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3-2-1 Sweaty Circuit

by Courtney on March 29, 2012

3-2-1 – it’s time for a fun, sweaty circuit!

So yesterday, I had a session with one of my favorite clients. She’s always up for a good butt-kicking (even if she does swear at me – all in fun, of course!), so I decided to take part of our session to complete a circuit workout very similar to the one I’m sharing with you all today.

3-2-1 Sweaty Circuit2

(sorry that it looks a little blurry – I tried everything under the sun to fix it…)

I thought this circuit was great (although she may beg to differ) because it incorporates a little bit of everything: 2 sets of 3 compound strength moves, 2 cardio bursts, and one ab move.

I also decided to switch it up and track the time of each movement, rather than counting reps. This way, if you’re a beginner, feel free to even start at 30 seconds of each movement, then gradually work your way up to 1 minute.

If you complete each strength move for the full minute, one round will take you about 10 minutes; do three rounds, and you’ve got yourself a full body workout, all in 30 minutes!

And since I know you guys really love visuals, I made sure to add ‘em in this time, too. Winking smile


Squat with Front Kick – Stand with feet together and elbows at your sides, a weight in each hand, pulling abs in. Bring your right knee up, then extend the leg in a front kick, as shown. Lower leg and bend both knees to sit back into a squat; stand and kick with your left leg.

Alternating Dumbbell Cross Jab on Bosu – Stand with feet a bit wider than hip-width apart and knees slightly bent. Hold a weight in each hand at chest height with elbows bent, palms facing each other. Punch your right arm out, as shown, stepping onto the bosu with your right foot. As you bring it back in, punch out with your left arm and step onto the bosu with your left foot. Step off bosu and continue punching/ stepping motion (if you don’t have a bosu, just step forward on the ground).

Reverse Lunge with Bicep Curl – Hold dumbbells at sides and stand with feet hip-width apart. Step back with left foot, and lunge, bending both knees to lower body until right knee is bent at least 90 degrees. At the same time, curl the dumbbells to your chest. Reverse the movement by lowering the weights and returning to standing.

Mountain Climbers – Begin in a pushup position on hands and toes. Bring right knee in towards the chest, resting foot on the floor. Jump up and switch feet in the air, bringing left foot in and the right foot back. Continue alternating the feet as fast as you can.

Fast Feet on Box/Step – Stand facing a step or sturdy box at a height you can step on and off of without having to jump. Moving feet as quickly as possible, step up onto box with both feet and then back down with both feet. Repeat quickly.

Oblique Twist with Medicine Ball – Sit with knees bent and lean back slightly (about 45 degrees) while holding a medicine ball. Draw belly button in and twist from side to side, tapping your elbow or palm down to the floor. Twist from side to side, keeping the movement slow and controlled.

<—Hey look, it’s Tina! Winking smile

Alternating Lunge with Shoulder Press: Stand with feet hip-width apart. Hold a weight in each hand, elbows bent, palms in, hands directly at shoulder height. Take a step forward with your left foot and lower into a lunge as you press weights overhead and extend arms. Step your left foot back as you lower weights to your shoulders, and return to standing. Alternate legs.

Kettlebell Swing – Grab a kettlebell with both hands and stand with feet shoulder-width apart. Squat down until thighs are nearly parallel to the floor; immediately stand back up, swinging the kettlebell out and up until it’s at shoulder height. As the kettlebell begins to arc back down, bend your knees and squat, swinging kettlebell between your legs.

Burpees – Begin in a squatted position with hands on floor in front of you. Jump feet back behind you as you lower torso to the ground (like in the bottom phase of a push-up). Jump your feet back up towards your hands as if in the starting position again. Jump straight up into the air extending your arms vertically to the sky, and repeat.

Split Jumps – Stand with feet in a staggered stance, left foot in front of your right, two or three feet apart. Lower your body into a split squat. Quickly jump up and scissor-kick your legs so that you land with your right leg forward. As soon as your feet land, lower your body into a split squat. Repeat.

