Short circuits

There is a place in the world for low intensity, steady state cardio. There, I said it. It can build a strong aerobic base and help you recover faster from higher intensity training. The problem is, it’s so damned boring. And time consuming. And boring.

I think short circuits for fat loss and conditioning are a more efficient way of doing both. Now don’t get me wrong, if you are training for an endurance event or for a sport like football, basketball or rugby then you have to put the miles in, but for fat loss and general conditioning these are a really good option.

I’m going to share a really simple way of building circuits, all you have to do is to take 1 exercise from each group and use the appropriate rep ranges to get the best out of them.

Group 1:

Performed fro 6-15 reps

Deadlift (40-50% max)

KB swing


DB shoulder press/ squat and press

Pull up


Group 2:

Performed for 20-30 secs or equivalent distance

Walking lunge

Bear crawl

Frog squat – for those who haven’t done these before –

Farmers carry

Treadmill/ woodway curve treadmill/ deadmill




Group 3:

Body weight exercises done for 6-15 reps


TRX row

Reverse lunges

Bodyweight squat

Mountain climbers

While these lists are by no means exhaustive, the illustrate the types of exercises and reps they can be done for. You notice that the heavy exercise is first, then a high intensity conditioning exercise is next, then you finish with a bodyweight exercise where load is taken out of the equation and technique is more easily maintained.


Deadlift x 6-12 reps -aiming for as many good reps as you can

Frog squat x20-30 seconds

Push up x6-15 reps

Rest 60s and repeat for 3-5 rounds.


Pull up x3-10 reps

Bear crawl x10m forwards and backwards

Mountain climbers x 10per side

Rest 60s and repeat for 3-5 rounds.


KB swing x10-15 reps

Deadmill x 20secs

Bodyweight squat x 12

Rest 60s and repeat for 3-5 rounds.

While I use a 60sec rest and 3-5 round format as it fits in nicely with my training plans, you can change the rest time and number of rounds to suit your needs. For example, increasing both rest and number of rounds can help you build a better aerobic base. You could also see how many rounds you can complete in a set time period, 10/ 20 or 30 mins as a stand alone conditioning session.


Have fun, and stay strong


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