Legs and Shoulders Circuit

free weightTry this pyramid style circuit in the gym or at home for around 30 minutes of high intensity strength training.  Complete 2 repetitions of each exercise in the circuit.  Once you finish the circuit start over with 4 reps of each exercise.  Continue through sets of 6, 8, and 10, take a short rest and then start again from 10 and work your way back down to 2!  If you complete the circuit properly your heart rate should stay up and you can look to burn between 250 and 400 calories!

Pushups with Hip Rotation and Side Crunch

Alternating Lunges with Lateral Raise

Seated or Standing Heel Raises

Barbell Squat Press

Dumbbell Dead Lift with Shoulder Shrug

Alternating Lunge Jumps

10 Minute Circuit

Try this workout at home or in the gym.  It only takes 10 minutes and it’s sure to burn some calories and work your upper body.

5 Dumbbell Shoulder Presses (10-25lbs)

10 Pushups

15 Bicycle Crunches Each Side

Repeat this circuit every minute on the minute for 10 minutes straight.  If you get behind just continue to complete the circuits until you’ve finished all ten.  Good luck!

A New Format For Your Workouts

Looking for a way to add change to your routine?  Consider implementing this new format into your next workout.  Take anywhere from six to ten exercises of your choice and create a timed circuit.  Spend one minute doing each exercise until you’ve completed the entire circuit.  Upon completion of the first round, eliminate the first exercise that you did and complete the rest of the circuit again.  Continue this pattern until you get down to the last exercise.  Complete that exercise alone for one minute and finish with a cool down and stretch!

For added intensity, shoot to complete 7 exercises in 30 minutes or less, or 10 exercises in 60 minutes or less.  Also take into consideration whether you want to make the circuit strength or cardio based or if you want to include both.  This can be completed as an upper, lower, core, or total body workout.  Good luck!

The 500 Challenge

Consider modeling your next workout with this blueprint.  Decide whether you want to do a total body workout or just one or two muscle groups.  Choose 10 different exercises that fit into your routine for the day and then complete one set of 50 repetitions for each exercise. Choose your weights wisely and stick with what you pick.  If you can’t complete 50 reps at once then take as many small breaks as needed until you finish your set.  You may up your weight if it feels too easy, but do not go down in weight if you can help it.  Once you finish your 10 exercises you will have done 500 repetitions.  For added intensity shoot to finish this workout in 30 minutes or less.  Good luck!

10 Minute Kettlebell Circuit

Grab a 10-25 pound kettlebell depending on your fitness level and try this 10 minute circuit.  Perform each exercise for 60 seconds and try to complete the entire circuit without stopping.  Take a 2-4 minute rest and then repeat the circuit again.  To add intensity perform a series of abs exercises during your rest period.  Not only is this a stellar legs and shoulders workout, but it’s a great way to get some cardio in without having to use those monotonous machines.  Good luck!  
Single Arm Clean & Press (60 sec each arm)
Single Arm Swings (60 sec each arm) 
Sumo Squat with Single Arm High Pulls (60 sec each arm)
Alternating Lunges with One Arm Press (60 sec total)
Single Arm Snatches (60 sec each arm)
Front Raises with Burpee (60 sec total)

The Power of the Medicine Ball

Consider making a medicine ball your next fitness equipment purchase.  There are a ton of exercises that can be done with a medicine ball, especially now that the weather is nice!  Aside from using it in place of a weight to do exercises like shoulder presses and triceps extensions, medicine balls can be thrown, bounced, and balanced on for high intensity core work.  Try chest passes, overhead throws, and oblique twist and tosses with an 8-15lb ball.  Consider trying a set of pushups with your hands or feet on the ball.  Finally, add a medicine ball to any abs exercise for a higher level of difficulty and increased burn.  
If you’re looking for something new to add difficulty to your workout routine look into purchasing a medicine ball from any sporting goods store.  A new addition to your fitness equipment could be just what you need to regain excitement in your workouts and avoid hitting a plateau.  Search “medicine ball workouts” on YouTube for ideas on where to start!