You can essentially design a circuit training routine with all sorts of exercise combinations: total-body, upper body, lower body, core, muscle-specific, opposing muscle groups, superset, etc.
For the beginners, start with bodyweight circuit workout. As you get better conditioned, progress to add external resistance or weight as a tool. You can use resistance band, strength machines, dumbells, barbells, kettlebells, sandbags, etc.
I've designed the following triple circuit training routine that incorporate power, strength, quickness in a "timed" endurance total-body workout.
It's an excellent physical and "mental" conditioning workout, particularly for athletes/fighters who are engaged in both explosive movements and endurance conditioning such as mixed martial arts (MMA) and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ). Believe me when I double-quote the "mental" word. After a few reps or into the second or third exercise/set, you'll start to break sweat and breathe hard. You'll know or perhaps don't know how to tough out the circuit. You gotta be physcially and mentally strong to get through the workout.
Remember the Spartan 300 warrior training. These actors didn't go through the typical bodybuilding-type weight training. They did a similar strength and cardio circuit training routine that combine power, strength, quickness and endurance in a series of exercises.
If you have tried my earlier power circuit training routine based on modified Olympic Weightlifting, this triple circuit training is a perfect complimentary workout.
Triple Attack Circuit:A. Jumping Pullup x 1 minute or 12-20 reps
B. Dumbbell Thruster x 1 minute or 12-15 reps
C. Burpee x 1 minute or 12-15 reps
Do all three exercises back to back with no rest. Rest only after you finish the burpees for 90 seconds to two minutes. Then repeat for a total of 3 to 5 circuit sets. I also include the suggested repetitions for each exercise. That's the approximate number of reps you should try to achieve depending on your fitness level.
How to set up
Bring a pair of dumbbells for your normal do 10-rep set for your shoulder presses by the pullup bar area. Reduce the weight by 20 to 30 percent because you won't be able to press as heavy in this workout.
I know it's tough to do pullups for the whole minute or 12 reps for most people. The trick here is do just one pullup at a time, i.e., one-rep set.
So jump half-way up to grab to pullup bar, then finish the pullup by completely pulling youself upward and squeezing your lat muscles hard at the top position. Lower your body and down.
Repeat for one minute for as many as you can do.
As soon as you finish the pullup in one minute, pick up the pair of dumbbells and start the thruster exercise.
Thruster is a combination of front squat and shoulder push/press in a smooth continuous action. It's the best total-body and core strength conditioning workout. You can do thruster with barbells, dumbbells or kettlebells.
Watch a demo video for "dumbbell thruster" >>
When you finish the unbelievably gruelling dumbbell thruster and cannot quite catch your breath, leave the dumbbells aside and get down onto the floor in pushup position.
Quickly hop and pull legs in toward your body to the knee-down position. Jump explosively upward with both feet (squat jump) and land back onto the floor. Knee down or squat down as you put your hands down on the floor in front of you. Then quickly kick your legs straight back and land on the floor to a plank/pushup position. That's one rep.
Watch a demo video for "burpees" >>
Do as many and as fast as you can for one minute. This is a bodyweight killer exercise that strengthen your whole body and core. There are other variations for different levels of difficulty. You can do "tuck jump" with your knees drawn in towards your body when you jump upward. In the double-leg kickback to plank/pushup position, you can do it like "sprawl" in grappling, submission or MMA to counter a take-down.
As always, start the training program slowly when you deal with new exercises. Record the repetitions and weight in each training session. Adjust your rest intervals to complete the circuit. Add the level of difficulty or intensity gradually.
That's a three-minute round. Do as many rounds as you can. There's no shortcut to success in the ring - only hardcore workout and top conditioning to be the best MMA fighter.
Enjoy the sweat!
Copyright 2007 www.careyforfitness.com by C. Carey Yang and Beyond Fitness Solutions, LLC.
All rights reserved.
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