Training and how to progress your workouts should reflect the desired outcome, your goal.
The body responds and adapts to stress. The “stress” is not the typical stress that you might be thinking of. For the purpose of physical fitness, stress [being placed on the body] is the amount of weight being lifted during strength training or the distance of a training run.
With repeated training, resistance development occurs meaning the body increases its ability to adapt to the stressor, i.e. lifting a certain amount of weight. That’s simply saying with training, the body adapts to what it’s repeatedly expected to do and gets stronger in response to the demands place on it. As that occurs, being careful to avoid prolonged or intolerable amounts of stress, i.e. increasing too much weight for strength training or distance for a training run, the body will require increased “stress” to produce a higher level of fitness and help avoid the plateau many athletes experience.
How To Progress Your Workouts
- You can increase the amount of weight being lifted.
- You can increase the number of reps performed.
- You can increase the number of sets you perform for each exercise.
- You can increase the amount of work being done by decreasing rest between sets or circuits. If you currently rest 3 minutes between sets of an exercise, you can try lifting the same weight for the same amount of sets and reps, but with only 2 minutes and 30 seconds of rest between sets.
- You can increase the difficulty by SAFELY decreasing the stability of where and how the exercise is performed. Decreasing the stability of the environment in which the exercise is performed recruits more muscle strength and endurance. Performing an exercise standing is more difficult than performing the exercise sitting. Or, performing the exercise on a single leg or on a balance trainer is more difficult than performing the exercise standing with both feet on the floor.
Strength training exercises should be progressed based on your goal and progressions should occur slowly, in order to avoid putting too much strain on your muscles or joints. A general guideline for arm exercises, keep weight increases around 5-10%. The weight for lower body exercises can be increased about 20%. Also, only change one variable of your program at a time. Avoid simultaneously increasing weight and reps or reps and sets.
Ready to workout and energize your body?
This workout is broken up into three total body circuits. For each circuit you’ll complete all of the exercises by reps or time and repeat 2, 3 or 4 times depending on your fitness level. Rest 30 seconds after each complete circuit.
Download full size to print Energize Your Body Circuit Workout
- dumbbells 5-10 pounds based on your fitness level
- box or step (stable surface for step ups)
- mat (optional)
- Don’t skip the warm-up or cool-down.
- Use proper body alignment and good form.
- Weights and intensity should be based on your fitness level.
- Modify as needed to meet your fitness level by increasing/decreasing weights or reps.
- Gradually increase intensity and/or repetitions based on your progress.
I am a certified personal trainer, but this workout was not created for your specific fitness level. If you’re interested in workouts created for your specific fitness level, individual needs and goals contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Make modifications as needed. Intensity and rest periods should be based on your individual fitness level. See your physician before beginning any exercise program. This web site is not intended as a substitute for the medical advice and supervision of your personal physician. Any application of this or any other exercise routine set forth in this program is at the viewer’s discretion and sole risk.
Squat Curl Press (1) Holding dumbbells in both hands, stand with your feet shoulder-width apart. (2) Bend your knees and lower your hips back into a deep squat until your thighs are parallel to the floor. (3) Hold the squat position and perform a biceps curl. (4) Push through your heels and squeeze your glutes returning to start position while pushing the dumbbells overhead into a shoulder press (5) Lower the dumbbells back to starting position. Repeat the prescribed number of reps. Targets: glutes, quads, hamstrings, biceps, shoulders
Renegade Row (1) Get in traditional plank position. (2) Keep your back in neutral alignment, toes on the floor, pelvis parallel to the floor. (3) Place one hand on a dumbbell. Pull kettlebell to the side of your chest, keeping shoulders and hips square to the ground. (4) Lower weight to starting position. Perform all reps with one arm then switch sides. Targets: upper back, core
Side Plank with Rotation (1) Start by lying on your right side, legs extended, with your left foot stacked on top of you right. (2) Support our body weight on your right elbow forming a straight line with your body. (3) Keep your belly button pulled in and your hips raised. (4) Extend your top arm toward the ceiling. (5) Rotate your body to reach your extended arm underneath your body, then extended the arm back up to start position. (6) Repeat on the other side. Targets: core obliques, shoulder
