Fellow gym heroes, this an article for you – or for anyone who wants to take their fitness to the extreme level.
I am going to go over a circuit obstacle course that’s easy to create, but will challenge you.
Circuit-style boot camp obstacle courses are awesome for building endurance and stamina, because they push you past your limits. By using a combination of body weight exercises, high intensity interval training and weights, you will be giving yourself a full body workout.
They also serve as a nice change, if you are looking for a break from cardio machines or weights.
I, myself can attest to circuit workouts. Having done my first one eight months ago in a class, I became addicted. In fact, I like them so much I now do them four times per week and I have noticed a huge improvement in agility and strength.
This workout is one I’ve put together on my own and worked for me. Let’s begin!
You will need the following; a duffel bag filled with four 5-pound weights or you can ditch the bag and use a log that’s about 3 to 4 feet long and weighs about 20 pounds. Distance markers will be useful: you can use tennis balls, flags, pylons, etc.
Next you will need two hand weights: 10 pounds each if you are a beginner, 15 if you are intermediate, 25 to 30 is you are seriously in beast mode.
Also, have lots of water nearby.
There will be six stations: a different exercise to be done at each station and a different cardio exercise to be performed while travelling to each one.
As far as time goes, it’s really up to you. If you are looking to seriously push yourself, then one round of the circuit should take you 15 min. If you are looking for a good sweat that won’t have your heart pounding too hard, aim for 25 minutes. If you are looking to get back into the swing of things and try something new then 30 to 40 minutes can be your goal.
Let’s get started.
Take your markers and set them 150 feet apart. Station 1 will have your hand weights. Station 3 will have the weighted bag.
I would recommend doing this circuit at a park or in an open field. If you are unable to get outdoors then you can do it indoors in your basement or rec room and instead of running between stations 150 feet apart, you can jog on the spot, high knees are optional, but give you extra cardio. Aim for 45 seconds as fast as you can.
With your hand weights you are going to do standard bicep curls: 10 per side. Then jog to station 2.
Here you will do a mix of plié jump squats and prisoner squats. For a plié jump squat, stand with your feet wider apart than your shoulders. Squat down with your hands stretched in front of on your hips, jump up. Your feet remain in the outward pointed position. For the prisoner squat, place your feet shoulder width apart and your hands behind your head, then squat. Do 10 of each, alternating between each squat.
Travel to station 3 by sprinting as fast as you can to station 4, first, stop, count to 10, then sprint back to station 3. Stop and take a 30 second rest.
Try not to rest longer, unless you absolutely have to. When your heart rate becomes too low you are no longer in that fat burning zone.
Pick up your weighted duffel bag, balance it on the back of your shoulders and jog to station 4.
Place the bag down. Here you will do jack knives. Lie on your back, feet stretched out, arms stretched back behind your head. Raise your arms and feet at the same time. When you raise your feet, bend your knees as you pull them closer towards your chest. Your hands and knees should touch at the same time. Then your arms go back over your head and feet down to the ground. Do 15 repetitions.
When you’re done, pick up your weight bag, place over your shoulder and jog back to station 3. Then spider crawl to station 4 and then continue to station 5. What is a spider crawl? Position yourself with your palms on the ground, toes touching the ground. Take your left leg, and move it towards your left hand. Move your right hand about 2 feet in front of you and take your right leg and move it towards your right arm. Continue this until you reach station 5.
Here you will be doing tricep push-ups. A tricep push-up is similar in motion to a regular push-up. What you will change is the position of your arms. Instead of having your arms positioned out to align with your shoulders, you will bring them in close to your body, with your hands positioned under your shoulders.
By having your arms close to your body, your triceps are doing most of the work to raise your body. This type of push-up can be quite challenging, so if you need to modify it, you can do it from your knees. Try doing 10.
By this time you should be sweating up a storm and you may feel like taking an extended break, depending on your fitness level. Aim to limit breaks, because keeping your heart rate going burns that fat. You are almost done, then you can rest for a little bit, before you do it all over again.
Travel to station 6 by doing high knee skips.
We are back to tackling the core with plank. Lying flat, prop your body up using your forearms, and hold the plank position for as long as you can. Ideal would be to hold for 2 minutes. If you begin to feel strained in your shoulders or back, reset your position, your core should be doing most of the work.
Congratulations, you have completed round 1 of your beast mode circuit. Take a five minute break, then repeat, adding five reps to each exercise at each station. For planks, try to extend the hold time by 30 seconds.
You should aim to complete three to five rounds,depending on your fitness level.
If you are new to boot camp workouts and were not able to get to three rounds, don’t stress. The important thing is that you are working towards challenging your fitness level.