Straight Arm Plank with Toe Taps – Begin with hands and toes touching the ground, with your body in a straight line from head to feet. Flex abs and glutes as you raise one foot off the floor and hold for a a second. Return foot to the floor and repeat on the other side.

Now go ahead and give this circuit a try! Let me know what ya think!

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{ 31 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Justine Duppong @ Life With Cheeseburgers March 29, 2012 at 12:39 pm

This looks super fun for a change; I might try it when I want to switch up my usual routine for a week or two!
Justine Duppong @ Life With Cheeseburgers recently posted..Quick & Easy, Perfect-Portion Caramel Rolls


2 Claire @ Live and Love to Eat March 29, 2012 at 12:43 pm

I thought my spin class this morning was a bit too short and less than challenging – I might have to do this tonight when I get home!
Claire @ Live and Love to Eat recently posted..Tempeh Three Ways


3 Katie @ Talk Less, Say More March 29, 2012 at 12:46 pm

I hate lunges they always make me feel wobbly. And yes, I know that means it’s working… ;)
Katie @ Talk Less, Say More recently posted..My Commitment


4 Khushboo March 29, 2012 at 12:47 pm

Whoosh my muscles are crying just reading this- looks like a killer workout :)
Khushboo recently posted..Wednesday Waffle


5 Sarah Toasty March 29, 2012 at 12:49 pm

Excel might be better equipped to create those charts and avoid the blurriness… might just be my former life as an engineering talking but I always use excel instead of the word charts to make graphics like that. Hope that helps!

Sarah Toasty recently posted..Strawberry Meringue Cookies


6 Courtney March 29, 2012 at 3:53 pm

Yes, I always do all of my workouts in excel! That’s why I’m surprised this one turned out that way…it’s bugging me like crazy! Haha


7 Caroline @ After Dinner Dance March 29, 2012 at 12:51 pm

I love your circuit workouts! I won’t be trying it today because I did body pump for the first time (after hearing about it on your blog), but I definitely want to try it out soon.
Caroline @ After Dinner Dance recently posted..36 deLux


8 Becca March 29, 2012 at 12:58 pm

Love the workout!!! It looks tough :) I also love that you have diagrams of all the different movements. I really enjoy trying new workouts that I find on blogs.
Becca recently posted..Favorite Phone Apps


9 Heather March 29, 2012 at 1:04 pm

you’re trying to kill me again, aren’t you?

I think that I may have to add this to my next long workout, too! [see -you being a trainer was probably the best thing that ever happened… my muscles.]
Heather recently posted..In the Midst of All the Emotions, Chaos, and Commotion, Part 3


10 Courtney March 29, 2012 at 4:07 pm

Hahaha…it’s all in the name of love ;)


11 Annie March 29, 2012 at 1:15 pm

Love the squat with front kick!

I love my squats but I’ve needed some kind of change up. This will be going in my workout tomorrow!


12 Maria March 29, 2012 at 1:38 pm

The workouts you’ve been posting lately have been so perfect! Thank you! I love any type of circuit style workout that incorporates strength and cardio, so this hits the spot.


13 Kristen @ notsodomesticated March 29, 2012 at 1:40 pm

Looks like another great one! I’m sure your clients have a love/hate relationship with you and your tough workouts! ;)
Kristen @ notsodomesticated recently posted..Two Recipes, One Great Slow Cooker.


14 Kate @ the little spoon blog March 29, 2012 at 1:40 pm

What a great circuit!!! I am most definitely going to try this out when I’m looking for something new to do!
Kate @ the little spoon blog recently posted..How To Show You Are Sorry


15 Michelle@Peachy Palate March 29, 2012 at 2:22 pm

Amazing!!! You are officially my favourite blogger missy! :) I’m trying it tomorrow morning!
Michelle@Peachy Palate recently posted..Crazy for it


16 Courtney March 29, 2012 at 4:08 pm

Awww, thank you Michelle ;)