Step Ups (1) Stand in front of a step, bench or box with your feet pointed straight ahead. (2) Step onto the box leading with your right leg, foot and knee pointing straight ahead. (3) Push through your heel and stand up straight and bending your opposite leg at the hip and knee. (4) Step off the box returning to the starting position and repeat alternating lead legs. NOTE: Depending on your fitness level and needs, you may need to omit the balance component. After stepping up, instead of bending the opposite leg at the hip and knee, place it down on the step next to the lead leg. Perform the prescribed amount of time. Targets: cardiorespiratory system, lower body warm up
Pendulum Lunge (1) Stand on your right leg with foot rooted to the floor and left leg lightly placed on the floor next to the left foot, weights by your sides. (2) Lift the right knee up at at 90-degree angle, then step forward into a lunge. (3) Lunge the left foot forward, far enough so that knee is directly above the heel (it should not go past toes). (4) Hold for two seconds. (5) Lift left foot from front lunge to knee up, then extend same leg back to rear lunge with back knee bent. (6) Continue front and back lunges with right leg, then switch legs and repeat. Targets: quads, glutes, hamstrings, calves
Bicep Curl (1) Stand with your feet hip-width apart holding a dumbbell in each hand letting them hang at arm’s length next to your sides. Turn your arms so that your palms face forward. Keep your chest up. (2) Contracting your bicep, curl the weights toward your shoulders. Pause. (3) Slowly lower the weight back to start position. Repeat the prescribed number of reps. Targets: biceps
Plank Knee to Elbow (1) From standard plank position, hands directly under shoulders, lengthen your neck, eyes looking slightly in front of your hands. Keeping arms straight, push on your hands away from the floor to stabilize your shoulders. Tighten your, don’t arch your back and tuck your tailbone creating a straight line from head to toes. Exhale and bring your right knee as close to your right elbow as possible. Return to start position. Exhale and rotate your right knee to your left elbow. Return to start position. Right knee to right elbow and left elbow is one repetition. Repeat the prescribed number of reps. Targets rectus abdominis and internal obliques
Jump Squat (1) Stand with your feet hip width apart with toes pointed outward. (2) Lower yourself down until your quads are parallel to the ground, abs are tight, shoulders over the hips. (3) Then, from the mid-point position, exhale and explode upward as high as you can. Imagine pushing away from the floor with your feet. (4) Land back down in a firm stance, reset quickly and repeat. Be conscious of keeping your spine straight. Keep you eyes focused on the ground in front of you. Don’t arch your back. Pull your belly button upward. Perform the prescribed amount of time. Targets: quads, calves
Deadlift (1) Stand with your feet slightly narrower than shoulder-width apart, knees slightly bent. (2) Hold a dumbbell in each hand with our palms facing your legs in front of your body about shoulder-width apart. Keep your back straight, core tight and shoulders pulled back. (3) Keeping your eyes focused forward; slowly bend your torso forward lowering the dumbbells toward the floor. Keep your knees slightly bent and your back straight throughout the entire movement. Lower the dumbbells, while keeping them close to your body, until your torso is almost parallel to the ground. Don’t round your shoulders. (4) From this position, focus almost entirely on your hamstrings, and exhale while slowly lifting your body and the weights back to the starting position. Perform the prescribed number of reps. Targets: glutes, hamstrings, lower back
Lying Down Tricep Extension (1) Lie on your back with a dumbbell of equal weight in each hand. (2) Raise the dumbbells to arms length above you. The dumbbells should be directly above your shoulders. (3) Bend at your elbows, lowering the dumbbells in an arc-like motion until your forearms touch your biceps. (4) Return to the starting position. Perform the prescribed number of reps. Targets: triceps
Side Plank Crunch (1) Get into a side plank. (2) Push into the floor with your bottom foot and lift your top leg. (3) Bend your knee and bring it in to touch your top elbow. Try not to lean forward or backward. Repeat on the other side. Targets: obliques
Jumping Jacks (1) Stand with your feet together and your hands down by your side. (2) In one motion jump your feet out to the side and raise your arms above your head. (3) Immediately reverse that motion by jumping back to the starting position. Keep your pace as fast as possible. Targets: cardiorespiratory system, total body warm up
Looking for more information to get the most out of your workouts?
- Strength Training: How Many Reps Should I Do?
- 7 Ways To Run Faster
- How Much Time Do I Need To Workout?
- Benefits of Cardiorespiratory Training
- Strength training Systems
Let’s chat. Do you have any questions about how to progress your workout or the circuit workout? Have you ever reached a plateau with progress? Are you working out today?
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