typical “circuit training” routine as you’ve got a nice mix of everything from heavy strength / power work, bodyweight strength, full body core, and some “Russian Based Cardio” via the kettlebells.
To top things off, you’re only getting 60 secs of rest between each movement which doesn’t make things easy, but it still allows you just enough rest in between movements to recover somewhat to keep you alive 😉
I like this type of training because not only can you focus in on bunch of different training modalities at once (via kettlebells, bodyweight, barbells, dumbbells, ect), but you also fit in a TON of work within a small amount of time.
Just like with supersets 😉
And with these circuits, you’ll build strength, power, and conditioning, not just conditioning as you do with most “circuit training” routines.
To make sure you’re constantly progressing, what I like to do is modify the REST PERIODS week to week.
So, for week 1, you’d rest for 60 secs between movements and rounds, week 2 you’d rest for 45 secs, then on week 3, only rest for a measly 30 secs.
Trust me when I say those 30 secs go by QUICK on week 3 and even when you’re using the same weight as the weeks before, it gets TOUGH 😉
But, if I’m not switching up REST, I’m switching up the INTENSITY via LOADING so each week I make sure and try and go just a bit HEAVIER with my weighted movements.
Here’s one of the ways I set up and select movements for these “Strength Circuits”…
Movement 1 – Heavy / Power Based Movement (Usually loaded with a barbell)
Movement 2 – Bodyweight Strength Movement (could be anything from a pistol squat, to muscle up, to a weighted push up)
Movement 3 – Full Body Core Movement (Roll outs, leg raises, and L-Sits work extremely good)
Movement 4 – Cardio Based Movement (Swings and Snatches work awesome)
Extra Keys and Tips:
***These circuits DO NOT have to have 4 movements in them – you can have 3, 4, even 5 movements if need be. I usually stick within the 3-5 movements range and no more or less
***NO, these are NOT meant to be “finishers”, but they can be used as such. Best way to use these strength circuits is right after your MAIN strength work within your training session. If you’re running low on time, feel free to use these as a stand-along sessions in themselves.
To give you a better idea, here’s what it would look like if you were to add in a “BADASS strength circuit” within a training session (this is an actual session from my current training phase)1A) Kneeling Jumps to Box Jump 2A) Barbell Snatch x 3 x E.M.O.T.M. x 5 Mins @ 70% 1RM 3A) BADASS Strength Circuit x 3 Rounds (See Above) 4A) 3 Rounds Of: a) HEAVY Sled Push / Pull x 100 ft b) HEAVY DB Farmer Walk x 100 ft c) Suspended Pike + Knee Tuck Combo x 30
***Always make sure that you’ve become damn good at the movements you’re performing within a strength circuit, or in other words – your form and technique need to be on target Strength Circuits like these are an advanced type of training method so if you’re not ready to hit up a series of complex movements back-to-back-to-back, this wouldn’t be a good option for you yet.
***Stay honest with your REST periods, but if you’re having trouble, DECREASE the loads being used with the weighted movements OR decrease the progression of the bodyweight movements. If you must, add in a bit of extra rest between ROUNDS, not movements.
Another key effect of the special type of Strength Circuits is that you’ll build up some big time mental toughness as well.
You’ll see what I’m talking about once you get yourself going with these 😉
Either way, say good-bye to your typical light weight, high rep, machine based circuit routines.
It’s time to start cranking out some Bigger, Better, More BADASS Strength Circuits!
Share with me some of your FAVORITE strength based circuits that you’ve done within your training down in the comments below.
Live and Train Aggressive!
PS – To see more “BADASS Strength Circuits” in action, check out The Unbreakable Badass Blueprint 2.0