17 Lindsay @ Fuel My Family March 29, 2012 at 3:31 pm

any workout with burpees or mountain climbers kick my butt and I love it!
Lindsay @ Fuel My Family recently posted..29 Minute Bodyweight Circuit


18 Jessica @ The Process of Healing March 29, 2012 at 3:38 pm

Oh WOW that sounds intense… therefore I love it!! Will be trying it soon.. :)
Jessica @ The Process of Healing recently posted..Picture Overload


19 Tiff @ Love Sweat and Beers March 29, 2012 at 3:44 pm

I always think of mtn climbers as easy, but once I start doing them in a circuit with other things, I always wonder why I thought that. They always make me sweat more than I anticipated! haha
Tiff @ Love Sweat and Beers recently posted..Giveaway Winner: Someone’s Going to TRI Something New


20 Yellow Haired Girl March 29, 2012 at 3:50 pm

I like this!! I rarely count reps … I would much rather go on time, or for the duration of a song. The only time I’ll count reps is if I’m listening to talk radio. Yeah, I do that while I workout :)
Yellow Haired Girl recently posted..Good Pain, Bad Pain


21 Carrie @ Lift Eat Repeat March 29, 2012 at 4:23 pm

On the kettle bell swings, don’t use your shoulders, thrust with your hips!
Carrie @ Lift Eat Repeat recently posted..Dessert Shots


22 Lisa March 29, 2012 at 5:14 pm

Great workout! I love incorporating cardio bursts into my routine, makes time pass by much more quickly!
Lisa recently posted..Manmaker


23 Carissa March 29, 2012 at 5:44 pm

Go girl! That’s a great circuit! That’s the kind of workout I hate because it’s so hard..but I love after!! Way to be an awesome trainer!
Carissa recently posted..How many calories should I eat?


24 Brittani March 29, 2012 at 6:02 pm

I LOVE your circuit workouts! I do have a question for you though, how often should I do circuit workouts? They have quickly become my favorite workouts. Right now I go to a boot camp class twice a week(it’s thru a crossfit but we use dumbbells and kettle bells rather than barbells and workouts are set up similarly to a crossfit workout. Basically we do 3 different circuits in an hour, some are a certain amount of rounds and others are AMRAPS) and then I usually do 1 or 2 circuits by myself during the week. I am also jogging or walking 2 days a week and give myself 2 rest days during the week. Am I doing too much circuit? Should I do some strictly strength training? Any suggestions would be great!


25 Jonathan Aluzas March 29, 2012 at 6:26 pm

Sweet and simple, but challenging; I love it. Thank goodness we all seem to be moving away from machines!
Jonathan Aluzas recently posted..If You Are Your Own Personal Trainer, Your Training Program Is In Trouble!


26 Sabrina @Customized Creations March 29, 2012 at 7:14 pm

This workout looks great and I think I may be incorporating this in my workouts next month. Keep up the fabulous work! I love your blog, the workouts and meal ideas you give. Thank you!


27 Tina @ Best Body Fitness March 29, 2012 at 7:15 pm


1) We share the same mind again but you’re just a wee bit faster on the blogging than I am.

2) I was reading, scrolling through, then like ‘woah, it’s me!” Haha! Fun little surprise. :)
Tina @ Best Body Fitness recently posted..Foot Update


28 Amanda - RunToTheFinish March 30, 2012 at 10:40 am

i really have fallen in love with body weight exercises, it’s so easy to modify or make them harder!
Amanda – RunToTheFinish recently posted..New Runner Q & A


29 Erin March 30, 2012 at 11:33 am

Thank you for sharing this! I’m looking forward to trying it this weekend.
Erin recently posted..A New Balance


30 Ciara March 30, 2012 at 7:22 pm

I really enjoyed this circuit his morning!! Thanks for posting. I went thru twice, gonna try 3 next time. I think circuit workouts are great for me, I have no time to get distracted when I move from move to move so quickly!


31 Kattreena May 13, 2012 at 5:10 pm

This workout was awesome!! I am super sweaty! That’s always a good thing when it comes to working out! :)


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