Design Your Own Circuits!

We’re offering this clinic we made for our members to the general public because we think it will help give some ideas to spice up your workout routine! If you find it useful, please consider making a donation to AGE UP, one of our favorite organizations in the world! With COVID-19 impacting all our communities, they haven’t been able to do their regular ultimate-based programming, but are still having a massive positive impact. We suggest a donation of $5, but it’s, of course, okay to give more!

Maybe you know a lot of exercises, know how to focus on form, and have equipment/space to use at home – but how do you put all that together on your own?

We’d love to give you a framework to help you put together your own circuit-style workouts so you can get creative designing something! It’s, of course, possible to get super in-depth with creating workouts for specific goals and an overall training plan – if you’re interested in those things, set up a virtual consult; we provide programming and do personal training virtually. We stick with circuits almost exclusively in our classes because they give you a great overall workout and they’re so fun to customize!

First, a couple considerations…

  • How much time do you have? Circuits are great because if you have more time, you can just go through the circuits more times, and if you have less you still get a little bit of everything!
  • What equipment and space do you have to work with? Everyone is dealing with some kinds of limitations here – there are great ideas for setups in our home workout options article!
  • Do you enjoy classes more than designing your own workouts? If so, you can join us in our live classes!

Circuits are created by putting different kinds of movements together in a way that allows you to move from one to the next without much rest or over-fatigue of certain muscle groups. Here are some basic movement categories, with a sample exercise from our coach exercise library to illustrate the differences!

Movement TypesBilateralUnilateral
SquatGoblet SquatLunge Matrix
HingeKB DeadliftSL RDL to Hip Opener
PushPush UpOne-Arm Push Press
PullBand RowsDB Snatch
CoreHardstyle PlanksSingle Arm High Plank
RotationTorso RotationLateral MB Slams
MetabolicMountain ClimbersOne-Arm KB Swings
Mobility90-90 Hip MobilityFrog Hip Mobility (Adductor)

Think about the exercises you know and put them into these categories where you can – that’ll make it easier to pick and choose from the list! Here are a few ways you can organize movements into a circuit depending on where you want to focus on any given day:

Once you’ve organized some movements in a logical way, you can decide how you want to perform them! Here are some common rep/time schemes for circuits:

  • 30 secs on/30 secs off
  • 20 secs on/10 secs off (Tabata interval)
  • 6-8 reps of each movement (good for strength movements)
  • AMRAP – As Many Rounds As Possible 2-3 movements in a set time period (usually between 3-8 min)
  • EMOM – Every Minute On the Minute – usually a few reps of 1-3 exercises for 5-10 minutes (good to finish by around 40 secs so you have time to rest before the next set starts)
  • Ladders – set of 2-3 exercises for ascending and descending rep scheme (1/2/3/2/1 or 2/4/6/4/2 etc) or just ascending (2/4/6/8 etc)

One of the most fun things about circuits is how easy it is to increase the difficulty on exercises! There’s a lot of different ways to make something harder…here’s some of the tricks we use!

  • Slowing it down
  • Adding a pause or a pulse
  • Taking away stability
  • Adding weight
  • Doing a progression of the exercise
  • Taking less rest between reps
  • Making it a compound movement by putting two movements together

Want an example of how to dial up the intensity of a movement? Coach Ren will show you some Squat Variations to help illustrate the concept!

Try creating your own circuit workout(s) using these concepts!! If you come up with one you like, please post it and tag us! Excited to see what you share! 🙂 Remember to donate to AGE UP if you appreciated this clinic!

You can see a basic template below; feel free to download the pdf or spreadsheet version to get started!

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